Trainee Award

Lymphocyte defects in X-linked lymphoproliferative disease

Dr. Ala Aoukaty has spent nine years investigating anti-viral and anti-tumour cells. Aoukaty's doctoral research focused on understanding the signalling process that occurs after receptors on the surface of cells are engaged. That experience provided him with a strong background to conduct postdoctoral research on X-linked lymphoproliferative disease (XLP), a fatal disorder caused by a genetic mutation and characterized by severe infectious mononucleosis, immune deficiency and malignant lymphomas (tumours). A large Aboriginal family that carries the genetic mutation has been identified.

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2001

Barriers to Reproductive Health Care among Marginalized Women in Vancouver, British Columbia

Amy Weber is dedicated to pursuing a career at the forefront of infectious disease research. She's convinced that rigorous research can create medical and social options to contain the HIV epidemic, alleviate suffering and save lives. While Weber has researched a range of populations at risk, her current work focuses on marginalized women who are increasingly vulnerable to infectious disease and poor health. Weber's study aims to identify the barriers that marginalized women in Vancouver face in accessing health care.

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2001

Menstrual pain and discomfort in adolescence: Socialization influences

Tina Wang's interests in health psychology and peer influences prompted her to examine a problem that is a major cause of missed school days among adolescent girls - menstrual pain and discomfort. Most adolescents fail to manage their pain effectively. But virtually no research has been done on how adolescent girls influence each other's attitudes towards pain. Wang's study will focus on similarities and differences in the attitudes and coping behaviours of adolescent girls related to menstrual pain.

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2001

Moment-to-Moment: Narratives of Mindfully Living-and-Dying

Anne Bruce's research focused on the potential for mindfulness meditation to promote a better quality of living and dying by reducing stress and anxiety. Mindfulness meditation, which involves nonjudgmental and moment-to-moment awareness of change within a person's mind and body, has been researched extensively for the last decade. But little research has been done on the experience of people with life-threatening illness and hospice caregivers who practice this form of meditation.

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2001

The evaluation of human telemanipulation under spatial misalignment conditions in minimally invasive surgery

Bin Zheng isn't daunted by challenge. At 16, he entered medical school. By age 27, he was a specialist in pediatric orthopedic surgery at a hospital affiliated with China Medical University. Now he is in Canada focusing his efforts on research to refine and improve the technology used in minimally invasive surgery. Because of more rapid healing and other benefits, this surgical practice is increasingly common.

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2001

The clinical and economic outcomes of patients with lumbar disc herniation and sciatica

Lower back and leg pain from a herniated disk and sciatica (pain on the sciatic nerves) is one of the most common causes of chronic disability and workplace absenteeism. Treatment approaches are inconsistent as there is still much to learn about this condition. Dr. Jeffrey Quon hopes to address this knowledge gap by comparing the long-term outcomes for patients treated through surgery and non-surgical therapies at Vancouver Hospital and Health Sciences Centre. Quon's research aims to identify the physical, psychosocial and clinical factors that contribute to early or delayed recovery.

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2001

Becoming a Nurse: The Micro and Macro Construction of First Nations Nursing Students' Experience in a Western Canadian School of Nursing

Canada's First Nations communities are experiencing their worst nursing shortage in 30 years. First Nations health care professionals are the most effective nursing personnel in their own communities, yet efforts to recruit and retain them in nursing schools have been largely unsuccessful. The little research done on this issue indicates there are barriers to be bridged, including a feeling among First Nations nurses that they must compromise their traditional beliefs and culture to succeed in nursing education.

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2001

Estimation Of Cochlear Thresholds Using Multiple Auditory Steady-State Responses In Infant and Adult Subjects

Susan Small's research examines an advanced method to test hearing in infants, young children and others who cannot be assessed through traditional testing techniques. The method focuses on Auditory Steady State Responses (ASSRs), objective measures of response to sound stimuli in the areas of the brain involved in hearing. Past research on ASSRs, which test multiple frequencies in both ears simultaneously, has shown their reliability in measuring air-conducted sounds. Small is assessing the method's reliability in estimating bone-conducted sounds.

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2001

Impact of a Targeted Intervention on Parental Administration of Post-operative Analgesia

In her Masters research, Rebecca Pillai Riddell identified significant factors that predict parental attitudes toward administering pain medication to children after surgery. Now she's taking this work one step further by recruiting parents of children undergoing day care surgery at B.C.'s Children's Hospital for a project assessing the effectiveness of a targeted intervention designed to dispel common parental myths and misconceptions about proper pain management.

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2001

Issues in the diagnosis and treatment of viral co-infection by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and Hepatitis C (HCV)

While an estimated 30 per cent of British Columbians living with HIV are also infected with Hepatitis C, which is becoming a leading cause of death among HIV-positive people, the issue of co-infection has received relatively little attention. Paula Braitstein hopes to change that by focusing her research on how to most effectively treat people who are co-infected with the diseases.

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2001

Host Cell Signalling Following Coxsackievirus B3 Infection: Elucidation of Anti-Apoptotic Survival Mechanisms

Robert Yanagawa's overall goal as a researcher is to increase our understanding of cardiovascular diseases. With that in mind Yanagawa is investigating Coxsackievirus B3, the primary cause of viral myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle), a condition that may result in chronic irregular heart beats, heart failure and sudden death. Organ transplantation is the only definitive treatment for heart failure caused by this virus. Yanagawa is examining the ability of host cells within infected cardiac muscle to activate protective signalling mechanisms.

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2001

Characterization of retinoschisin, the protein involved in X-linked juvenile retinoschisis

X-linked retinoschisis is the most common form of retina damage in young males. Symptoms of the genetic disease include splitting of the retina's inner layers, blood vessel rupturing and sometimes blindness. It is often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed due to diverse changes in the retina that can occur. Winco Wu is investigating the nature of the retinoschisin protein, produced by the gene that causes the disease.

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2001

Comparative and functional genomic analysis of a gene dense, GC rich region at chromosome 7q22 associated with myeloid leukemias and male infertility

Michael Wilson's doctoral research focuses on a fragile region of the human genome, 7q22, which has been linked to leukemias, hemochromatosis (a genetic disease that causes excessive build-up of iron in body tissues), male infertility and schizophrenia. Besides preparing a detailed map of all 7q22 genes and elements that regulate their expression, Wilson is also working with a bioinformatics group at Penn State to design a web-based program that interactively displays the gene sequence data.

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2001

Regulation of inhibitory receptor gene expression by Natural Killer cells

Natural Killer (NK) cells play an important role in the immune system: targeting and destroying tumour and virus infected cells that evade other branches of the immune system. Brian Wilhelm is striving to understand what regulates the ability of NK cells to distinguish between abnormal cells and healthy cells. While it's known that receptors on NK cells enable them to distinguish between cells, there is little knowledge about the genetic mechanisms that direct the process.

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2001

Pathogenesis and Treatment of Huntington's Disease

There is currently no effective treatment for Huntington's disease, a progressive and ultimately fatal neurological disorder caused by a defect in the Huntington Disease gene. Symptoms of the inherited disease, which usually appear at mid-life, include abnormalities in movement, difficulties with awareness and judgement, and emotional instability. Using genetically altered mice, Jeremy Van Raamsdonk is investigating the underlying genetic and cellular changes that give rise to Huntington's disease and potential treatment strategies.

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2001

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