Examining intimal cell types in hypercholesterolemia and atherogenesis, at single cell resolution

Atherosclerosis is a disease defined by unresolved inflammation in the major arteries. High cholesterol is a major risk factor, resulting in fatty lesions developing silently for decades before causing heart attacks and strokes. Currently, no therapies exist that target the cells of the artery wall to suppress this disease. Myeloid cells (MCs) are white blood cells found in the inner artery wall, residing under a barrier of cells called endothelial cells (ECs). In the aorta, MCs are found only in areas where lesions grow.

Immune Cell Tracking of immunotherapy Response in Orthotopic Epithelial Ovarian Cancer Model

IMV Inc. is developing injectable cancer immune therapy using the company’s DPXTM technology. DPX is a patented formulation that displays excellent tumor control and provides a long lasting and specific effect). DPX can be tailored to various cancers via the use of tumor specific components in the formula. The way by which this therapy exerts its effect is unclear but the research team at IMV, along with the researchers at Dr.

Marine based antiviral coatings with bioamask applications towards SARS-CoV-2 virus

The research project we have undertaken alongside Clean Valley Biofiltration CIC is a novel solution to the highly inflated cost of face masks and other hospital PPE gear in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. Our objective is to create a biomask and other PPE using an antiviral compound derived from a Canadian sourced marine algae. Clean Valley has been developing a version of the biomask fabric and is looking to systematically assess and improve the antiviral efficacy of the biomask.

Development, implementation and validation of new anti-E6 therapeutics for the treatment of HPV-associated cancer - Year two

Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are responsible for almost all cervical cancers. Current treatment available relies on chemo- or radiation-therapy or surgery. These methods have several side-effects with high morbidity and survival of just ~ 70%. Our lab, therefore, develops a more patient-centered approach based on targeting the viral E6 protein, the main culprit of carcinogenesis in HPV-related malignancies.

Developing BioInteract technology to identify therapeutic drug targets in genetic disease models

Higher drug discovery failure rate has led to an increase in drug prises in the market. BioInteract technique is designed to combat the failure rate by identifying most potential therapeutic drug for a broad range of genetic diseases by analysing the drug effect at molecular level. It is a scoring system that can rank drugs based on their ability to restore the key interactors at the molecular level in the mutant cell and thus predict how successful a drug will be in the given disease.

Using community science to protect the butterflies of Canada

Community science is emerging as a powerful tool to answer scientific questions and to involve the public in educational activities. eButterfly, the Montreal Insectarium community science program, is one of the largest citizen science programs on insects in North America, and has great potential to inform management decisions across Canada during these crucial times for biodiversity conservation. During this fellowship, I will use cutting-edge statistical models and capitalize on thousands of checklists collected by volunteers to assess the diversity and status of the butterflies of Canada.

Developing a watershed approach to manage anthropogenic and environmental stressors in an eastern Lake Ontario watershed

Water quality in the watersheds of the Great Lakes are under ever-increasing pressures from population growth, urban expansion, economic development, nutrient enrichment, and climate change. We aim to develop a statistical model to understand the relative influence of anthropogenic stressors on water quality for the central Lake Ontario watershed surrounding the cities of Oshawa, Whitby, and Ajax.

Solar Simulation for Real-World Conditions and Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells Efficiency Characterization

Currently, the scientific community is aware of the potential of dye sensitized solar cells - they are translucent, conduct 100% renewable energy using the Sun’s energy, and are inexpensive to manufac-ture. They possess the potential to revolutionize Canada’s energy system for the better. This research project will show, using a unique solar simulator, how dye sensitized solar cells can work efficiently under more conditions than have currently been tested: such as air pollution, position of the Sun rela-tive to the Earth, and elevation.

Improving high-quality lipid production in the commercially important microalgae, Euglena gracilis

FAs are an integral part of lipids (oil, fats, wax esters, etc.) that are essential to human health. Lipids with desired chemical and physical properties can be produced by manipulating their FA composition. Euglena gracilis is a commercially important microalgae capable of producing lipids with diverse FA composition. This project aims to study three different approaches; (i) metabolic engineering (ii) media optimization (ii) plant-based inducers, for controlling the production of FAs to produce lipids with desirable characteristics.

Improved Phenotyping of Macrophages Using Cell Line Models, Gene Expression Signatures, and Protein Secretion Data

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a 3rd leading cause of death, which decreases lung function due to irreversible airway obstruction. Lung immune cells, such as macrophages, play an important role in the disease progression. However, researchers don’t fully understand their diversity and functions. Models of macrophages are useful to better understand patient macrophages. We will first obtain 3 types of model macrophages and compare their characteristics (such as gene expression and secreted proteins) with recently published COPD alveolar macrophage data from literature.

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