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.

Characterization and quantification of adsorbed antigens in adjuvanted vaccines

Vaccines are one of the most important medical breakthroughs, proactively saving millions of lifes and reducing human morbidity. Yet there remains a need to make current vaccine formulations more effective and affordable, which requires testing and optimizing new formulations. In addition, there remains diseases for which there are no efficient vaccine. To develop and test new vaccines or vaccine formulations, Sanofi Pasteur and other manufacturers often rely on animal testing.

Chemical Genomic Analysis of the Mode of Action of Novel Boron-Containing Antifungal Agents for Crop Protection

Fungal pathogens of agriculturally significant crops pose a serious threat against global food security. This is exacerbated by the limited classes of fungicides that are commercially available for the farmers and the rapid emergence of resistance against the existing fungicides. Furthermore, resistance against agricultural fungicides can poses serious threat to human health as it can provide cross-resistance to the antifungal drugs that are used in the clinics world-wide.

Next-generation sequencing for the analysis of antibody development in vaccinated rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and in a humanized rat (Rattus norvegicus OmniRat) model.

ImmunoPrecise antibodies is a company that specialized in the production of custom antibodies, the Y-shaped molecules produced by living things to defend itself from infection. Their ability to recognize and bind to specific targets allows for their use in diverse scientific analyses where their specificity of binding is manipulated to allow for localization and/or isolation of specific targets.

Accelerate development of new technologies and applications for advanced water treatment

Global population growth, urbanization and changing climate patterns have increased the demand for potable water, wastewater reuse and value recovery from wastewater, and for remediation of industrial process water. Population growth also results in increased demand for the shipping of goods by ocean freight, with the associated risk of the transport of unwanted marine life from one location to another by the discharge of ballast water.

Identification and characterization of new antimicrobial chemical series

Antibiotic resistance represents a major health problem for society. With the expanded use of antibiotics, microorganisms have developed various mechanisms of resistance to overcome the effects of once highly effective agents. There is therefore an urgent need to identify new therapies to counteract resistant strains. The intern will design and identify new drugs that are capable of treating patients infected with bacterial strains showing resistance to current drugs used in the clinic.