Optimization of new inhibitors of type 2 serine proteases as anti-influenza agents

The proposed project aims at optimizing new antivirals to fight influenza. Current antivirals, which target proteins of the virus, suffer from severe resistance owing to mutations in the virus. Our group has identified some enzymes in the human lung that are critical for the maturation of the influenza virus. By blocking these enzymes, we expect that the proposed treatment will be a lot less prone to the development of resistance since the target is the host and not the highly mutable virus.

Analytical chemistry method development for lignin breakdown products

The partner organization MetaMixis Inc. is attempting to use biocatalytic ways to process lignin, the second most abundant biopolymer on earth, with microbiology methods to transform lignin into fine chemicals in useful quantities within a reasonable time frame. The process and end products need to be fully characterized using analytical tools to ensure the efficiency. The end products include vanillin, vanillic acid, p-coumaric acid, syringaldehyde, syringic acid, and vanillyl alcohol.

Peripheral contribution of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in the brain steroidogenesis

DHEA is a major neurosteroids precursor, and a decrease in its serum levels have been associated with neurodegenerative diseases, especially Alzheimer's disease. Little is known about steroid hormones localization and levels in the major functional areas of the human brain and which enzymes are involved in their synthesis and inactivation. We will investigate steroids levels in these areas using matrix-assisted laser\ desorption/ionization (MALDI)-Imaging mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry using the monkey brain as model.

Advanced investigation of amphoteric reagent-based cyclization of peptides

Encycle Therapeutics is a Toronto-based company that develops new therapeutics for the treatment of autoimmune diseases. Our competitive edge derives from a platform technology that allows for the more efficient synthesis of macrocycle- (ringlike peptides) based therapeutics. This platform involves a proprietary reagent called aziridine aldehyde. This new technique has demonstrated significant potential for the synthesis of macrocycles, however the full utility and versatility as it applies to the development of drug-like compounds has not been fully researched.

Développement d'un produit podiatrique à base de cellulose couplée à des peptides antimicrobiens pour le contrôle des pathogènes du pied diabétique

On estime dans le monde que plus de 285M de personnes sont atteintes de diabète. Cette maladie et ses complications représentent un énorme fardeau financier pour le système de santé (et les compagnies d’assurance). D’ici 2020, les coûts reliés au diabète et sa prise en charge atteindront 16,9 milliards $ par année au Canada. Actuellement, 2,3M de Canadiens sont atteints de cette maladie et environ 345 000 développeront un ulcère diabétique au niveau des pieds.

Development of aptamer-based strip assay (Ara-Strip) and electrochemical sensor (Ara-Sens) for detection of the peanut allergens

Peanut products are known to contain allergens capable of causing severe and life threatening allergic reactions. Classically, Ara h 1, Ara h 2, and Ara h 3 are considered to be the major peanut allergens, whereas Ara h 9 is the most prevalent allergen in Mediterranean countries. Current detection methods of peanut allergens are expensive and require centralized laboratories and highly trained personnel. Hence, there is an urgent need to develop rapid, simple, economic, and reliable assays for the detection of peanut allergens.

Purification and Trapping of Biohydrogen

Solarvest has developed a cutting-edge technology that enables algae to produce hydrogen in a continuous cycle in a single vessel. The hydrogen is released along with carbon dioxide and water, and intermittently the algae needs to be permitted to carry out photosynthesis, which generates oxygen. This project entails the construction, installation and testing of a system that will separate the biohydrogen produced from these other gases, and which will purify and quantify it and allow it to be re-released on demand as a fuel or chemical feedstock.

Icephobic Coatings from UV-Curable Phosphonium Salts and Their Ice Adhesion Measurement

The project will manufacture new coatings that will repel ice. These coatings can be applied onto metal, wood, glass, etc, and in particular can aid in the prevention of ice build-up on wind-power turbines. The coatings will be comprised of new materials that have not been applied as ice-repellent (or water repellent) coatings before. In addition a device to measure the adhesion of ice to the coating will be developed.

Development of innovative solutions for analyzing biological samples in pharmaceutical research and development: Novel bioanalytical chemistry merges digital microfluidics and mass spectrometry

Diagnostic tests that currently direct patient therapy in cancer and other diseases are more typically performed at the genetic level, despite the fact that the beneficial response to drugs and the development of resistance are rooted in the proteins that comprise the cell’s signaling pathways. We argue that this is a major gap, as proteomics can be used to understand how cells respond to inhibitors, thereby identifying patients who are responding positively at the molecular level, as well as patients who are developing resistance through the reorganization of the cell’s signaling network.

Fabrication, characterization and modeling of novel CMOS-compatible polymer-based redox memory structures

A cross-disciplinary collaboration between investigators in Electrical Engineering and Chemistry has lead to the discovery of a promising new material system for nanoelectronics. This material system is a conducting polymer / inorganic metal oxide heterojunction, electrochemically grown onto a crossbar structure. This heterojunction produces transient current-voltage characteristics that can be controlled by electric fields and exhibits memory effects.