Exploring the potential of chemical suppressors of nonsense mutations for treatment of multiple genetic disorders

Over 5000 rare genetic diseases collectively affect 1 in 12 Canadians. For these disorders about 10% of patients share a common mutation type that introduces a premature termination codon (PTC) in the gene and results in truncated and non-functional protein. The previously found PTC suppressors have limited effect or unacceptable side effects. The goal of my project is to use a new approach to discover novel chemicals that suppress PTC with therapeutic potential for multiple genetic disorders.

Nutritional Prenatal Soft-gel Development

The requirement for dissolution testing (both routine sample and method development) is increasing for all of the current and future programs at Accucaps and is a regulatory requirement for most oral pharmaceutical products. The need for access to capacity and development capabilities for dissolution must reach beyond Accucaps. For these reasons, a collaboration with Dr Shawn Wettig (University of Waterloo) to utilize his dissolution capacity and knowledge for non-GMP "piece-meal" and development activities is being pursued.

Novel Molecule Analysis

NovoBind, in partnership with Dr. Finlay will determined the efficacy of a number of novel molecules capable of neutralizing various pathogens including enterobacteriaceae. These studies will demonstrate the mechanism of action and viability of a new approach to pathogen control. These key assays which characterize the efficacy of our technology in an in-vitro setting will guide their use in animal models.

Evaluate the impact on transmission dynamics and cost-effectiveness of pertussis booster vaccine for Canadian adolescents and adults

Pertussis or whooping cough is caused by the strict human pathogen B. pertussis or Bordetella parapertussis and is a highly contagious, potentially life-threatening respiratory tract illness when it occurs in unprotected infants. Despite the introduction of acellular pertussis (aP) vaccines and great initial success of the immunization program, pertussis outbreaks were reported in adolescents and adults in Canada since 1993. This trend was demonstrated as shift in pertussis epidemiology from infants and young children.

Statistical Perspectives on Drug Safety Screening using Spontaneous Reporting Data and Electronic Health Records

Screening spontaneous reporting (SR) or electronic health records (EHR) data sets for adverse drug reactions (ADRs) has become an important component of drug safety. Much methodological work has been historically done on SR data, however, novel approaches are continually being suggested which merit critical review. Thus, we will first investigate some of these approaches as well as consider the issues of drug-drug interactions in SR data. Next, we will address the analysis of EHR data from two perspectives.

Define the best omega-3 fatty acid to fight prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is the more common cancer affected men in developed countries. Epidemiological data suggest that omega-3 fatty acids may prevent prostate cancer initiation and progression. However, these data do not decipher which omega-3 fatty acid presents the more potent anticancer properties. SCF Pharma has developed pure and highly bioavailable omega-3 fatty acids monoglycerides. Interestingly, data from SCF Pharma showed that these pure monoglycerides form of fatty acids can reduce the growth and the proliferation rate of prostate cancer cells in culture.

Validating RSK as a molecular target for the treatment of cancer

Relapses in cancer usually result in the tumour becoming resistant to chemotherapy. This leaves a treatment gap that needs to be filled for these patients. One such cancer is triple negative breast cancer, this type of breast cancer is very aggressive with a high death rate. Dr. Sandra Dunn’s research group want to find new drug targets which we can then find drug inhibitors to use in cancer treatment. One such drug target is the protein RSK, this protein has been implicated in causing drug resistance and giving patients expressing this protein in their tumours a poor prognosis.

Effects of Probiotics on Anxiety and Depression

Dr. Potter has recently begun exploring the impact that probiotics (beneficial bacteria found in some food sources such as probiotic yogurt and kefir) have on anxiety and depression. Other researchers have shown that probiotic bacteria exert a significant effect on anxiety and depression-like behaviours in animals. A few studies have extended these findings to humans. Lallemand Health Solutions is an innovative company that produces probiotics for human consumption, and has recently developed a technique to microencapsulate or coat the probiotic bacteria to help them survive stomach acids.

Syntheses of novel 3,5-bis(benzylidene)-4-piperidone derivatives as potential anticancer agents

The principal objective of this proposal is to discover novel drugs to treat colon cancers. Currently colon cancer is a huge medical problem and there are many disadvantages to current drug therapies. These disadvantages include their ineffectiveness to completely eradicate cancers, causing toxic side effects and the development of multidrug resistance. A group of compounds discovered in the laboratory of the supervisor designated series 1 has significant potencies towards a number of human colon cancer cell lines.

Characterization of a novel humanized monoclonal antibody specific to KAL 006: Impact on lymphatic metastasis in cancer

Cancer cells can travel to distant sites through the lymphatic system; this system is similar to a network of pipes within the body that carries fluids and cells to all organs. The metastatic spread of cancer cells through this network is one of the reasons why this disease is so difficult to stop. We are working with Kalgene Pharmaceuticals to test a new compound that can impact the lymphatic system. The hope is to block this network and thus stop metastatic spread thereby improving patient survival.