Drug use in older persons is a major public health concern. Even though therapeutic drugs are beneficial for patients’ health in terms of survival or quality of life, patients aged >65 years have a greater risk of developing drug-related complications.
Obesity and diabetes are a significant global burden and there is an immediate need for novel treatments and management strategies. Our lab has shown that an avocadoderived lipid is a potent inhibitor of fatty acid oxidation (i.e., the cellular breakdown of fat for energy) which reduces mouse weight gain without toxicity. Inhibition of fatty acid oxidation for the management and treatment of obesity and diabetes is an established therapeutic strategy. The objectives of this project are two-fold.
Bones undergo a renewal process by replenishing calcium mineral through a cellular process known as remodeling. Usually, it happens in a balanced manner, but in many bone diseases, the remodeling process is increased with regional bone metabolism. Bisphosphonate (BP) drugs selectivity and strongly bind to bone mineral and become incorporated at active sites of bone turnover in an increased amount.
The proposed project, performed with the company Immune Biosolutions, aims to develop superior antibodies for biological targets of interest for the treatment of colorectal cancer. Specifically, these targets are a class of proteins expressed on cell surface, which are notoriously difficult for the development of antibodies. The method involves making molecules look like the biological target, in order to elicit antibody responses which are more specific to the targets.
Cancer cells are known for their unique capacity to survive and grow in a low oxygen tension environment in the middle of a poorly vascularized solid tumor. This adaptation, which is central to the tumorigenesis process, is mediated by precise cellular mechanisms allowing the regulation of gene expression. Thus, the development of small molecules to modulate the activity of transcription factors is of great therapeutic interest. In order to develop such molecules, we plan to finance, with the help of IntelliSyn Pharma and Mitacs, one M.Sc. student.
In the CNS the majority of excitatory synapses are formed onto specialized structures known as dendritic spines which can undergo shape changes in the time frame of minutes to days. This inherent structural plasticity of dendritic spines even lasts into adulthood. It is still unclear why certain spines are more likely to be maintained, to provide a physical substrate for long-term information storage, while others are more structurally plastic. We have recently discovered a novel process by which mature dendritic spines can be maintained.
Many diseases, including cancer, afflict the intestines. This is in large part due to the continuous renewal of epithelial cells, and the exposure to toxins from the diet and to infectious agents. Inflammation also contributes to the genesis of cancer, as illustrated by the link between chronic and ulcerative colitis and colorectal cancer (CRC). Caspases, a family of cysteinyl peptidases, play a crucial role in both inflammation and cancer avoidance via cytokine productions and apoptosis (cell death), respectively.
Opioids are the most efficacious analgesics known, and elective in the treatment of acute severe pain. In contrast, their use in the management of chronic pain syndromes remains limited, requiring a compromise between preserving analgesic efficacy and controlling side effects such as respiratory depression, somnolence, nausea, constipation as well as abuse, dependence and analgesic tolerance.
Cardiovascular disease and sepsis are two of the biggest public health problems in North America. Increasing evidence further suggests they are linked. Recent studies in human healthy volunteers and in chronic heart failure patients have highlighted the apelin system as a potential target for drug development. We therefore propose to fully validate pre-clinically the potential of apelin as a new target for cardiovascular disease and septic shock.
Ginseng is a medicinal plant with a long history of traditional use. The medicinal properties of ginseng root have been attributed to two main classes of chemical compounds: ginsenosides and polysaccharides. While much is known about ginsenoside pharmacology, less is known about polysaccharide pharmacology. One of the most important properties of ginseng root polysaccharides is their ability to stimulate the immune system.