Novel Biomarker Identification for Human Cytomegalovirus Disease in Transplant Patients

Organ transplants save patients with severe end stage organ failure but the need for subsequent lifelong immunosuppression can lead to a number of undesired consequences including the reactivation of viruses of donor or recipient origin. Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection is the most common opportunistic infection in transplant patients and can lead to significant morbidity and mortality.

Design and validation of a novel peptide immunotherapeutic for the treatment of dog allergies

Adiga Life Sciences Inc. developed a novel immunotherapeutic platform in which small components (peptides) of allergen proteins are identified and administered in a regimen that causes immune cells to become non-responsive towards the allergens. In a phase II clinical trial, the cat allergy treatment developed by Adiga using this platform reduced allergic symptoms in allergic subjects. However, the mechanism of action of the peptide treatment is still not fully understood.

Expanding the capabilities of a neurosurgery software platform to provide clinical solutions for advanced spinal cord imaging and intra-operative guidance

Pathologic changes that occur in the cervical spinal cord as a result of injury and disease are not well characterized with current clinical imaging techniques. Synaptive Medical has recently developed a suite of innovative medical imaging products focused on the brain and image-guided neurosurgery. They are interested in investigating the potential application of these technologies beyond the brain.

Assessment of the neuroprotective effects of a novel natural product derived formulation for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease

"Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects approximately 1.5% of the global population over age 65. Current therapeutic interventions for PD are typically limited to attempts to correct the depletion of dopamine once motor symptoms become moderate to severe. Interventions with the potential to improve the cognitive function and quality of life of Parkinson’s patients by modulating non-motor symptoms, as well as interventions with the potential to slow the rate of loss of dopaminergic neurons and to delay symptom emergence remain an unmet need.

The use of improved antibody drug conjugates for targeted treatment of bladder cancer

Bladder cancer is the fifth most common form of cancer in Canada, however progress in the development of safer and more effective therapies has been slow. The use of antibody drug conjugates (ADC) is a promising therapeutic option that would allow for targeted killing of cancer cells, if the obstacle of getting the drug inside the cell can be overcome. The proposed research project aims to use iProgen's Antibody Internalization Domain technology to engineer ADCs targeted to bladder cancer, which can be readily taken into the cell.

Daily Health Guide: Decision support for fitness/weight management using Personal Health Records

We will build a prototype system that can be used to give a personalized recommendation for the ideal fitness/weight loss regimen for a consumer given their personal health record data. This will be based on building a relational probabilistic model that is based on standard medical ontologies, initially on expert knowledge, and can make predictions from personal health records. The system will be evaluated against experts in exercise physiology and metabolic endocrinology.

Clinical and systems transformation: Identifying software testing approaches to identify best practices in interface design, customization and optimization

Health care organizations are working to modernize health care using health information technology. Health information technology has been found to improve the quality of patient care and health care outcomes. Today, it is very important for health information technology professionals to develop high quality and high impact technologies that can support health professionals and patients. Clinical simulations and usability testing are two methodologies that can be used to optimize technologies used in health care.

Secondary cataract assessment in eyes implanted with different intraocular lenses

Cataract surgery is one of the most common surgeries performed worldwide. The incidence of posterior capsule opacification (PCO) after cataract surgery, a serious complication that affects vision and requires additional treatment, is ~30%. In this study, we will investigate differences in PCO, presence of fibronectin, and ciliary ring distortion between lenses in eyes obtained from private and public eye banks. Overall, 500 eyes from patients with intraocular lenses will be analyzed. PCO, presence of fibronectin, and ciliary ring deformation will be assessed by experienced pathologists.

Development of a diagnostic assay for first line detection and surveillance of bladder urothelial carcinoma using concurrent biomarker panels from non-invasive liquid biopsies

Bladder Carcinoma (BC) is the fifth most common cancer in Canada. Although most individuals have surgery to remove BC tumors, the risk of another BC developing and/or progressing to invasive disease is high so long-term surveillance is necessary. The current method for screening for BC is not sensitive enough, and individuals often end up undergoing an unnecessary secondary procedure that is both uncomfortable and costly. In this project, we plan to design a diagnostic assay using urine samples, which will allow an easier and cost-effective method for early BC detection.

Investigation of biomarkers of response to treatment with marizomib in GBM patients

Development of cancer is mainly due to uncontrolled cell growth and the proteasome is a cellular component that regulates this process. Resistance to chemotherapy is the main reason for cancer treatment failure, and therefore,there is a need for development of new and potent drugs. Recent studies have shown that proteasome inhibitors effectively inhibit growth of many cancer types, while causing low toxicity in normal human cells.