A new technological paradigm for low-cost, decentralized vaccine manufacture at point-of-use

Vaccines are a vital part of society’s arsenal for preventing the spread of infectious diseases. Since they are challenging to produce, vaccine manufacturing is largely concentrated in select locations in the developed world. This situation presents steep obstacles to transporting them to people in the developing world who need them the most. Moreover, transportation and storage comprises roughly half the cost of a vaccine dose.

Antigen tracking of the DepoVaxTM-R9F cancer vaccine using MRI

Immunovaccine Inc. is developing cancer vaccines using the company’s DepoVaxTM vaccine technology. DepoVax is a patented formulation that displays excellent tumor control and provides a long lasting and specific effect. The way by which this vaccine exerts its effect is unclear but the translational team at Immunovaccine is determined to discover its mechanism of action and why their proprietary DepoVax technology delivers superior responses in comparison to other vaccines.

Eastside Works: Information System Support and Evaluation

EMBERS Eastside Works (EW) is a new low barrier employment centre in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. EW helps people in the Downtown Eastside make connections to the world of work, earn income, and improve their livelihoods. The proposed research will work with EW to develop a database and information system that fits their needs, while informing a larger UBC research study on individual’s economic activity and how it affects their health and well-being in the downtown eastside.

Crystallization and mechanism of action studies of antibody NB0940 binding to Poliovirus receptor

Significant advances in technologies related to antibody discovery and development have allowed therapeutic antibodies to become the fastest growing class of biopharmaceuticals over the last 20 years. Northern Biologics is a biotechnology company that seeks to develop therapeutic antibodies for the treatment of cancer and fibrosis. Together with Dr. Jean-Philippe Julien at SickKids (University of Toronto), the intern will work with Northern Biologics to develop and characterize antibodies against cellular receptors that show aberrant signaling in several diseases including cancer.

Microbial contamination of TransX diesel fuel tanks.

The TransX Group of Companies is Canada’s largest privately owned transportation company. Its mission is to provide integrated transportation solutions to businesses throughout North America. In the fall of 2017, the Winnipeg office of TransX discovered that diesel fuel tanks for their long-haul refrigeration units contained a sludge-like, microbial biofilm and that the fuel filters from these tanks to the generators running the refrigeration compressors were becoming clogged. Dr. David Levin, in the Department of Biosystems Engineering at the University of Manitoba.

Chitosan-derivatives as a platform for drug and protein delivery

Triozan™ is a safe, biodegradable and biocompatible hydrophilic and highly quaternized biopolymer with advantageous physicochemical properties that enables an efficient encapsulation and protection of drug molecules against degradation while simultaneously maintaining therapeutic integrity. We propose to encapsulate three drug candidates into nanogels formed from Triozan to enhance their therapeutic application and overcome multiple barriers such as multi-drug resistance phenomenon present in bacteria and in cancer cells as well as biological barriers such as the hematoencephalic barrier

Urban bat ecology in the Metro Vancouver region

Bats often use urban areas, but ecologists lack understanding of where they roost and forage. Bats are important predators on insect pests, including mosquitoes, so understanding their requirements is important. This need is made more critical by the likely imminent spread of an exotic fungal pathogen that causes white-nose syndrome, which is often lethal to bats. Our proposed work will support a MSc student who will examine summer roosts in the Metro Vancouver region.

Buffer Width and the Persistence of Black Duck Populations in Forested Wetlands of New Brunswick, Canada

The American Black Duck is the most abundant breeding waterfowl species in New Brunswick (NB), and, although previously common throughout New Brunswick (NB), notable declines in breeding black duck abundance have been reported in the commercially forested area of NB in the last 20 years. In NB, forestry operations must maintain >=30m buffers around waterbodies. These areas are important to waterfowl as nesting habitat and as a barrier to sources of disturbance in areas adjacent to wetlands. It is unknown if NB’s 30m requirement is adequate to maintain quality black duck habitat.

Evaluation of neuro-protective effects of novel water-soluble formulation of Ashwagandha root extract alone and in combination with water-soluble Ubisol Q10 using in vitro and in vivo models of Parkinson’s disease

There is an increase in brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases as the number of aged individuals is increasing. Currently there is no treatment available that can halt the progression of these diseases. Previous work has shown that a natural compound CoQ10 can prevent brain cell death. Similarly an Ayurvedic Herbal extract, Ashwagandh Root Extract has also shown promising results in some studies. In the present research project we will prepare a novel water-soluble formulation of CoQ10 and Ashwagandha Extract using a patented technology of Nextremedies Inc.

Identifying significant sources of noise and their effects on the behaviour and welfare of cats in animal shelters

Admittance in an animal shelter is often an intensely stressful experience for cats, leading to serious health and behaviour consequences impacting their welfare and adoptability. Recognizing, understanding, and minimizing factors that contribute to cat stress in shelters is an identified priority and ongoing challenge for shelter managers worldwide. A suitable acoustic environment is necessary to meet animal welfare and health needs. A cat’s sense of hearing is significantly more sensitive than humans making sound volumes commonly reported over 100 dB in shelters a cause for concern.