Simultaneous Analysis of Endocannabinoids with Mass Spectrometry Methods in Human Serum using Point-of-care Collection Devices

Endocannabinoids are compounds produced by the human body that bind to and activate cannabinoid receptors. There are two major endocannabinoids: anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). Both play a role in regulating the firing of brain cells in the nervous system and attenuating immune system responses. As such, the endocannabinoid system is implicated in several clinically relevant processes including appetite regulation, pain management, fertility, and beyond.

Integrated post-harvest wash systems for fruit and vegetable decontamination for reducing water usage and decrease emission of disinfectant byproducts in wastewater streams

The Canadian Food Guide has recommended an increase in fresh produce in the daily diet. Although the nutritional benefits of fresh produce are well established there are continuing food safety issues, high wastage and water consumption. To enhance safety and shelf-life it is common practice to pass produce through a post-harvest wash using chlorine as sanitizer. Chlorine is reactive and forms disinfection byproducts from constituents released from produce during washing. The byproducts are considered environmental pollutants but also has low antimicrobial activity.

Development of natural antioxidant formulation for improved Vitamin A soft gelatin capsules stability and shelf-life

The Marquardt Group at the University of Windsor intends to better understand the stability and degradation of Catalent’s vitamin A soft gel supplement, including the effect of various antioxidants on the degradation. Catalent is one of the largest suppliers of Vitamin A palmitate capsules to Nutrition International (previously Micronutrient Initiative), which is an organization aimed at eliminating malnutrition throughout the world.

Development of a novel plant biostimulant made of encapsulated Rhodopseudomonas palustris

The agricultural sector is currently facing a conundrum, whereas the needs to produce more (food, fiber, bioenergy) are ever increasing, the land and resources needed to produce them are diminishing. Furthermore, consumers and legislators pressure for environmentally friendly products are increasing accordingly, the development of sustainable alternatives such as the use of plant growth-promoting rhyzobacteria (PGPR) for improving agriculture production is gaining interest.

Process Intensification for Odor Removal in Composting Facilities

Composting is a method of waste management using biological degradation at aerobic condition. Although the process is one of the efficient and least expensive waste management options, nuisance odors emanating from waste processing facilities degrade the air quality of neighborhood. Odor compounds vary significantly depending on the type of wastes, process conditions and include bioaerosols, biomolecules, volatile organics, ammonia, and organic sulphur compounds.

Understanding the role and regulation of follicular fluid miRNAs in ovarian function and polycystic ovarian syndrome. 1

The polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a multi-factorial heterogeneous syndrome with complex pathologies, affects up to 10% of women of reproductive age and accounts for 75% of anovulatory infertility. PCOS is associated with follicle growth arrest at the early antral stage, chronic anovulation, minimal granulosa cell proliferation, hyperthecosis with hyperandrogenemia, and insulin resistance.

High Value Biologics From Eggshell Membranes

Canada produces about 9 billion eggs per year; of these, about 27% are processed at egg breaking plants that yield low value eggshell (ES) and eggshell membrane (ESM) waste as a byproduct. The objective of this project is to develop processes to isolate high value products from ESM waste including HA, collagens, other proteins and anti-oxidants, using green chemistry. Our starting point will be raw ESM provided by our industrial partner, Burnbrae Farms (BBF).

Engineering WD40 Domain-Mediated Protein-Protein Interactions in DNA Repair for Cancer Therapeutics

Current cancer therapies rely on toxic chemotherapeutic agents that lack the potency and selectivity of protein-based therapy. Consequently, new technologies to systematically target cancer signaling pathways at the protein level are urgently needed. Dr. Zhang has developed a platform that consistently and successfully produces quick and cost-effective protein-based therapies that are both highly-binding and specific to the disease target.

Development of a biosensor for high-throughput screening of novel ezrin inhibitors for treatment of metastatic breast cancer.

Treatment of metastatic breast cancer is often unsuccessful and lead to 5000 deaths in Canada each year. Therefore, there is an unmet need for new drugs for prevention and/or treatment of metastatic disease. Ezrin is a protein marker commonly over-expressed in metastatic breast cancer. Preclinical studies show that blocking ezrin can significantly reduce metastasis in breast cancer models. In this proposal, the intern will develop novel biosensors to screen large numbers of compounds with the ability to block ezrin’s activity in cancer cells.

Design improvements for a hand-held diagnostic test device for infectious diseases

Over the past three decades the time it takes for clinical laboratories to diagnose an infection has decreased from two weeks for culture to 3 hours for DNA testing following the introduction of large, automated bench top equipment. Despite this tremendous improvement, three hours is still too slow to allow rapid and accurate diagnosis of a viral or bacterial infection and the cost is too expensive for resource poor developing countries.

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