Peptide-based material for heart muscle repair

With over 17 million deaths per year, heart diseases remain the top cause of mortality worldwide. Surgeries such as bypass restore blood supply and save lives. However, after a heart attack the capacity of the heart to pump blood is reduced. In Canada, over 2 million people aged 20+ live with heart disease, costing the healthcare system $2.8+ billion and thousands die each year. Approximately 1 in 4 of these patients develop heart failure, a number that increases by ~50,000/year. For many of those patients, a heart transplant is the only option.

TAT-tagged active AKT1 variants for delivery to mammalian cells

The oncogenic kinase AKT1 is a prime therapeutic target, but its function cannot be easily researched as AKT activation in cells requires stimulation of cells with an unspecific growth factor that alters all cellular signaling. I designed a new method to deliver an already activated, phosphorylated AKT1 protein to cells that do not require the use of unspecific kinase activation or cell-damaging costly transfection reagents.

Cerebrovascular mapping using human resting-state functional MRI data

Imaging the brain’s vascular response can provide useful information in diagnosing and treating patients with different brain pathologies. Commonly, this imaging is performed using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and often involves the use gas inhalation devices that involve a great deal of complexity and setup time. The expensive costs of these devices, and the inability of some patients to tolerate the gas inhalation protocol, has been a major hindrance to the wide-scale implementation of vascular response imaging across MRI centers and hospitals.

Investigating the transmission of C. difficile in Hamilton-area hospitals and designing diagnostic assays for C. difficile

Clostridioides difficile (C. difficile) infection (CDI) is a common disease associated with hospital stays and is caused by a bacteria known as C. difficile. This project will examine transmission patterns of the bacteria and attempt to develop methods for detection of the pathogen in order to reduce incidence of the disease. This will ease the burden of patients on the hospital system, which I will be partnered with.

Direct Solution Processing of Fullerene C60 with Branched Polyethylene Towards Improved Organic Electronics - Year Two

Organic solar cells are promising sources of renewable energy, with the added benefit of mechanical flexibility making them particularly desirable for many applications compared to traditional silicon solar cells. However, high cost and low efficiency has thus far hindered the commercialization of organic devices, restricting their development to academic research labs.

Searching for Mushroom Extracts and Fractions with Potential Antidepressant Activity

Mental illnesses, particularly depression, are one of the leading causes of global disease burden. In addition to reducing the quality of life of patients and their relatives, they costs billions of dollars annually to the Canadian economy. Unfortunately, current antidepressant drugs are barely satisfactory and have numerous side-effects. The goal of this project is to discover potential new extracts, fraction or compound(s) with potential antidepressant activity from wild mushrooms native to British Columbia.

Cannabinoid Formulation for Consumer Beverages

This project, a collaboration between Peak Processing Solutions of Windsor Ontario, and the Trant Team at the University of Windsor seeks to design new ways to incorporate cannabinoids, the active components of cannabis, into consumer products. Cannabinoids are not dissolvable in water, and so you need to mix them with little fat bubbles, rather like milk, to make sure they are evenly distributed.

Development of Niobium-based Bipolar Plates for PEM Fuel Cells

Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is a part of key strategy for climate change mitigation and post-pandemic economic recovery, especially for transport application, requiring compact and lightweight power systems. Bipolar plate is a key component of PEMFCs and a bottleneck to the size and weight reduction. The proposed research therefore aims to develop next generation lightweight and compact bipolar plate for PEMFCs that is also easy for manufacturing processing.

Profiling the therapeutic potential of fungi from Kapoose Creek

Kapoose Creek Wellness (KCW) is building a vertically integrated business to deliver products and services that take advantage of a growing market for the functional and medicinal potential of mushrooms. A key asset in this vision is 320 acres of land within a rainforest on the North Pacific Coast of Vancouver Island where exotic species of fungi abound. Further, KCW has invested in infrastructure, for example, roads, vehicles, housing and, most notably, a substantial research laboratory, in this remarkable setting.

Rapid detection of Septic Pathogens and their AMR Profiles using a reusable microarray based technology platform.

Sepsis is a life-threatening infection of the blood caused by a wide range of bacterial and viral pathogens. Unfortunately most tests today still take days to detect and identify the pathogens and their underlying antimicrobial profiles. Working together with a leading biotechnology company, founded in Toronto, we plan to modify our recently designed algorithms to capture very low levels of circulating pathogens in the blood in a few hours, potentially saving thousands of lives.