Identification of blood-based biomarkers predictive of pulmonary exacerbations in cystic fibrosis

Individuals with cystic fibrosis experience recurrent episodes of worsen in respiratory symptoms, termed pulmonary exacerbations (PEx). Early identification of individuals who are at elevated risk of PEx can improve their clinical outcomes and rescue their lung function. In this project, we will collaborate with the Prevention of Organ Failure Centre of Excellence (PROOF) to develop a simple blood test to predict the PEx in CF individuals. We will also evaluate the genetic influence on blood biomarker candidates during the project and refine the blood test based on these genetic variants.

Design and Prototype Validation of a Bioabsorbable Flow Diverting Stent

An aneurysm is a balloon off a blood vessel in the brain, that could potentially bleed resulting in devastating consequences for the patient. Brain aneurysms a common, and are present in up to 7% of the general population. Traditional treatment of complex brain aneurysms involves placing a metal “flow-diverting” stent across the neck of the aneurysm, leading to redirection of blood flow away from the aneurysm dome. Bioabsorbable flow-diverting stents have only recently been developed by Fluid Biotech Inc. as a novel way to treat brain aneurysms.

Measuring the effectiveness of a novel treatment of Chronic Lateral Epicondylitis: the ArmLock sleeve.

Lateral epicondylitis is a common source of lateral elbow pain and causes restrictions in performance during daily activities as the pain increases with wrist and hand movements. It is necessary to explore new treatments that decrease the symptoms of lateral epicondylitis. We aim to investigate the effects of a new non-surgical treatment (the ArmLock Sleeve) on pain, movement, and performance in daily activities in adults diagnosed with lateral epicondylitis. We also want to investigate the acceptance of the ArmLock Sleeve by the study participants.

Preliminary Fall Detection/Prediction Data Science Project

Fall detection systems, are targeted to older adults living alone to identify fall events and mitigate prolonged wait times to treat injuries typically. These systems use a wearable, such as a Ffitbit or Apple watch, paired with an algorithm to detect falls and alert caregivers or emergency services. However, large variability in type and circumstances of falls (e.g., from a small height with low impact) are a problem when trying to accurately detect and predict falls.

Design principles and clinical application of a wearable vibration device for individuals with proprioception deficiency

Sense of limb position will be defected or deteriorated as a result of injuries to the nervous system or aging. This project will address the design principles and application of a wearable sensory assistive device with the goals of improving the sense of limb position in elder adults or individuals with stroke. A prototype of the device will be designed and its effects on brain activity and movement performance will be explored on healthy adults.

A cloud?based, multi?modal, cognitive ophthalmic imaging platform for enhanced clinical trial design and personalized medicine in blinding eye disease

Age Related Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in Canada and the industrialized world, yet there are no treatments for most patients. Tracery Ophthalmics has developed an imaging method, “AMD Imaging” (AMDI) that has generated unprecedented pictures of the retina (film of the eye) that include both known and unknown “flavours” of disease (phenotype). These complex images will be compared against an individual’s genetic makeup (their genotype) and their concurrent illnesses, medications, and lifestyle history (their epigenetics).

Somatic cell reprogramming as a tool for the conservation of genetic resources from endangered species

Conservation of endangered species has become increasingly urgent. This is evident given the rate of species extinction by 100 to 1000-fold, and global biodiversity has decreased. With current climate changes, these concerns will only grow. Assisted reproductive technologies can play a vitalrole in endangered species conservation. Many approaches are currently being utilized or explored, including animal cloning. Unfortunately, cloned animals are not genetically pure and therefore, are not valuable for use in breeding programs.

Neuroimaging biomarkers of Parkinson’s disease identified through brain, brainstem and spinal cord imaging

In the current functional and structural neuroimaging project, we aim to identify functional and structural changes that correlate with disease presence and its severity  staging) and that can serve as a basis for future development of PD neuroimaging biomarkers. To achieve this objective we will use our expertise in functional neuroimaging of the cervical spinal cord (CSC), brainstem and brain (simultaneously), as well as in micro-structural neuroimaging of the spinal cord.

Visualization of lipid and protein deposition on contact lenses in a sophisticated in vitro eye-blink model

Contact lens discomfort is one of the primary reasons that cause people to stop wearing them. The discomfort may be due to the buildup of tear film components on the lenses during lens wear. The purpose of this project is to understand where most of the tear film components are depositing on the lens, such as the back or front of the lens. These findings will help researchers and companies develop better and more comfortable contact lens materials in the future.

Application of advance signal and image processing to develop objective diagnostic and monitoring technologies as well as predicting the response to treatment for Alzheimer's disease

An ongoing study in Winnipeg is investigating the possibility of using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation to help treat the cognitive and memory declines in Alzheimer's disease. The objective of this project is to analyze in detail the current results of this study. We will look for connections between MRI scans of the participants and their response to the treatment. We will also look at anxiety and resting motor threshold (a measure of how sensitive they are to our treatment device), to see how they change the effectiveness of treatment.

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