Resistant Starch Prebiotic Effects in Chronic Kidney Disease (ReSPECKD) study

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is associated with a reduced quality of life and an increased risk of kidney failure, cardiovascular events, and all-cause mortality. The goal of this project is to investigate whether the consumption of resistant potato starch (RPS) in addition to current standard care for CKD will reduce uremic toxins and symptoms by altering gut microbiota in patients with CKD. Strategies to reduce the production of these toxins by the gut microbiome in patients with CKD are highly desirable because they may lead to reduced symptoms and delay the onset of dialysis.

Fibre in IBD: Feeding Our Microbes vs. Fuelling Inflammation

While studies show that dietary fibres are beneficial in many diseases, they are not digested or absorbed directly by the host, but rather fermented by gut microbes. Fermentation byproducts (mostly short-chain fatty-acids; SCFAs) are responsible for health benefits. Only select inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) patients benefit from fibres; many patients report sensitivity to high fibre foods, especially during disease flares. Dietary fibres resemble structures found on the surface of pathogens that induce host cell inflammation.

Defining epigenetic drivers of primary and metastatic medulloblastoma

Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common childhood brain cancer. Current treatment for these tumors is invasive involving irradiation of the entire brain and spine. Although some types of MB respond well, others have an abysmal prognosis, and the lack of less invasive therapies means that children undergoing treatment suffer from severe developmental defects and reduced quality of life.

Developing a virtual reality simulator and an algorithm to assess visual-vestibular interaction (VVI)

The effect of different factors in the field of view on the vestibular (balance) system including color, intensity, object motion, self-motion sensation, etc. are investigated in this study. Electrovestibulography (EVestG) is used to quantitatively measure vestibular responses from the ear canal, noninvasively. Currently, there is an ever- increasing interest among the health-related authorities to use visual stimulation to improve symptoms of vestibular and cognitive disorders.

Colonoscopy Video Analysis Framework

Every year in Canada over 1.7 million patients are diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (UC), and have to go through colonoscopy procedures multiple times for disease detection and treatment monitoring. Trained clinicians use endoscopy facilities and technologies for colonoscopy procedures and unfortunately, the current error rate in disease detection is up to 20%. This project will build a framework that will analyze colonoscopy video streams in real-time, and offers the outcomes to support clinicians to accurately detect UC and monitor patient’s response to treatments.

RALI-DX: Rapid Diagnostic Tools for Acute Lung Injury

Sepsis, severe pneumonia and respiratory viruses are key causes of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)—a detrimental lung condition that results in >3 million ICU admissions/year and can lead to organ failure and death. In Canada, ~18,000 patients with ARDS are admitted to hospital annually and those requiring critical care place an immense burden on hospital resources. Early detection of ARDS is vital for treatment to be effective.

Bacteriophage Endolysin Proteins Development

In response to the antimicrobial resistance crisis, several nations (including Canada, U.S., and Europe) have drastically limited the use of medically important antibiotics for livestock production. As a result, alternative methods must be explored for disease prevention and treatment in animals from bacterial infections. The intern will explore the effects of using toxic proteins that destroy bacteria derived from viruses that only infect and kill bacteria as a plausible alternative. The benefit of this research to Cytophage Technologies Inc.

Using Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Sleep to Enable and Enhance Clinical Epilepsy Surgery

A seizure is a medical emergency. 1 in 10 people will be hit by at least one seizure in their lifetime. 1 in 26 people continue to be hit by seizures recurrently: this is epilepsy. When medications do not work, surgery is needed to cut out seizing brain tissue. Unfortunately, many people cannot presently benefit from epilepsy surgery. Our research will harness the power of dream sleep (rapid eye movement or REM sleep) to help locate where the seizures are coming from. Empowered with this information, we can help guide the surgeon on where to perform life-changing epilepsy surgery.

Molecular signatures and predictive biomarkers for phenotyping allergic rhinitis responses

Allergic rhinitis (AR) is in inflammatory disease characterized by nasal symptoms. It affects 20-25% of Canadians and is recognized as the most common allergic disorder worldwide. Patients can experience one of several types of responses to allergen onset hence a key hurdle to developing effective treatment plans is accurate diagnosis. The allergic responses are characterized by an early response, with a subsequent late response in a subgroup of patients. Based on severity of nasal symptoms, patients can be stratified as early responders, protracted early responders or dual responders.

BoneTape: A Novel Craniomaxillofacial Fixation Technology

Cohesys is developing a surgical tape indicated for stabilizing fractures to the face and cranium. In order for a tape to function inside the body, the adhesive must be non-toxic and be able to adhere and maintain strength overtime, in an environment which is wet, filled with proteins and other molecules and be able to withstand physiological temperature (~37˚C). As such, the Santerre lab at the University of Toronto has developed an adhesive platform designed to function in vivo.