Trainee Award

Design and evaluation of an evidence-based exercise program to enhance protective responses for avoiding fall-related traumatic brain injury in older adults

Falls cause up to 80% of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in older adults. Any fall from standing may cause TBI if head impact occurs. Humans use movement strategies to avoid head impact during falls, such as 'arresting' the fall with the arms. Through video capture of real-life falls, we found that these strategies persist but become less effective for older adults in long-term care, with over 1/3 of falls resulting in head impact in this setting.

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2019

Value Judgments in Health Economics Modelling for Primary Care: Towards Patient and Public Partnership in BC

In scientific research, many decisions are needed. Some take scientific expertise, but others take knowing what people find important. Such 'value judgments' include: choosing a topic and how to study it, setting goals, and deciding how to share results.

Patients and the public can inform value judgments in research by being partners and sharing what is most important to them, including

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2019

Non-invasive Neuroprosthesis for Cardiovascular Recovery Following Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injury (SCI) not just causes paralysis but also more devastating issues such as impaired blood pressure (BP) and heart rate regulation, which are among the leading causes of illness and death among this population. The individuals with SCI above the mid-thoracic level commonly suffer from highly labile BP that rapidly reaches alarmingly high and low levels within the same day. These extreme BP fluctuations often result in seizures, ruptured brain blood vessels and even death.

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2019

Driving Brain Recovery and Enhanced Community Walking with Dual-Task Training After Stroke

Over 400,000 Canadians live with long-term disability from stroke. Stroke survivors say regaining walking ability is a top priority; but, poor cognition, or thinking abilities, can limit walking in the community. How much walking recovery someone achieves likely stems from the brain's ability to dual-task (DT), like walking while talking. In fact, almost 80% of stroke survivors struggle with some aspect of cognition limiting full walking recovery after stroke.

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2019

Personalised tools and stimulations in rehabilitation: linking clinical measures of motor recovery and mobility post-stroke with gait performance and functional outcomes of an intervention

Stroke is the leading cause of disability in Canada with more than 400,000 Canadians living with long-term disorders due to stroke. Hence, whilst challenging, it is critical to restore mobility to these individuals such as independent walking; the most frequently stated goal of individuals post-stroke. However, achieving this goal is hindered by motor impairments, including muscle weakness and spasticity, yet we still do not understand how these impairments influence walking post-stroke.

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2019

Investigating the Role of MicroRNAs on Granule Cell Development during Mouse Cerebellar Development

The cerebellum is a complex region of our brain involved in the coordination of our movements and cognition. Evidence shows that cerebellum is involved in several brain disorders such as ataxia (inability to move properly), autism, and medulloblastoma (the most prevalent brain tumor in children). The cerebellum is made of different cell types. Among them, the most numerous cell type, the granule cells, contribute to many crucial cerebellar functions. Indeed, an uncontrolled division of granule cells results in the most common form of pediatric brain tumor, the medulloblastoma.

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2019

The effects of 60% oxygen during exercise training in patients with fibrotic interstitial lung disease

Breathing discomfort is common in patients with interstitial lung disease (ILD) and often results in an inability to perform physical activity, leading to a poor quality of life. Exercise training can reduce breathing discomfort and enable ILD patients to perform physical activity. However, severe breathing discomfort makes it challenging for these patients to withstand the amount of training they need to get the most benefit.

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2019

Assessing Small Airway Disease Heterogeneity in Asthma to Identify Novel Therapeutic Targets

Asthma is a serious public health issue in Canada and in the world, affecting more than 300 million people globally. To date, clinical trials have established that current treatment strategies for asthma can relieve patient symptoms, but none are able to reverse the disease process. It is known that in asthmatic lungs, the airways -tubes that allow air to flow in and out of the lungs for breathing - are continually injured and scarred in a process called fibrosis.

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2019

HEARTBiT: A novel multi-marker blood test for management of acute cardiac allograft rejection

Patients receive heart transplants as a life-saving measure after heart failure; thus, ensuring the success of the transplant is of utmost importance. Rejection is a primary cause for heart transplant failure, and consequently, heart transplants are monitored at least 12 to 15 times within the first year of operation. However, current monitoring requires biopsies, a surgical procedure which requires repeated sampling of the heart muscle. This procedure is invasive, expensive, and stressful to patients.

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2019

Improving sepsis outcomes with anti-PCSK9 monoclonal antibody therapy

Sepsis is a severe disorder that occurs when human defense cells fight off an infection in an uncontrolled manner that can cause organ damage and death. Unfortunately, there is no specific treatment for sepsis, and there is a limited understanding of the mechanisms driving this deadly disorder.

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2019

Evaluating gender-sensitive interventions for people who use drugs in the context of British Columbia’s overdose crisis

The drug overdose crisis has been hardest felt in BC. Research has shown that gender plays a key role in shaping contexts of drug use (e.g., within sex work, intimate partnerships) and access to treatment and harm reduction services. Women access treatment with more severe drug-related profiles relative to men (e.g. violence/trauma), yet few services are women-centred. New Vancouver Coastal Health guidelines highlight grave gaps in supports and prevention for marginalized women, and several new models of care are being rolled out (e.g., women-only consumption rooms).

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2019

Protein-energy wasting: prevalence and treatment outcomes among patients with advanced chronic kidney disease in British Columbia

People with or approaching kidney failure requiring dialysis often develop protein-energy wasting (PEW), which is characterized by loss of body stores of protein and energy fuels, and is associated with increased risk of death, heart disease, infections, and poor quality of life. The extent of PEW, its consequences, and its management have not been previously characterized among kidney patients in Canada, yet nutritional management remains a top research priority from the patient perspective.

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2019

Role of the Histone Acetyltransferases p300/CBP in Brown Adipose Tissue Adaptive Thermogenesis

Obesity is rising in Canada at an alarming rate, which is bad for our healthcare system because it results in diseases like heart attacks and diabetes. Although eating less and exercising more can reduce weight, these lifestyle changes can be difficult to maintain, prompting interest in finding ways to ramp up the calorie-burning processes in the body to promote weight loss. Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is a kind of fat that is found in both humans and mice. Unlike white adipose tissue, BAT is specialized for calorie burning rather than storage.

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2019

Development of a novel intranasal oligonucleotide delivery approach for Huntington disease

Huntington disease (HD) is a progressive brain disorder affecting movement, mood, and cognitive skills, caused by inheriting a mutated copy of the huntingtin gene. This results in the production of a mutant huntingtin protein (mHTT) that is toxic to critical nerve cells in the brain. Reducing mHTT using specialized pieces of DNA, called antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs), should slow or prevent disease onset.

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2019

Investigating the impact of evolving cannabis access and use on high-risk drug use behaviours and addiction treatment

Cannabis remains the most widely produced, trafficked and consumed illicit drug worldwide, and at this time Canada and many other countries are implementing alternative regulatory approaches to cannabis. While research on cannabis has traditionally focused on the harms of cannabis use, an emerging body of evidence suggests that cannabis use can also alter high-risk drug practices, such as reducing cocaine use, opioid use and associated overdose.

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2019

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