Scholar Award

Developing novel cancer diagnostic platforms and advancing treatment options for metastatic cancer

Metastasis, which is the spread of cancer cells from a primary tumor to other areas in the body, remains the main cause of cancer related death. Awareness of the clinical importance of metastasis and our basic scientific understanding of the metastatic process has improved substantially over the past few decades. However, many aspects of metastasis are still not well defined and our ability to identify patients at high risk for cancer spread is limited.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Optimizing care for opioid use disorder in British Columbia

British Columbia is facing an unprecedented and escalating opioid crisis, underscoring the urgent need for innovative science-driven solutions. There is critical implementation gap of evidence-based care for opioid use disorder (OUD), this research will seek to narrow this gap.

First, Dr. Socias will seek to advance the implementation of evidence-base treatments for OUD, by leading a series of ongoing and planned clinical trials evaluating innovative and promising models of care (e.g., take-home strategies) and alternate treatment options (e.g., slow-release oral morphine).

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018
Partners: 

Development of a novel biophotonics method to improve treatment and neurological outcomes in acute spinal cord injury

Acute spinal cord injury (SCI) is a devastating neurological condition resulting in permanent morbidity and impaired quality of life. In spite of advancements in the acute treatment of SCI, preventing neurological deficits in affected patients is highly limited. The hemodynamic management of acute SCI patients to maintain blood supply and maximize oxygenation of the injured spinal cord tissue is currently one of the few aspects of critical care in which clinicians can improve neurologic outcomes.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Innovative uses of technology to prevent secondary events after stroke

Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability in Canada, costing our economy $3.6 billion per year. More than 405,000 people are currently living with the effects of stroke. This number is expected to rise to 720,000 by 2038.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Prevention of severe bacterial infections in children by optimizing protection through vaccination

Dr. Sadarangani's  research focuses on preventing severe illness and death in children by ensuring best use of vaccines to protect against three serious infections (meningococcal, pneumococcal, pertussis) which cause blood poisoning, meningitis and whooping cough.

Vaccines have reduced these infections, but we dont know if we are usng the optimal number and timing of dses. Sadarangani's goals are to ensure optimal use of these vaccines and aid development of future vaccines.

The project will:

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Integrative genomics to identify novel therapeutics and biomarkers for COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) affects 300 million people worldwide and is the third leading cause of death, responsible for over 3 million deaths per year. It is the number one reason why adults end up in hospitals. However, we do not have good drugs to treat patients with COPD. This is because we do not fully understand how and why COPD develops and progresses.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Studying the role of modifiable risk factors: Nutrition and body weight for the prevention of cancer

Nearly half of Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer during their life. Healthy eating, a healthy body weight, and regular physical activity can prevent one-third of cancers. Yet, many Canadians do not engage in these lifestyle behaviours. New approaches to improve diet-cancer research are needed to move the field forward and reduce the burden of cancer on Canadians.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Predicting depressive symptoms during the transition to high school

The transition to high school is a challenging developmental period, during which prevalence rates of depression more than double. In fact, by the end of the first year of high school, 11.5% of adolescents will have experienced a depressive episode in the last year, and many more adolescents will have experienced elevated depressive symptoms that interfere with school performance, social friendships, or physical health.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

A program of research on criminalization of sexuality, HIV and incarceration among marginalized women

Marginalized women (trans inclusive) living with and affected by HIV are disproportionately criminalized. This research will establish an empirical evidence base that documents the lived-experiences of criminalization and incarceration among sex workers and women living with HIV. The ultimate goal is to inform evidence-based law reform and interventions to redress over criminalization and negative effects of incarceration.

The objectives of this research program are to:

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Imaging repair: Developing and applying unconventional neuroimaging methods for quantitative assessment of tissue health

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a powerful tool for measuring changes in the brain and spinal cord that occur over the course of neurological disease. Unfortunately, conventional MRI is qualitative, so the biological cause of the changes seen on MRI is difficult to determine.

Damage to myelin, the substance that surrounds the nerve fibres (axons) of the brain and spinal cord to speed up signal transmission and protect the axons themselves, is a common feature for many neurological diseases. While myelin can be repaired, axonal damage is irreversible.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Platelet signaling in chronic inflammation

Proper function of the immune system is essential for protection against infectious disease and maintaining human health. During the onset of infection, white blood cells and platelets release signaling molecules known as cytokines, which orchestrate a protective inflammatory response. When cytokine release is de-regulated, excessive inflammation causes cell and tissue death and loss of function. This is seen in gum disease (periodontitis), which is characterized by gum inflammation and destruction of tooth-supporting connective tissues and bone.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

A causal inference framework for analyzing large administrative healthcare databases with a focus on multiple sclerosis

Provincial health authorities routinely collect patient information on a massive scale, but health researchers face the challenge of exploring cause-and-effect relationships using these non-randomized population-based data sources. Machine learning methods are increasingly used to analyze these large datasets, although they do not inherently take causal structures (i.e., how the variables affect each other) into consideration and may lead to less-than-optimal or even erroneous conclusions.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Population-based 'big data' research to improve women's health

Dr. Hanley's research in women's reproductive health uses the large population-based datasets that already exist in British Columbia, and is driven by diverse training in population and public health, health services research, and economics.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Mental health trajectories of immigrant and refugee children: An ecological population-based approach

Canada's immigrant and refugee population is growing rapidly, representing over 20% of the population. Despite the significance for Canadian society, little is known about mental health and risk factors among immigrant and refugee children and youth. Such knowledge is, however, critical to understand how we can support them in adapting to Canada, and enhance their well-being.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Neuromodulation research program for youth addiction and mental health

Each year, approximately 1 in 5 Canadians experiences a mental health or addiction problem. Young people aged 15 to 24 are more likely to experience mental illness and substance use than other age groups.

Depression is one of the most common mental illness, but current treatments are either ineffective or lead to side effects in up to 50% of youth. In youth, medications are often borrowed from adult population not accounting for age-related brain differences. New solutions are needed to address major gaps in treatment of youth mental health.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

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