Zebrafish high throughput screens for development of drugs targeting sepsis, stroke and other chronic diseases

Currently there is a huge challenge in drug screens as the vast majority of the candidate drugs fail in clinical trials either due to no efficacy or drug toxicity. As an alternative to traditional animal models, zebrafish have recently emerged as a powerful vertebrate paradigm to study human disease and to use its developing embryos for drug screens. In contrast to traditional cell-based screening, the zebrafish provides a whole vertebrate system for drug screening. It combines the biological complexity with the ability for high throughput screening and quick assessment of potential toxicity.

Specific Evaluation of Lesion Categories

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating disease that primarily affects young individuals. Disease Modifying Therapies (DMT) developed in the past two decades have greatly improved the quality of life for people living with MS. Assessment of brain lesions using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) has been a standard method to evaluate the efficacy of DMT in clinical trials and practice. However, standard techniques do not differentiate between the different stages of lesion evolution.

Next-generation antibody drug for immuno-oncology treatment: anti-TIM3 antibody development

Unprecedented advances have been made in the treatment of cancer through the use of antibody against immune checkpoints, priming immune system instead of targeting cancer, with approval of several antibodies for multiple cancer types. However, so far we are merely seeing the tip of the iceberg because responses to this form of therapy are not universal. Next-generation antibody drug is needed. TIM-3 negatively regulates immune system and is one of the next generation targets. We have generated 13 clones of TIM-3 antibodies, potentially can be anti-tumor drug.

PET/MRI Imaging Development for Pre-clinical Neuroimaging Applications

The field of nuclear medicine relies on positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scanners to visualize molecular processes in normal and disease states in the living human.

Air Ambulance and Pre-Hospital Emergency Care in Northern Labrador: An Evidence Mobilization Project

In rural regions of Canada, many patients live far from hospital emergency departments and specialty services. When urgent medical care is required due to a health crisis, access to pre-hospital care and the distance to an emergency department can have a major impact on morbidity and mortality. The primary objective of our study is to examine demographic patterns and clinical characteristics of medevac service use in the northern Newfoundland and coastal Labrador region accompanied by a strong knowledge mobilization plan.

Development of Coxsackievirus B3 as an Oncolytic Virus for KRAS-Mutant Lung Cancer Treatment

In Canada, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths for both sexes. Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) constitutes ~85% of lung cancer cases. Mutations in the KRAS and EGFR genes are two most common oncogenic drivers for NSCLC and responsible for ~30% and ~15% of NSCLCs, respectively. Unlike the EGFR-mutant type, KRAS-mutant NSCLC is currently undruggable and associated with poor prognosis. Our lab has recently demonstrated that Coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3) is a potent oncolytic virus against KRAS-mutant NSCLC.

Implementation of a low barrier hydromorphone distribution program to prevent fatal overdoses

North America is experiencing an unprecedented opioid overdose epidemic driven by the proliferation of fentanyl and fentanyl-adulterated drugs. Based at the BC Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU) and in collaboration with the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), I will undertake an ethno-epidemiological study to evaluate the implementation, uptake, and effectiveness of a novel low-barrier hydromorphone distribution program via a secure automated medication dispensing system targeting individuals at high risk of fatal overdose.

Neuroimaging biomarkers of Parkinson’s disease identified through brain, brainstem and spinal cord imaging

In the current functional and structural neuroimaging project, we aim to identify functional and structural changes that correlate with disease presence and its severity (staging) and that can serve as a basis for future development of PD neuroimaging biomarkers. To achieve this objective we will use our expertise in functional neuroimaging of the cervical spinal cord (CSC), brainstem and brain (simultaneously), as well as in micro-structural neuroimaging of the spinal cord.

One Child at a Time One Family at a Time

Early-years educational programing is linked with greater educational, career and life outcomes. The One Child at a Time One Family at a Time program seeks to assist families in overcoming barriers and giving all children equal access to early-years learning. The home visiting program connects children and their families with individualised support and guidance tailored to a families unique needs and home situation and relevant to their culture and background.

Evaluating deposition of tear film components on contact lenses in a sophisticated in vitro eye-blink model

Contact lenses are one of the most successful biomedical devices on the market, with approximately 140 million wearers worldwide. Despite their success, these devices still struggle with discomfort, which ultimately leads people to stop using the product. One of the reasons is the buildup of tear film components on contact lenses while wearing them. The objective of this project is to understand how tear film components deposit on contact lenses using a sophisticated eye model. This eye model, OcuBlink, was developed by the partner organization, and simulates some key properties of the eye.