Scholar Award

Developing new anti-cancer drugs that target abnormal signaling networks in cancer

A defining characteristic of cancer cells is their ability to grow and replicate in an uncontrolled manner. Cancer cells have altered signaling pathways that allow them to bypass checkpoints that would normally prevent their rapid growth. STAT3 protein is a master regulator of cancer cell signaling and is found to be overactive in 70 % of cancers. While healthy cells can survive without STAT3, cancer cells become addicted to overactive STAT3 and are sensitive to disruptions in this pathway.

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Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Implementation of Shared Decision Making to Improve Person- and Family-Centred Care

The healthcare system is undergoing a paradigm shift toward person- and family-centred care. While this is a critical priority, it will be challenging to put into practice. One strategy to implement this change is shared decision-making (SDM), a process that supports patients and providers to discuss the risks and benefits of options, clarify preferences, and make choices based on their informed values. Knowledge translation and implementation science (KT/IS) are key approaches for accelerating this system change.

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Year: 
2019

Strengthening primary care through population-based research

Primary care includes the day-to-day services provided by family doctors, nurse practitioners, and other health care providers. High quality primary care that follows patients over time and coordinates specialist and hospital care is key to an effective and efficient health care system. Unfortunately, many Canadians struggle to get primary care where and when they need it, despite there being more family doctors per person than ever before.

My research program seeks to answer the following questions:

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Effects of cellular origin on the development of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is the third leading cause of cancer related deaths mostly due to the absence of symptoms as the cancer develops. This leads to diagnosis after the tumor has already become widely invasive and cannot be surgically removed. Unfortunately, surgical removal of early stage tumors is the most effective treatment option and other treatments, such as chemotherapy, are woefully ineffective.

Thus, there are two major fronts where research could improve the outcomes of pancreatic cancer patients:

Primary Investigator: 
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Year: 
2019

Identity in mental health: A focus for early intervention and improving social functioning

Personal identity--one's psychological sense of personal continuity--is an important aspect of mental health, informing one's motivations, behaviours, and social relations. Disruptions in identity can contribute to prevalent conditions such as personality disorders. Indeed, distorted identity is a core aspect of personality dysfunction and disorder, contributing to considerable negative health and social outcomes--and a prominent challenge for health care providers and systems.

Primary Investigator: 
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Year: 
2019

Advancing nutritional hematology to reduce the burden of anemia and inform nutrition policy

Anemia is a condition in which there is a decrease or destruction of red blood cells causing inadequate transport of oxygen throughout the body. It is a major public health problem affecting ~25% of the global population, or ~9 million Canadians of all ages.

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Year: 
2019

Promoting Mental Health and Addressing Substance Use in Canadian Youth through Collaborative Research and Intervention

Mental health and substance use (MHSU) challenges are leading health issues facing youth globally. In Canada, 20% of the youth population experiences mental health disorders, and youth aged 15-24 have the highest rates of past year substance use and related harms. To address these concerns, MHSU researchers and advocates argue for a population health approach incorporating promotion, prevention, and treatment within a 'healthy public policy' framework.

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Year: 
2019

Improving microbial outbreak responses through integration of knowledge engineering and bioinformatics platform development

Infectious diseases remain a serious and constant threat despite the high standards of sanitation and health care enjoyed by the British Columbians. Moreover, British Columbians, living in a major port of entry to Canada, face an increased risk of contact with emerging infectious diseases as exemplified by SARS. An effective disease surveillance system requires multiple health organizations to work together and share information with each other.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Understanding service use decision-making and improving engagement among youth and young adults with mental health disorders

This program of research will seek to understand how youth and young adults (YYA) with mental health (MH) disorders make decisions about seeking MH services at YYA centres such as Foundry BC. Foundry BC provides health and wellness services to YYAs through integrated service care in communities across BC. Nearly 75% of MH disorders develop before the age of 25, yet less than 20 percent of Canadian YYAs receive appropriate treatment. This can cause serious problems such as relapse, rehospitalisation, increased suicide risk, and can interrupt critical identity development.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Rethink Endometriosis: Genomics and Microenvironment Influence on Biology and Malignant Potential

One million Canadian women are affected by endometriosis annually. There is little investment in research, and socioeconomic cost, >$4 billion annually in Canada, continue to climb owing to lost productivity, sick days, treatments for frequent pain, infertility and depression. Most critically, affected women may have up to a 10-fold increased risk of developing specific types of ovarian cancer. There are no biological features that predict if endometriosis will result in severe or chronic pain, infertility, or cancer.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

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: 
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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: 
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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.

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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

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