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.
The human pathogenic bacteria Salmonella enterica and Campylobacter jejuni are commonly found in the intestine of poultry. Consumption of infected chicken and eggs, and its derivatives, is the main and most important source of infection outbreaks in humans causing diarrhoea, fevers and abdominal cramps. In some cases, severe diarrhea and dehydration followed by systemic spreading of these infections is life-threatening. At present, no widely effective strategy is available to control both Salmonella and Campylobacter colonization of broiler chickens to prevent the infection in humans.
Membrane proteins such as ion channels, transporters or G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are excellent but difficult drug targets involved in a large number of life-threatening diseases and conditions. These proteins, over-expressed and essential for disease onset and progression, are naturally targeted by toxins from venomous organisms. During evolution, these toxins have been optimized to efficiently target physiologically-relevant proteins involved in ion channel opening or closure, thus incapacitating the prey or defending against predators.
High concentrations of phosphate in the waterways cause algae blooms which are detrimental to water quality and fish habitat. The research project conducted by the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry and the Upper Thames River Conservation authority, is attempting to alleviate this problem by chemically altering sawdust so that it can act as a phosphate filter thus removing excess amounts of phosphate. This filtration system is being tested with phosphate-rich wastewater produced from manure at a truck wash operation in the Upper Thames river basin.
Cancer will affect 2 in every 5 Canadians in their lifetime, with just over 25% representing new breast cancer diagnoses in women. Despite significant progress in the treatment of the most common cancer in women, resistance to chemotherapeutic agents remains a consistent obstacle in terms of the successful treatment of many types of breast cancers. The Mitacs-funded collaboration between NuvoBio and the Biggar lab at Carleton University is seeking to address this issue by systematically designing and developing peptide-based inhibitors that hold the promise as new therapeutics.
Many therapeutic targets are proteins embedded in the membrane that surrounds the cell. Traditionally, such targets present major challenges, because they required the use of detergents to extract them from the membrane and to purify them. Such detergents can cause artefacts, hampering the development of novel therapeutics. Here we will test new methods that get rid of detergents during extraction, purification, or both.
AVID200 is a TGF-? trap that specifically sequesters TGF-?I and TGF-?III to enhance antitumour immunity to inhibit tumor growth. AVID200 also avoids adverse side effect of depleted of TGF-?II. AVID200 is relatively short-lived in circulation, decreasing its capacity to exert desirable enhancement of anti-tumour immunity. To increase the effectiveness of TGF-? traps, a panel of candidate molecules that retain TGF-? isoform specificity and inactivating capacity, but with projected increased stability, have been generated by Formation Biologics.
The bacterial transferrin receptor is considered to be a potentially efficacious candidate vaccine antigen against pathogens important in human disease and in animal husbandry. Previous data suggests that transferrin receptor-based antigens can elicit protection from both invasive disease and potentially from asymptomatic colonization. One major consideration when developing vaccines is the choice of adjuvant, a component able to influence the intensity, quality and breadth of the immune response.
Recreational water sources are important commercial resources and activity hubs. Unfortunately, any public water source is prone to bacterial and viral contamination, which is a major concern for public health agencies. InnovoGENE Biosciences has a developed a simple test that can quickly determine the level of pathogens. Although this method has been rigorously tested in a laboratory, this test is unproven on the field. The intern has a significant understanding of the technology and is most suited to validate the assay and is capable of optimizing the assay for field use.
The proposed project is to identify and characterize bacteriophages (bacterial viruses) that can reduce presence of E. coflbacteria that are an important cause of disease and production loss to the poultry industry. The reduction of levels of E. coli that can cause disease in poultry by use of bacteriophages would be an important means of controlling this economically important disease and also reduce use of antibiotics to control such infections.