Biomolecular Structure Analysis to Accelerate Develoment of New Vaccines and Monoclonal Antibodies

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 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 biologic products which, relative to small molecular drugs, have a larger size, are more complex in structure and are thus more difficult to characterize.

Cumulative effects of air exposure and extended angling time after repeat capture on endangered mahseer (Tor khudree)

Catch-and-release has been promoted as a strategy to relieve pressure on fish populations, yet target species respond to the practice in different ways, and the same fish may respond differently to multiple captures. These nuances are critical in recreational fisheries targeting endangered species, particularly in areas where individuals are likely to experience multiple captures. Recent research efforts examining the responses of the endangered T.

Diversity and structure of coastal eelgrass communities and their importance for maintaining juvenile Pacific salmon

On the coast of British Columbia, both eelgrass meadows and Pacific salmon species are declining, yet eelgrass community dynamics and reliance of juvenile salmon on these communities are poorly understood. We will assemble the first large-scale dataset from monitoring efforts of coastal BC organizations in order to assess eelgrass community diversity and structure across environmental and human disturbance gradients (including boating, fishing, and non-native species).

Effects of forest harvest on population dynamics, distribution, and stoichiometry in lynx-hare-plant food webs in Newfoundland

The research team will investigate how plants and animals are affected by forestry. We will measure nutrients in the plants (specifically carbon and nitrogen) in areas with forest harvest and nearby Terra Nova National Park. We will collect plant samples to analyse in the lab for carbon and nitrogen content. We will also live-trap and mark snowshoe hares (which feed on plants) and live-trap lynx (which feed on the hares) and fit them with radio-collars. By tracking where the animals travel, we can relate that to the available nutrients and the effect of forest activity on animal movement.

Assessing comprehensive life history and phenotypic impacts of radiation on a short-lived model of aging and free radical biology: linear versus hormetic dose responses

The goal of our proposal is to clarify the impacts of low doses of radiation on key biological aspects in a short-lived animal model (the cricket). Current assessments of radiation exposure mainly emphasize cancer. Our model will allow us to more broadly assess important features like growth, maturation, survivorship, reproduction and life span as well as specific measures related to sensory, cognitive and motor functions, stress resistance and immunity. Radiation causes damage by creating reactive molecules that can attack cells and their DNA.

Cell survival and cell death regulation in gynecological cancers.

Endometrial cancer (EC) is the leading type of female genital cancer in the Western world and ranks fourth among the most common cancers in women. Patients with tumour confined to the uterus are treated with surgery and radiotherapy; however, more than 25% of patients diagnosed with endometrial carcinoma have an invasive primary tumour accompanied by regional and/or distant metastases. Ovarian cancer (OC) is the fifth most common cancer in women and is the leading cause of death among the female genital tract malignancies.

Biomedical applications of HIV-1 restriction factors

Project: genome editing of restriction factors to confer resistance to HIV-1.

The human versions of restriction factors APOBEC3G and TRIM5alpha are unable to efficiently target HIV-1, because of 1) an inability of human TRIM5alpha to physically bind its target, the capsid protein of HIV-1; and 2) the degradation of human TRIM5alpha by the specialized HIV-1 viral protein Vif. My laboratory has isolated and characterized mutations of TRIM5alpha that confer restriction activity against HIV-1.

The role of PML in anti-retroviral innate immunity (New)

The PML (promyelocytic leukemia) protein, also called TRIM19, is an interferon-induced antiviral factor. It directs the formation of nuclear bodies that are rich in heavily SUMOylated proteins and are often associated with viral replication sites. PML can "silence" (prevent the expression of) several viruses, including retroviruses, and its action is often counteracted by viral proteins.
We have recently set up a murine model to study the role of PML in the restriction (inhibition) of retroviral replication.

Lymphatic function in cancer metastasis

The goal of this study is to address the role of tumor draining lymphatic function and cancer immunity during lymphatic metastasis and ionizing radiation (IR) therapy. Metastatic cancer cells invade lymphatic vessels, traffic through collecting lymphatic vessel and enter lymph node (LN) to form metastasis. The presence of cancer cells in the tumor draining LN (TuLN) is a poor prognostic indicator of patient survival/recurrence. The TuLN functions as a site of cancer metastasis, and as a lymphoid organ to generate immune response to the primary cancer.

Bioremediation with fungal mycelia

This project aims at the removal of contaminants from water through bioremediation with fungal cultures. Specifically, the feasibility of a range of wood substrates will be tested. The project will use bioassays (Microtox) for testing degrees of contamination before and after treatment.

Phase 1: In the first phase of the project a bioassay will be performed with contaminated water (from tailing ponds or from other pollution sources). In extreme cases of pollution some dilution may be necessary.
Phase 2: Preparation of fungal inoculum using a combination of wood and grain based substrates.