“Stem-cell based therapies: potential of human drNPCs transplants as treatment for spinal cord injury”

Currently no regenerative therapy exists for spinal cord injury. This project aims to optimize and generate the ideal cell type for stem cells to be used to treat cervical spinal cord injury. It aims to do so by testing the transplantation potential of different derivatives of the cells responsible for formation of neurons and other supporting cells within the spinal cord and central nervous system – the neural precursor cells (NPCs). The study will be performed on rodents and will simultaneously optimize the most suitable method to deliver the cells to the site of injury.

Dance Like the Machine’s Watching

We are proposing an investigation of techniques and technologies to support media-enhanced group performances that integrate different performative art forms (dance, theatre, clown, voice, choral) with responsive mixed reality technologies and public data sets. We will work with a group of young performers (13-17 years old) and a local Vancouver choreographer to deeply investigate, with embodied methods, the potential ways of creating a group performance that truly benefits from a layered digital reality.

The Social Ecology of Digital Archiving in Queer Arts Spaces

Like many LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community organizations, Reelout Arts Project Inc.
provides resources to people who experience social or geographic isolation – particularly through their
annual film festival and community film library. For these resources to reach broad audiences, however, they
must be able to connect with those who are searching for relevant material. The success of search results
has much to do with the organization of information online: the ways in which resources are described,
compiled, and presented to users.

Evaluating the Co-Translational Framework for systematic translation of scientific knowledge towards implementation

The University of Toronto’s Translational Research Program (TRP) is a graduate program that developed the Co-Translational Framework (CTF) to systematically mobilize research towards innovations to improve health outcomes.
The Translational Research for Innovation initiative is the research mechanism to help validate the CTF to facilitate meaningful collaboration between industry and academia.

Progranulin as a potential therapeutic agent for neurodegeneration

Degenerative brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease remain incurable despite intense research over decades. Progranulin, a protein that was identified and characterized in our laboratories and it has been shown to inhibit the development of Parkinson’s-like and Alzheimer’s-like symptoms in experimental models in mice by the partner organization Neurodyn. We believe that it has similar potential to forestall brain diseases in humans. A roadblock towards this goal is the complexity of the progranulin molecule.

Integration of benchtop focused ultrasound device with a collaborative software platform for image-guided exploration and user-centred design guidelines

Focused Ultrasound (FUS) is a therapeutic modality that can concentrate non-invasively mechanical energy far from its source in just a few cubic millimeters. FUS is used, by example, to treat brain disorders such as essential tremor. At research level, very diverse approaches are being explored.

The Effects of a Sub-Natural Background Radiation Environment 2km Underground on Biological Systems

Life on the planet has evolved in constant presence of radiation, some of which comes from space, and some of which comes from natural sources in the Earth. This natural background radiation (NBR) is a normal component of biological life. One way we can study the role of NBR in life is to see what the effects are when we take it away. This is difficult to do at the surface of the planet and requires that we go deep underground to shield out some of these parts of NBR.

Functional MRI investigation of the neural processes underlying pain modulation in human participants

Cannabis has been known to treat ailments for thousands of years, including conditions such as pain, cancer, arthritis, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis (MS) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Despite an increase in research dedicated to molecular and behavioural effects of cannabinoids, there has been no direct evidence to elucidate the effect of cannabis on pain-related areas in the human central nervous system.

Pharmacological inhibition of USP19 deubiquitinating enzyme as a novel therapy for muscle wasting

Muscle wasting is a common complication of many diseases such as cancer, chronic heart and lung disease and results in weakness, impaired quality of life and shortened survival. There are no drugs for the treatment of muscle wasting. We have identified a gene, USP19, in the ubiquitin pathway which is the major pathway of protein breakdown in cells. USP19 is activated in rodents in skeletal muscle wasting from many catabolic conditions. Mice lacking USP19 lose less muscle mass and strength in several conditions of muscle wasting.

Evaluating the health of primary human airway epithelial cell cultures grown at air-liquid interface

There are many ways for scientists to study lung diseases.  One way that scientists try to understand lung disease is by growing and examining lung cells in the lab.  While most cells are grown submerged in special liquid that provides the cells with nutrients, a more sophisticated model is to grow cells in an air liquid interface with the top surface of cells exposed to air and the bottom to the liquid with nutrition.  This more closely mimics the real life situation.  When cells are studied in air liquid interface it is very important to make sure they are not damaged by the experiment un