Trainee Award

Prevalence, patterns, and harms associated with the co-injection of illicit opioids and crystal methamphetamine

Crystal methamphetamine use is associated with a wide array of physical and social harms. In spite of this, its prevalence is rising in many parts of North America. Several small studies have suggested increasing rates of co-injection of methamphetamine and opioids, though no research has focused on the specific harms associated with this trend. In Vancouver, preliminary reports have noted a similar pattern, in a context where fentanyl has become the most widely used form of illicit opioid.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Examining how contextual factors and health equity considerations shape the implementation of an internet-based testing service for sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections

This study will examine how organizations are able to roll-out and improve GetCheckedOnline (GCO), an internet-based testing service for sexually and blood transmitted infections currently available in British Columbia.

Using the research approach of institutional ethnography, this study aims:

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Investigating noncoding RNA networks in hematopoiesis

The genetic material of cells is DNA. The popular notion in biology for a long time was that DNA makes RNA which in turn makes proteins. But over the past two decades, research has shown that not all types of RNA are converted to protein. These RNAs which do not make (or do not code for) proteins are called noncoding RNAs. Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) belong to one of the classes of noncoding RNAs. Based on various studies, we know that lncRNAs are crucial during different biological contexts including embryonic development as well as disease.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Identification of IL1RAP as a novel oncoprotein and therapeutic target in Ewing sarcoma

Ewing Sarcoma (EWS) is an aggressive form of childhood cancer that occurs on bone and soft tissue. Although conventional cancer therapeutic strategies, such as chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, have improved survival in patients with localized EWS tumours, they are ineffective for patients with metastatic disease. In addition, conventional chemotherapy is often toxic and carcinogenic, which carries short- and long-term toxicities.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

The impact of opioid agonist treatment on antipsychotic adherence among justice-involved patients in British Columbia

Substance dependence and mental illness frequently co-occur, presenting challenges to treatment providers and increasing the likelihood of suicide, drug overdose, and criminal justice involvement. Assessment and treatment of concurrent disorders (CD) have been identified by police, health professionals, and the Auditor General as urgent priorities in BC, and leadership in the treatment of CD is integral to the mandate of the Provincial Health Services Authority. 

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Incorporating practical, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) into the workplace: Examining the impact on physiological and psychological health, absenteeism, and work productivity

Among office workers, physical activity has been shown to have the potential to improve absenteeism, work productivity and psychological and physical health.

Dr. Stork’s research will incorporate physical activity into the workplace using high-intensity interval training (HIIT) – short-duration exercise that consists of multiple brief, high-intensity efforts, separated by periods of rest.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Cerebrovascular burden and cognitive impairment after spinal cord injury

Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a complex pathophysiology, characterized not only by paralysis but also severe autonomic cardiovascular dysfunction. After SCI, strokes are 300 - 400% more likely to occur compared to non-disabled individuals.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

A holistic approach to mental health and community wellbeing: Exploring historical trauma with Indigenous youth and families through the use of Indigenous and qualitative research methods

In Canada, poor mental health among Indigenous youth is an ongoing issue. This leads to high rates of suicide, addiction, violence, chronic diseases and chronic pain. A potential reason for these challenges is historical trauma linked to government policies intended to eliminate Indigenous cultures, including residential schools, the 'sixties scoop' and the child welfare system.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Improving substance use care for gay, lesbian and bisexual youth in British Columbia

Gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth (GLBY) are at increased risk of experiencing substance use disorders (SUD) in comparison to their heterosexual counterparts. The aim of Dr. Ferlatte’s research is to identify the factors associated with SUD experienced by GLBY to inform interventions.

This will include:

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Population-level impact of hepatitis C virus (HCV) direct-acting antiviral therapies on extrahepatic manifestations

Hepatitis C virus is an important public health concern in Canada; however, there is limited information concerning the impact of new direct-acting antiviral therapies on manifestations outside the liver (extrahepatic manifestations, or EHMs), including chronic diseases, cancers, and health-care resource utilization in Canada.

This knowledge is important, as new HCV treatments are generally restricted to those with advanced liver disease and there are no estimates of the reductions in EHMs that can be achieved with expansion of therapy.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

3, 2, 1... Might one dose of HPV vaccine be enough to prevent HPV-associated cancer?

Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is a prerequisite for the development of cervical cancer. Screening for cervical cancer after HPV infection is possible by cervical smear testing, and since 2006 direct prevention of HPV infection has been available in the form of three different vaccines.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Optimizing PrEP and TasP adherence among substance using gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men

While increased access to HIV treatment and other health services has contributed to significant declines in HIV among several key populations in British Columbia (BC), it is estimated that as many as 1 in 6 gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM) will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Mifepristone outcomes study: Examining abortion access, outcomes, and costs following the introduction of mifepristone

Abortion is a common reproductive health procedure, with nearly one-third of women in Canada having had at least one abortion. However, abortion access is not equitable. Most abortions are surgical, and are provided in a small number of facilities located in BC’s largest cities. Some women, particularly those in rural or remote regions, experience significant wait times and must travel long distances to reach abortion services.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Increasing HPV vaccine uptake in grade 6 girls and boys in the school-based immunization program in British Columbia

Human papillomaviruses (HPV) can lead to cervical cancer and other anogenital, head, and neck cancers in both women and men. A safe and effective vaccine against the most common types of HPV associated with cancer was introduced in 2008 into BC’s exemplary school immunization program. However, rates of HPV vaccine uptake have remained low, with less than 70% of eligible students receiving the vaccine each year.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Targeting the complement system in Alzheimer’s disease

Many seniors aged 65 or older experience “age-associated memory impairment,” a normal aging process. However, Alzheimer’s disease is different, and not a normal part of aging. Alzheimer’s is a progressive brain disease with gradual loss of nerve cells and resulting problems with thinking, memory, and movement. Changes in the brain can start to happen 20 years before any memory problems appear.

Currently, no treatments are available to cure Alzheimer’s disease; however, if the disease is diagnosed and treated at an early stage, patients have a greatly improved quality of life.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

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