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

Automatic Spondylolisthesis Grading

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.

Zebrafish high throughput screens for development of drugs targeting sepsis, stroke and other chronic diseases

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.

Specific Evaluation of Lesion Categories

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.

Next-generation antibody drug for immuno-oncology treatment: anti-TIM3 antibody development

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.

PET/MRI Imaging Development for Pre-clinical Neuroimaging Applications

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.