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.

Pediatric Cancer Drivers: From Target Discovery to Clinical Translation

This research cluster, a joint initiative between the Sorensen Lab at UBC and the Morin Lab at SFU with a number of key partners, involves a multidisciplinary approach to better understand the role of genetic changes in individual types of pediatric cancer, and how we might use this information to design better treatments for these diseases.

Design and Synthesis of Specific Inhibitors of CYP26 for Blocking Retinoic Acid Metabolism: A Safer Approach to Retinoid Therapy for Skin Disease Year Two

Acne is a common human skin disease which is highly prevalent during adolescence, and often continues into adulthood. Retinoids, such as isotretinoin (Accutane/Roaccutane), have been particularly effective systemically in the treatment of acne. Although, millions of patients have been treated with Accutane/Roaccutane which for many years generated more than $1B U.S. in annual sales, the side effects, such as birth defects and inflammatory bowel disease, can sometime be severe. The market opportunity of an effective treatment with a better safety profile than isotretinoin is significant.

Development of an Actigraph System for Sleep-Wake Identification

The main objective of this project is to design a proper algoritlun for analyzing COPD patient's sleep data as an important feature in patients treatment procedure. The data would be gathered by a novel wrist wearable actigraph with high accuracy technology. The wearable wristactigraph will allow more reliable data collection because the subjects can use it in their own home environment and there is no limitation for the length of data collection period. The intern will receive the proper raw data gathered by the actigraph, and focus on the analysis part of the project.

Application of neuroimaging to optimize observational learning from a mobile application: influences of age and brain function

One side effect of stroke is damage to the left parietal lobe, important in motor control of the right hand. Many stroke patients experience loss of motor skills and have difficulty relearning how to perform daily tasks. Recent reports from stroke rehabilitation centres have shown increased improvements in relearning basic motor skills upon incorporation of observational learning techniques into their therapies.

Biomechanical Comparison of Underwater Treadmill Running and Land Treadmill Running

The proposed research project aims to understand and quantify the biomechanical factors of running on an underwater treadmill, as compared to running on a land treadmill. By understanding the vertical ground reactive forces and order of muscle recruitment at various speeds, resistance and levels of buoyancy, practitioners in the field of sports medicine can effectively use the technology to enhance the management of athletic injuries. Fortius Institute, Inc.

Raman Spectroscopy for in vivo Classification of Peripheral Lung Nodules

In Canada the five year survival rate for lung cancer is only at 15%. There is a great need to be able to detect the disease at an earlier stage which would lead to a better prognosis and outcome for the patient. Although many technologies and medical devices have been in use for standard procedure in the last decade, there are few which can detect lung lesions in the deeper portion, the periphery of the lung with reliability. The best option presently is called radial ultrasound, a device which focuses on tissue density but does not illuminate biochemical characteristics.

Light collection optimization with semiconductor photodetectors

Better light collection by photodetectors would automatically improve signal to noise ratio and photodetector performance. For example, for the positron emission tomography application, it would result in a better image quality for a lower dose. The main cause of the light loss is too much reflection of light that is trying to travel from the light source into the semiconductor light sensor.

Tumor Reduction and Enhanced Responsiveness to Radiation Therapy and Chemotherapy Via Selective Removal of Iron: Mechanism and Preclinical Evaluation Year Two

Chelation Partners Inc. has developed a family of new and highly selective iron chelators such as DIBI. In collaboration with Dr. Hoskin, DIBI is being investigated as a novel anti-cancer agent. Preliminary research suggests that DIBI can selectively inhibit the growth and survival of cancer cells and render them more sensitive to radiation therapy. The proposed research builds on previous work to increase our understanding of how the removal of iron by DIBI affects cancer cells and makes them more sensitive to radiation and/or chemotherapy.

Low-power EEG headset for remote monitoring and warning system

Avertus Epilepsy Technologies Inc. is building a wireless headset that records brain waves (EEG) without requiring extensive, time-consuming and uncomfortable patient preparation. Avertus’ headset is a patient-focused, point-of care monitoring and detection system. To design the wireless EEG headset, commercially available dry electrodes will be analyzed and characterized to determine the optimum properties for better EEG recordings. A miniaturized circuit board will be designed for each electrode to make active electrodes that can provide a high quality EEG signal right on the headset.

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