NeuroRx is an imaging contract research organization (CRO) specialized in the central nervous system (CNS). This company utilizes state-of-the-art digital image processing techniques to produce accurate and precise outcome measures for clinical trials of drugs in development. Prior to analysis, all scans must pass Quality Control (QC). The goal of my project is to incorporate advanced computer algorithms to automatically classify the quality of high-resolution structural brain Magnetic Resonance Images. The advanced computer algorithms will include deep learning algorithms.
Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) is a common form of leukemia that affects approximately 3 people per 100,000 individuals, and is the most common form of cancer in children and adolescents. Current therapies are effective in children, however, treatment success in infants, adolescents, and adults needs improvement. Indeed, there is a need for new chemotherapeutic drugs and drug formulations that can improve survival rates in susceptible age groups, reduce relapse rates, and improve outcomes in relapsed patients.
A higher incidence of colon cancer is reported in populations consuming high amounts of red meat, as well as in patients with inflammatory bowel disease, where gut bacteria participate in the development of inflammation. We found that dietary supplementation with heme, an element found at high levels in blood, is detrimental to gut health and it fosters the growth of harmful bacteria. In this project, we propose to establish new procedures for both the manipulation of the gut bacteria (microbiota), as well as its characterization using a new state of the art sequencer.
The research intern will be working with Sportball to offer one of their multi-sport after-school programs to children who are living with serious heart defects. Physical activity has many health benefits for children, and after-school programs are an effective way to increase daily physical activity levels. Children living with heart disease are a vulnerable group who dont regularly participate in physical activity, putting them at risk of developing chronic diseases later in life.
Using growth media available from Stemcell technologies, along with our own tools and techniques, we can isolate and grow intestinal stem cells from mice or human patient donors into enteroid cultures. Enteroids are 3D cell cultures that replicate many of the structures and types of cells found in the intestinal lining. We propose to work with Stemcell technologies to continue to develop their growth media for enteroid culture and apply these new media and techniques to further or understanding of how these cells help the body defend against infection.
Food safety is a major concern and current approaches may take weeks to detect harmful bacteria that has contaminated food. This project involves the development of a rapid detection test kit to allow food processors to see if food has been contaminated by potentially harmful bacteria before the food is sent to market. The interns’ main objectives are to develop these rapid test kits working with our industrial partner. The kit will benefit food processors by finding contamination before food is shipped from their plants while the consumer benefit by having safer food.
Pulmonary arterial Hypertension (PAH) is a severe disease that affects both the pulmonary vasculature and the heart with no curative options. The apelinergic system which can be defined by the cell surface receptor APJ, mostly expressed in the heart and vessels, and its endogenous ligands Apelin and ELABELA appear as a promising therapeutic pathway in the context of cardiovascular dysfunction.
Acute myocardial infarction (commonly known as a heart attack) is a major disease of the cardiovascular system and a leading cause of death and hospitalization in North America. It results in 7.4 million deaths globally per annum. Current clinical medications only prevent the disease but cannot cure it after a heart attack occurs. Scientific evidence suggests that DAPK1 is a vital protein that can cause heart damage during a heart attack, and I have created a compound that is able to reduce the level DAPK1 in the heart so as to prevent heart damage.
Regular physical activity has well known health benefits. Paradoxically, exercise can increase the risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD) in those with underlying disease. Sports-related SCDs account for approximately 90% of all SCDs. Pre-participation screening can detect underlying disease and decrease sports-related SCD. Optimal screening methods have not been universally agreed and Canadian Masters athletes are not currently required to have a cardiovascular screen before participation in sport.
The development of effective immunotherapies, vaccines and immunomodulatory drugs are the main success stories from the last years in drugs development for cancer, infectious diseases and chronic disorders. We are developing a simple and robust new platform to evaluate the next generation of immunotherapeutics treatments at pre-clinical stage. This platform is called Immune Complex Phagocytic Assessment (ICPA).