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.

Developing an On-field Test for Determining Recreational Water Quality

Recreational water sources are important commercial resources and activity hubs. Unfortunately, any public water source is prone to bacterial and viral contamination, which is a major concern for public health agencies. InnovoGENE Biosciences has a developed a simple test that can quickly determine the level of pathogens. Although this method has been rigorously tested in a laboratory, this test is unproven on the field. The intern has a significant understanding of the technology and is most suited to validate the assay and is capable of optimizing the assay for field use.

Isolating and characterizing lytic bacteriophages for applied use against pathogenic Escherichia coli for the poultry industry

The proposed project is to identify and characterize bacteriophages (bacterial viruses) that can reduce presence of E. coflbacteria that are an important cause of disease and production loss to the poultry industry. The reduction of levels of E. coli that can cause disease in poultry by use of bacteriophages would be an important means of controlling this economically important disease and also reduce use of antibiotics to control such infections.

Effects of dietary glutathione precursors on cellular redox and mitochondrial efficiency in adults consuming a defined hypocaloric diet (Optifast-900; Nestlé Canada)

The aim of the proposed research is to investigate the cellular mechanistic effects of supplementation with a hypocaloric meal replacement product (Optifast-900; Nestlé Canada) containing cysteine and glycine, which are amino acid precursors of the antioxidant glutathione. Impaired cellular glutathione redox normally occurs with aging and metabolic disorders, however, this study will focus on a population in which we have previously observed impaired muscle cellular glutathione redox and slow weight loss during the exclusive dietary consumption of Optifast-900.

Progress towards a new technique for aptamer sensor development and analysis

Aptamer based sensor development can be challenging. While aptamer selection has provided a very useful method of producing molecules that selectively bind compounds of interest to the fields of public health, regulatory control and legal enforcement, the steps required for incorporation of aptamers into sensors are not trivial. Specifically, gaging how well aptamers bind their target and determining how aptamer modification for sensor incorporation may affect their properties have slowed down the commercialization of this technology.


Drug-induced dyskinesia is a debilitating side effect induced by anti-parkinsonian and antipsychotic drugs. Frequency can reach 80% in Parkinson’ disease and around 50% in schizophrenia patients treated with typical antipsychotics. Treatments for dyskinesia currently available have a very limited impact and generate important side effects. We have identified a new pharmacological target that may offer a new perspective in the treatment of these conditions. The target is composed of two nuclear receptors involved in the modulation of gene expression.

Preclinical evaluation of novel meningococcal vaccines

Neisseria meningitidis (Nme) is a bacterial pathogen that often colonizes the upper respiratory tract of humans without symptoms, but which may also develop into rapidly-progressing sepsis and meningitis that can be fatal. Nme has evolved elegant means to specifically interact with human cells and proteins in order to colonize, survive and the evade host immune system. In partnership with Vaxiron Inc., we are developing a novel class of vaccines that target systems involved in Nme acquisition of the essential micronutrient, iron, during infection.

Chemical and Microbial Contaminants of Medical Air in Healthcare Institutions

Administration of supplemental oxygen through medical air is a life-supporting measure essential for the management of severe primary respiratory conditions as well as secondary lung injury due to systemic insults such as trauma and sepsis. 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 contaminated.

Preparation of a new formulation to prevent surgical adhesions

Inter-tissue adhesions cause significant complications following veterinary surgery of domesticated animals. Fucoidans are natural, negatively charged, carbohydrate polymers (polysaccharides) from seaweeds that have been successfully developed and commercialized for reducing such adhesions, thereby improving surgical outcomes. Currently, the inherent variability in the molecular size and composition of native fucoidans extracted from seaweed presents a significant barrier for their break-through application in human surgery.