Engineered Polymers for siRNA Therapy of COVID-19

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has emerged as a major threat to life on earth. COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The excessive reaction displayed by immune system against this virus is damaging particularly to lungs, resulting in rapid lung failure and loss of life. We propose to develop a new method to eradicate viral load in COVID-19 patients. We will develop specific drugs and deliver them into lungs in order to stop viral replication, to ease the symptoms of VOCID-19 and cure the disease.

Infection and Immunity Screening

The COVID-19 crisis in Canada has transformed from one of containment to one of mitigation, as the disease has begun to spread through the community, slowed by "social distancing." An ideal mitigation strategy requires extensive testing to determine (i) who has COVID-19, (ii) who has recovered from it (presumably with immunity), and (iii) who has yet to contract it.

Therapeutics and Catalysts for the COVID-19 Pandemic

Overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic will require a multi-pronged therapeutic approach that will draw on the expertise of biochemists, virologists, medicinal chemists and synthetic chemists. First-line tactics directly attack the virus itself. This will be done in the form of small-molecule antivirals that inhibit the development of virus particles during infection and replication. Secondary effects of COVID-19 include bacterial infection that sets in when the lungs undergo inflammation and fibrosis, which is a significant contributor to mortality.

Comprehensive study of oil refinery corrosion by Naphthenic Acid: A chemical approach

Integrating cutting-edge scientific technology to identify the lifetime of refinery assets. The results from this project will enable operators to perform proactive, predictive, preventative maintenance. This is essential for workplace and environmental safety, and it also ensures continued productivity and extended lifetime for refinery infrastructure.

Chemical and biological characterization of the non-tetrahydrocannabinoid profiles of medicinal plants

We propose to perform detailed studies that characterize chemically and biologically and the unaltered ancestral plant species of the Cannabis genus. Chemically, these studies will provide the chemotype profiles for each parental species for a spectrum of non-tetrahydrocannabinoid compounds. Biologically, these studies will provide the pharmacological profiles for each parental species.

Synthesis of Fluorinated Cannabinoids

The recent legalization of marijuana has sparked renewed interest in studying the health benefits of the non-psychoactive cannabinoids. Cannabidiol (CBO, 1, Figure 1) has emerged as a promising medicinal candidate due to its potential for the treatment of anxiety, and chronic pain. In 2018, the first CBD-containing drug, Epidio1ex, was approved by the FDA for the treatment of epilepsy. Despite its promise as a pharmaceutical, animal and human trials have found that CBD has low bioavailability and is prone to metaboHc degradation and excretion.

Synergistic Effects of Environmental Factors on Electrochemical Corrosion and Sulfide Stress Cracking (SSC) of a High?Strength Pipeline Steel

Sour corrosion originated from hydrogen sulfide in the pipeline has detrimental impact on the material’s surface of the pipeline, which ultimately causes cracks and pipeline failure. The mechanism behind this sour corrosion is complex because several environmental factors control the degree of sour corrosion, such as, temperature, acidity of the environment, hydrogen sulfide concentration, chloride ion concentration. This study will provide a clear understanding of how these all factors participate in the corrosion process.

Synthesis of graphene and graphitic films

The overall problem to be addressed is the synthesis of graphene or graphitic coatings from the liquid phase. This work follows from a previous investigation, supported by a MITACS Accelerate grant, into the use of “poly(hydridocarbyne)” (PHC), a soluble carbon- hydrogen polymer, as a precursor for the formation of diamond- like carbon coatings. As a result of attempts to purify PHC by electrochemical cycling it was discovered that the surface of the polymer could be converted into a graphene or graphitic layer.

Photocatalytic Oxidation of Volatile Organic Compounds in Air

A new type of device that uses a combination of UV light, oxygen, flowing water, and titanium dioxide (a com-mon white pigment) is capable of removing volatile toxins from the air. This device will be investigated using a range of techniques that provide molecular insights into this process, and those insights will help in the rede-sign of the device to make it as effective as possible, in terms of energy efficiency, longevity, reusability, range of compounds removed, and speed of their removal.

Development and Understanding of ‘old’ and ‘new’ initiators for cationic polymerization

Butyl Rubber has become one of the most important polymers in the modern world, impacting everyone’s daily lives. Interestingly, the processes to make butyl rubber can be convoluted and while they are effective, it makes it difficult to fine tune the production to systematically improve yields. This project will use newly developed methods in our lab to explore this process in order to better elucidate the reaction in order to optimize the reaction conditions and develop new catalysts for the synthesis of butyl rubber.

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