Preventing outbreaks of foodborne illness before they spread

Investigators determined that the source was contaminated vegetables from a popular Mexican fast-food restaurant chain. Although the outbreak had no fatalities, E. coli contamination poses a potentially deadly health risk and costs the North American food industry billions of dollars every year.

A simple solution in a single line

Robotic arm to aid with mental health treatment

TMS treatment involves the placement of a magnetic coil near a patient’s head. The coil produces magnetic pulses that induce currents in the patient’s brain. TMS is approved for mental health treatment in Canada and has had promising results treating illnesses such as depression and schizophrenia.

2015 Mitacs Postdoctoral Award for Outstanding Innovation: Pamela Ovadje, University of Windsor

Pamela Ovadje, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at University of Windsor is the recipient of the Mitacs Postdoctoral Award for Outstanding Innovation for her research with Calgary-based Advanced Orthomolecular Research (AOR) Inc.

Sensitizing compounds for cancer-treating viruses find new use in vaccine production

Beyond understanding how oncolytic viruses work, Rozanne and other researchers at the University of Ottawa have studied how these viruses can be enhanced with “viral sensitizers,” small molecules that increase their efficacy. Recently, her research into how viral sensitizers can therapeutically enhance oncolytic viruses has been published in the journal Nature Communications.

New product benefits from Accelerate intern’s expertise

But while the Halifax-based startup had worked-out the mechanical design of its brace, its team knew they needed people with expertise in body movement and rehabilitation to test it. That’s where Mitacs Accelerate came in. With expertise from two interns, Spring Loaded was able to make some big strides in its research.

One of those interns was physiotherapist Tony Ingram. Having just arrived from Newfoundland after completing his Masters in Kinesiology at Memorial University, Tony had an in-depth knowledge of knee function and chronic knee pain.

Finding new uses for existing drugs

During the summer of 2014, researchers at the University of Waterloo’s School of Pharmacy were looking into whether a group of drugs called selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) — normally used as anti-depressants — could be used to treat Alzheimer's.

Mitacs Entrepreneur Awards: Guillaume Brault, Inova Source

Mitacs thanks the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec for their support of the Accelerate research internship in this story. Across Canada, the Accelerate program also receives support from Alberta Innovates, the Government of British Columbia, the Government of New Brunswick, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Ontario, the Government of Prince Edward Island, the Government of Saskatchewan, and Research Manitoba.

The dollars and sense of choosing a new drug

When Actavis Specialty Pharmaceuticals Co. developed a new drug to treat uterine fibroids — benign tumors in a woman’s uterus — it partnered with Accelerate intern Bernice Tsoi to help create an economic model of the product. As a Health Research Methodology PhD student at McMaster University, conducting a thorough analysis of the drug’s costs and benefits was right up Bernice’s alley.

Taking the fast track to brain health

After doing her PhD at the University of Saskatchewan and returning to her home province of BC for a residency, Shawnda had a growing concern about how testing for mental illness and cognitive impairment was being done.

Currently, people have to go through lengthy tests of their concentration, learning, memory, reasoning, language, and other skills. Through Elevate, Shawnda began a two-year fellowship with Copeman Healthcare Centre, researching how much this process could be streamlined while maintaining its reliability.

Small company makes big advances in fighting antibiotic-resistant diseases and cancer

Chelation Partners’ approach to fighting antibiotic-resistant diseases is a novel one: cutting off their supply of iron. Without iron, bacteria have a tough time growing, and they’re more vulnerable to the effects of antibiotics. What’s more, Chelation Partners has discovered this tactic could also be applied to the fight against cancer. Cancer cells seem to be more sensitive to lower iron levels than other cells in the body, so reducing the availability of the metal might restrict the growth of cancer and boost the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

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