Dr. Tamara Franz-Odendaal
Professor of Biology
In a research project in conjunction with the Canadian Space Agency, Dr. Franz-Odendaal found that microgravity can lead to cranial defects in zebrafish, which could lead to more research on the effects of space travel for humans. Using this same model animal, Dr Franz-Odendaal collaborates with a plastic surgeon at the IWK Children’s hospital to try and understand how drugs affect development of the skull roof during growth.
Dr. Franz-Odendaal has also worked with aquaculture companies to diagnose issues with their fish species. “Skeletal research can solve problems relating to mechanical or physical forces that impact the skeleton as well as environmental toxins, both of which can have effects on growth and development of fish,” she said.
Along with her research, Dr. Franz-Odendaal is proud to be a role model for girls and young women, offering hands-on, all-girls science courses, retreats and camps for junior and high school students as one of five Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering in Canada.
Dr. Franz-Odendaal is a full professor at Mount Saint Vincent University, and is an adjunct professor at Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Medicine and Saint Mary’s University, and recently received funding from NSERC, Canadian Foundation for Innovation, Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation and Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Trust (now Research Nova Scotia).
Learn about the Franz-Odendaal Bone Development Lab: http://www.bonedevelopmentlab.ca/
Visit Dr. Franz-Odendaal’s Faculty Profile