Air Ambulance and Pre-Hospital Emergency Care in Northern Labrador: An Evidence Mobilization Project

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.

Development of Coxsackievirus B3 as an Oncolytic Virus for KRAS-Mutant Lung Cancer Treatment

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.

Implementation of a low barrier hydromorphone distribution program to prevent fatal overdoses

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.

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.

One Child at a Time One Family at a Time

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.

Evaluating deposition of tear film components on contact lenses in a sophisticated in vitro eye-blink model

Contact lenses are one of the most successful biomedical devices on the market, with approximately 140 million wearers worldwide. Despite their success, these devices still struggle with discomfort, which ultimately leads people to stop using the product. One of the reasons is the buildup of tear film components on contact lenses while wearing them. The objective of this project is to understand how tear film components deposit on contact lenses using a sophisticated eye model. This eye model, OcuBlink, was developed by the partner organization, and simulates some key properties of the eye.

Discovery of Novel E3 Ligands for PROTAC Development

Protein degradation induced by PROTACs (PROteolysis TArgeting Chimeras) constitutes a novel modality of drug discovery, with advantages over the traditional approach. This approach is still at infancy and there is a lot to learn in this field. The trainees will work under academic supervisors at University of Toronto, who are experts in chemical tool development in collaboration with Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC), Toronto to expand the number of chemical tools and technologies, which will enhance the scope and understanding of PROTAC drug development.

The development of a novel oncolytic virotherapy for acute myeloid leukemia

Modern molecularly targeted therapies have shown promise in treating some blood cancers, but a cure remains elusive for most acute blood cancer patients. This is largely due to the survival of some blood cancer cells that possess unique properties and can cause treatment failure or relapse, highlighting the need for new therapies. In collaboration with Virogin Biotech Ltd, we aim to develop an innovative oncolytic virotherapy to effectively target acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patient cells that are resistant to current therapies.

HEAL-Me: Home-based eHealth (Exercise and Nutrition) in Cirrhosis

For patients with end-stage disease, like cirrhosis, their only treatment option is life-saving organ transplantation. The wait for an organ can take many years over which the patient's condition continues to deteriorate as there is no other treatment. However, maintaining physical activity and a good nutritional intake is necessary to remain on the wait and have successful health outcomes post-transplantation.

Parallel Radiofrequency Transmission Technology for Magnetic Resonance Imaging at 3 Tesla - Year two

Funds are requested for one fellow to work in the laboratory of Dr. Simon Graham at Sunnybrook Research Institute, Toronto, in partnership with Siemens Healthcare Limited. The fellow will work on development of prototype instrumentation that will enable a technique called "parallel radiofrequency transmission (PTX)” to be implemented flexibly for research purposes on a Siemens 3 T MRI system at the Institute.

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