Designing a user-friendly platform for a water conservation device using behavioural science

Canada is one of the largest per capita users of fresh water in the world. A blind spot in water consumption is that people are often unaware of how much water is being used. One solution is to provide instant feedback on water consumption to users and use behavioural interventions to promote water conservation among users. In this project, we will conduct a literature review on behavioural interventions that promote water conservation.

Evaluating extended-release injectable buprenorphine in a Canadian setting

Canada is in the midst of an opioid epidemic. Although oral opioid agonist therapies (OAT) are effective for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD), a number of barriers pose a significant challenge to treatment initiation and retention. In 2018, Health Canada approved a new medication for OUD, a once-monthly injection, which may be able to address challenges related to medication adherence. The current project aims to support a larger observational study that assess the feasibility, efficacy, and safety of this new treatment option.

Vegetation Growth Trajectory Responses of Native and Invasive Plants Across Different Biogeoclimatic Zones within the McKay Creek Wildfire Area

Impacts of increased wildfires and wildfire intensity have impacts that go beyond the initial devastation often shown on the news. Wildfire recovery is a long, difficult, and multi-faceted undertaking, especially within the context of a changing climate. This project is intended to better understand the impacts of wildfire on invasive and native (culturally important) plants. Plants are the cornerstone of ecosystems including food systems for people and wildlife.

External validation and updating of prognostic models to identify hospitalized children at highest risk of in-hospital mortality in low-resource settings

Most child deaths occur in poorer countries where children who seek care at a hospital die soon after arrival. The majority of these deaths are from severe infections. Simple treatments for severe infections are available but need to be administered quickly. However, it can be difficult to identify which children are most at risk of dying from a severe infection. Risk prediction models can help frontline health workers with identifying very ill children and support decisions about treatments or referrals to higher levels of care. This can lead to faster treatment and save lives.

Moving Towards Equitable Sexual Health Care in British Columbia: Centring the Voices of Youth in Policy and Practice

Equitable sexual healthcare services, such as contraception care, particularly for youth (aged 15-29), is a growing issue throughout Canada as the rates of sexual transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancies are increasing. Youth contraception use is lower in rural communities in comparison to urban centres. However, there is minimal research that understands how youth in rural communities access sexual care services and their reproductive healthcare needs.

Do viral infections cause queen failure?

Honey bee queens are the only reproductive female in a beehive – if a queen dies or is unable to lay eggs then the whole colony will slowly die. A queen’s lifetime reproductive capacity, or fecundity, is imperative for maintaining a strong, healthy colony, but declining queen quality is a growing concern among beekeepers. Beekeepers typically replace queens every one to two years but often do so without knowing whether it is needed or not. There are many possible causes of poor fecundity in queens, including infectious diseases.

Generating potent Interleukin-2 variant to specifically enhance NK cell proliferation

A human protein “interleukin-2” plays a key role in immunity. The target of this project is to modify this protein, triggering more immune cells in body, and hence enhancing body defense. At first, the intern will produce normal interleukin-2 in bacteria. The protein will then be mixed with the immune cells. Increase in cell amount indicates the protein is functional. Afterwards, the intern will modify the interleukin-2 at different positions, followed by combining these modifications randomly to create a library of various interleukin-2. They will be tested by using immune cells.

Trash Is Cash: Applying machine learning to optimize the utilization of crop and forest residues in rural communities

Around 4 billion tonnes per year of crop and forest residues (biomass) are burned in open air, because they are often loose, wet, bulky, and too expensive to collect and centralize for subsequent conversion into useful products. This results in air pollution, and in some cases, exacerbated wildfires. In this project, we are applying machine learning and optimization techniques to coordinate a new class of small-scale, low-cost, decentralized bioconversion systems capable of rural, decentralized deployment.

Development of RNAi Enhancers using a yeast-based bio-manufacturing and delivery system and applications as a biopesticide against economically important crop pests in Canada

Biological pest control strategies (bio pesticides) offer promise as non-toxic and environmentally-friendly alternatives to conventional chemical pesticides. The use of RNA-interference as a potential biopesticide has become increasingly attractive due to its highly specific activity against target pest species, non-toxic and biodegradability, but as an emerging technology, has its limitations.

Biosensor gene circuit for 3D bioprinted devices

Cell-based therapies have the potential to revolutionize the treatment of chronic diseases such as endocrine and autoimmune disorders, neurological degeneration, and cancer. These treatments utilize cells as localized biofactories to secrete therapeutic molecules. However, one major roadblock in efficiently utilizing cell-based therapies is the cells survival and wellbeing in bioprinted devices. This is due to the vastly different environment in bioprinted devices, resulting in limited access to oxygen and nutrients.