Testing plant-derived products as biopesticides for plant pathogen management

Like humans and other animals, plants also get sick, exhibit disease symptoms, and even die. Over the past 100 years, farmers have heavily relied upon chemical fertilizers and pesticides in order to increase crop productivity and quality. However, the environmental pollution caused by excessive use and misuse of agrochemicals has led to considerable changes in people’s attitudes towards the use of pesticides in agriculture.

SSI efficacy in treating infectious colitis

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a disease with unknown etiology that is characterized by uncontrolled intestinal inflammation and microbial dysbiosis. Qu Biologics’ Site Specific Immunomodulators (SSI) are a platform technology shown to improve the status of people living with IBD (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), with most of those patients showing clinical improvement also going into clinical remission. SSI are a complex biologic designed to reconstitute normal innate immune function through multiple parallel mechanisms.

A One-Health approach to echinococcosis (Echinococcus multilocularis) in client owned dogs in Alberta: force of infection, risk factors, diagnostics, treatments and information

This project aims to determine prevalence rates of Echinococcus species tapeworms in domestic dogs and to compare these rates to those obtained from wild canids including wolves, coyotes, and foxes. This will shed light on infection rates and risk factors for both the human population and their pet dogs. This research will benefit Bayer as they produce many pharmaceuticals that combat Echinococcus infection and believe an increased public awareness of this parasite is important for public health.

Systematic development of novel peptide-derived therapeutics for the treatment of breast cancer

Cancer will affect 2 in every 5 Canadians in their lifetime, with just over 25% representing new breast cancer diagnoses in women. Despite significant progress in the treatment of the most common cancer in women, resistance to chemotherapeutic agents remains a consistent obstacle in terms of the successful treatment of many types of breast cancers. The Mitacs-funded collaboration between NuvoBio and the Biggar lab at Carleton University is seeking to address this issue by systematically designing and developing peptide-based inhibitors that hold the promise as new therapeutics.

Tick vectored disease biobank

Lyme disease is one of the many diseases transmitted by ticks. The rate of these diseases is rapidly increasing in Canada. Diagnosing these diseases is difficult but examination of biopsy, necropsy and autopsy tissue can help to understand the full and varied effects of the disease and ultimately reduce misdiagnoses. Biobanks are required for this type of research.

Harnessing the power of horizontal gene transfer for yeast strain development

Yeast are used on a massive scale in many industrial settings, such as production of food and beverages, nutrient supplements, pharmaceuticals, and others, totaling over $5 billion dollars in annual market value. Most yeasts currently used for industrial purposes are taken directly from nature and not optimized for the specific process requirements of industry. Currently, many tools for strain improvements require genetic modification of organisms, which does not allow for a non-GMO “clean” labeling.

Intertidal dynamics of First Nations’ clam beaches along a proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) supertanker route

Proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) developments in the traditional territory of the Kitsumkalum First Nations may have negative consequences for the productivity of local clam beaches resulting in decreased food security for coastal communities. This project will elucidate previously unknown community dynamics and environmental characteristics in clam beaches threatened by approved developments. This will increase comprehension of intertidal and soft sediment ecosystems, while also creating a baseline of environmental and biological conditions prior to LNG development.

Multi-species sustainable fisheries management using scientific and traditional ecological methods

I propose a multi-species fish population monitoring project in Quebec’s largest lake (Mistassini), to facilitate community-based fisheries management. Mistassini is home to recreational fisheries for walleye, lake trout, brook trout and pike. With a 31% increase in the regional human population since 2001 and increasing fishing pressure, effective monitoring of Mistassini’s harvested fish populations is essential.

Implementation of an adventitious agent assay by HTS

Manufacturing of consistently high quality products is the commitment of the pharmaceutical industry. To achieve this, new products must be thoroughly tested and the results must meet government-approved product specifications. Improving existing and adopting improved analytical technologies for product testing ensure the production of safe and effective products. This is particularly critical for the manufacturing of vaccines and biologics which, relative to small molecular drugs, are more susceptible to contamination by viral or microbial adventitious agents.

Validation of the educational impact of a holographic lecture

UBC and Microsoft intend to collaborate on an applied research project where 3D models of the brain will be used to create an interactive Holographic lecture using Microsoft’s new augmented reality device, the HoloLens. The will form the basis for a lesson or “HoloLecture,” and will feature new interactions to take advantage of the HoloLens’s technology. The ability to manipulate the 3D objects and dynamically adapt them to a live lecture format will form the basis of a HoloLecture prototype that can be applied across disciplines.