Opioid Use in Pediatric-Onset Inflammatory Bowel Disease - Year two

Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have an inflamed digestive tract and experience diarrhea, fatigue, and abdominal pain. Youth with IBD are six times more likely to take opioids than youth without IBD. We are currently in the midst of an opioid crisis. In 2016, there were almost 3000 deaths related to opioid use in Canada. This increased to nearly 4000 deaths in 2017. Since 2001, opioid-related deaths have increased by 345% in the United States. IBD patients taking opioids have a poorer quality of life, regardless of how severe their IBD is.

Molecular signatures and predictive biomarkers for phenotyping allergic rhinitis responses

Allergic rhinitis (AR) is in inflammatory disease characterized by nasal symptoms. It affects 20-25% of Canadians and is recognized as the most common allergic disorder worldwide. Patients can experience one of several types of responses to allergen onset hence a key hurdle to developing effective treatment plans is accurate diagnosis. The allergic responses are characterized by an early response, with a subsequent late response in a subgroup of patients. Based on severity of nasal symptoms, patients can be stratified as early responders, protracted early responders or dual responders.

Identification of blood-based biomarkers predictive of pulmonary exacerbations in cystic fibrosis

Individuals with cystic fibrosis experience recurrent episodes of worsen in respiratory symptoms, termed pulmonary exacerbations (PEx). Early identification of individuals who are at elevated risk of PEx can improve their clinical outcomes and rescue their lung function. In this project, we will collaborate with the Prevention of Organ Failure Centre of Excellence (PROOF) to develop a simple blood test to predict the PEx in CF individuals. We will also evaluate the genetic influence on blood biomarker candidates during the project and refine the blood test based on these genetic variants.

A Clinical Proteomic Test for Patient Care

There are 2.6 million Canadians with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). COPD is a disease characterized by progressive loss of lung function that leads to shortness of breath, poor quality of life, reduced productivity, emergency visits, hospitalizations and mortality. The World Health Organization estimates that COPD will be the 3rd leading cause of death worldwide by 2030, accounting for more than 7 million deaths/year and 11,000 deaths/year in Canada.

Design and Prototype Validation of a Bioabsorbable Flow Diverting Stent

An aneurysm is a balloon off a blood vessel in the brain, that could potentially bleed resulting in devastating consequences for the patient. Brain aneurysms a common, and are present in up to 7% of the general population. Traditional treatment of complex brain aneurysms involves placing a metal “flow-diverting” stent across the neck of the aneurysm, leading to redirection of blood flow away from the aneurysm dome. Bioabsorbable flow-diverting stents have only recently been developed by Fluid Biotech Inc. as a novel way to treat brain aneurysms.

Acceptability of Multimedia animations as preoperative multi-language guides for surgical patients in Montreal

Effective patient communication is challenging and obstacles such as health literacy, culture and language play a vital role in comprehension and can influence treatment outcomes. Tools to help healthcare professionals educate patients present limitations, particularly for patients with barriers to traditional teaching methods. Preoperative education helps patients to experience less anxiety, take an active role in decision-making process, and increase self-efficacy.

Assessing the impact of an immersive VR gaming experience on navigation ability and spatial cognition in an elderly population

This project will investigate whether playing an immersive virtual reality (VR) game called DoVille is beneficial to older adults’ memory and navigation abilities. Spatial navigation is a fundamental skill that relies on our ability to make an accurate mental map of the space around us, be aware of our position in the environment, and remember a path through that environment. These abilities are known to deteriorate in older adults, which can lead to a loss of independence and quality-of-life.

Three dimensional (3D) ultrasound image analysis of the female pelvic floor

Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is the descent of the pelvic organs into the vaginal canal, affecting up to 50% of the female population. Pessaries are intravaginal medical devices used to alleviate the symptoms of prolapse. However, pessaries are fit through trial and error and finding the right fit is not guaranteed for all patients. Cosm Medical aims to develop custom pessaries to overcome these challenges. The process of developing custom pessaries involves a novel ultrasound imaging technique to provide quantitative measurements of the vaginal canal.

The Canadian Association for Graduate Studies Task Force on Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action and Graduate Education

The Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (CAGS) has created aTask Force on Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action and Graduate Education (Reconciliation Task Force). This Reconciliation Task Force will examine the implications for graduate education in relation to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s (TRC) Calls to Action, to reflect on the role of graduate education in promoting reconciliation between non-Indigenous and Indigenous peoples in Canada, and to conduct a systematic review of reconciliation graduate educational practices from across the country.

BTRC and FBXW11 Ligand Discovery Toward Discovery of E3 Ligase Handles

Drugs that inhibit a protein’s function do so by binding that protein and blocking interfaces relevant to its activity. This requires drugs to have high affinities towards and to be in high excess of their targets. Another approach called Proteolysis targeting chimeras (PROTACs) can be used, which hijacks a cell’s protein-degradation pathway by linking an E3-ligase to a target protein, leading to that protein’s degradation. To date, PROTACs molecules only utilize a handful of the over 600 potential E3 ligase handles and this limits PROTAC developmental potential.

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