Validation of Selective Phytocannabinoids Using In Vitro Glaucoma Models

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world, mainly induced by increased pressure in the eye. Marijuana has been shown to reduce such pressure, thus benefit glaucoma patients. In the previous project, we screened several individual components from marijuana extracts and tested their ability on keeping cells alive. The current project puts an emphasis on neuroprotection and therapeutic aspects of glaucoma. We propose to target and analyse the effect of our selected compound for major downstream pathways that are significantly modulated in to Glaucoma pathology.

Assessment of DNA Ministring technology in cell transfection and the treatment of Colorectal Cancer (CRC) - Year two

Despite the power of gene therapy, its successful application to medicine has been diminished due to: (i) high toxicities and potentially fatal adverse effects; (ii) poor transgene expression in target cells; and (iii) extensive vector degradation. While viral vectors greatly improve efficiency, they sometimes lead to cancers due to chromosomal integration and may suffer from a lack of desired tissue selectivity. In contrast, nonviral systems have proven safer, but less efficient.

Novel Treatments for bladder inflammation and pain

Interstitial cystitis is an inflammatory disease of the urinary bladder and is recognized as a serious medical condition associated with a profoundly negative impact on patients? quality of life. Currently, there are no widely acknowledged causes of this disorder and no effective treatments available. Panag is a Halifax based drug company which focuses on development of novel therapeutic treatments which can be used to alleviate both pain and inflammation associated with IC. The goal of our research is to provide IC patients with symptom and pain relief, as well as to improve outcome.

Cannabis used for medical purposes by children in Canada

Cannabis products are being used for a variety of conditions. In Canada, there are no cannabis products approved for use in children. Without evidence from clinical trials doctors are hesitant to recommend cannabis products for children. In order for doctors to feel confident in advising parents on medical cannabis they need better information on if these products work, how to dose them and long-term safety. Our national collaboration between parents, doctors, researchers, industry and policy makers will study the use of medical cannabis in children.

Fibrostenotic Crohn’s disease: Regulation of Fibrosis and inflammation with Cannabigerol and other cannabinoids

The goal of the project is to determine if the cannabis-derived, non-psychoactive compound, cannabigerol (CBG) (a key component of Cannabis), which is known to reduce inflammation in a mouse model of colon inflammation, can also prevent intestinal strictures (fibrosis) and narrowing of the intestine in the setting of intestinal inflammation. We will use cell culture and animal models that develop key features of fibrosis, to determine if CBG can prevent fibrosis and stricture formation.

ATP citrate lyase (ACLY) as a novel anti-cancer drug target for hepatocellular carcinoma

The net 5-year survival rate for patients suffering from liver cancer is less then 20 percent and the number of cases is rapidly increasing in Canada. Unfortunately, currently available oral chemotherapies can only extend median survival by 3 - 4 months making the development of new and effective drug treatments critical. The proposed study aims to pave the way for a new class of drugs to help fight liver cancer and give hope to patients suffering from this deadly disease.

Development and Optimization of Advanced High-Throughput Behavioural Testing Platforms for the Screening of Mouse Models of Schizophrenia

Operant chambers equipped with touchscreens are a new technology that has been used for the mass behavioural phenotyping of rodent models of neurological disease. These chambers have the potential to make behavioural testing more reliable, faster, and translationally valid to human cognitive testing. To further increase the utility of these systems, technology capable of tracking animal behaviour in the chamber will be integrated into the operant system.

Applying Traditional Chinese Medicine to Osteoporosis

Herbal medicines are mainly used to maintain health, prevent diseases and treat chronic conditions. Although many Canadians have taken or are regularly take herbal products, there still are concerns about the safety and quality of these products. Osteoporosis is a chronic disease called silent thief since there are no symptoms until bone fractures happened. The fractures from osteoporosis are more common than heart attack, stroke and breast cancer combined. Especially for women approaching or being in menopause, lose 2-3% of their bone mass each year.

Formulation scale-up and characterization for a manganese-based contrast agent

To design effective and patient-specific cancer therapy, sensitive detection of relapse and distant metastases by non-invasive medical imaging is essential, for which MRI offers tremendous potential due to wide availability of the equipment in clinic and avoidance of ionizing radiation. Although gadolinium-based contrast agents are the most frequently used for MRI, they are associated with nephrogenic systemic fibrosis and brain deposition. Thus, less toxic manganese ions (Mn2+) are exploited as an alternative for tumor detection using MRI.

Airway-On-A-Chip: Development and In Vitro Validation of A Microfluidic Cell Culture Model for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an inflammatory disorder of the lung, and one that affects 2.6 million Canadians and 380 million people worldwide. Although the disease affects a large population worldwide the therapies used for treatment remain imprecise. With the lack of disease modifying therapies there is a pressing need to discover novel targets to promote new therapeutic discoveries and ultimately improve the care and health outcomes of patients with COPD.

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