Automatic Spondylolisthesis Grading

Approximately 5% of the population has a Spondylolisthesis (one of the lower vertebrae slips forward onto the bone directly beneath it). Non-invasive image-based assessment of this spinal structure is an increasing demand in healthcare service. However, the massive information embedded in the increasing large imaging scans has made manual inspection a lengthy and tedious task and observer dependent. The proposed research aims at a computer-aided spinal-scan assessment software toolkit facilitating the diagnosis of Spondylolisthesis.

Lifelike simulation tool for surgical training purposes

The specific aim of this project is to design and manufacture affordable, high fidelity, and high quality synthetic surgical training models of diseased valves and arteries to simulate the possible surgical options such as prolapse mitral valve reconstruction surgeries, aortic valve repair for aortic insufficiencies (novel idea) and coronary and radial arteries [side to side and end to side] anastomosis surgeries. These synthetic models can be used frequently by training surgeons in order to achieve a higher level of skill, confidence and expertise to help improve patient care worldwide.

Zebrafish high throughput screens for development of drugs targeting sepsis, stroke and other chronic diseases

Currently there is a huge challenge in drug screens as the vast majority of the candidate drugs fail in clinical trials either due to no efficacy or drug toxicity. As an alternative to traditional animal models, zebrafish have recently emerged as a powerful vertebrate paradigm to study human disease and to use its developing embryos for drug screens. In contrast to traditional cell-based screening, the zebrafish provides a whole vertebrate system for drug screening. It combines the biological complexity with the ability for high throughput screening and quick assessment of potential toxicity.

Towards creating intelligent heat stress monitoring and management solutions to safeguard health and wellness

The scientific challenge for this research project is to advance our understanding of the impacts of heat stress in heat vulnerable workers and to use this information towards the creation of intelligent heat stress monitoring and management solutions to safeguard health and wellness. Currently, our understanding of the effects of heat exposure on vulnerable individuals remains incomplete, limiting our ability to implement protective measures to optimize performance/safety during work in hot environments.

Fall and injury prevention in older adults to position Schlegel Villages as‘Safety Innovators’

As a result of the baby boomer generation, an increasing proportion of Canada’s population is now comprised of older adults / senior citizens. Increased numbers of these older adults are living in private Retirement Homes, and these consumers are emphasizing resident safety programs/policies when deciding between facilities. Towards providing state-of-the-science care for their residents, the industry partner (Schlegel Villages Inc.) wants to lead the marketplace as a ‘Safety Innovator’ through programs to prevent falls (and fall-related injuries).

Therapeutic Intervention of Cannabinoids in a Pre-Clinical Rat Model of PTSD

National Legalization of Cannabis has occurred in Canada. Very little is known about the different compounds in the Cannabis Plant. The two main compounds are THC and CBD. Both of them have shown some benefits for different conditions. We would like to determine the best dose and ratio of compounds within the Cannabis plant for PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and Anxiety to build evidence for a large-scale clinical trial. More data will help support safe and effective use of Cannabis, which may provide an alternative to traditional pharmaceuticals.

Specific Evaluation of Lesion Categories

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating disease that primarily affects young individuals. Disease Modifying Therapies (DMT) developed in the past two decades have greatly improved the quality of life for people living with MS. Assessment of brain lesions using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) has been a standard method to evaluate the efficacy of DMT in clinical trials and practice. However, standard techniques do not differentiate between the different stages of lesion evolution.

Effective knowledge translation of evidence-based best practice for healthy lifestyle behaviours - Year two

The research supports the effective knowledge translation of evidence-based best practice information related to healthy lifestyle behaviours. Over a two-year period, the post-doctoral fellow will create a series of knowledge translation tools that can be used in the effective primary and secondary prevention of chronic disease through lifestyle behaviour modification. Our proposed initiative will capitalize on the best of the existing models of health promotion.

A Novel Combination Therapy to Target Primitive Acute Myeloid Leukemia Cells - Year two

Modern molecular targeted therapies have shown promise in treating some blood cancers, but a cure remains elusive for most acute leukemia patients. This is largely due to the survival of some leukemic cells that possess unique properties and can cause treatment failure or relapse, warranting identification of new, distinct targets for improved therapies. In collaboration with Signalchem Lifescience Corporation (SLC), we aim to develop and test a new drug combination strategy to target acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patient cells that are resistant to current therapies.

Next-generation antibody drug for immuno-oncology treatment: anti-TIM3 antibody development

Unprecedented advances have been made in the treatment of cancer through the use of antibody against immune checkpoints, priming immune system instead of targeting cancer, with approval of several antibodies for multiple cancer types. However, so far we are merely seeing the tip of the iceberg because responses to this form of therapy are not universal. Next-generation antibody drug is needed. TIM-3 negatively regulates immune system and is one of the next generation targets. We have generated 13 clones of TIM-3 antibodies, potentially can be anti-tumor drug.

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