Optimization of Angiotensin II Receptor type 1 Blockers (ARBs) in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases (COPD) is a lung disease that cause a lot of suffering to the Canadian population. To accelerate the drug discovery process, an old blood pressure lowering medication was tested to block the progression of COPD. A patient study showed that the old medication did provide some protective effect to the lung airways of COPD patients. However, we have found that this old medication does not slow down COPD by lowering blood pressure, but rather by acting on a new, unknown target.

Characterization of striatal innervation by drNPC-A9 cells in a rat model of Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s Disease is the second most common neurological disorder. Over the course of the disease the brain cells that produce dopamine are slowly dying. The loss of these dopamine-producing cells means that less dopamine is available in the brain, causing many symptoms such as tremors. Unfortunately, brain cells cannot regenerate, so a patient’s symptoms will worsen over time. In the current project we aim to investigate human dopamine cells (i.e. drNPC-A9) that were grown in a petri-dish by New World Laboratories.

Therapeutic Intervention of Cannabinoids in a Pre-Clinical Rat Model of PTSD

National Legalization of Cannabis has occurred in Canada. Very little is known about the different compounds in the Cannabis Plant. The two main compounds are THC and CBD. Both of them have shown some benefits for different conditions. We would like to determine the best dose and ratio of compounds within the Cannabis plant for PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and Anxiety to build evidence for a large-scale clinical trial. More data will help support safe and effective use of Cannabis, which may provide an alternative to traditional pharmaceuticals.

Pilot-scale preparation of phospholipid-free small unilamellar vesicle formulations with potential in treatment of hepatic diseases

Lipid-based nanoparticular drug formulations are a successful technique to enable targeted treatment. The Canadian company Precision Nanosystems Inc. (PNI) develops the innovative instrument family NanoAssemlr for lipid nanoparticle preparation based on microfluidics. These instruments are fast, easy-to-use and provide a high batch-to-batch reproducibility and quality. Recently, we developed a novel lipid nanoparticle formulation with the unique feature of selective liver targeting, which could only be prepared with NanoAssemlr Benchtop at relatively small scale.

Cell Preservation Techniques for Novel Probiotics

The purpose of this project is to develop encapsulation technologies that enable probiotic cells to maintain their dormancy and shelf stability within new food products. The project covers a discovery, validation, and scale-up phase. It addresses the use of various materials to produce capsules of probiotics and formulation of different products using them. The outcome of this project will allow DoseBiome to formulate probiotics in different kinds of food with extended stability, shelf life, and potency for everyday consumers.

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.

In Vitro Screening and Validation of Phyto-Cannabinoids in Glaucoma

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 this project, we test several components from marijuana extracts that are unlikely to cause psychoactive symptoms, for their therapeutic effects on glaucoma. This project is likely to be the solid base of a future drug that could help lots of glaucoma patients and meet the need of the market.

Translation of a Personalized Genetic Medicine Vector Production System

Mediphage Bioceuticals aims to leverage its DNA ministring platform for personalized genetic medicine. Mediphage Bioceuticals Inc. greatly appreciate Mitacs Accelerate program in providing support to (1) validate msDNA for gene delivery by carrying out a two-phase study, (2) develop and validate phage display libraries for the specific targeting and delivery to target host cells, and (3) determine potential targets for gene therapy in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease with examination of potential negative effects of bacteriophage vector platforms.

Sex: It’s a matter of the heart

Heart failure is a complex cardiovascular disease with increasing global burden while the prognosis for patients remains poor. Risk factors and the type of heart failure differ between men and women. These differences can be due to sex – referring to biological differences – or gender – referring to social differences. In our project we will study the role of genetics in the different types of heart failure in men and women, using models that distinguish the contribution of both sex and gender.

Improving Primary Care in Older Patients: a Focus on Safe and Appropriate Medications

Seniors take many medications during their lifetime. As seniors age, some of these medications may become unnecessary or even harmful. The process of stopping a medication that has the potential to cause more harm than benefit is called deprescribing. Physicians are more in the habit of prescribing than deprescribing, even though patients like the idea of getting off some of their pills if they can. The goal of this project is to use technology to support physicians in the deprescribing process.

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