NGS-based estimation of quality of selective pre-amplification of bacterial RRN operon using Phi29

Rapid identification of bacteria in blood is important for the early identification of infection and emergence of resistance to therapy. There is no wishful, fast and simple, technological solution for this quest. Some of infections are life-threatening and requires fast and focused drug treatment as soon as possible. The present approach is to use empirical therapy and wait for culture results (if positive) to modify treatment, i.e. to remove unaffected drugs and add/increase drugs which will attenuate identified pathogen.

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.

Graphene-Based Drug/siRNA Nanocarriers for Cancer Treatment

In this project, carbon-based nano-materials were used not only to capture CO2, but also function as a nano-carrier platform to uptake the drugs and genes for cancer therapeutic applications. In other words, the main objective of this project is to tackle two major issues in our society: greenhouse gas emission and cancer.

Biomolecular Quantitation and Structure Analysis to Accelerate Development of New Vaccines

Manufacturing of consistently high quality products is the commitment of the pharmaceutical industry. To achieve this, new products must be thoroughly tested and the results meet government-approved product specifications. Improving existing and adopting improved analytical technologies for product testing ensure the production of safe and effective products. This is particularly critical for the manufacturing of biologic products which, relative to small molecular drugs, have a larger size, are more complex in structure and are thus more difficult to characterize.

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.

Efficacy of antibacterial/antifungal mouth rinses in the control of periodontal pathogens and behaviour of neutrophils under these conditions

Periodontitis is a polymicrobial infectious and inflammatory disease that can lead to destruction of supporting structures of teeth. Although pathogenesis of periodontitis includes genetic and environmental factors, oral microbial biofilm elicits an inflammatory host reaction. Improvement in patients with periodontitis relies mainly on elimination or at least control of periodontal pathogens. The aim of this study is to investigate the activity of antibacterial-antifungal mouth rinses on growth and virulence properties of planktonic/biofilm cells of specific periodontal pathogens.

Development of Cell-Based Functional Assays to Accelerate Commercialization and Therapeutic Application of Recombinant Antibodies

Antibodies are used for treatment of many diseases, including cancer. Within the human immune system, antibodies fight invading bacteria and viruses. We have devised a way to make high-quality antibodies in the laboratory and target them to specific disease-related proteins that have been identified by the scientific community and in our lab. Ensuring that these antibodies work in cells the way we intend them to in the body is a critical step of identifying their potential as therapeutic agents and also in the commercialization process.

Blood biomarkers of asthma

Allergic asthma is a condition of the airways characterized by airway constriction and hyperresponsiveness upon allergen exposure. About half of the allergic asthmatic individuals experience only an acute airway constriction (early response) within several minutes upon exposure to allergen while the other half of individuals experience not only an acute airway constriction but also a chronic airway constriction plus inflammation (late response) within several hours after the allergen exposure. It is not clear why the late response is not developed in all sensitized individuals.

Intestinal Inflammasomes: Defining Their Role in IBD

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is thought to develop in people when their gut bacteria leak out of their intestines, and cause chronic gut inflammation. We recently found that the cells that line the guts of healthy people possess a specialized defense system called an inflammasome.
In preliminary studies, the inflammasome seems to prevent the gut from becoming leaky, and helps it fight bacteria. Interestingly, some people with IBD are known to be missing inflammasomes.