Exploration of machine/deep learning techniques using Raman spectroscopy for the identification and classification of brain tumors and prostate cancer

Cancer cells are nearly impossible to distinguish from normal tissue without sophisticated detection methods and conventional methods fail to provide real-time information during the surgical procedure. ODS Medical is developing an exclusive Raman spectroscopy system that collects data through an optical probe and is interfaced with sophisticated machine learning algorithm to identify tissues abnormalities in real-time. This technology has proven to be effective for brain tumor and prostate cancer detection. As a result much larger datasets have been acquired both for brain and prostate.

Understanding mental health experiences of adults 50 years and older living in the Similkameen: A qualitative study using photovoice

The purpose of this study is to understand and promote awareness of the mental health experiences of adults 50 years of age and older who live in a rural community. This study uses photovoice, a research and advocacy method that helps people to tell their stories with photos. Participants will determine what types of experiences (e.g., stigma, resilience) will be explored by taking photos. After attending a photovoice workshop, participants will take their photos.

Evaluation measurements for an E-Learning Occupational Mental Health Program

This project will recruit an intern to develop appropriate methodologies in order to assess the effectiveness of an occupational mental health promotion program that uses a blended format of in-person sessions and online learning. The intern will work closely with the industry partner to review, develop, and pilot assessment tools, oversee the data collection, analyze data collected, and generate reports and publications for dissemination.

BoneTape: A Novel Craniomaxillofacial Fixation Technology

Craniofacial fractures require stabilization to restore appearance, facilitate healing and improve patient’s outcomes. The current standard of care is rigid titanium plates, which require drilling, screws and bending of titanium plates with plyers during surgery to conform to the complex geometry of the face. This is an over engineered solution that is not only difficult to use, but also results in complications including pain and discomfort which require follow-up surgeries in as many as 50% of facial fracture fixation procedures.

The development of a novel oncolytic virotherapy for acute myeloid leukemia

Modern molecularly targeted therapies have shown promise in treating some blood cancers, but a cure remains elusive for most acute blood cancer patients. This is largely due to the survival of some blood cancer cells that possess unique properties and can cause treatment failure or relapse, highlighting the need for new therapies. In collaboration with Virogin Biotech Ltd, we aim to develop an innovative oncolytic virotherapy to effectively target acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patient cells that are resistant to current therapies.

Implementation and advancement of image analysis for multiplexed microarrays

Microarray testing allows high-volume analysis. This work will compare open-source software to in-house analysis methods within SQI Diagnostics. The goal is to enhance the performance of current assay designs and to inform and guide the next-generation of assay designs (ie 384 well plates) which will support SQI’s technology leadership position. After implementing a print run and analysis using the current quality control protocols, data will be compared with existing SQI results.

A modular re-configurable robot for real time MR image guided applications

Minimally invasive techniques are used for a wide variety of procedures in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Many procedures require insertion of a needle along a straight-line path to the site of the disease. Real-time magnetic resonance (MR) imaging offers the means to visualize the needle relative to a small target lesion and avoid sensitive anatomical structures throughout the procedure. However, operating within the tight space of the MR machine remains very challenging.

Blockchain-based Consent Management for Personalized Medicine

This multidisciplinary project will investigate the social, data, and technical issues surrounding design and implementation of a blockchain-based solution for the management of consent for the use of individuals’ “omics” data in medical research. Blockchains are distributed ledgers in which confirmed and validated blocks are organized in an append-only chain using cryptographic links.

Development and evaluation of a mental skills training program in youth hockey

This project seeks to develop a mental skills training program for kids in youth hockey. The first part of the project will involve reviewing the literature to find out what is knows about mental skills in kids. We are interested in seeing how kids can use mental skills in sports and hockey and if certain skills are more important depending on the age of the player. Once we have a good idea of what is known about mental skills in youth we will interview elite hockey players to find out what they think of mental skills training and what kinds of mental skills they think are valuable for kids.

Functional Proteomics to Inform Targeted Therapy for Head and Neck Cancer

To ensure effective cancer treatment, it is vital to match the drug with the molecular characteristics of the patient’s tumor. This research project is focused on developing functional diagnostic assays that may be used eventually in the clinic to stratify patients for targeted therapies. The project will provide a unique opportunity for the interns to work with a clinician at the forefront of cancer treatment and scientists of a partner organization that is developing innovative tools to enable precision cancer medicine.