Evaluation of viral sensitizer technology for improving influenza vaccine in an egg-basedmanufacturing process

Vaccination remains the most effective preventative measure for influenza infection. Seasonal influenza epidemics and the emergence of pandemic strains have increased the global demand for influenza vaccines, putting significant pressure on vaccine manufacturers. However, current vaccine manufacturing strategies rely primarily upon production in eggs, an age-old method that needs to be significantly improved. Recently, research from our lab identified a panel of novel compounds termed viral sensitizers (VSes) that increased virus production up to 1000 fold in cultured cells.

Aptamer-facilitated Virus Shielding (Apta?ViSh) Technology and Aptamer-facilitated AntivirusShielding (Apta-AntiviSh) Technology to extend the in vivo action of oncolytic viruses. Year One

This project aims to develop an aptamer-based technology to enhance the in-vivo survival of oncolytic viruses and thus the efficiency of virotherapy. Oncolytic viruses (OVs) can selectively replicate in tumor cells, leading to lysis of the tumor. OVs are particularly effective against metastatic cancers, which are especially difficult to treat conventionally. However, OVs can be deactivated by antiviral neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) and cleared from the circulation.

Development of Radio-Imaging Agents Targeting Necroptosis Year Two

The joint-effort project by Nordion Inc and the University of Ottawa Heart Institute aims to develop a series of radiolabeled necrostatin derivatives, which act as imaging agents based on necroptosis (programmed necrosis - a type of cell death) inhibitors to help diagnose disease (such as cardiovascular, neurological diseases and cancer) and monitor their treatment effects. The roles of the fellow are to design, synthesize and characterize these agents and to assist in testing their biological properties through further in vitro and in vivo evaluation.

Detection and prevention of preeclampsia using metabolomics and Vaccinium leaf extract for human trophoblast survival

Blueberry leaves are gynaecological aids and inhibitors of advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs). AGEs cause atherosclerosis, kidney, vascular, and neurological diseases through an oxidative process and correlate with preeclampsia. Preeclampsia affects 2-7% of women and is a leading cause of maternal/perinatal mortality. A woman dies of preeclampsia every eight minutes worldwide. Unfortunately, randomized trials evaluating dietary, vitamin, mineral treatments showed minimal benefit in reducing preeclampsia. AGEs are associated with preeclampsia.

Development of thyroglobulin specific aptamers for detection of thyroid carcinoma in the presence of thyroglobulin specific auto-antibodies

Thyroid cancer is the most frequent endocrine cancer. Over 90% of thyroid cancers are of the follicular or papillary type termed differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC). Thyroglobulin (Tg) serum measurement is an integral part of the follow up and management of DTC patients. Serum Tg levels are conventionally measured using either an immunometric assay (IMA) or radioimmunometric assay (RIA). Both methods rely on the use of labeled exogenous antibodies.

Development of Radio-Imaging Agents Targeting Necroptosis

The joint-effort project by Nordion Inc and the University of Ottawa Heart Institute aims to develop a series of radiolabeled necrostatin derivatives, which act as imaging agents based on necroptosis (programmed necrosis - a type of cell death) inhibitors to help diagnose disease (such as cardiovascular, neurological diseases and cancer) and monitor their treatment effects. The roles of the fellow are to design, synthesize and characterize these agents and to assist in testing their biological properties through further in vitro and in vivo evaluation.

Development of a Process for Manufacturing Synthetic Hydrocarbon Fuel from Captured Carbon Dioxide

This project would seek to develop an integrated system incorporating a reverse water gas shift (RWGS) reactor to convert carbon dioxide and hydrogen into carbon monoxide and water, aiming for maximum production of carbon monoxide. RWGS is an endothermic, catalytic, equilibrium-limited reaction, so the project team will seek to develop efficient, novel catalysts and supports, an optimal reactor design, and an efficient separation/recycling system so as to minimize wastage of unreacted raw materials.

Implementation of Computer Vision algorithms on embedded platforms

Embedded systems are small low-power computing units designed for specific applications, often with real-time constraints. These systems can be found in cell-phones, portable video games, automobiles, home appliances, digital cameras where they perform specific tasks. The objective of this research is to participate to the development of the embedded software algorithms and tools that will facilitate the embedding of new software solutions to the Synopsys embedded vision system.

Advanced Mass Spectrometry ExperimentDevelopment (AMASED)

This project will develop, test and then apply new mass spectrometry (MS) methods of measuring radionuclides and their decay products. This approach will provide rapid and economic measures of radionuclides that are important in human health and environmental protection nuclear facilities. We will work closely with our partners to ensure that the methods are validated and are comparable to convention radiochemical and nuclear counting techniques.

Affinity Cell Purification and Cell Activity Modulation with Aptamers

Aptamers are short strands of nucleic acids with high affinity and specificity for their targets. Advantages of using aptamers, relative to antibodies, include their smaller size, ease of synthesis, and lack of immunogenicity. Therefore, aptamers technology can be a novel cancer therapy strategy. The goals of our research program are to develop aptamers that catch and release circulating tumor cells and block receptors involve in cancer stem cell pathways.

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