Implementation of a low barrier hydromorphone distribution program to prevent fatal overdoses

North America is experiencing an unprecedented opioid overdose epidemic driven by the proliferation of fentanyl and fentanyl-adulterated drugs. Based at the BC Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU) and in collaboration with the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), I will undertake an ethno-epidemiological study to evaluate the implementation, uptake, and effectiveness of a novel low-barrier hydromorphone distribution program via a secure automated medication dispensing system targeting individuals at high risk of fatal overdose.

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.

Brain wave technologies for brain function monitoring and prognostication following severe anoxic brain injury

This project will use a breakthrough brainwave technology to track the recovery of patients who have serious brain injury after cardiac arrest. Doctors currently rely on behaviour-based tests at the patient’s bedside to measure their brain function, but this is not reliable. A better method is to measure brain function directly using brainwave information. We have created a new technology that can measure many different brain functions in a short time.

Creating a New Standard for Vision Loss Rehabilitation in Canada

Approximately nine million Canadians live with vision loss that, even when wearing corrective lenses, impedes their ability to perform everyday tasks. Canadians with vision loss are at greater risk of social isolation and reduced community participation. Vision loss rehabilitation (VLR) is a multi-disciplinary service that includes orientation and mobility training, independent living skills and low vision technology. These services are effective for improving the lives of people with vision loss. However, these services are varied and lack coordination in Canada.

Fatty liver assessment with Attenuation Coefficient Estimation (ACE)

One in every five people will develop liver disease in their lifetime. Few people think about liver disease until the disease has progressed and has permanently damaged the liver. Fatty liver disease falls into this category with obesity as the most common cause. Given more than 50% of Canadians are overweight and 75% of obese individuals are at risk of developing a fatty liver, this is a widespread problem. Canadians with fatty liver and other liver diseases need a tool for detecting and monitoring their liver health. Analogous to blood pressure numbers, we need numbers for liver health.

Development of Applications of Simultaneous Positron Emission Tomography/Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Funded through a series of NSERC partnership grants, Cubresa Inc. have been working with the applicants to develop technologies for pre-clinical imaging for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging and PET friendly radiofrequency (RF) coils for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of small animals.

Using wearable sensor-based technologies to detect changes in health status for prevention of adverse health events and to improve overall quality of life

The project goal is to determine the clinical utility of Orpyx LogR technology to detect gait changes and their efficacy to predict and monitor fall risk. Project I will use existing data to determine sensitivity and specificity for prospective classification of fallers and non-fallers for a composite measure drawn from an extensive battery including single and/or dual-task IMU-derived gait metrics as well as from force plate gait initiation data.

Assessing the effectiveness of plain packaging in reducing smoking rates: A mixed method approach - Year two

Tobacco is the number one cause of lung disease and death in Canada, and Nova Scotia in particular. For this reason, tobacco control is the number one priority for the Lung Association of Nova Scotia. To maximize the impact of its initiatives, the Lung Association of Nova Scotia is interested in collaborating with the post-doctoral fellow through the Elevate fellowship.
The engagement of the Lung Association of Nova Scotia with the proposed plain packaging project means that they are supporting local and innovative research.

Validation of novel neurofeedback training engine for improving brain health in aging and neurodevelopmental disorders - Year two

Memory impairment is the most common complaint associated with aging. Promising interventions based on research are generally reserved for clinical settings. Technological advancement has now made it possible to administer neurofeedback, an established technique for self-regulating brain waves, using portable technology. xSensa Labs, the partner organization, has developed a digital solution that translates research protocols for neurofeedback into portable technology for improving cognition.

Development of New Chromophores for Soil Detection on Surgical Instruments

Small surgical instruments can be used multiple times if cleaned properly after each surgery. At the end of the cleaning process, a visual inspection of each instrument is performed in order to detect any traces of soil such as blood, tissue or any other biological materials. However, the human eye is not a flawless sensor and soils that are not visible to the naked can be present.

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