Chemical and Microbial Contaminants of Medical Air in Healthcare Institutions - Year two

Medical air is commonly used in healthcare institutions as a life support drug distributed to patients. This medical air is often produced on site through devices which draw, compress and filter outside air in order to redirect it into buildings. However, depending on the outdoor conditions, the state of the ventilation system or the presence of microorganisms, this air can be altered.

Elucidating the Impact of Probiotics on the Fungal Microbiome: Mechanisms of Interkingdom Interactions

Interactions between bacteria and fungi are ubiquitous. One environment where these interkingdom interactions are crucial for maintaining human health is the vaginal microbiome. A decline in abundance of bacteria can lead to overgrowth of fungi such as Candida albicans, which occurs in ~75% of healthy women at least once in their lifetime. This imbalance is associated with significant economic costs and has a negative impact on quality of life.

Development of Fungal-Specific Stress Response Inhibitors for the Treatment of Fungal Infections

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.

Assessment of Salmonella enterica and Campylobacter jejuni inhibition using lead single domain antibodies in combination with dysregulators of the master protease ClpP

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.

Design and advancement of Graft Enabled Antibody Therapies (GrEAT) - Year 2

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.

Preparation and testing of a sawdust-based phosphate filtration matrix

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.

Systematic development of novel peptide-derived therapeutics for the treatment of breast cancer

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.

Novel membrane mimetics in HT antibody screening and structural biology

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.

Analysis of TGF-? traps as effective immunostimulating cancer treatments

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.

Optimization of the immune response against transferrin receptor based vaccines

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.