Validating an automated speech assessment pipeline for use with individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) - Year Two

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating disease that affects many parts of patients’ lives, such as the abilities to think, move, and speak. Speech problems in ALS can have a substantial effect on patients’ quality of life. They are also related to faster disease progression and shorter survival time. It may be possible to detect the onset of ALS head and neck muscle problems early using speech recordings, which could improve planning of care for ALS patients. Speech recordings may also be useful measures for ALS clinical trials.

Genes to affordable medicines - Stream 1-B2_B3

The Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) is a not-for-profit public-private partnership research organization that aims to accelerate the discovery of new medicines through open science. This Mitacs cluster will bring together SGC’s industry and academic collaborators to work together towards new and affordable medicines for challenging diseases. Sixty-three post-doctoral fellows will spend 2-3 years developing open source tools and knowledge for previously understudied proteins, thereby unlocking new areas of biology and identifying new opportunities for drug discovery.

Safe, Legal… and Inclusive? A Qualitative Study Exploring Trans Youth’s Experiences Accessing Abortion Care in British Columbia

Almost all abortion research focuses on cisgender women’s experiences. What little is known about trans people’s abortion experiences is the result of a handful of USA-based studies. At present, no Canadian trans abortion data exists despite unique delivery and access challenges within this context. This study is guided by two questions: 1) How do trans youth describe their experiences accessing abortion within the British Columbia healthcare system? 2) What factors impact whether abortion services are experienced as youth-friendly, gender-affirming and supportive?

Point of care ultrasound in rural British Columbia: An investigation of quality and effect on clinical management decisions

Health care providers perform ultrasound exams to see a patient’s internal physiology (e.g., organs). Point of care ultrasound (PoCUS) refers to ultrasound exams performed at the bedside by a physician not specialized in imaging. PoCUS use by general practitioners is increasing, including in rural British Columbia (BC). Rural PoCUS has the potential to improve the quality of health services for rural patients by bringing care closer to home. It also has the potential to help rural physicians better manage and treat their patients, resulting in improved patient outcomes and reduced costs.

Immunopathogenesis of Woodchuck Hepatitis Virus Infection

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection can lead to chronic infection (CHB) in unvaccinated children having no cure. This has devastating consequences such as liver cancer. Studying the early kinetics of infection will yield a better understanding of progression to chronicity. A certain species of woodchucks (groundhogs), infected by the related woodchuck hepatitis virus, form an excellent model to study HBV. The current proposal aims to observe the kinetics of WHV infection and interaction of virus with host cells of the woodchuck.

Adoption and enhancement of a primary care management pathway for obstructive sleep apnea: an implementation evaluation project - Year two

A clinical pathway for primary care Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) management has been developed in Calgary to address specific barriers to OSA management by primary care physicians (PCPs) that were identified in a series of stakeholder consultation activities. This study’s primary goal is to maximize use of the clinical pathway to support evidence-based primary care OSA management. The results of this study will support more effective implementation of the pathway in the Calgary Zone and facilitate its scale and spread across Alberta.

Autonomous Cognitive Examination: A Validation Study

Timely diagnosis of dementia is a public health challenge within Canada. It is hoped that machine-learning empowered cognitive examinations might improve Canada’s response to the dementia population. This study proposed the validation of an automated cognitive examination, the Autonomous Cognitive Examination, which uses machine learning to evaluate users to evaluate previously difficult to assess inputs such as complex images or speech.

Enhancing online mental wellness programming for older adults with heart failure

Mental distress is common among individuals with chronic heart failure. Online wellness programming is typically more heavily subscribed to by women rather than men. As part of a larger randomized controlled trial, this project aims to evaluate the distinct recruitment and engagement needs of men and women with heart failure with online mental wellness programming.

The use of interdialytic Peritoneal Ultrafiltration Hemodialysis (iPUF-HD) to manage volume status in hemodialysis patients

Patients with end stage kidney disease require regular intermittent dialysis treatments to remove fluid and sodium. During hemodialysis, blood is pumped through a dialyzer containing semipermeable microfibers, while clean dialysate flowing along the outside these fibers removes waste products and fluid.
However, sometimes hemodialysis cannot effectively remove all sodium and fluid, resulting in a deposition in tissues and bone and a higher risk of cardiovascular complications.
This project investigates the efficiency of a combination of hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.

Evaluating extended-release injectable buprenorphine in a Canadian setting

Canada is in the midst of an opioid epidemic. Although oral opioid agonist therapies (OAT) are effective for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD), a number of barriers pose a significant challenge to treatment initiation and retention. In 2018, Health Canada approved a new medication for OUD, a once-monthly injection, which may be able to address challenges related to medication adherence. The current project aims to support a larger observational study that assess the feasibility, efficacy, and safety of this new treatment option.