Assessment of biomarkers for the non-invasive diagnosis of male infertility

Infertility is a health issue that affects over half a million Canadian of childbearing age. Half of these cases are related to male reproductive dysfunctions. While semen analysis provides information about some causes of male infertility, about thirty percent of these cases remains unexplained. In this context, the main goal of our project is to assess the potential of target molecules, which are secreted from the internal organs of the male reproductive system into the seminal plasma, as biomarkers for the non-invasive diagnosis of infertility.

Raman micro-spectroscopy for biopsy for prostate cancer prognosis -Year two

Prostate biopsies can be difficult to interpret using standard pathology techniques. Because cancer can be fatal, the development of technologies providing complementary information could improve current pathology practice resulting in improved patient outcome. Raman micro-spectroscopy is a molecular imaging technique using backscattered light following tissue laser excitation to indicate whether or not prostate samples contain cancer cells. However, this technique is very sensitive to the molecules in chemicals used to process tissue (e.g. paraffin), which greatly limits its efficacy.

Novel Cell-surface Engineering Methods to Increase Immune-tolerance of Allogenic Cell Transplantation

Blood transfusion is required for surgery, for the treatment of traumatic accidents and for patients with disorders that require lifelong transfusion therapy. However, when patients receive “mismatched” blood transfusion, their immune system will attack and destroy red blood cells with surface sugars and proteins that differ from their own. This results in massive immune responses in patients, causing shock and even death.

An Integrated Mobile Communication Environment for Healthcare Professionals and Patients: Analysis, Prediction and Recommendation

Think Tank Innovations Ltd is a company active in the healthcare domain. The company is interested in expanding their current working system Sharesmart application by benefiting from advanced technology to develop an integrated environment for healthcare solutions in order to better service a wider community locally and globally. Students to be involved in this project will build a data repository to host data to be collected, cleaned, built, integrated and processed for knowledge discovery which will guide more focused decision making.

Effects of various compounds on central nervous system neurons as potential therapeutics against epilepsy

Xenon has developed isoform selective blockers of the sodium channels that are expressed in CNS neurons with the intent of developing them for therapeutic use, especially epilepsy. The primary goal of this research project is to determine the activity of compounds on CNS neurons. Until now, all characterization has been done with heterologously expressed channels. Until recently, a major impediment to such studies is the heterogenous nature of CNS neurons, so that a large number of studies need to be conducted for a complete characterization.

The effects of X-Act Compression garments technology on muscle fatigue, active and passive joint torque and performance

There are many compression garment products on the market claiming to improve some aspect of performance, however their claims are not validated with empirical data. In fact, current literature regarding the benefits of compression garments on cardiovascular and biomechanical performance is controversial; with many results suggesting non-significant or even negative effects provided by the compression garment.

Characterization of Naturally-Occurring Neuropathic Pain in Dogs

Clinical experience demonstrates that canine patients commonly suffer from neuropathic pain and little is known to address this issue. Our study aims to investigate different tools for the diagnosis and treatment of neuropathic pain. Forty dogs with naturally-occurring neuropathic pain will be included in a prospective, randomized, masked clinical trial using appropriate inclusion and exclusion criteria.

Using PET/MRI to improve current pre-clinical biomarkers in cancer

Treatments that involve activating a patient’s own immune system, immunotherapies, are becoming important cancer therapies. Unfortunately, doctors don’t always know the best way to combine these therapies to best treat patients and the current tools they have to evaluate treatment success don’t work well for immunotherapies. Molecular imaging, particularly magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or positron emission tomography (PET) can help researchers learn more about how these therapies work and how best to combine them.

Somatostatin signalling and diabetes

The prevalence of diabetes is growing rapidly and currently, over 60 million people worldwide use insulin treatment to manage their diabetes. However, insulin treatment can result in hypoglycemia or low blood sugar levels. To date only retroactive treatments are available to treat hypoglycemia, which affects an individual’s quality of life and increases the likelihood of recurring bouts of hypoglycemia as well as development of cardiovascular or renal disease.

Effects of dietary glutathione precursors on cellular redox and mitochondrial efficiency in adults consuming a defined hypocaloric diet (Optifast-900; Nestlé Canada)

The aim of the proposed research is to investigate the cellular mechanistic effects of supplementation with a hypocaloric meal replacement product (Optifast-900; Nestlé Canada) containing cysteine and glycine, which are amino acid precursors of the antioxidant glutathione. Impaired cellular glutathione redox normally occurs with aging and metabolic disorders, however, this study will focus on a population in which we have previously observed impaired muscle cellular glutathione redox and slow weight loss during the exclusive dietary consumption of Optifast-900.

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