How are rapid environmental changes influencing Canadian-origin Yukon River Chinook declines?

Yukon River Chinook salmon have experienced devastating declines in recent years, leading to significant impacts on Yukon First Nation citizens. To address this growing conservation issue, we have collaborated with Yukon First Nations to understand their desires for improving salmon conservation capacity, and how we can support them in this endeavour. Together, we have identified some key avenues for research: first, what is responsible for salmon declines – climate change, fishing pressure, habitat loss, too many hatchery fish, or a combination?

The Role of Cattle-based Nitrogenous Waste as a Nutrient Source for Aquatic Food-webs

This research will explore how nutrients from cattle manure moves through aquatic ecosystems in a Saskatchewan agricultural landscape. Cattle with access to the banks of water ways have the ability to alter the health of water ways and the plants, bugs, and fish that inhabit them. Indicators of ecosystem health such as water quality, algae growth, benthic macro invertebrate community structure will be analyzed in areas with and without grazing cattle.

Immunomodulatory fusion proteins to treat solid malignancies.

Immunotherapies are transforming conventional cancer treatments with significant improvement of patient survival rates. FDA-approved immunotherapies (immune checkpoint inhibitors, ICIs) have shown remarkable success in the treatment of hematologic malignancies but very low response rate in patients with solid tumors. Therefore, there is an urgent need for novel therapies against solid malignancies. Cura Therapeutics is developing innovative immunotherapies to cure solid malignancies and infectious diseases.

Plant-wild bee relationships of camas meadows and their phenology along an elevation gradient in the Lower Columbia Region, British Columbia.

The floodplain of the Columbia River in southeastern British Columbia is known for large meadows of camas, a blue flowering plant that has deep historical and cultural significance to Interior Salish communities in the region. Camas is also likely to be ecologically-significant, playing a keystone role in these meadows. It is visited by a large number of wild bees, and these bees contribute to its pollination and the pollination of other wild flowers that grow nearby.

Multiplexed quantitative proteomics approaches to characterize residual host cell protein impurities in biopharmaceutical processing

Many drugs, such as those made of antibodies, are produced using cells from bacteria and other organisms. Companies such as BioVectra use this approach to produce antibody drugs efficiently and cost-effectively. At the end of the production process, residue such as protein from the “host” cells (called host cell proteins, or HCPs) must be removed from the antibody. Although methods are currently available to test for HCPs, they do not fully identify all those present. Furthermore, how drug production processes effect what HCPs are present is not known.

Fish use of restored and natural salt marshes in Maritime Canada

Salt marshes are coastal wetlands that provide many ecosystem services. Many fish species are known to use salt marshes as habitat at some point throughout their lives including those that hold commercial and recreational value. Depending on their location, salt marshes may experience varying degrees of tidal flooding, not only making more areas of the marsh accessible to fish but resulting in excess particulate and dissolved organic matter being drawn out with the ebbing tide.

Positive pombe: engineering anti-depressant molecules in fission yeast

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased depression and anxiety in Canada, adding to the current opioid drug dependency crisis. Mental health supports can be used with drug options to relieve symptoms and promote better health. Some cases of depression are resistant to treatment, and alternatives are needed that bring patients relief. Psilocybin is a compound found in “magic mushrooms”. Psilocybin is a highly effective anti-depressant; it is also non-addictive, and less toxic than many medications including caffeine and alcohol.

Developing A Drug-Protein Interactome for Identifying Potential Drug Targets In-situ

Our method reveals the interaction landscape of a given drug. We will generate a two-part biosensor inside living cells. The first part involves a genetically encoded reactive ‘beacon’. The second part is the drug of interest, synthetically modified with complementary reactivity to the beacon. When present together in cells, both parts chemically combine to form a chimeric ‘drug-beacon’, which will then report on the local protein environment of the derivatized drug by using proteomics.

Research and Development of Urinary Metabolome-based Personalized Health Assessment for Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Autism and Environmental Exposure - Year Two

Despite the growing interests and publications in metabolomics, there is a significant gap between what have been found through scientific studies and what have actually been applied in clinical practice and preventative healthcare. This proposed project aims to fill this gap by addressing two major causes; 1) lack of utilization in existing metabolomics data and published findings, and 2) lack of an accessible tool to collect samples for metabolomics data at home. The first issue is addressed by text mining of published studies and online databases using machine learning techniques.

Developing Alternative Career Decision-Support Tool for Internationally Educated Health Professionals

Internationally Educated Health Professionals (IEHPs), are those who completed their health professional degree (e.g., nursing, MD, etc.) from outside Canada. Many of the IEHPs, however, cannot integrate into their ideal career i.e., nurse, physician, etc. and remain underemployed in non-skilled jobs. The low rate of success in obtaining their respective career in Canada leaves no choice but to explore alternative career options. A lack of information and strategic support, lack of job counseling and coaching opportunities for IEHPs further obstruct their pursuit of alternative careers.