The Discovery of Potential New Antidepressant Compounds from Mushrooms Native to British Columbia

Mental illnesses, particularly depression, is one of the leading causes of global disease burden. In addition to reducing the quality of life of patients and their relatives, it 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 antidepressant drugs from wild mushrooms native to British Columbia.

Further development of protein-based biosensors and assessment of their commercialization potential within the Canadian aquaculture industry

In the agri-food industry, monitoring the production and/or processing of raw materials can be important for ensuring the quality of the end-product. Measurement of specific compounds during processing can provide the feedback required to make informed adjustments resulting in a quality enhancement of the product. Biosensors are the devices that can provide detection and/or quantification of specific chemical compounds in a sample. For biosensors to be integrated into existing processing they need to provide accurate results in little time, be cheap, and simple to operate.

Development and commercialization of epigallocatechin monolaurate as a novel antioxidant alternative in preventing oxidative deterioration of marine omega-3 products

Canada is known globally for its prosperous fishery industry. Meanwhile, omega-3 lipids are extensively manufactured and commercialized as value-added by-products of fishery processing wastes in Canada. However, the marine omega-3 lipids are highly unsaturated and oxidizable. The oxidization of omega-3 lipids leads to significant quality loss of products. The addition of lipidic antioxidants prevent lipid from oxidation and therefore becomes one of the main-stream strategies in preserving omega-3 oil.

Rapid metagenomic characterization of surface microbiota in Emergency Medical Services Vehicles

Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI) occur in approximately 7% of hospitalized patients in developed countries producing unnecessary burden to healthcare systems. The frequency of HAI caused by antibiotic resistant pathogens that spread via surfaces, for example methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), is also rising. To address this growing concern, dsBioscience Inc. is partnering with the University of Lethbridge to examine pathogen prevalence on surfaces in the healthcare sector.

Methods development and applications for neuromelanin-sensitive MRI

Dopamine and noradrenaline are neurotransmitters that are released from neurons located in the substantia nigra and locus coeruleus. Therefore, these brain structures have the unique property of containing high concentrations of neuromelanin, a dark pigment that can be visualized with specialized MRI sequences. The neuromelanin-sensitive MRI signal has been used to visualize degeneration of these neurons. Recent work has shown that this signal can also serve as a proxy measure for long-term imbalance in activity of these neurotransmitter systems.

Development of an integrated foundation for precision medicine for the Atlantic Region with a focus on Colorectal Cancer and Lung cancer

Atlantic Canada has the highest rate of CRC in Canada and NL has the highest incidence of familial CRC worldwide. This study is being undertaken primarily to reveal the underlying molecular mechanisms associated with the high rate of CRC in Atlantic Canada, particularly the well-documented familial CRC in NL. We expect to define novel genetic and epigenetic lesions in tumors that may help inform treatment for patients in the Atlantic region and elsewhere.

Autotaxin inhibition as a novel treatment to improve outcomes from chemotherapy and radiotherapy for cancer patients

We will investigate a new approach to improving the treatment of cancer patients. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy lose effectiveness and produce side-effects that are deleterious. For example, the development of scar tissue restricts the use of radiotherapy for several types of cancer. We will study a new type of drug, which will be supplied by our partner, that should decrease the formation of scar tissue after radiotherapy and also improve the effectiveness of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Developing computation tools for the rational design of cyclic peptide therapeutics

The majority of drugs that enter the market are discovered by screening millions of random chemical compounds until a desired effect is achieved. With the recent explosion in available biological data and raw computing power, it is now possible to develop drugs through bottom-up design rather than trial-and-error testing. Bottom-up drug design has the potential to lower R&D costs, improve success rates and reduce therapeutic side effects. ProteinQure aims to achieve these goals by designing peptide therapeutics computationally.

To Discover Potential New Antidepressant Compounds from Mushrooms Native to British Columbia

Mental illnesses, particularly depression, is one of the leading causes of global disease burden. In addition to reducing the quality of life of patients and their relatives, it 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 antidepressant drugs from wild mushrooms native to British Columbia.

Cloud-based analysis platform for in-house DNA sequencing: plasmid validation

Biological manufacturers are now starting to make chemicals and biological products (like proteins) by growing large amounts of microorganisms like bacteria or algae. One major quality control step in the manufacturing process is to check the genetic sequences of these microorganisms because they often not correctly made. This is due to the biological method for manipulating the sequences is not perfect. To check that the genetic sequences are correct, manufacturers typically send samples for DNA sequencing at international service providers.

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