Preclinical development of monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of AL cardiac amyloidosis

Amyloid cardiomyopathy is an under-recognized cause of heart failure and is caused by normal proteins in the bloodstream going bad (known as amyloid) and accumulating in the heart. This accumulation of amyloid in the heart tissue causes the wall of the heart to become rigid and ineffective at pumping blood to the rest of the body, causing heart failure. We are studying a form of amyloid cardiomyopathy called immunoglobulin light chain (AL) amyloidosis, caused by the accumulation of light chain proteins.

Optimizing the prebiotic profile of donor human milk for preterm infants:feasibility of a new donor milk matching strategy based on maternal secretorstatus

Breastmilk is the best nutrition for a premature infant. When a mother’s milk is not available, the best alternative is donor human milk (DHM). Currently, DHM is pooled together from different mothers and there is no matching process based on the unique genetics or needs of the infant. This project will examine the possibility of developing a rapid test to match DHM to be more like the milk of each preterm infant’s mother, based on a genetic marker. We think that by doing this, we can help the infant to have a healthier gut microbiome.

The Role of Natural Background Radiation on Neurological Development and Processes

All species on the planet are affected by their environment: temperature, atmospheric pressure, daylight hours, and so on. These conditions affect how a species react to stress, grow, reproduce, and survive. Natural background radiation (NBR) is ever-present and has been prior to the evolution of all species. In order to study the effect of NBR on important biological processes, such as brain growth and development, we must remove it from the environment to see if it induces any changes. In order to remove NBR, a deep underground laboratory, shielded from NBR exposure must be used.

Defining the Transmission Season and Determining the Gastropod Intermediate Hosts of Crenosoma vulpis, the Fox Lungworm

Crenosoma vulpis (Fox Lungworm) is a metastrongyloid nematode parasite infecting the lungs of wild and domestic canids. It is a frequent cause of chronic respiratory disease in dogs in Atlantic Canada. Dogs and foxes acquire the infection from ingesting terrestrial gastropods which contain the infective third larval stage (L3) of the parasite. Nothing is known on which gastropod species serve as a source for natural infections.

Development of a commercial protocol to differentiate human pluripotent stem cells into skeletal muscle progenitor cells (hPSC-SMPCs) with transplantation potential

Recent scientific breakthroughs have led to the development of methods to differentiate human PSCs (hPSCs) into skeletal muscle cells. This has allowed, for the first time, the development of cellular models to study muscle diseases such as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and the possibility to utilize these cells for cell therapy applications. However, the reliability, efficiency and prober characterization of cells produced from these differentiation protocols remains a roadblock for their routine utilization by the research community.

Investigating the efficacy of GelDerm* in detection of wound infection in a rat model

Burn injuries and wounds caused by burns are big health problems and in Canada alone cost nearly $290 million. Additionally, these wounds usually persist and become infected and subsequently drastically compromise patients’ health, result in significantly longer hospitalization, delayed wound healing, higher costs and higher risk of death. Therefore, prevention and management of wound infections have priority in treatment of burn patients. In order to early diagnose microbial infections in wounds and accelerate wound healing to such injuries, 4M Biotech under leadership of Dr.

Masters Athlete Screening Study (MASS) - Part 2 (5-year evaluation)

Masters athletes (>35 years) are a rapidly growing population that participate in a variety of sports. While exercise has tremendous health benefits, there is a small absolute risk of a heart attack and sudden death during exercise. Prevention strategies, such as heart screening aim to identify heart disease that may serve as a trigger for fatal adverse events. This will be the first prospective longitudinal study in Canada examining the effectiveness of heart screening in Masters athletes.

The impact of residential displacement on health among people who use drugs living with HIV in Vancouver, Canada

Residential displacement is common among people who use drugs (PWUD). However, we know little about the impact residential displacement has on their social and health outcomes. PWUD living with HIV may experience particularly detrimental consequences due to their structural vulnerability and complex realities of their everyday lives. Focusing on PWUD living with HIV, this study will explore the health consequences of displacement from housing in the West End and Downtown Eastside neighborhoods of Vancouver, British Columbia.

Fibre in IBD: Feeding Our Microbes vs. Fuelling Inflammation

While studies show that dietary fibres are beneficial in many diseases, they are not digested or absorbed directly by the host, but rather fermented by gut microbes. Fermentation byproducts (mostly short-chain fatty-acids; SCFAs) are responsible for health benefits. Only select inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) patients benefit from fibres; many patients report sensitivity to high fibre foods, especially during disease flares. Dietary fibres resemble structures found on the surface of pathogens that induce host cell inflammation.

Optimizing the placement of Med-El’s BoneBridge implant: image-guided positioning and biomechanical efficiency - Year two

Med-El’s BoneBridge implant provides the sensation of sound to hearing-impaired persons. The device’s transducer is surgically implanted in the skull. Key surgical problems are to find a location on the individual patient’s skull that is thick enough to house the transducer and to place and configure the transducer to maximize sound energy transfer to the cochlea, the organ of hearing. This project will (1) develop software for patient-specific, image-based BoneBridge placement planning and (2) investigate how BoneBridge placement and configuration affect energy transfer.

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