In order to investigate proteins in their natural environment one can attach tiny reporter molecules to them that can be traced with appropriate instruments. However, these small reporter molecules may often cause strong perturbations to the functionality of the proteins, or cannot be seen due to experimental restrictions like low concentrations. Bioorthogonal chemistry aims to eliminate such experimental restrictions by using as inert molecules as possible to see how proteins really work.
All species on the planet are affected by their environment: temperature, atmospheric pressure, daylight hours, and so on. These conditions affect how a species react to stress, grow, reproduce, and survive. Natural background radiation (NBR) is ever-present and has been prior to the evolution of all species. In order to study the effect of NBR on important biological processes, such as brain growth and development, we must remove it from the environment to see if it induces any changes. In order to remove NBR, a deep underground laboratory, shielded from NBR exposure must be used.
Fungal pathogens of agriculturally significant crops pose a serious threat against global food security. This is exacerbated by the limited classes of fungicides that are commercially available for the farmers and the rapid emergence of resistance against the existing fungicides. Furthermore, resistance against agricultural fungicides can poses serious threat to human health as it can provide cross-resistance to the antifungal drugs that are used in the clinics world-wide.
Currently, the traditional use of the dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) is well-known in the science community as an effective photovoltaic technology, where it works best in diffuse lighting conditions. With the insights brought from this research project, the DSSC can also be transformed into an optically sensing motion sensor based on the dye utilized within it. This project will focus on synthesizing a family of organic dyes that absorb in the near-infrared region, optimal for detecting movement. The second half of the project will utilize those dyes in device fabrication.
Natural extracts have potential as anti-cancer therapeutics. These botanical materials are well tolerated and are safe to be given as supplements over long periods of time. This project aims to provide scientific and clinical validation of these extracts for their anticancer effects and sensitization of cancer cells to standard chemo regiments.
Using genomics in clinical care has the potential to treat patients more efficiently. There have been a number of recent discoveries of genomic assays that can guide treatment. However, most genomic data is generated in a research setting and useful health data only in a clinical setting. Translating potential genomic research into a clinical setting as well as bringing clinical data into a research setting faces significant challenges. One challenge is technical: genomic tests often take days to run and are thus not efficient enough for a clinical use.
Drug resistance of medically relevant microorganisms poses a grave threat to human health and has severe economic consequences. Fungal pathogens pose an additional complication as they are closely related to their human host. Current therapies to treat fungal infections are limited and drug resistance has already emerged in the clinic. We have conducted extensive research on fungal drug resistance mechanisms and propose to target these mechanisms in combination with existing antifungals.
Although recreational and medicinal marijuana is legal in Canada regulations limit the content of certain cannabinoids, such as ?9-tetrahydrocannabinol (?9THC) in commercially grown strands. With close collaboration with our industrial partner Plantbiois Ltd., this research project will develop methods to produce ?9THC by synthetic conversion from highly abundant cannabinoids in unregulated, low THC strains.
Coming into force in October 2019, amendments to the Canadian Cannabis Regulations will introduce guidelines governing the legal production and sale of cannabis-infused extracts, edibles, beverages and topicals. These new products are at the forefront of the natural health product (NHP) and consumer packaged goods (CPG) industries, but challenges associated with their formulation, production and stability are quickly mounting.
Mitochondria are critical producers of energy and are the platform for various metabolic reactions that support cellular health. Mitochondria suffer from a variety of damage as a consequence of housing these reactive pathways. In order for cells and organisms to survive this damage, dysfunctional mitochondria are removed from the cell in a process termed mitophagy. The goal of this proposal is to identify probiotics that enhance mitophagy, thereby serving as ideal promoters of health by preserving mitochondrial, cellular and organismal function.