Determining Canadian Healthcare Providers' Intentions to Receive the COVID-19 Vaccine and Improving Current Health Communication Strategies

Some healthcare providers have concerns, misconceptions, and reluctance to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, which puts them at risk of occupational and public exposure to the virus. This is called vaccine hesitancy, which is defined as the delay or refusal of vaccines in the presence of vaccination services. Widespread vaccination is an effective public health measure in reducing health burdens and nationwide economic restrictions associated with the disease.

A combination host-pathogen rapid diagnostic technology for decentralized monitoring of respiratory infections

Current testing for SARS-CoV-2 focuses on detection of the pathogen via isolated nucleic acids, routinely from nasopharyngeal swabs. To our knowledge, no approved clinical SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic tests using nasopharyngeal swabs incorporate measurements of host responses at the time of diagnosis. Monitoring host responses during SARS-CoV-2 infection is important, as stratification of COVID-19 patients based on host responses is predictive of mortality.

Washable wearables for affordable and aesthetic augmentation of visuo-tactile sensory-perception enhancement in mixed reality

The inclusion of touch and physical sensations from within Virtual Reality and other Mixed Reality experiences provides exciting opportunities from both an entertainment and academic perspective.

An image-guided, highly tunable hydrogel delivery device for novel minimally invasive therapies

Minimally invasive treatments have greatly changed the clinical landscape for a variety of disorders. A catheter is navigated through the body to the target site where a multitude of interventions can be performed, including drug delivery and therapeutic embolization and in the near future delivery of tissue-engineered constructs. However, there are still limitations for treatment safety and efficacy due to the less direct control physicians have over the diseased site compared to traditional surgeries.

Metabolic Targeting of Inflammatory Pathways for the Treatment of Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) and Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and/or chronic kidney disease (CKD) affect more than 5 million Canadians. Progression of CKD is the primary cause of end-stage renal disease while NASH is now the leading cause of liver cirrhosis and liver transplant.

Improving Competency-Based Medical Education through Technology

Competency-based medical education (CBME) is an approach to training that combines educational objectives and time-based learning. CBME is currently being rolled out in residency training programs across Canada and represents the biggest change in medical education since the early 1900s. This project aims to determine perspectives of current residents in CBME- and non-CBME-based residency training programs at Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Genes to affordable medicines - Stream 1-A1

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.

Technology Innovations to Improve Patient Outcomes After Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injury (SCI) results in severe paralysis, for which there are no effective treatments. Advanced technologies, however, can play an important role in assisting in the diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of SCI patients who suffer many impairments beyond the loss of voluntary muscle control. In this proposal, we will develop and apply innovative technologies for SCI. We will develop a novel biosensor for the injured cord to inform doctors how to best support its healing in the early stages of injury.

Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea a Novel Risk Factor for Cancer?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is an important disease characterized by recurrent blockages of the upper airway during sleep leading to breathing cessations (up to 100 times per hour); OSA is common and is widely under-diagnosed. OSA might cause cancer or lead to cancer progression, potentially mediated through low oxygen levels; however, evidence for this association is limited. This research study will use rigorous methods to determine if there is a potential link between OSA and cancer; specifically, we will link our large database of approximately 1800 patients with suspected OSA.

Targeting granzyme B with a novel inhibitor for the treatment of radiodermatitis

Radiodermatitis is a group of skin reactions that occur as a result of radiation therapy. It is a significant health challenge as approximately 70% of all cancer patients receive radiation therapy and approximately 95% of them experience radiodermatitis. Patients with radiodermatitis experience redness, itchiness, pain, scaling, and weeping or crusted wounds. Importantly, radiodermatitis can impede cancer treatments. Current treatments for radiodermatitis have shown limited efficacy; thus, improving our understanding of radiodermatitis and developing novel therapies are urgent needs.

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