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

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.

Validating new lateral flow assays for COVID-19 antigen and neutralizing antibodies

COVID-19 will be receding as vaccination accelerates in Canada. However, until the entire world is vaccinated, mutated vaccine-resistant virus will threaten to re-emerge. Furthermore, we know that the vaccines will not protect indefinitely, but will require booster shots. We need to track who is protected, and who is not. The gold standard lab biochemical tests are prohibitively expensive to monitor the Canadian population. We need inexpensive, rapid, mass-production ready, simple tests that can be deployed at the point of care to determine COVID-immunity, and even infection status.

A Social Tool for Depolarizing Science Communication

A study found that “Science Curiosity” might make us less polarized. When we’re polarized, ideas that feel threatening to our group turn on the fear centers in our brains. The more afraid we are, the more polarized we become. For some reason though, fear doesn’t seem to affect curious people nearly as much. One reason might be that curious people are more playful. Play probably evolved so we could learn to explore dangerous places (and ideas) safely by helping us see threats the same way we see challenges in a game.

Immunotherapeutic targeting of CD133 in adult brain tumors and understanding tumor microenvironment in Glioblastoma

Glioblastoma (GBM) is an aggressive adult brain tumor, and in spite of standard of care (SOC) with radiation therapy and chemotherapy with temozolomide tumor re-growth (or recurrence) and patient relapse are inevitable. There is compelling evidence that suggests SOC can debulk the tumor but cells endowed with treatment-resistant properties (e.g. expressing the protein marker CD133) could escape such therapies and initiate tumor relapse. Brain metastases (BM) are the most common and fatal brain tumors, and current SOC does not extend survival past 12 months.

Degradation of compostable plastics with the FoodCycler: an on-site food waste recycler

This research will develop protocols and identify enzymes to break down compostable plastics using the FoodCycler system. The FoodCycler is a household device that accelerates the breakdown of organic waste, leaving behind a sterile soil-amendment-like by-product, and is a practical solution for rural, northern, and remote areas without municipal compost systems. Use of compostable plastics such as bioplastics could reduce the accumulation of fossil-fuel-based single-use plastics in our environment.

Feasibility study of a CRISPR/Cas genome editing strategy for the control of wild boar populations

Wild boars (Sus scrofa) are a highly invasive species which causes destructive damages to property and crops and poses a major threat to the Canadian pork industry because wild boars are also reservoirs for infectious diseases, including African swine virus (ASF). Current control and management of the wild boar populations have been ineffective because these animals are highly adaptive to human intervention measures such as fencing and hunting. In this proposal, we explore the feasibility of a genetics-based fertility control strategy.

Anti-Inflammatory and Immunomodulatory role of Protein Hydrolysates: Involvement of microRNAs and Gut Microbiome

Studies related to the gut-lung axis have spiraled in the recent year, especially with current challenges related to COVID-19. The role of an optimal microbiome status for a well-functioning immune system is now emerging as a crucial factor to protect against immune-deregulation and infection in sites distant from the intestine. Therefore, this project aims to study the potential role of microbiota-driven immune changes in the gut-lung axis by administration of egg protein hydrolysates from eggshell membranes.

Investigating Cannflavins A and B as Inhibitors of TrkB Signaling for Treatment of Glioblastoma Multiforme

Glioblastoma is the most common type of adult brain cancer. Glioblastoma tumors are very aggressive because these cells can rapidly invade deep into healthy tissue, which makes them particularly difficult to attack with current treatment options including surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy.

Development and validation of BRET-based biosensors for drug discovery

G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the most abundant signaling proteins that respond to a wide variety of stimuli such as light, neurotransmitters, lipids, hormonal peptides, proteins, extracellular calcium, proteases and other molecules. By their localization in cell membranes, they mostly act at the interface between the extracellular and intracellular milieu although they also have functions on distinct intracellular organelles.

Deep Reinforcement Learning in the Search for New Antibacterials

Discovery and development of new antibiotics is becoming increasingly challenging, and in fact declining in the private sector because antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections are constantly evolving. One way to increase the antibiotic discovery rate is by taking advantage of the strides in Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based deep learning models to find new antibiotics that kill bacteria, as well as being stable and non-toxic to humans. We postulate that growth inhibition of Escherichia coli, and a wide spectrum of pathogens can be achieved with the identification of AI-derived compounds.