Evaluation of interventions for improving maternal, newborn, and child health outcomes: Systematic literature reviews and network meta-analyses

Poor nutrition, sanitation and hygiene, and infectious diseases during pregnancy and early childhood can lead to poor growth and development that can be everlasting negative effects on the child. A large number of clinical trials have been conducted, but as many interventions have not been compared against each other, it is unclear what interventions are effective and should be provided over different life stages of the child.

Condom Negotiation Among Gay, Bisexual, and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men

The aim of The Ontario HIV Treatment Network (OHTN) is to help combat the spread of HIV by supporting, conducting, and sharing the best research possible. This project will involve a novel analysis examining aspects of condom negotiation among gay and bisexual men who have sex with men (GBMSM). This work is needed because the HIV prevention methods that involve drug regimens are not available to all GBMSM and do not protect against the transmission of bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STIs).

Advanced Analytics Initiative

Mental health issues affect a large percentage of the military population. The HERE4U Military Version will be an instant messaging smartphone application to connect military family members (adults only) who are dealing with mental health problems to a mental health counseling solution that uses the IBM Watson cognitive platform. Being able to engage with Watson in a secure, private and anonymous manner will encourage military personnel to reach out for help where they might not have in the past to obtain timely advice.

Assessing cognitive load in cochlear implant users through short-term storage of speech

Cochlear implants are surgical implanted devices that allow deaf people to recover some form of hearing and understand speech, but current devices are limited, and the consequences of these limitations have not been fully explored. For example, there is a growing consensus that hearing loss interacts with cognitive systems. Yet, relatively little is known about the cognitive burden of CI users.

Advanced Materials and Technologies for Medical Imaging Detectors and Techniques

The proposed Mitacs program will provide internships for six graduate (thesis-based MSc and PhD) students, and two Post-Doctoral Fellows (PDFs) in a competitive R&D environment at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute (TBRHRI) – Canada’s newest health research institute. Interns will be involved in research projects which aim to develop and commercialize the next generation of customized detectors to improve medical imaging applications, which are chosen on the basis of the demands of the healthcare system and commercial opportunities developed in the TBRHRI.

Implementation of a chip-based MDTMA platform for evaluating prostate cancer treatment response and mode of action. - Year two

Prostate cancer is the disease of the old, effecting 1 in 7 Canadians with a death burden of 1 in 28. The management of the disease becomes extremely difficult with the development of the nonresponsive and aggressive form of the cancer. Thus, the clinicians are rendered helpless and hence there is an urgent need for the development of new targeted therapies. Response to chemotherapy drugs varies for every individual, leading to adverse effects in many. Hence every individual responds to chemotherapy drugs differentially, matching the right dose for individual patient is a big challenge.

Evaluation of Signal Mass as a new marker of brain tissue loss in multiple sclerosis

The degree of brain cell injury and death may be associated with disability and problems with memory and thinking skills in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). This is most frequently measured by using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) images to calculate shrinkage of brain volume. In fact, MS patients suffer more rapid shrinkage of brain volume compared to healthy people. However, brain volume can also fluctuate due to reasons other than brain cell death, such as water coming in and out of the brain.

Expression of muscarinic receptors in neurogenic detrusor overactive (NDO) bladders of spinal cord transected (SCT) rats after preventive treatment with anticholinergic me

Following the study of spinal cord transected (SCT) rat models being treated by fesoterodine fumarate (antimuscarinic drug) to prevent neurogenic detrusor overactivity, bladders of all 30 animals were conserved. It was observed that an early fesoterodine fumarate administration at the time of transection modulates bladder overactivity. However, the exact mechanism of action is not known and should be investigated further focusing on detrusor muscarinic receptor modifications in order to support clinical trials with humans.

“I CAN PLAY!” (Initiating Community Sport Access through Physical Literacy and Active Play)

Canadian children are currently not meeting the daily amount of physical activity recommended to reduce their risk for negative health outcomes. The RA Centre in Ottawa, Ontario has the resources to offer various sport opportunities to children and recognizes the need to develop programs that are developmentally appropriate and accessible for children with lower physical skill and confidence levels.

Treating advanced retinal degeneration – rebuilding multiple co-dependent retinal layers with stem cells

Despite dozens of clinical trials (and countless animal trials) to regenerate the retina with stem cells, none have solved the challenge successfully. This is because the retina has many layers, and all layers are necessary in order to restore vision in patients with advanced retinal degeneration – ~1M patients in Canada and >50M worldwide. Here, we developed a strategy that stratifies a suspension mixture of subretinal graft (including stem-cell-derived RPE and photoreceptors) into correct orientation and layering resulting in replacement of the lost retinal layers.

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