Tracking the fate of Tetrodotoxin bound sodium channels

Pain is a global clinical problem. Chronic pain caused by cancer, osteo/rheumatoid arthritis, operations, injuries and spinal problems affects millions of people worldwide. The current treatments for severe pain is unsatisfactory and include opioids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids and tricyclic anti-depressants. Most of these drugs have limitations with regard to addiction, toxicity and thus there is a growing need for newer analgesic drugs that have greater efficacy, reduced toxicity and addiction.

The Effect of Granzyme B on Photoaging

Aging is a complex, time-dependent process caused by decreased ability of the body to respond to environmental stress. In the case of skin aging, most of the associated changes are the result of sun exposure or ‘photoaging’. As the average age of the western population increases, there has been a substantial increase in interest in studying age related diseases and the causes of photoaging along with combating its effects in order to improve overall skin health and appearance.

Preclinical characterization of medical marijuana cultivars with therapeutic efficacy and low side-effect liability

Medical marijuana describes the legal use of cannabis plants for treating health-related issues. In Canada, there are currently about 40,000 medical marijuana users, and this number is expected to increase by over 1000% during the next decade. The large majority of patients use medical marijuana for its psychological effects, such as for anxiety, depression, pain and insomnia. There is a concerning lack of knowledge about the effects of different strains (“cultivars”) of medical marijuana, including both therapeutic effects as well as unwanted side-effects.

Dissecting the role of PCSK9 in sepsis

Severe sepsis strikes young and old alike with an increasing incidence of >75,000 per year in Canada at a cost of $40,000 per patient. In 40% sepsis is complicated by low blood pressure and organ failure with a mortality rate of 30-60%. The number of deaths due to severe sepsis and septic shock is greater than the number of deaths due to acute myocardial infarction. The process that links infection to organ failure and death is triggered by bacterial toxins, including lipopolysaccharide, lipoteichoic acid, and phospholipomannan. Pathogen toxins are cleared from the blood by the liver.

Enhancement of a Pharmacogenomic Treatment Decision Support Tool for Schizophrenia

The GeneSight (GS) Psychotropic Test (AssureRx Health, Inc.) measures individual variations in drug-related genes and recommends optimal drug choices for individual patients. A clinical study will be conducted to validate novel gene markers of antipsychotic-induced weight gain for use in an enhanced version of GS. Sarah Groleau will be responsible for genotyping DNA from 600 schizophrenia patients to evaluate which of the significant gene variants (UofT/CAMH) predict the most troubling side effect of antipsychotic medications: weight gain and metabolic syndrome.

An omics study of plant responses to non-oncogenic Agrobacterium infection Year Two

Time-course biochemical and transcriptomic (gene expression) analysis of Nicotiana benthamiana in response to Agrobacterium infection and monoclonal antibody (mAB) expression. Host response to Agrobacterium infection may provide insight into novel approaches to increase recombinant protein production. Understanding changes in host gene expression may help identify targets for future engineering to limit negative impacts on the host due to infection and recombinant gene expression. Differential gene expression analysis may also reveal specific up-regulated host defenses (e.g.

Knowledge Recombination and Alliance Strategy in Science-based Businesses Year Two

Project Objectives:

1. To identify the best practices in knowledge recombination by comparing science-based multinational corporations and start-up firms.

2. To suggest refinements in alliance strategies for science-based multinational corporations and start-up firms.

3. To uncover processes and organizational structures to productively exploit the confluence of biotechnology and nanotechnology by MNCs.

Motivation for Research:

Data-driven approach to establish a design space for raw materials properties and manufacturing conditions for pharmaceutical drug stability assurance

Pharmaceutical companies are required to perform stability testing of their drug products by regulation. A drug product that succeeds on stability testing means that its identity, potency, and purity remain within pre-established limits over its shelf life. Nowadays, drug products are more frequently reformulated in response to a highly competitive market, new research discoveries and the availability of new suppliers of raw materials.

Prevention of hepatitis C virus (HCV) re-infection after liver transplantation

Over 170 million persons worldwide are chronically infected by hepatitis C virus (HCV), leading to endstage liver disease and cancer. HCV is the single most common indication for liver transplantation in Canada and the rest of the Western world. After transplant, HCV re-infection is universal and is the chief cause of graft loss. Treatment of post-transplant recurrent HCV is more difficult than pretransplant, with lower response rates that partly reflect the effects of immunosuppression.We propose that the ideal management of post-transplant HCV is its prevention.

An Adaptive Phase I Intra-Patient Dose Escalation Study Of Fenretinide In Adult Cystic Fibrosis Patients

The proposed research project is a Phase 1 clinical trial looking at the safety of fenretinide, a molecule based on the structure of vitamin A, on patients with a disease called cystic fibrosis. Fenretinide has been shown in our laboratory to help cystic fibrosis mice by lowering molecules involved in inflammation and increasing the levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is a fatty acid known to decrease inflammation. The intern will be involved in patient sample processing, analyzing and logging.