Elucidating the safety and efficacy profiles of hypervalent antimicrobial agents towards combatting antibiotic resistance

Recent global events have shed light on the vulnerabilities within our health care systems. Undoubtedly, unpreparedness in the face of a global crisis will lead to disastrous repercussions. The growing threat of antimicrobial resistance is hailed as a pandemic in the making. As the antibiotics drug development pipeline dwindles, effective solutions to combat antimicrobial resistant strains of pathogenic bacteria are urgently needed. Here, we evaluate the antimicrobial efficacy and safety profile of a novel library of hypervalent antimicrobial agents.

Small molecule agonists of SHIP1 for treatment of inflammatory disease

Activation of the immune system is necessary for defense against pathogens and injury, but just as important are the processes to turn this inflammatory response once the infection or injury has been resolved. Inappropriate prolongation of immune cell activation results in inflammatory diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, asthma and arthritis. The University of British Columbia (UBC) partners in this project have previously shown that activating the intrinsic braking system in cells, a protein called SHIP1, using small molecule compounds can reverse inflammation.

Engineered genetic traceability solution for commercerical ale yeasts and methodology for rapid dectection and identification of diastatic yeast contamination in beer fermentation

This project will demonstrate that one or more unique DNA ID sequences (“DUID”) can be inserted into the genomes of select strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae ale yeast and S. cerevisiae var diastaticus yeast strains without affecting the heritable traits of the host and then the DUID can be recalled upstream in the brewing process. By demonstrating the utility of the DUID for batch-level rapid detection and identification to address existing commercial challenges experienced by beer producers, we will use the data collected to expand our offering into other food system organisms (e.g.

Development of an Oral Reovirus-Based Vaccination Platform for COVID-19

It is essential to develop a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing the global COVID-19 pandemic. The most efficient vaccines are built on attenuated live viruses, which can be engineered to display specific antigens and, once administered in humans, can safely induce an immune response and immunity to the disease of interest. Fast, reliable, and safe platforms are needed to develop a COVID-19 vaccine and move promising candidates to clinical trials. To support global vaccination campaigns, the vaccine should be easily produced, stored, and administered.

Development and Validation of a Protein-Protein Interactions Modeling Platform for Rapid Affinity Predictions and Pharmaceutical Applications

Developing a drug for new diseases cannot only be challenging but also time consuming. From the identification of a druggable target to a compound which can improve a condition it usually takes more than 12 years. Since there is basically an infinite number of possible compounds which can be turned into a drug it is literally the problem of finding a needle in a haystack. The trial and error method of making molecules in the laboratory and testing their efficiency has been proven successful for over a century.

The Diagnostic, PCR-based Test to Detect SARS-CoV2 RNA (COVID-19): Solving the Global Shortage of the Key Organic Building Block Using Flow Chemistry

Testing for SARS-CoV2, the virus that caused the condition known as COVID-19, is done using a RT (reverse transcriptase) PCR-based test to detect the target viral RNA. These probes are prepared by conventional solid phase synthesis on controlled pore glass using O-DMT-(2-N-FMOC-4’-aminobutyl)-1,3-propanediol (OFP) as the linker. Approximately 1 kilogram of OFP has been manufactured per year for the last decade to meet all diagnostic and academic research needs; since the pandemic outbreak, the need for this material has increased 20-fold.

Molecular diagnostics for temperature stress and pesticide stress on queens

Honey bee colony health and productivity is intrinsically linked to the quality of the queen. Unfortunately, queen quality is compromised by stressors such as extreme temperatures and pesticide exposure. When queens are heat- and cold-shocked, the viability of their stored sperm drastically decreases, causing colonies to dwindle, produce less honey, and ultimately fail. Pesticide exposure has similar effects. But we currently don’t have diagnostic tools for identifying root causes of queen failure, so beekeepers are often simply left guessing or wondering why.

Bioorthogonal spin labeling approaches for high sensitivity electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy – Part 2

In order to investigate proteins in their natural environment one can attach tiny reporter molecules to them that can be traced with appropriate instruments. However, these small reporter molecules may often cause strong perturbations to the functionality of the proteins, or cannot be seen due to experimental restrictions like low concentrations. Bioorthogonal chemistry aims to eliminate such experimental restrictions by using as inert molecules as possible to see how proteins really work.

Assessing the viability of low-pass whole genome bisulfite-sequencing for epigenetic age prediction

We all know someone who looks or functions like someone who is much younger than their actual age (or vice versa). Why is this? Whether our bodies age faster or slower than expected can be explained by lifestyle choices (e.g. adopting a healthy or unhealthy diet), environmental exposures (e.g. stress or exposure to pollution or cigarette smoke), and genetic factors. These factors influence our so-called, “biological age”, which is the age that our body physically or functionally represents.

Immunotyping of COVID-19 patient sera using novel protein complementation-based assays

In order to help deal with COVID-19 pandemic, there is an urgent need for development of fast, reliable, and sensitive tests that will be capable of detecting IgG and IgM proteins directly in people's blood.