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Chemistry News and Events

Posted April 24, 2017

A Girls Get WISE Science Retreat was held on Saturday April 22nd at Allison Bernard Memorial High School in Eskasoni.  This was a one day event for Aboriginal Girls in grades 7-12 to explore science through hands on activities, and discover careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) by meeting and chatting with women working in STEM fields.  Attending from CBU  were:  Dr Stephanie MacQuarrie, Dr Kathy Snow, Peggy Wright, Judy MacInnis and third year Chemistry students Denae Stevens and Kuljit Kudar.

Photo:  Dr Stephanie MacQuarrie explains the soap making process during the retreat.

A Chemistry Magic Show was presented on Thursday April 6th at the McConnell Library in Sydney.

Members  of the CBU Chemistry Society entertained elementary and junior high school students and their parents by providing a series of demonstrations and hands on activities that were enjoyed by all. Pictured from left to right below are:  Chris MacKenzie (Student outreach assistant), Lindsey Pologato, Kyle Ryan and Haley Armstrong.


Posted October 19, 2016



November 14, 2016

7:30 PM

Cox Institute of Agricultural

Technology | Room 257

Dalhousie University

Agricultural Campus

50 Pictou Rd., Truro NS

Imagine a way to provide farmers, forestry and agricultural companies, and local business with low cost, greener energy in rural areas while improving their carbon foot print. In Cape Breton we are all too well aware of the impact utilization and over implementation of fossil fuels have on our community and environment. Fuel from biomass should become a significant part our energy supply.

Dr. MacQuarrie has 5 undergraduate students and two post-doctoral researchers working on a variety of projects in her lab – ranging from developing reusable, cost effective, greener alternative organic catalysts to investigating unique biomass. She is a recipient of two Canadian Foundation for Innovation grants. Dr. MacQuarrie has authored more than 25 peer reviewed papers in her early career. Stephanie also enjoys spending every spare moment with her amazing children, Lyla (4), Sophie (7) and Braydon (11).


Posted September 12, 2016

Research Seminar series for Fall 2016

  • Joseph Weiss (Bruker Inc., Milton, ON); Sept. 6th, 2016 12-1 in CS 101 “Technological Advances Within Bruker: A Look at Magnet, Console, and CryoProbe Offerings”
  • Cathleen Crudden (Queen’s University, Kingston, ON and  Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules, Nagoya, Japan); Sept. 26th, 2016, 11:30-12:15 in B226 “From Molecules to Materials: Asymmetric Catalysis and the Preparation of Carbon-based Monolayers on Gold”
  • Jason Clyburne (St. Mary’s University, Halifax, NS), Oct. 7th, 2016
  • Peng Zhang (Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS). Oct. 14th, 2016
  • Sophie Rousseaux (University of Toronto, Toronto, ON), Oct. 25th, 2016

Posted August 29, 2016Cape Breton University researchers seeking solution for ‘superbugs’. CBC News Link


A team of researchers at Cape Breton University, working with a life-science company in Halifax, is confident it has found a chink in the armour of antibiotic-resistant bacteria strains commonly known as “superbugs.”

Superbugs are pathogens that have evolved to be immune to antibiotics.

The research project, based out of Cape Breton University and funded by Halifax-based Chelation Partners and the National Research Council of Canada, is focused on finding a way around that resistance.

Trisha Ang and Roger Gumbau-Brisa are post-doctoral researchers working on the project, supervised by Dr. Matthias Bierenstiel, an associate professor in Cape Breton University’s chemistry department.

Their research is built on the concept of weakening bacteria by starving them of iron.

“Iron is an essential nutrient for cellular growth — and in turn, essential for the growth of bacteria,” Ang said.

“By denying iron to bacteria you’re inhibiting their growth, inhibiting their spread.”

In this weakened state, the bacteria would then be a vulnerable target for a round of antibiotics, Gumbau-Brisa said.

“Their sensitivity to antibiotics is increased.”

The two chemists and a team of other scientists have developed a chemical compound known as a polymer that strips iron from the blood plasma.

Ang uses the metaphor of a long string to describe the action.

“A fishing line that has multiple hooks on it that can steal away the iron, and latch on to it.”

Ang characterizes the process as a “one-two punch.” First, the polymer is injected into the body to strip away the iron from the bacteria. It’s then “hit” by a dose of antibiotic.

Gumbau-Brisa said the research team is testing the polymer they’ve developed on rodents at this point, but the group plans to bring in physicians later who will conduct tests on human patients.

Ang says the polymer has proven to be non-toxic.


Posted May 15, 2016

Congratulations to Dr. Adango Miadonye for winning the 2016 President’s Award for Excellence in Research at Cape Breton University!

Dr. Miadonye 2

Dr. Adango Miadonye, Professor of Petroleum Engineering in the Department of Chemistry at CBU, has been awarded this prestigious award for exceptionally productive research, with over 80 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, in his academic area specialty of the petroleum engineering/chemistry.  His research in rheology and fluid transport properties of heavy oils, and its upgrading and refining has been funded by NSERC and other agencies including academic-industry collaboration projects.  His current research, in collaboration with Innovation 121 Inc., uses micro-bubbles technology that facilitates oil separation from the sand grains, improving bitumen recovery rate to over 60 per cent.

Dr. Miadonye supervised numerous honours and graduate students as well as post-doctoral fellows and teaches CBU students in the Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Engineering, and Bachelor of Engineering Technology programs at CBU. Dr. Miadonye is concluding six years as the Chair of the Department of Chemistry at CBU and will devoting his focus on research during his sabbatical year 2016/17.


Did you know the Department of Chemistry news and information can also be found on many social media sites?

Twitter Page:

Facebook Page:

Members of the department maintain our Facebook page, where information about news and events in the department can be found. It’s a great way to make contact with current and past members of the department.

Current, Past, and Future Students interested in chemistry can also consult the Chemistry Society Facebook page. Whether it’s to simply catch up with old friends, or a way for those interested in majoring or minoring in chemistry at CBU to make new connections and get information from their peers.

Matthias Bierenstiel
Associate Professor, Inorganic Chemistry / Dept. Chair

Office: TC119 (office) A-209 (lab)

Phone: 902.563.1391 (office) ext 1979 (lab)

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