Development of Cell-Based Functional Assays to Accelerate Commercialization and Therapeutic Application of Recombinant Antibodies

Antibodies are used for treatment of many diseases, including cancer. Within the human immune system, antibodies fight invading bacteria and viruses. We have devised a way to make high-quality antibodies in the laboratory and target them to specific disease-related proteins that have been identified by the scientific community and in our lab. Ensuring that these antibodies work in cells the way we intend them to in the body is a critical step of identifying their potential as therapeutic agents and also in the commercialization process.

Blood biomarkers of asthma

Allergic asthma is a condition of the airways characterized by airway constriction and hyperresponsiveness upon allergen exposure. About half of the allergic asthmatic individuals experience only an acute airway constriction (early response) within several minutes upon exposure to allergen while the other half of individuals experience not only an acute airway constriction but also a chronic airway constriction plus inflammation (late response) within several hours after the allergen exposure. It is not clear why the late response is not developed in all sensitized individuals.

Intestinal Inflammasomes: Defining Their Role in IBD

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is thought to develop in people when their gut bacteria leak out of their intestines, and cause chronic gut inflammation. We recently found that the cells that line the guts of healthy people possess a specialized defense system called an inflammasome.
In preliminary studies, the inflammasome seems to prevent the gut from becoming leaky, and helps it fight bacteria. Interestingly, some people with IBD are known to be missing inflammasomes.

Identifying the molecular mechanisms of neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation and screening NETosis-suppressing drugs to treat cystic fibrosis lung disease

Recent discoveries show that neutrophils mainly die by formation of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) in Cystic Fibrosis airways. Therefore determining mechanism and identifying FDA-approved drugs that inhibit NETosis could provide novel options to treat CF lung disease. We aimed to do the comparative gene expression analysis during NETosis induced by different NET inducing agents (PMA,LPS,A23187) in CF neutrophils. Furthermore to translate the findings for therapeutic targets, screening of large scale drugs, kinases and specific pathways inhibitors associated with NETosis are required.

Optimization and compatibility study of a pH-responsive terpolymercomposite membrane for controlled release dosage forms

A new film coating that can respond appropriately to different pH conditions of the stomach and small intestine (GI tract) was successfully prepared by combining pH-responsive nanoparticles with ethylcellulose polymer. However, the performance of the composite membrane has not been optimized for controlling drug release in the GI tract. Therefore, improvements are to be made through experimental design, such as central composite design, to find the appropriate composition of the nanoparticles to achieve the best overall combination of coating properties.

Small scale high efficiency purification of compounds

We are developing a new generation of devices for continuous chemical and nano-particle purification, based on the interactions of analyte with multiple types of driving forces in an electro-fluid-dynamic system. The two-dimensional electrofluid-dynamic (2-D EFD) devices, in which both electric field and hydrodynamic pressure are simultaneously utilized in 2-D channel networks to drive the mass transfer, provide better control on the analyte molecules or nanoparticles by simply adjusting the magnitude of pressure.

Genomics profiling of peritoneal mesothelioma and patient-derived xenograft models for in vivo biomarker validation

Peritoneal Mesothelioma (PM) is a rare type of cancer affecting the protective membrane surrounding the abdominal cavity and the second most common type of mesothelioma, consisting about 10-20% of the diagnosed cases. The underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms of peritoneal mesothelioma pathology are greatly understudied. In this proposal, we aim to enhance the current knowledge of PM pathogenesis and explore therapeutic treatments for it.

Development and validation of the OmegaSTAT prototype:A diagnostic kit to rapidly assess omega-3 status

Omega-3 fats are good for our health. When a person has low levels of omega-3s, this can lead to a number of serious health problems, such as heart disease. The typical diet in North America doesn’t have much omega-3 fat, meaning that most people have low levels of these important fats. The existing tools to measure how much omega-3 fat a person has are time-consuming and not practical to use in healthcare clinics. Therefore, a diagnostic test that is quick and easy to use is needed.

The role of hemoglobin-cytarabine in the selective death of acute myeloid leukemia cells

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a blood cancer with very poor prognosis, especially for patients older than 60 years of age. This is in part because of the severe toxicity of medicines available. Less harmful medicines are needed to better treat older patients. Therapure Biopharma Inc. has chemically linked the standard toxic chemotherapy medicine called cytarabine to the blood protein hemoglobin to make a potentially safer and more effective medicine to treat AML. In collaboration with the University Of Waterloo School Of Pharmacy, Therapure Biopharma Inc.

The I-Score Study: The development and validation of a patient-reported measure of antiretroviral therapy’s interference with life.

Many HIV-positive persons on HIV medication have trouble taking this medication as prescribed by their doctor (treatment adherence). This threatens the long-term ability of the drugs to preserve a patient’s health. For 1 in 5 in Canada, their medication does not work, in part because of adherence problems. Furthermore, doctors and their HIV-positive patients do not always discuss treatment difficulties and how to resolve them in sufficient depth. The I-Score Study is a 24-month research project that will develop a questionnaire to be filled out by patients as a part of routine HIV care.