Diagnostic screening for conscious awareness in brain injury and disease: Visual component

Since the mid 1970s, medical personnel have used the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) as an important tool to rate and describe levels of consciousness. This scale is rudimentary and subjective, often resulting in misdiagnoses in cases where people lack the capacity to communicate. In some unfortunate situations, severe neurological damage can render people unable to move. Inevitably, these people are deemed vegetative when in actuality; many are simply ‘locked in’. Family members and professionals alike are left wondering…are they in there?

Understanding Stress Signaling in Childhood Cancers: ROS signaling pathways

The Sorensen laboratory-based Childhood Cancer Research Program is specifically focused on elucidating the genetic and biological determinants of the metastatic process in childhood cancer. Metastatic disease remains the single most dominant driver of adverse outcome in most childhood cancers, particularly in childhood sarcomas. There are two basic strategies in the program for studying metastatic disease in childhood cancers. The first is to focus on cell stress signaling.

Neurological structures extraction and analysis for spinal disease diagnosis and intervention

31 pairs of spinal nerves, containing both sensory and motor nerve fibers, serves two important functions: pathway for sensory, motor impulses and are essential for spinal reflexes. Damage of spinal nerves has been one of the major concerns in diagnosis, treatment and spinal intervention. This project proposes to promptly and accurately extract neurological structures from MRI images. Once achieved, the partner organizations can use this for surgical planning and treatment. It will greatly improve their efficiency and reduce complications during surgical interventions.

PET/MR imaging in lung cancer radiotherapy applications

Recently, a new whole-body PET/MRI scanner was developed and installed at St. Joseph’s Healthcare in London, Ontario and remains the only installation in Canada. Two major challenges concerning PET imaging include the need for correcting for loss of photons, called attenuation, due to interactions with patient tissues and the impact of respiratory induced organ/tumour motion during scanning. Corrections for attenuation are currently performed using X-ray CT.

Effect of novel iron chelators on cell growth inhibition by anti-mitotic drugs and irradiation

Iron is required for the growth of all animal cells, being necessary for the proper function of diverse enzyme systems and the expression of certain genes, as well as for the production of oxygen radicals that function as signal transduction intermediates and help defend against microorganisms.

Detection and quantification of organ toxicity biomarkers

In recent years, the interest given to disease biomarkers has boomed. Biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies are exploring ways to use biomarkers to speed up the drug development process, as well as to rapidly assess  diseases state, staging, progression and response to therapy. Multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) Mass Spectrometry (MS) has been shown to be well suited for the selective and sensitive quantification of proteins in plasma and has recently emerged as the technology of choice for disease biomarker study.

Efficacy of intravenous TCAP-1 administration in reducing stress on the expression of cocaine-related behaviours

Corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) is a chemical found naturally in the brain that plays a key role in the mammalian stress response. CRF is also known to be involved in anxiety and mood disorders, as well as in various aspects of drug dependence, including long-term relapse to drug use. The teneurin C-terminal associated peptides (TCAP) comprise a chemical system in the brain that may serve to naturally regulate CRF activity.

A novel analgesic in a surgical model of osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of joint disease affecting over 80% of the human population above 75 years old and burdening health organizations worldwide. Osteoarthritis is characterized by progressive joint degeneration resulting in chronic pain and loss of joint function. Currently there is no cure for osteoarthritis; available treatments are only symptomatic targeting pain and are associated with significant side effects, emphasizing the need for new treatments.

Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) as an alternative decision making framework for health technology assessment in Canada

Decision-making frameworks for Health Technology Assessment (HTA) have become a major topic in developed nations in recent years. Indeed, the quest for more rational and transparent HTA decision led many jurisdictions to investigate the use of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) as an alternative decision-making framework. In Canada, the development of a MCDA framework for HTA decision-making is in its infancy. Indeed, to our knowledge, only one MCDA framework has been proposed and tested in the country.

Investigation of adverse effects and healing factor properties of a novel formulation from Blue-O

The appearance of multidrug resistance of pathogens is challenging the researcher and industrial communities to develop more efficacious antimicrobial treatments. Blue-O Technology Incorporation (Blue-O Tech) has developed a novel formulation of medicine that accelerates the wound healing, while having an excellent antimicrobial strength over a broad spectrum of pathogens. The objectives of this study are to evaluate the cytotoxic effects, the immunological response, and the healing properties of this novel medicine prior to its marketing and commercialization.