Elucidating the Impact of Probiotics on the Fungal Microbiome: Mechanisms of Interkingdom Interactions

Interactions between bacteria and fungi are ubiquitous. One environment where these interkingdom interactions are crucial for maintaining human health is the vaginal microbiome. A decline in abundance of bacteria can lead to overgrowth of fungi such as Candida albicans, which occurs in ~75% of healthy women at least once in their lifetime. This imbalance is associated with significant economic costs and has a negative impact on quality of life.

Probiotics and their role in an intestinal inflammation: Use of a novel in-vitro model to understand mechanisms of action

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the role the gut plays in our overall health and wellbeing. Changes to this gut microbial population has been linked a host of disorders, ranging from metabolic disorders such as diabetes and obesity to mental disorders such as depression and anxiety. Depending on lifestyle factors, diet, antibiotic use and age, certain populations can be at a greater risk of microbial imbalances. In order against such conditions, probiotics are used as therapeutic agents.

Advanced differential mobility mass spectrometry with electron capture dissociation for the characterization of therapeutic proteins

Many new pharmaceuticals are based on large biomolecules like proteins. Even small differences in the protein structure can cause significant changes in the efficacy and safety of these drugs. Furthermore, these large molecules are difficult to characterize without advanced instrumentation and methods. Current technologies still struggle with robustness and reproducibility. This study aims to introduce new technology to improve the reliability of protein pharmaceutical characterization.

Validation of small molecule inhibitors of PARG

Many types of cancer are currently untreatable. In Canada alone, 78,000 cancer-related deaths are seen annually, and obviously, new therapies are needed. We have identified the protein PARG as a potent stimulator of cancer growth and a valid target for anti-cancer therapy. However, specific, cell permeable inhibitors of PARG have historically been difficult to generate. Thus, PARG inhibitors have not yet reached the market nor even clinical trials. Towards this goal we have initiated a project to identify drugs to inhibit PARG.

A novel therapeutic drug for selective treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer with MTAP deficiency

Chemotherapy is currently the most effective approach for treatment of advanced cancer. However, chemotherapeutics do not differentiate between malignant and normal cells, and lead to serious side effects. Recent findings indicate that a substantial proportion of cancers, as distinct from normal tissue, are deficient in an enzyme called methylthioadenosine phosphorylase (MTAP).

ABHD6 as a novel drug target for obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NASH) and cardiovascular disease (CVD)

Obesity, type 2 diabetes (T2D) and heart diseases have skyrocketed. Controlling glucose usage and insulin balance can substantially decrease the morbidity and improve the quality of life in affected individuals. Dysfunctional insulin action and energy balance in the body is associated with excessive non-adipose fat storage, particularly in the liver, and elevated circulating lipids, which contribute to heart disease. Obesity, a primary cause of T2D, is linked with white fat build-up and gradual loss of proper action of insulin.

Budget Impact Analysis guidelines for submissions to provincial drug plans in Canada (Update 2018- 2019)

In the health technology assessment (HTA) process, cost- effectiveness analysis gets more attention, however over last decade, the budget impact analysis (BIA) has certainly become more important to the subsequent steps, including the adoption decision. The first Canadian BIA Guidelines was published by Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) in 2007. According to the results of a recent survey with regards to validate the practicality of the guidelines for policy makers, an update was recommended in order to reflect the changes that have occurred in the pharmaceutical industry.

Identification of medical marijuana cultivars with great potential for therapeutic application

The proposed project will use classical animal models to investigate the therapeutic effects and associated side effects of extracts from the whole plant of different strains of cannabis. The targeted medical conditions include pain and chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). Our data and results will play a key role in pre-screening of cultivars to obtain best candidates suited for particular medical conditions, or that have lower side-effect liability.

Testing of Cannabinoid Oil Extracts in an Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE) Animal Model of Multiple Sclerosis (MS)-Induced Neuropathic Pain (NPP)

The cannabinoid class of medications are widely used to treat disease or alleviate symptoms such as spasticity and pain associated with MS. However, the exact molecular mechanisms by which they exert their beneficial effects remain unknown. Recent research and clinical trials demonstrated that cannabinoids may not only alleviate the symptoms of MS, but may also slow the disease progression and delay the onset of symptoms.

Preclinical proof of concept study evaluating PBI-4050 and analogs as potential treatments in the context of ischemic cardiomyopathy

The ability to impede/reduce complication of the damaged heart presents a major challenge in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Complications include heart failure, which has a high mortality even with current treatments. The use of a new drug to stimulate protection of the heart during an ongoing myocardial infarct and long term changes leading to heart failure would be very relevant to the clinical setting, to help patients suffering from diverse heart problems.

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