Facial expression identification over a time series of images

Facial expression is a universal language to convey emotions and significantly affects social interactions. While psychologists have investigated facial expressions for decades, they have recently found their way into human-computer interactions and the gaming industry. A lot of research has been published on automatic detection of human emotions given either a single image or a series of images. In this project, we propose a new method for facial expression interpretation over a time series of images.

Automated Fatty Liver Diagnosis

Up to 30% of the population has a Fatty Liver Disease (FLD, a condition in which fat builds up in your liver). Non-invasive ultrasound assessment of this liver condition is an increasing demand in healthcare service due to its high risks leads to advanced liver diseases. However, an ultrasound-based examination has made the manual inspection a lengthy and tedious task and observer dependent. The proposed research aims at a computer-aided liver ultrasound assessment software toolkit facilitating the diagnosis of FLD.

Investigation of the role of CDK10 in pancreatic cancer growth and metastasis

This collaboration between the Tai Lab at BC Cancer Agency and the biotechnology company STEMCELL will validate a 3D culturing system that supports the growth of normal and malignant pancreatic stem cells. Specifically, we hope to optimize the culturing condition for the growth media to ensure efficient and reproducible outcomes for pancreatic stem cells growing in a 3D system. Various media formulations will be tested to establish a cell culturing system and protocol for the pancreatic tissue.

Systematic evaluation and optimization of immune-targeting modalities for GBM and brain metastases.

The Centre for the Commercialization of Antibodies and Biologics (CCAB) is working with Empirica Therapeutics (Empirica), a Canadian start-up company focused on developing data-driven treatments for cancer, to address the unmet medical needs of glioblastoma (GBM), the most common adult malignant primary brain tumor. Current therapies are only partly effective, with frequent relapse and poor patient survival, which correlates with the presence of CD133+ brain tumor-initiating cells that are also implicated in treatment-resistant GBM. By partnering with Dr.

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.

Predicting Scleral Lens Rotation Based on Corneoscleral Toricity

Patients with corneal disease often require treatment with scleral lenses. Unlike regular soft contact lenses, these lenses are much larger and have a space between the cornea and the lens that is filled with fluid before lens application. These lenses are extremely useful in cases of extremely ocular dryness and in patients with irregular corneas. Adjusting these lenses to perfectly mold the surface of the eye is of the utmost importance to ensure that the patient is comfortable and sees well with their lenses.

Validation of Novel, Tumor Microenvironment-based Targets for Biological Therapeutics

ImmunoBiochem is developing novel anti-cancer therapeutics to address unmet need in intractable solid tumors. Because solid tumors are highly heterogeneous and evasive, recognizing cancerous cells, while avoiding damage to normal tissue, is a challenge. As a result, many targeted therapies quickly come up against resistance, resulting in patient relapses. ImmunoBiochem is solving the issue of tumor versus normal recognition by exploiting cancer targets in the tumor environment – a collection of features that are uniquely present in tumors and absent in the environment of normal cells.

A capacity building initiative for rural community health research in Northern Newfoundland and coastal Labrador

Rural physicians are well positioned to conduct impactful community-based research but their research progress is often impeded by scarce funding and a lack of research assistance to bring projects to fruition. These issues are profound in Northern Newfoundland and coastal Labrador (NNCL), some of the most geographically remote areas of the province.

Visualization of lipid and protein deposition on contact lenses in a sophisticated in vitro eye-blink model

Contact lens discomfort is one of the primary reasons that cause people to stop wearing them. The discomfort may be due to the buildup of tear film components on the lenses during lens wear. The purpose of this project is to understand where most of the tear film components are depositing on the lens, such as the back or front of the lens. These findings will help researchers and companies develop better and more comfortable contact lens materials in the future.

Probiotics for Animal Health - neonatal and pre-weaned calf

This project aims to develop a novel collection of probiotics for animal health, specifically newborn and pre-weaned calves. Probiotics are a safe and sustainable way of ensuring the health of animals in the agricultural industry. The probiotics will be designed to decrease the morbidity and mortality rates in pre-weaned calves, and to increase the long-term health of the animal, which will directly affect production (both beef and dairy).