Development of novel biochemical and biophysical assays for the identification of inhibitors of Hypoxia Inducible Factor-2

Cancer cells are known for their unique capacity to survive and grow in a low oxygen tension environment in the middle of a poorly vascularized solid tumor. This adaptation, which is central to the tumorigenesis process, is mediated by precise cellular mechanisms allowing the regulation of gene expression. Thus, the development of small molecules to modulate the activity of transcription factors is of great therapeutic interest. In order to develop such molecules, we plan to finance, with the help of IntelliSyn Pharma and Mitacs, one M.Sc. student.

Statistical Analysis and Modeling of Vaccine Manufacturing Process Applied to Cell-Culture Based Adenovirus Vaccine

This project intends to research vaccine manufacturing process from a broader perspective and apply Quality by Design (QbD) concepts to develop a robust novel process for commercial vaccine production. To implement QbD principles, the impact of several process parameters (including cell density, pH, temperature, and harvest time) on the Critical Quality Attributes (CQAs) of the vaccine product (including yield, potency, and purity) will be revealed using statistical process analytical technologies such as Profiling, Principal Component Analysis, and Monte Carlo simulations.

Development of novel coating applications for the pharmaceutical industry

Coatings are an essential part in the formulation of drug tablets/beads in the pharmaceutical industry. Most film coatings are applied as aqueous or organic-based polymer solution, which cause many issues such as toxicity, high environmental impact, and high operational cost. The goal of this project is to develop a novel coating technology using dry powder. The new coating applications can overcome the disadvantages associated with the traditional use of organic or aqueous solvents.

Development of in vitro assays for identification of novel natural products that enhance muscle growth

For the majority of people, weight training builds skeletal muscle, which results in health benefits (e.g., improved disease risk and lifespan). However, despite training, some individuals have trouble gaining muscle (nonresponders). This lack of a response is likely related to an impaired ability to make new proteins (impaired activation of protein synthesis), and there is currently no remedy. Dietary interventions have the potential to boost muscle mass and may benefit individuals who would otherwise be non-responsive to a training stimulus.

Apelinergic system as a promising target for myocardialdysfunction and shock

Cardiovascular disease and sepsis are two of the biggest public health problems in North America. Increasing evidence further suggests they are linked. Recent studies in human healthy volunteers and in chronic heart failure patients have highlighted the apelin system as a potential target for drug development. We therefore propose to fully validate pre-clinically the potential of apelin as a new target for cardiovascular disease and septic shock.

Development of a Patient Aid for Grading of Acne Severity and a Comprehensive Acne Quality of Life Instrument (CompAQ) for Acne Patients

The overall objective of this work is to gain a better understanding of the experience of patients living with acne and how to support their decision making process in terms of acne treatment options. This research will investigate issues surrounding how patients understand how to accurately determine the severity of their acne and the treatment options available to them. From this, an effective patient aid will be developed to inform and support patient’s decision-making process when seeking treatment.

Pharmacological and phytochemical characterization of immunomodulatory polysaccharides from American ginseng

Ginseng is a medicinal plant with a long history of traditional use. The medicinal properties of ginseng root have been attributed to two main classes of chemical compounds: ginsenosides and polysaccharides. While much is known about ginsenoside pharmacology, less is known about polysaccharide pharmacology. One of the most important properties of ginseng root polysaccharides is their ability to stimulate the immune system.

Determination of stress-induced modifications to vaccine proteins by mass spectrometry

The therapeutic effect of a vaccine depends on its chemical composition, and in particular the integrity of its protein components. Conditions under which a vaccine is manufactured and stored can damage the proteins it contains; however, since proteins are structurally complex and reactive, their degradation during routine handling is unpredictable. In the project described here, three candidate vaccine products will be subjected to models of manufacture and storage in order to induce chemical changes within them in a controlled manner.

Adenovirus vaccination platform

Vaccine industry is evolving towards more efficient manufacturing systems. Adenovirus vectored vaccines are among new promising approaches for more efficient vaccines design and production. Recombinant Ad (rAd) can be used as gene deliver vector carrying different antigens for delivery into Ag-presenting cells (APC) eliciting a targeted immune response. Alternatively, antigens can be exposed on the rAd capsid, thus presenting the antigen to the immune system. Ad-vectored vaccines are safe, stable, have a broad tropism and have a large insert capacity and can be delivered orally.

Transdermal delivery of peptide hormones to treat tibial bone stress fractures using DiffusiMax liposomal cream base

The goal of this Mitacs research proposal study is to develop and apply experimental methodology for transdermal delivery of bone-targeting peptide hormone drugs. We aim to deliver these compounds using an appropriate hydrophilic-hydrophobic Diffusimax liposomal drug delivery cream base to anatomically superficial bone, at the sites of stress fractures (also known as “shin-splints”) in order to trigger bone repair, reduce pain burden, and to minimize possible side effects if those drugs were used systemically.