Model Predictions of the Effects of Vaccination on the Epidemic Growth Rate of Seasonal Influenza Epidemics

Influenza is associated with thousands of hospitalizations and deaths annually in Canada. The cornerstone of influenza control is the annual trivalent influenza vaccine administered prior to the start of the flu season. The annual vaccine does not provide perfect protection for all recipients and it is difficult to measure the vaccine’s efficacy at the start of the flu season, while the epidemic is growing. A mathematical model will be used to generate a typical influenza season using publically available data from FluWatch, a Canadian influenza surveillance system.

Development of Control Strategies for Western Flower Thrips Associated with Vegetation Propagation Material used in Floricultural Greenhouses

The use of propagative material represents one of the major methods used for crop establishment in the Ontario floricultural greenhouse industry. A portion of this propagative material is important but there also is substantial inter- and intra-provincial movement. It is important to remain vigilant to potential introductions of insect pests through transfer of this plant material which may result in problems with insecticide resistant insect strains, contamination of otherwise insect free greenhouse facilities with cosmopolitan insect pests, and/or alien invasive species.

Field Validation of C-PODTM (DNA Ident Inc.) Technology for Genetic Sample Collection Through Investigation of Large-scale Range Expansion of American White Pelicans in Ontario

Biologists - from field ecologists to epidemiologists to agricultural scientists ¨C are often faced with the daunting task of collecting hundreds or thousands of samples in the field for genetic analyses and tracking those samples from field collection through genetic analysis to final data analysis. DNA Ident Inc. recently developed C-PODTM genetic sample collection containers that preserve genetic material (e.g., tissue, blood, feathers) and use an electronic data chip to record and track sample information from collection through analysis.

Rescue of Endoplasmic Reticulum Associated Degradation of F508CFTR Protein in Cystic Fibrosis by Stop Transfer Sequence Containing Verotoxin

The intern will generate DNA sequences to make modified verotoxin proteins that will effectively disrupt the breakdown of a mutant protein (the CFTR protein) that is found in patients with cystic fibrosis. The mutant CFTR protein has normal function but is degraded in cystic fibrosis individuals because of the mutation. The modified verotoxin will reduce the breakdown of the CFTR protein, and hence increase expression of the mutant CFTR protein and subsequent restoration of normal function of cells expressing CFTR protein.

Identification of Protein Targets for a Proprietary Antibody Generation Technology

Amorfix Life Sciences has had success producing highly specific antibodies, which can be used to diagnose disease. The company has recently gained access to an algorithm (ProMISTM) which allows to predict antibody targets on proteins in their diseased state, allowing development of very specific antibodies with diagnostic and therapeutic potential. The proposed project involves a comprehensive approach of identifying suitable protein targets involved in disease for the new algorithm by extensive database and market report mining.

Bioinformatic Tools for high throughput design of Environmental Immunodiagnostics

Environmental Proteomics NB is a biotechnology design and production company that develops systems to measure levels of important proteins, in particular proteins involved in major environmental and industrial processes. Environmental Proteomics uses computational analyses of genetic and protein data, or bioinformatics, to develop these molecular systems to detect and quantitate specific proteins, even in the presence of complex contaminating mixtures.

PopModel toolkit extension of methodological and user-interface modules: from prototype to beta testing

This research internship expands a prototype of population modeling (PopModel) computer software that was designed to meet the needs of the Saugeen Ojibway - a pair of First Nations deploying and managing the largest Aboriginal commercial fishery on the Great Lakes. A transdisciplinary approach is taken among researchers with advanced expertis in mathematics/statistics, computer software development, and fisheries ecology.

Cytokinin based yield potential in soybean

This research offers the potential of greater legume crop yields through the identification of key growth signaling metabolites and their future use in plant breeding programs. Recent discoveries suggest that there is a major role for cytokinins, a group of growth hormones, in the yield of rice and possibly other plants, such as legumes.

Identifying and measuring the ecosystem and their economic value in a shade grown Mate Plantation/Atlantic rain forest restoration venture.

Guayaki is an American tea company looking for areas to showcase their environmental restoration and conservation initiatives and attract potential investors. By assessing the ecosystem services they have been working to conserve, ecosystem marketplaces will be able interpret the economic value of Guayaki‟s environmental initiatives. The Canadian owned resource management group Spectrum Resource Group would like to explore the opportunity of expanding into the ecosystem service assessment area.

Development of a Sample Preservation and DNA Extraction Buffer for C-POD™

Sample preparation for DNA extraction is labour intensive, tedious and a recognized bottleneck and impediment to high throughput automated DNA profiling. The organization sponsor, DNA Ident Inc., has a uniquely designed sample collection container (C‐POD) developed to capture DNA and to streamline sample preparation. The proposed project will develop DNA stabilization formulae for use as an embedded component of the C‐POD sampler. Extraction methodologies will be utilized to reduce reagent volumes, improve the time for DNA testing and cut the cost associated with DNA profiling.

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