Functional MRI investigation of the neural processes underlying pain modulation in human participants

Cannabis has been known to treat ailments for thousands of years, including conditions such as pain, cancer, arthritis, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis (MS) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Despite an increase in research dedicated to molecular and behavioural effects of cannabinoids, there has been no direct evidence to elucidate the effect of cannabis on pain-related areas in the human central nervous system.

Pharmacological inhibition of USP19 deubiquitinating enzyme as a novel therapy for muscle wasting

Muscle wasting is a common complication of many diseases such as cancer, chronic heart and lung disease and results in weakness, impaired quality of life and shortened survival. There are no drugs for the treatment of muscle wasting. We have identified a gene, USP19, in the ubiquitin pathway which is the major pathway of protein breakdown in cells. USP19 is activated in rodents in skeletal muscle wasting from many catabolic conditions. Mice lacking USP19 lose less muscle mass and strength in several conditions of muscle wasting.

Refinement of a leadership development impact assessment toolkit

CHLNet identified the need for valid, reliable tools to determine the impact of these health leadership development programs. This project will develop a practical, easy to use toolkit to facilitate the measurement of program outcomes and impacts. The toolkit will be pilot tested and evaluated across the country according to defined selection criteria. The finalized toolkit will be electronic and other knowledge produced during the project will be broadly disseminated.

Development of instruments and methods engineered to mitigate the impact of non-tissue specific background sources for intraoperative spontaneous Raman spectroscopy applications

The interns will develop novel technologies using laser light to interrogate molecular vibrations in biological tissue setting up the stage for the next generation of intraoperative imaging techniques used to guide surgical interventions, including the resection of tumours in prostate and ovarian surgery as well as in neurosurgery. The partner organisation (Optech) is an organisation specialisation in the optical design and systems characterisation and this project will allow them to expand their base of knowledge and expertise in biological tissue.

Evaluating the health of primary human airway epithelial cell cultures grown at air-liquid interface

There are many ways for scientists to study lung diseases.  One way that scientists try to understand lung disease is by growing and examining lung cells in the lab.  While most cells are grown submerged in special liquid that provides the cells with nutrients, a more sophisticated model is to grow cells in an air liquid interface with the top surface of cells exposed to air and the bottom to the liquid with nutrition.  This more closely mimics the real life situation.  When cells are studied in air liquid interface it is very important to make sure they are not damaged by the experiment un

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).