Researcher Profiles

Name: Ngai Man (Carl) Ho
Program and Year: 2018 New Investigator Operating Grant
Project Title: Advanced Galvanic Isolated Solar Micro-Inverter
Department of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, Price Faculty of Engineering, University of Manitoba

Synopsis: Solar Energy represents a clean and renewable energy source for providing electric power to support our daily life, including lighting and transportation. However, the manufacturing cost of a Photovoltaic (PV) inverter, which is an energy converting interface between solar panels and power grids, is high due to complex circuit design. It takes a long time for reduced energy bills to recoup the initial costs of traditional PV system installations. In this work, a comprehensive investigation into the methodology of PV energy conversion associated with modern semiconductors have been carried out and the completed system were experimentally verified.

What will the impacts/benefits of this research be to Manitoba/Canada?

The new concept will benefit power apparatus manufacturers, will be able to provide optimised PV products, and provide the Manitoba local Research Centre and energy provider with the potential to develop new business, which will greatly strengthen the power electronics industry in Manitoba. The newly trained HQP will be skilled in the development and application of advanced techniques for design and implementation of power electronic systems. All technologies and concepts arising from this work will enable my research team to further develop advanced technologies for Power Electronics, Control Systems and Renewable Energy, and will help to solidify Canada’s leadership position in the fields of Power Electronics and Power Systems. The outcomes of my research will help to drive ongoing innovation and provide intellectual insight to Canadian industries as they continue to develop and enhance the performance of their products. This will provide these companies with a technological competitive edge that will help to invigorate the Canadian Power industry.

What do you hope to achieve at the end of your Research Manitoba funded project?

At the end of the project, an efficient and cost-effective PV inverter for North America and residential use will be produced. The resultant system of this research project will assist engineers in PV inverter manufacturers to evaluate the efficiency and power density of their PV micro-inverter products. Research students, PhD, MSc and BSc, will be trained in the project. These HQP will learn cutting-edge technologies and will be able to contribute to the Canadian Power and Energy industry in the future.

How did the funds you received from Research Manitoba advance this research and/or your career? Did you receive additional funding for this project as a result of your Research Manitoba grant?

The Research Manitoba New Investigator Operating Grant assisted me rapidly establishing my research program of Solar Inverter Technologies. It provided me enough funding to conduct that high cost and practical research. And we could find the advanced solution and generated new knowledge from the funded project. Consequently, we could publish the results in top-tier international academic journals, e.g. the IEEE Trans. on Power Electronics, to obtain international reputations. Furthermore, we could attract Manitoba industry to collaborate with us and received a NSERC CRD Grant for developing micro-grid systems using solar energy which was based on the outcomes of the RM project. And the results of the project also strengthened my Canada Research Chair renewal application in 2019 which was successfully awarded with a new 5-year term to continuously research on green power systems.


Name: Riley Feser
Program and Year: 2020 Master’s Studentship
Project Title: MicroRNA-High Tumor Proteome Analysis to Identify Novel Breast Cancer Biomarker
Supervisor: Dr. Mousumi Majumder
Department of Biology, Brandon University

Synopsis: Previous findings strongly suggest that microRNA 526b/655 promote aggressive breast cancer and that they’re detectable in the blood. In tumor cells, approximately 30-40% of the proteins are known to be secretory proteins. Thus, a microRNA-high tumor cell secretory protein analysis will identify novel proteins controlling these aggressive cancer traits, further confirming the use of microRNA-protein combination as early detection markers for breast cancer.

What will the impacts/benefits be to you as a researcher or to Manitobans/Canadians or both?

One in eight women in Canada will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. But early detection of the disease can save the life of 99% of breast cancer patients. Identification and validation of a biomarker will facilitate early detection of breast cancer. Primary breast cancer screening starts at age 50 in Canada, but incidences continue to rise in younger populations. In the future, this project aims to develop a blood test kit which will identify early incidences of breast cancer in the overall population.

What do you hope to achieve at the end of your project?

I hope to identify protein biomarker that will further strengthen the use of microRNA-protein combination as early detection markers for breast cancer, ultimately reducing the number of breast cancer fatalities in Manitoba, Canada and the world.

How will the funds you received through your Research Manitoba award help you accomplish your research?

I am extremely grateful for being chosen for the Research Manitoba Master’s Studentship Award. The funds I received through this award allow me to focus on my project full-time, without having to worry about obtaining income through any other means. This is an excellent opportunity for any researcher that is avid about their work to have that as their sole outlook throughout the duration of the award. This project wouldn’t be possible without the help of Dr. Mousumi Majumder, Sujit Maiti, Brady Nault and the rest of Majumder Lab.