Using OMICs to assess contaminant related exposure and effects in Fraser River Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

The Fraser River watershed, British Columbia provides habitat for Chinook salmon, which delivers food for First Nations, recreational anglers, commercial fisheries and endangered Southern Resident killer whales. Extensive forestry, agricultural, industrial and urban activities take place in the Fraser Valley exposing early life history stages of Chinook to a mix of legacy and new contaminants, including PCBs, pesticides and pharmaceuticals and personal care products.

Understanding the impact of microfinance on women’s wellbeing: A case of Vietnam

The project is based on focus groups discussions to look at the impact of microfinance on women's wellbeing in rural parts of Vietnam. This approach will support to evaluate the different ways through which economic burden associated to microfinance may affect women’s well-being and what are the initiatives involving financial institutions and advocates of women’s wellbeing that help women to overcome these burden. From this project, WEF hopes that the benefits of microfinance on women’s health will be evaluated and wide spread to other countries where WEF has partnership.

Chemical and biological characterization of the non-tetrahydrocannabinoid profiles of medicinal plants

We propose to perform detailed studies that characterize chemically and biologically and the unaltered ancestral plant species of the Cannabis genus. Chemically, these studies will provide the chemotype profiles for each parental species for a spectrum of non-tetrahydrocannabinoid compounds. Biologically, these studies will provide the pharmacological profiles for each parental species.

Eng/aging and HIV: Knowledge Exchange Between Administrative Data Project and Aging Individuals with HIV/AIDS in British Columbia

To an unprecedented degree in the history of HIV/AIDS, people with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) are aging largely owing to the success of treatment. As a relatively new phenomenon, research on HIV/AIDS and aging is only just emerging, and remains largely epidemiological in focus. One leading epidemiological study called COAST comes from the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, a world-renowned HIV/AIDS research organization. COAST assembles administrative epidemiological data to examine aging PLHIV health trends in B.C.

The real world of environmental pollutants: New approaches to identifying priority contaminants in the Endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale food web

The Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW, Orcinus orca) population is assessed at 73 individuals, and significant threats include high levels of endocrine disrupting contaminants, alongside other anthropogenic threats. Studies have painted a partial picture of the contaminants of concern in the SRKW food web. For example, preliminary studies of chinook salmon suggest that some resident populations are more contaminated than others which may be contributing to the high PCB burden in SRKW.

Modeling of membrane fatigue in fuel cells

Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells are a clean source of energy and a promising candidate for replacing internal combustion engines in automotive applications. However, the commercial use of fuel cells in such applications faces significant challenges on cost and durability. This project aims to address the concerns around fuel cell durability with a focus on the degradation of the polymer electrolyte membrane, a key component of the fuel cell.

Development of new approaches to identifying priority contaminants and evaluate their biological effects in the endangered St Lawrence Estuary Beluga population

The beluga population living in the St. Lawrence Estuary (Quebec) is endangered, and exposure to organic contaminants (i.e., polychlorinated biphenyls, short-chain chlorinated paraffins and polybrominated diphenyl ethers) may be one of the reasons that explain their steady decline. Recent studies using skin/blubber biopsies of St. Lawrence belugas showed that several of these organohalogens may perturb their regulation of thyroid and estrogen axes as well as lipid metabolism.

An Evaluation of Targeted Physical Environmental Interventions in Louis Brier Home & Hospital

In response to the number of residents at Louis Brier Home living with dementia, this project seeks to implement environmental modifications to support resident orientation (specifically related to the hallways and door frames). Based on the data analysis from the observations and focus groups, recommendations will be made for modest physical environmental modifications to promote residents’ quality of life.

Investigation and design of large supercapacitor banks for grid energy storage system

Supercapacitors provide high power density, extra-long cycle life, and wide operating temperature ranges and are poised to grow rapidly in the energy storage market. They offer good complementary features to the batteries and can be used to implement fast cycling speed grid energy storage systems given the cost being driven down. With its own charging and manufacuturing technologies developed, the industry partner is set to move forward to design and implement large supercapacitor banks for distribution grid use.

Insight into killer whale habitat quality

British Columbia’s (BC) resident killer whales are listed under the Species At Risk Act as ‘threatened’ and ‘endangered’ for the northern and southern residents, respectively. Contaminants have been recognized as one of the main threats affecting the survival and recovery of these populations. This project will look at the levels of contaminants of concern in sediment samples collected from killer whale habitat.

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