Interaction of Cyclin-dependent kinase 2 with CR6-interacting factor 1, and the inhibitor search for such interaction against leukemia treatment resistance

Cyclin-dependent kinase-2 (CDK2) regulates cell cycle, whose structure and biological characteristics are well known. CRIF1 plays a regulatory role in the bone marrow microenvironment-induced leukemia cell cycle arrest through inhibiting CDK2. In this multi-disciplinary research, we will use a combined structure function study to reveal the interaction between CDK2 and CRIF1. This will facilitate the design of inhibitors for the interaction of the two important proteins, for eventual treatment of leukemia.

Characterization of molecular pathways mediating the effects of novel therapeutic agents in heart failure

Heart failure (HF) is a condition that develops after the heart becomes damaged or weakened. HF occurs when the pumping action of the heart is not strong enough to move blood around, especially during increased activity or under stress. In addition, the heart muscle may not relax properly to accommodate the flow of blood back from the lungs to the heart. These abnormalities in heart function can cause fluid to back up in lungs and in other parts of body.

Development and validation of blood-based biomarkers for improved heart failure management

Chronic heart failure (HF) is an epidemic affecting approximately 1.5-2% of Canada’s population (12% in patients over 80yrs) and the current one-year mortality rate after HF diagnosis remains disturbingly high at 25-40%. Even with treatment, many HF patients require hospitalizations during the course of their disease; in Canada HF is responsible for $3 billion in hospital costs annually.

SRRM4 protein purification and antibody production

The SRRM4 gene has been recently identified as a key protein responsible for a subtype of highly aggressive prostate cancers, called neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPC). Detection of SRRM4 protein in patient tumor biopsies is therefore important to predict and diagnose NEPC, so that early and more effective therapeutic means can be in place. Unfortunately, there is no SRRM4 antibody currently available that can be used for pathological analyses. This project will join force of academic and industrial expertise to develop a SRRM4 antibody that can be used in clinic for NEPC diagnosis.

Technology validation of the needle-free injector MED-JET H4 for vaccination

In adults, influenza vaccination is administered by intramuscular injection, a procedure that many people find painful and that some find frightening (ie: needle-phobia). Influenza vaccination is now encouraged or recommended for all Canadians. Every year, there is a large effort to vaccinate as many people as possible before the ‘flu season’. The urgency to vaccinate is even more acute in pandemics. Public health authorities are interested in ways to increase vaccine acceptance and delivery. One way to promote vaccine uptake and facilitate delivery would be needle-free injection.

Assessing the Bioactivity of Leech Saliva Extract (LSE) in Combination with Conventional Pharmacological Treatment in Vitro and in Vivo

Medical leeching can be traced back to the beginning of civilization. Ancient Egyptians, Indians, and Greek physicians used leeching as a treatment for a variety of diseases. In the past few decades, comprehensive studies have investigated the therapeutic applications of leech products and especially leech saliva. Recent studies completed by our lab have determined a therapeutic potential of a leech saliva extract component (BPS-001), with demonstrated strong anticancer properties.

Real Time Inverse Scattering for Optical Coherence Tomography - Year two

A critical challenge today in neuro-surgery is the determination of tumor boundaries intraoperatively. There are means of doing this using high-resolution MRI machines, however, these can be prohibitively costly. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) offers a promising, cheaper, label-free alternative. However, the basic models used for clinical, real-time OCT limit its usefulness and depth of focus. This work will develop a type of image reconstruction that includes digital focusing and anisotropic properties.

Improving obesity prevention and management in primary care: Patient experience of personalized assessment and care planning and impacts on patient self-management

Over 14 million Canadians live with overweight or obesity. Patients want conversations with their primary care team about weight and create personalized plans to improve their health. Primary care clinicians want to have these conversations too, but don’t know how. This project partners with an interdisciplinary primary care team (ESPCN) and the Canadian Obesity Network (CON) to create an intervention for personalized obesity assessment and care planning, and study how it supports patients in their everyday lives.

Novel formulation for the treatment of interstitial cystitis

Interstitial cystitis is an inflammatory disease of the urinary bladder and is recognized as a serious medical condition associated with a profoundly negative impact on patients’ quality of life. Currently, there are no widely acknowledged causes of this disorder and no effective treatments available. Panag is a Halifax based drug company which focuses on development of novel therapeutic treatments which can be used to alleviate both pain and inflammation associated with IC. The goal of our research is to provide IC patients with symptom and pain relief, as well as to improve outcome.

Signal Parameter Estimation and Tracking During Atrial Fibrillation Using a Bayesian Time-Delay Estimator

AF is an irregular heart rhythm resulting from abnormal electrical impulses and is the most common cardiac arrhythmia encountered in clinical practice. Ablation therapy has been used to eliminate areas responsible for maintaining the arrhythmia using radiofrequency energy. Targeting the culprit regions usually require accurate estimation of activation times in IEGM recordings. The conventional time domain methods fail to present a precise activation detection method and depend on parameters set by an operator.

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