Safe, Legal… and Inclusive? A Qualitative Study Exploring Trans Youth’s Experiences Accessing Abortion Care in British Columbia

Almost all abortion research focuses on cisgender women’s experiences. What little is known about trans people’s abortion experiences is the result of a handful of USA-based studies. At present, no Canadian trans abortion data exists despite unique delivery and access challenges within this context. This study is guided by two questions: 1) How do trans youth describe their experiences accessing abortion within the British Columbia healthcare system? 2) What factors impact whether abortion services are experienced as youth-friendly, gender-affirming and supportive?

Evaluating extended-release injectable buprenorphine in a Canadian setting

Canada is in the midst of an opioid epidemic. Although oral opioid agonist therapies (OAT) are effective for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD), a number of barriers pose a significant challenge to treatment initiation and retention. In 2018, Health Canada approved a new medication for OUD, a once-monthly injection, which may be able to address challenges related to medication adherence. The current project aims to support a larger observational study that assess the feasibility, efficacy, and safety of this new treatment option.

Moving Towards Equitable Sexual Health Care in British Columbia: Centring the Voices of Youth in Policy and Practice

Equitable sexual healthcare services, such as contraception care, particularly for youth (aged 15-29), is a growing issue throughout Canada as the rates of sexual transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancies are increasing. Youth contraception use is lower in rural communities in comparison to urban centres. However, there is minimal research that understands how youth in rural communities access sexual care services and their reproductive healthcare needs.

Developing a surrogate marker to asthmatic tissue: the nasal cavity

Our research proposal will explore the unified airway theory and determine whether the sinuses express biological similarities to the lungs in participants who only clinically present with Chronic Rhinosinusitis (CRS)or asthma and not with both diseases. The unified airway theory suggests that the lower (lungs) and upper (sinuses) airways are intrinsically connected and function together as one unit and the biological processes, such as inflammation, in the lower airway are similar in the upper airway.

Deep Immunophenotyping of the Immune Response in Obstructive and Interstitial Lung Disease: Optimizing a Cellular and Protein Biomarker Discovery Pipeline for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), is a chronic debilitating lung disorder that affects thousands of Canadians and millions of individuals worldwide. The signs and symptoms of IPF often overlap with other common respiratory illnesses making a definitive diagnosis of this disease difficult. As a result, patients are frequently misdiagnosed and treated with inappropriate therapies. As such, there is a unmet clinical need to develop blood-based biomarkers for the confirmation of IPF to minimize the incidence of misdiagnosis.

Improved Phenotyping of Macrophages Using Cell Line Models, Gene Expression Signatures, and Protein Secretion Data

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a 3rd leading cause of death, which decreases lung function due to irreversible airway obstruction. Lung immune cells, such as macrophages, play an important role in the disease progression. However, researchers don’t fully understand their diversity and functions. Models of macrophages are useful to better understand patient macrophages. We will first obtain 3 types of model macrophages and compare their characteristics (such as gene expression and secreted proteins) with recently published COPD alveolar macrophage data from literature.

Rational Nanoparticle Design for Efficient Transmucosal Gene Delivery

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is the most common fatal genetic disease affecting Canadian children and young adults, without a cure. Nanoparticles (NPs) have emerged as a promising strategy for delivering genetic treatments for various diseases. However, the development of NPs to treat CF has encountered many obstacles. This is mostly because the human airways, which constantly secrete mucous, pose a challenging environment for the efficient NP-mediated delivery of gene therapy. Several strategies have been proposed and tested; however, rational design criteria for these NPs are still missing.

Multi-SNP prediction model for lung function decline

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a 3rd leading cause of death (1) which decreases lung function due to irreversible airway obstruction. The main indicator of the progression of COPD is a rate of the forced expiratory volume of 1 second (FEV1) decline. The intern will build the prediction model for the slope of FEV1 decline and find the genetic variants that affect these FEV1 changes. Some variable selection machine learning algorithms will be applied to screen important genetic variants and the performance of prediction on FEV1 change will be compared.

Eng/aging and HIV: Knowledge Exchange Between Administrative Data Project and Aging Individuals with HIV/AIDS in British Columbia

To an unprecedented degree in the history of HIV/AIDS, people with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) are aging largely owing to the success of treatment. As a relatively new phenomenon, research on HIV/AIDS and aging is only just emerging, and remains largely epidemiological in focus. One leading epidemiological study called COAST comes from the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, a world-renowned HIV/AIDS research organization. COAST assembles administrative epidemiological data to examine aging PLHIV health trends in B.C.

Best Practice Framework for Healthcare Innovation Infrastructure, Implementation and Learning Campus

This study focuses on identifying best practices to guide the development of the PHC healthcare innovation and learning campus. PHC and the UBC research team seeks to build a design structure matrix (DSM) to inform the PHC about governance, key process, organizing structures, operating practices, intellectual property (IP), partnering approaches, partnership agreements, and implementation plans for developing an innovation hub ecosystem.