Trainee Award

Role of Notch4 in angiogenesis

New blood vessels can grow from existing blood vessels in a process called angiogenesis. Limiting new blood vessel growth is a promising approach to treating cancer because tumours require a blood vessel supply to grow larger than two to three millimetres or to metastasize (spread) to other sites. But much remains to be learned about the molecular mechanisms of angiogenesis in tumours. In earlier research, Dr. Michela Noseda and colleagues have shown that a protein called Notch4 can inhibit angiogenesis.

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2002

Identification of critical gene regulatory domains using bioinformatics and comparative genomics

Over the last ten years, researchers have identified all the genes in our species—approximately 40,000 genes—called the human genome. The mouse genome will be completed soon. It's estimated that mice and humans shared a common ancestor 70-100 million years ago, and we still share many of the same genes. Dr. Mia Klannemark is using specialized computer programs to compare data on mouse and human genes. She hopes to gain insight into regulatory regions adjacent to genes, which control the production of proteins.

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2002

Epidemiology, genetics and molecular biology of a virulence-associated bacteriophage of Chalamydia pneumoniae

Dr. Karuna P. Karunakaran is exploring a mystery around how Chlamydia pneumoniae (an infectious bacteria) is implicated in atherosclerosis (hardening of the inside of the arteries). While a strong link has been established between C. pneumoniae and atherosclerosis, 60 to 80 per cent of the adult population is infected with the bacteria with no apparent ill effects. One explanation may be that some strains of the bacteria are more capable of causing vascular disease than others, due to genetic variation. In fact, one strain of C.

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2002

Susceptibility genes and environmental risk factors in Alzheimer's Disease

Dr. Robin Hsiung is researching the genetic and environmental origins of Alzheimer's disease. The disease is the most common type of dementia, affecting five per cent of seniors aged 65 and older, and 40 per cent of people over 80. People suffering from Alzheimer's often need costly treatments and placement in care facilities. Recent advances in molecular genetics have led to the discovery of at least four genes involved in the development of Alzheimer's disease. However, a number of genes that are believed to be connected to the disease have yet to be confirmed.

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2002

Transcriptional regulation of HIV LTR and mechanism of HIV latency and reactivation

Anti-retroviral therapy for HIV typically suppresses the virus in patients' blood to undetectable levels, enabling people with the infection to live symptom-free. However, some T cells are latently infected by HIV and remain unaffected even by prolonged treatment. These latently infected cells and other lymphocytes pose the major barrier to eliminating HIV infection, and provide a latent reservoir for the virus to reactivate. Long-term anti-retroviral treatment can also cause HIV resistance to therapy in some patients.

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2002

Culture, self-concept, and the presentation of distress: Implication for depression

A wide range of behaviours and physical symptoms can accompany depression. Cultural background may also influence how a person expresses depression symptoms. In China, where a low depression rate has long been reported, depressed patients are thought to be more likely to describe physical symptoms while de-emphasizing psychological problems; the reverse is true with non-Chinese in Canada. This raises the possibility that clinicians have misdiagnosed depressed Chinese patients.

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2002

An evaluation of the full circle project: The effects of a theatre-based HIV prevention intervention on audience and actor/educator learning

What are the best ways to ensure young people listen to and act upon information about avoiding high risk sexual behaviours? This is the research focus for Josephine MacIntosh, who is delving into the individual, social and cultural factors that may perpetuate the epidemics of HIV and sexually transmitted diseases, especially among young women. Josephine is studying the effectiveness of using a theatre-based intervention program among youth aged 13 to 15.

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2002

The relationship between socioeconomic status and short-acting beta-agonist use by asthmatics in BC

Asthma is a chronic disease that affects approximately one in 20 Canadians. Research has shown an association between lower socioeconomic status and poorer outcomes for asthma patients, including more hospital admissions and emergency room visits and a greater likelihood of a fatal attack. Excessive use of short-acting bronchodilators, which help manage acute episodes of asthma, indicates inadequate asthma control and has been associated with poorer outcomes.

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2002

The effects of bone mineral density (BMD) testing on behaviour change over 3 years

Osteoporosis develops when bone density deteriorates, which causes bones to become fragile and fracture easily. Little data exists to demonstrate whether people modify their lifestyle after receiving bone density test results that indicate they are at risk of osteoporosis. Elaine Kingwell is assessing whether bone density testing influences people to seek information about osteoporosis and to adopt preventative behaviours believed to have a positive impact on bone density.

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2002

Gathering strengths: Contexts that reduce aboriginal children's risk for mental health problems

Research indicates peer victimization among children occurs every seven minutes on the playground, and every 25 minutes in the classroom. Wendy Hoglund is investigating the effects of rumour spreading, hitting, and other types of victimization on First Nations children's healthy development in elementary school. She is examining how peer victimization affects areas such as mental health and academic competence.

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2002

Sociality of pain behaviour: Potentiation by an audience

Effective pain management depends upon successful pain assessment, which is measured through careful attention to a patient's verbal and nonverbal communications. This task is complex, because the way a patient expresses pain during assessment is influenced by the presence of health care practitioners, family members and other patients. In spite of tremendous recent advances in understanding the physiology and pharmacology of pain, the complex social relationships affecting pain communications are only now beginning to be studied.

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2002

Effects of context on coping responses of parents in universal newborn hearing screening programs

Early identification of hearing loss in newborns is associated with improved cognitive, speech, language, and social-emotional outcomes. Yet a high proportion of parents withdraw from universal newborn hearing screening programs following the first screening, even if the screening indicates a need for further testing. This is thought to be due, in part, to parents' anxiety and stress over the initial results. Brenda Poon is investigating how the screening program environment affects the way parents cope with the stress of discovering their newborn child may have hearing loss.

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2002

Reducing the injury of community homecare workers

Given that a growing number of elderly people choose to continue living at home, but need some support to live independently, community homecare services are an increasingly important part of our health care system. Recent reports indicate that the community healthcare workers who provide these services have the highest injury rate among all health care professionals in BC. With his postdoctoral research, Dr. Il Hyeok Park aims to reduce the injury rate and the cost of injuries to the health system. Dr.

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2002

An exploration of the consequences of health care organization and delivery for children with chronic health conditions

Health care reform is bringing about significant changes in the way health services are structured and delivered to children with chronic health conditions. Research suggests that the availability of health care services and the quality of interactions within the health care system have an immense impact on the lives of these children. But services are often fragmented, shaped by priorities that compete with children's needs, or are not accessible to all families.

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2002

A cost-utility analysis of infliximab plus methotrexate versus methotrexate alone for the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis

The cornerstone of treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is early intervention with drug therapies. There are, however, limitations to the long-term effectiveness and safety of the conventionally-used drugs. While the use of new drug therapies, called biologicals, have yielded positive results in clinical trials, these drugs are many times more expensive than the traditional therapies for rheumatoid arthritis.

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2002

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