Identification of Blood Biomarkers for Diagnosis of Peripheral Arterial Disease

Fasting blood samples from persons with Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) and healthy individuals were previously collected during a prior Mitacs project.
A comparative analysis of the blood samples by metabolomics will be performed to identify potential biomarkers.
The intern will assist with the necessary correlation analysis for selecting compounds capable of serving as blood biomarkers for PAD.
Koven expects to directly benefit from the outcome(s) of this research by having the opportunity to commercialize any promising blood biomarker(s) into a diagnostic kit for early diagnosis of PAD.

Imaging brain fuel metabolism in Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a major challenge for the individual affected, society at large and there only modest effective drug treatment. We believe that a central problem in AD is the deteriorating fuel supply to the brain (mostly the sugar, glucose) and this impairment appears long before the onset of memory and cognitive problems emerge. We believe that attempting to correct this fuel problem will be part of any successful therapy for AD.

Casual Storytelling – How theme, story and setting affect level of engagement in mobile games

Mobile games have been dominating the Canadian video game industry over the past few years. However, the growing number of game releases creates an increased necessity to focus on quality in order to stick out of the mass. While storytelling has proven to greatly increase user
engagement in PC and console games, it is rarely used in mobile games. This creates an opportunity to explore if and how storytelling can be used in mobile games to achieve a similar effect.

Diagnostic Screening for Conscious Awareness in Brain Injury and Disease: Developing the Visual Component

Presently medical personnel do not have adequate tools to assess disorders of conscious awareness after severe brain injury if the patients have difficulty speaking & moving. These people are frequently deemed unresponsive when they may be “in there" but unable to respond. Our research team has developed a rapidly administerable, portable system that measures brain waves in response to sounds & spoken sentences. Once diagnosis has been established, personnel are more equipped to make decisions regarding a patient's candidacy for rehabilitation.

Using systems engineering as a framework to evaluate a Pre-residency program for international medical graduates

Evaluation is a key element to assure the high quality of programs. The Pre-Residency program is meant to prepare the international medical graduates to be at the same level as any locally trained Medical graduate in Canada for their specialty training rotations. In this project we are using an innovative engineering approach to conduct an evaluation of the Pre-Residency program. Our goal is to provide a more objective evaluation using engineering to help assure the high quality of the Pre-Residency training program offered by the Touchstone Institute.

Design and validation of a novel peptide immunotherapeutic for the treatment of dog allergies - Year two

Adiga Life Sciences Inc. developed a novel immunotherapeutic platform in which small components (peptides) of allergen proteins are identified and administered in a regimen that causes immune cells to become non-responsive towards the allergens. In a phase II clinical trial, the cat allergy treatment developed by Adiga using this platform reduced allergic symptoms in allergic subjects. However, the mechanism of action of the peptide treatment is still not fully understood.

Improving implementation of the intensive lifestyle intervention and accuracy of lifestyle data collection in the REMIT-Dapa trial.

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) results in high blood sugars and can cause serious complications. Recent studies suggest that treatment with diabetes medications along with lifestyle changes can result in patients not needing diabetes medications for months or even years, a concept known as diabetes remission. The Remission Evaluation of Metabolic Interventions in Type 2 Diabetes (REMIT) pilot trial was done to look at the effect of lifestyle changes and diabetes medications in people with T2D.

The use of improved antibody drug conjugates for targeted treatment of bladder cancer - Year two

Bladder cancer is the fifth most common form of cancer in Canada, however progress in the development of safer and more effective therapies has been slow. The use of antibody drug conjugates (ADC) is a promising therapeutic option that would allow for targeted killing of cancer cells, if the obstacle of getting the drug inside the cell can be overcome. The proposed research project aims to use iProgen's Antibody Internalization Domain technology to engineer ADCs targeted to bladder cancer, which can be readily taken into the cell.

Targeting CD36 cell surface receptor to treat macrophage-induced chronic inflammation

Chronic inflammation is the common denominator for various diseases, including atherosclerosis, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), obesity, type-2 diabetes, liver diseases and even cancers. In most cases, this inflammation is the result of massive pro-inflammatory macrophage infiltration in tissues, due to their aberrant signalling and dysfunction, in presence of fat accumulation. The CD36 scavenger receptor has been shown to be key player in inflammation, with its TLR2 co-receptor.

A study on the reliability of quantitative measures of the visual system and their correlation with change in concussion-associated symptoms

This project will determine if abnormal behavior of the visual system correlates with symptoms in patients with concussions. Our first step will be to ensure that we obtain the same values for each of 7 tests when we measure a healthy person twice within a short period of time (called reliability). Next, we will see the how changes in the seven different measures of the visual system over time correlate with changes in patients’ post-concussion symptoms over time.

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