There’s room to breathe in Saskatoon, Canada’s Science City. We value nature here. The untouched, wild beauty of the South Saskatchewan River is our playground and will quickly become yours, too.
Perhaps it is all that natural beauty or the lure of friendly locals that helps attract some of the world’s finest minds. Saskatoon is a veritable hotspot for development, innovation and research. If you’re looking to expand your knowledge and connect with fellow ideas people, you’re in the right city. And if you’re a big thinker, you’ll feel right at home here.
The University of Saskatchewan (USask) is Western Canada’s research and development hub. Impressive research teams, tools and facilities in the university’s 13 colleges have established Saskatoon as a world-class science, innovation and training centre. The city is also a world leader in biotechnology and life sciences – we have some of the most advanced technology facilities in Canada. Here’s a look at a few:
Canadian Light Source
Saskatoon’s cutting-edge synchrotron light source at University of Saskatchewan is one of the largest science projects in Canada’s history. Over 1,000 scientists from across Canada and the world use the CLS each year to get detailed information about the structural and chemical properties of materials at the molecular level. They conduct ground-breaking health, agricultural, environmental and advanced materials research. These projects range from mine tailing remediation to cancer, viruses and superconductor research.
Researchers from the University of British Columbia recently used X-ray diffraction techniques at the CLS to study the link between an oral bacteria and colo-rectal cancer, pre-term and stillbirths. The work was published in the journal Protein Science. Lead researcher Dr Kirsten Wolthers hopes for a future drug treatment that can be combined with chemotherapy “to improve outcomes for colorectal cancer patients.”
Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organisation – International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac)
VIDO-InterVac is an international leader in infectious disease research and vaccine development for humans and animals. It houses some of the world’s most advanced containment level 2 and 3 vaccine research facilities and leads the world in studying emerging and re-emerging pathogens transmitted between animals and humans.
The centre, which works with international partners and PhD level scientists, has developed eight commercialised vaccines – six of which were world-firsts.
Current efforts include research to develop vaccines to protect pigs from African Swine Fever and research on bovine tuberculosis in bison to improve diagnosis and develop better vaccines. This work is important for wild bison herd conservation and to protect the cattle and commercial bison industries as wild bison herds in the Wood Buffalo National Park have TB-infected animals.
Saskatchewan Centre for Cyclotron Sciences (SCCS)
The SCCS at the Fedoruk Centre is another world-class research, training and innovation site located at the heart of a growing nuclear imaging hub at the University of Saskatchewan. It includes a high-energy cyclotron, radiopharmaceutical production facility and radiochemistry labs. This is where researchers come to test better ways of diagnosing cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease. SCCS specialises in nuclear medicine and radiochemistry, along with developing new radiopharmaceuticals for medical imaging. It also supports nuclear imaging and therapy innovations in plants, animals, and humans.
Here, researchers are developing new targeted smart drugs to fight cancer and antibiotic-resistant infections. One of those researchers, Ekaterina Dadachova, U of S professor and Fedoruk Centre Chair in Radiopharmacy, uses radioimmunotherapy to treat melanoma, pancreatic cancer and osteosarcoma. Her research group pioneered its application for treatment of fungal and bacterial infections, and HIV.
“I came to the U of S from New York’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine for the outstanding imaging facilities. I’ve never seen a place where you have in one location a research hospital, a veterinary hospital and a cyclotron, plus a synchrotron. This unique combination of facilities enables both basic research and clinical trials to improve healthcare,” she said.
For visitors and locals alike, Saskatoon has it all. The treasures stretch beyond the research and development hub. Transformative experiences abound in a place where you can experience rich Indigenous history and culture, modern art, prairie heritage and a diverse local culinary scene.
The city’s independent restaurants highlight locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients, while the stunning contemporary art museum Remai Modern has both dramatic river views and the world’s largest Picasso linocut collection. Wanuskewin Heritage Park is a proposed UNESCO World Heritage Site, Canada’s longest-running archeological dig and a place to explore tipi rings, bison jumps and the most northerly medicine wheel in the world.
And Saskatoon is the gateway to untouched and remote northern Saskatchewan, with over 100,000 pristine lakes where you can reconnect with nature or plan a once-in-a-lifetime outdoor adventure.
It’s an intimate, innovative and authentic city.
Take the road less travelled. Come learn with the world’s brightest thinkers. In Saskatoon, it’s all here. Waiting for you.