Identifying the molecular mechanisms of neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation and screening NETosis-suppressing drugs to treat cystic fibrosis lung disease

Recent discoveries show that neutrophils mainly die by formation of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) in Cystic Fibrosis airways. Therefore determining mechanism and identifying FDA-approved drugs that inhibit NETosis could provide novel options to treat CF lung disease. We aimed to do the comparative gene expression analysis during NETosis induced by different NET inducing agents (PMA,LPS,A23187) in CF neutrophils. Furthermore to translate the findings for therapeutic targets, screening of large scale drugs, kinases and specific pathways inhibitors associated with NETosis are required.

Optimization and compatibility study of a pH-responsive terpolymercomposite membrane for controlled release dosage forms

A new film coating that can respond appropriately to different pH conditions of the stomach and small intestine (GI tract) was successfully prepared by combining pH-responsive nanoparticles with ethylcellulose polymer. However, the performance of the composite membrane has not been optimized for controlling drug release in the GI tract. Therefore, improvements are to be made through experimental design, such as central composite design, to find the appropriate composition of the nanoparticles to achieve the best overall combination of coating properties.

Small scale high efficiency purification of compounds

We are developing a new generation of devices for continuous chemical and nano-particle purification, based on the interactions of analyte with multiple types of driving forces in an electro-fluid-dynamic system. The two-dimensional electrofluid-dynamic (2-D EFD) devices, in which both electric field and hydrodynamic pressure are simultaneously utilized in 2-D channel networks to drive the mass transfer, provide better control on the analyte molecules or nanoparticles by simply adjusting the magnitude of pressure.

Genomics profiling of peritoneal mesothelioma and patient-derived xenograft models for in vivo biomarker validation

Peritoneal Mesothelioma (PM) is a rare type of cancer affecting the protective membrane surrounding the abdominal cavity and the second most common type of mesothelioma, consisting about 10-20% of the diagnosed cases. The underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms of peritoneal mesothelioma pathology are greatly understudied. In this proposal, we aim to enhance the current knowledge of PM pathogenesis and explore therapeutic treatments for it.

Development and validation of the OmegaSTAT prototype:A diagnostic kit to rapidly assess omega-3 status

Omega-3 fats are good for our health. When a person has low levels of omega-3s, this can lead to a number of serious health problems, such as heart disease. The typical diet in North America doesn’t have much omega-3 fat, meaning that most people have low levels of these important fats. The existing tools to measure how much omega-3 fat a person has are time-consuming and not practical to use in healthcare clinics. Therefore, a diagnostic test that is quick and easy to use is needed.

The role of hemoglobin-cytarabine in the selective death of acute myeloid leukemia cells

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a blood cancer with very poor prognosis, especially for patients older than 60 years of age. This is in part because of the severe toxicity of medicines available. Less harmful medicines are needed to better treat older patients. Therapure Biopharma Inc. has chemically linked the standard toxic chemotherapy medicine called cytarabine to the blood protein hemoglobin to make a potentially safer and more effective medicine to treat AML. In collaboration with the University Of Waterloo School Of Pharmacy, Therapure Biopharma Inc.

The I-Score Study: The development and validation of a patient-reported measure of antiretroviral therapy’s interference with life.

Many HIV-positive persons on HIV medication have trouble taking this medication as prescribed by their doctor (treatment adherence). This threatens the long-term ability of the drugs to preserve a patient’s health. For 1 in 5 in Canada, their medication does not work, in part because of adherence problems. Furthermore, doctors and their HIV-positive patients do not always discuss treatment difficulties and how to resolve them in sufficient depth. The I-Score Study is a 24-month research project that will develop a questionnaire to be filled out by patients as a part of routine HIV care.

Cannabinoid ligand in vitro drug screening

Current treatments for pain and inflammation have substantial side effects which limit their use and thus clinical effectiveness. Panag, is a Halifax based drug company which focuses on development of novel therapeutic treatments which can be applied topically to alleviate both pain and inflammation. These compounds are synthetic derivatives of plant-based molecules from the Cannabis sativa plant which have proven to be advantageous in treating pain and inflammation in animal models.

An economic evaluation of sulfonylurea medication, hypoglycemic episodes and falls in older adults with type 2 diabetes

Drug use in older persons is a major public health concern. Even though therapeutic drugs are beneficial for patients’ health in terms of survival or quality of life, patients aged >65 years have a greater risk of developing drug-related complications.

Development of Cell-Based Functional Assays to Accelerate Commercialization and Therapeutic Application of Recombinant Antibodies

Antibodies are the fastest growing segment of the pharmaceutical market, and with modern engineering technologies antibodies can be programmed to target devastating diseases. Within the immune system, antibodies fight invading bacteria and viruses. High-quality synthetic antibodies directed to disease-related targets have immense therapeutic potential. Development of cell-based assays to enable rapid identification of functionally active antibodies is a critical step in the commercialization process.

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