Spinal cord injury (SCI) results in severe paralysis, for which there are no effective treatments. Advanced technologies, however, can play an important role in assisting in the diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of SCI patients who suffer many impairments beyond the loss of voluntary muscle control. In this proposal, we will develop and apply innovative technologies for SCI. We will develop a novel biosensor for the injured cord to inform doctors how to best support its healing in the early stages of injury.
Our proposed research is to create an algorithm capable of pre-evaluating diabetes patients’ meals before they consume them with the snap of a picture. We are attempting to accomplish this goal by employing AI, machine learning as well as computer vision for real-time analysis. Our goal is to analyse a users meal to return an accurate carb count and offer portion size adjustments to reduce their blood sugar fluctuations.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is an important disease characterized by recurrent blockages of the upper airway during sleep leading to breathing cessations (up to 100 times per hour); OSA is common and is widely under-diagnosed. OSA might cause cancer or lead to cancer progression, potentially mediated through low oxygen levels; however, evidence for this association is limited. This research study will use rigorous methods to determine if there is a potential link between OSA and cancer; specifically, we will link our large database of approximately 1800 patients with suspected OSA.
Radiodermatitis is a group of skin reactions that occur as a result of radiation therapy. It is a significant health challenge as approximately 70% of all cancer patients receive radiation therapy and approximately 95% of them experience radiodermatitis. Patients with radiodermatitis experience redness, itchiness, pain, scaling, and weeping or crusted wounds. Importantly, radiodermatitis can impede cancer treatments. Current treatments for radiodermatitis have shown limited efficacy; thus, improving our understanding of radiodermatitis and developing novel therapies are urgent needs.
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common cancer type. Although it can be surgically removed, to confirm the clean removal by histology is time-consuming, which complicates the treatment and results in many incomplete removals. We propose to develop a special microscopy imaging platform that can image the skin tissue directly without sectioning and staining. This will enable detection of residual tumor cells by examining the excised fresh tissue samples on site during the surgery, providing immediate guidance for improving the treatment procedures.
Inflammatory Bowel disease (IBD) affects over 200,000 Canadians. Individuals with IBD have significantly greater risk of developing colorectal cancer. Unfortunately, the screening for colorectal cancer that is currently provided to the general population is inadequate for this group. White light colonoscopy is currently the gold standard but is challenging, as lesions are sometimes difficult to identify. Thus, random biopsies, in addition to targeted biopsies of abnormalities visualized by white light, are often performed.
Canada population is getting older as the baby boomers enter their retirement years and the current models for communal care will not be able to scale to meet the demand and continuing to age in place and live independently is preferred leading to the best quality of life and outcomes. The recent COVID pandemic experience has made some of the challenges in communal care and provision of remote care clear.
We propose to develop a novel, clinically relevant MRI based technique for prostate cancer detection. We also propose to develop a novel reporting system that would be more accurate and easier to use by the radiologists. The new technique will be first developed on a research MRI scanner at UBC, and subsequently implemented on the clinical MRI scanner at VGH. The main benefit to the hospital will be a new, improved MRI technique for prostate cancer detection and grading.
Many children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) have problems with attention and executive functions (EF). Cognitive interventions have great potential to improve attention/EF and related skills (e.g., academic learning, social function, behaviour etc.), but few such interventions exist with even fewer that can be delivered at home. In light of COVID-19, parent-delivered interventions are crucial for continuity of healthcare for children with ASD. We will evaluate the efficacy of a new attention/EF intervention (Dino Island), as delivered by parents at home to their children with ASD.