Low-shear, scalable microfluidic sorting of platelets and leukocytes for pooled platelet lysate

Extem supplies research grade mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and is looking to differentiate themselves by providing a proprietary human-derived growth media to replace the cow-derived fetal bovine serum (FBS) typically used. Pooled platelet lysate (PPL) may be a viable alternative. However, existing PPL methods lack quality control, standardization, and can result in up to 50% cell viability loss. Extem would like to develop a more economical solution that integrates beneficial quality control and standardization. By collaborating with Dr.

Tick vectored disease biobank

Lyme disease is one of the many diseases transmitted by ticks. The rate of these diseases is rapidly increasing in Canada. Diagnosing these diseases is difficult but examination of biopsy, necropsy and autopsy tissue can help to understand the full and varied effects of the disease and ultimately reduce misdiagnoses. Biobanks are required for this type of research.

Technology and Tools for Quantitative Neurodiagnostics Using Ultra-High Resolution Magnetic Resonance Imaging

The project aims to translate developments in ultra-sensitive MRI sensors to a clinically-relevant setting. To create high-sensitivity sensors for better images, we aim to create a tight-fitting system which places the sensors—akin to antennas—closer to the brain. This will improve the quality of the signals that we can extract from the brain, and allow us to use these improvements to capture images that have higher resolution and better contrast. Using this imaging improvement, we aim to then create a large normative dataset of grey matter thicknesses.

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.

Longitudinal Weak Labeling for Lung Cancer Prognosis and Treatment Response Prediction

This project aims at evaluating whether recent results in deep learning models, trained to exploit weak labels (Hwang, 2016) can serve to extract meaningful lesion localizations from image-level labels, either from individual scans or given a (longitudinal) sequence thereof. To this end, we will scale up existing models that have been shown to work on 2D images to a 3D context, studying labeling performance as the dataset size grows.

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.

An Assessment of Local Business’ Understandings and Needs for Community Leadership in a Small Urban Setting

Community leadership development and training programs must respond to changing corporate and public perceptions. There has been a lack of research on community leadership within small urban settings, where the impact that training and development programs have may be high. Our objective is to describe how local businesses in a small urban setting understand community leadership and what needs they have with respect to training and development. We will conduct fifteen in-depth interviews with a diverse range of local business leaders in Greater Victoria, British Columbia.

Speech recognition for older, pathological voices

Some diseases and brain injuries can seriously impair language. Patterns in an individual's speech can allow computers to describe these impairment with a high degree of accuracy. These techniques can be used to test large groups of people for drug trials and potentially replace pen-and-paper based testing methods. To fully automate this process, speech recognition systems can be used to automatically transcribe speech. Unfortunately, these technologies continue to perform relatively poorly for elderly speakers, or for individuals with speech disorders.

Multi-user Training Software Development and Otoscope Tracking for Otolaryngology Education

Simulation is being used increasingly to improve medical education by providing students and trainees with greater access and opportunity to learn critical skills without affecting actual patient care. To this end, OtoSim has developed a multi-user training platform and an otoscope tracking device. The multi-user training platform allows the trainee to self-learn while being electronically connected to a central database for monitoring and advice.

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