Microbiota characterization and modulation through the use of generated probiotic strains to combat colitis-associated colon cancer

A higher incidence of colon cancer is reported in populations consuming high amounts of red meat, as well as in patients with inflammatory bowel disease, where gut bacteria participate in the development of inflammation. We found that dietary supplementation with heme, an element found at high levels in blood, is detrimental to gut health and it fosters the growth of harmful bacteria. In this project, we propose to establish new procedures for both the manipulation of the gut bacteria (microbiota), as well as its characterization using a new state of the art sequencer.

In-silico identification of driver alterations and prediction of therapeutics targeting actionable drivers in prostate cancer

Cancer arises as a result of deleterious aberrations in the DNA, RNA and proteins of cells. The accumulation of genetic abnormalities, over lifetime, perturbs critical functions of cells, which may ultimately give rise to tumor. However, vast majority of these aberrations are not essential and only small fractions, known as “driver” genes, are critical for tumor growth. Identification of driver aberrations is a challenging task, but is critical for optimal cancer management. Prostate cancer (PCa) is the most common cancer to affect Canadian men.

An Evaluation of the Sam Sullivan Disability Foundation

The Sam Sullivan Disability Foundation (SSDF) is a fundraising entity supporting six not-for-profit societies that provide opportunities for social engagement for people with disabilities. The six societies provide design opportunities for accessibility solutions; connect people with employment, training, and social opportunities in the community; and make sailing, music, gardening, and the great outdoors more accessible. This research project will look at the impact and effectiveness of the SSDF programming on the lives of people with disabilities.

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.

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