Bioinformatic Tools for high throughput design of Environmental Immunodiagnostics

Environmental Proteomics NB is a biotechnology design and production company that develops systems to measure levels of important proteins, in particular proteins involved in major environmental and industrial processes. Environmental Proteomics uses computational analyses of genetic and protein data, or bioinformatics, to develop these molecular systems to detect and quantitate specific proteins, even in the presence of complex contaminating mixtures.

Ambulatory Clinic Schedule Optimization at Princess Margaret Hospital

The focus of this project will be to model and optimize the scheduling of clinics at PMH-assigning clinics to clinic areas and clinic timeslots. The objective will be to improve the current schedule with respect to key performance metrics. These metrics will include clinic overtime, the equality of the distribution of demand on shared resources and the volume of patients which are able to take advantage of same day inter-clinic referrals.

The interaction between cardiovascular and posture controls and the effects of aging

Falls are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the elderly, and are the sixth leading cause of death. Often these falls result from a loss of balance due to decreased postural control; however, age related reductions in cardiovascular control during postural changes may produce light headedness and fainting (syncope) leading to fall proneness. In order to assess fall proneness, further study is required to increase our knowledge and better characterize how the cardiovascular and the postural control systems interact. We shall conduct two studies to accomplish the task above.

Spinal Cord Injury

The Centre for Operations Excellence (COE) at the Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia (UBC) was asked by the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions Network (SCISN) and The Rick Hansen Foundation to participate in the early stages of planning a Canada wide, long term, multi-year project (LT Project) that will evaluate alternative methods for managing spinal cord injury care through simulation experiments. The COE will carry out a pilot study with the goal of producing recommendations for the planning and execution of the LT Project.

A Lung Tumour Localization Device for Minimally Invasive Surgery Using Kinesthetic, Tactile, and Ultrasound Information

In 2009, an estimated 23,400 Canadians will be diagnosed with lung cancer and 20,500 will die of it. Once diagnosed, the treatment of choice is surgical resection of the tumour using Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS), in which two major problems exist: locating the tumour and an impaired ability to feel the tissue under examination. This project aims to develop a minimally invasive tumour localization device that can be used to palpate tissue and accurately distinguish between soft healthy tissue and tumours that are relatively stiffer.

Development of SCODA DNA Extraction for Forensics Applications.

Nucleic acid analysis in forensic science is a major focus for DNA‐based identification in case‐work samples. Approximately 5% ‐ 10% of samples are known to fail as a result of contaminants carrying through the purification process, or as a result of insufficient yield in the DNA extraction step. Whereas, most crime scene exhibits produce meaningful results, inhibitors, minute traces of DNA, degraded DNA, and environmental insults, reduce the investigative potential of some of the most crucial exhibits.

Development of a Sample Preservation and DNA Extraction Buffer for C-POD™

Sample preparation for DNA extraction is labour intensive, tedious and a recognized bottleneck and impediment to high throughput automated DNA profiling. The organization sponsor, DNA Ident Inc., has a uniquely designed sample collection container (C‐POD) developed to capture DNA and to streamline sample preparation. The proposed project will develop DNA stabilization formulae for use as an embedded component of the C‐POD sampler. Extraction methodologies will be utilized to reduce reagent volumes, improve the time for DNA testing and cut the cost associated with DNA profiling.

A new approach to the assessment and evaluation of technical skills

Surgical education has changed dramatically over the last 15 years as traditional “time served” approaches have given way to objective assessments of efficiency. These assessments are very resource intensive and require a greater level of training for the educators and evaluators. Furthermore they often do not provide timely, meaningful feedback to the trainees. To overcome these difficulties, the Surgical Skills Centre (SSC) at Mount Sinai Hospital is seeking to improve the efficiency of the assessment process and concurrently better integrate feedback into surgical education.

Investigating methods of long-term follow-up for patients with Metabolic Syndrome

This project was in partnership with the Canadian Obesity Network. Providence Healthcare has estrablished a reputation as one of the leading centres for cardiovascular research and treatment in Canada. Providence Healthcare and AstraZeneca, a research-based pharmaceutical company, are interested in furthering science and improve patient outcomes. The purpose of this study is to determine the best method of long term follow up for patients with Metabolic Syndrome once they have completed an intensive lifestyle modification program.

Weight Management in Morbidly Obese Patients

Our objective is to examine the physical and behavioral characteristics of severely obese patients at the Wharton weight management clinic. We will utilize the patient records at enrollment to characterize this cohort, and administer additional questionnaires that are not routinely given by the clinic that will be completed by patients on a voluntary basis. During the internship, the students will be trained to conduct some of the baseline assessments at the first patient visit.