Approximately 5% of the population has a Spondylolisthesis (one of the lower vertebrae slips forward onto the bone directly beneath it). Non-invasive image-based assessment of this spinal structure is an increasing demand in healthcare service. However, the massive information embedded in the increasing large imaging scans has made manual inspection a lengthy and tedious task and observer dependent. The proposed research aims at a computer-aided spinal-scan assessment software toolkit facilitating the diagnosis of Spondylolisthesis.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.