People we've funded

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3D bioprinting personalized neural tissues for drug screening

Bioprinting can produce living human tissues on demand, opening up huge possibilities for medical breakthroughs in both drug screening and developing replacement tissues. The Willerth lab was the first group in the world to use the cutting edge RX1 bioprinter from Aspect Biosystems to bioprint neural tissues similar to those found in the brain using stem cells derived from healthy patients. Similar tissues can be printed using stem cells derived from patients suffering from Parkinson's disease, recapitulating the disease phenotype in a dish.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2019

Biomarker tests to diagnose and prognose acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

There are 2.6 million Canadians with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), representing 17% of adults between 35 and 80 years of age. COPD is a disease characterized by progressive loss of lung function that leads to shortness of breath, poor quality of life, reduced productivity, emergency visits, hospitalizations and deaths. The World Health Organization estimates that COPD will be the 3rd leading cause of death worldwide by 2030, accounting for more than 7 million deaths/year and 11,000 deaths/year in Canada.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2019

Technology for image-based screening to enhance protein production

New medicines being developed to treat complex diseases, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis are increasingly becoming large and complex molecules, such as proteins. These molecules must be produced using cells grown in a laboratory or production facility. A key bottleneck in the development of such new medicines is producing sufficient quantities of these molecules for various stages of rigorous testing to ensure safety and efficacy. This project will develop a technology to generate better producer cells in order to increase their productivity.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2019

A smart multifunctional wound dressing for continuous monitoring and treatment of chronic injuries

Wound management is a major global challenge and poses a significant financial burden to the healthcare system due to the rapid growth of chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and aging population. The ability to detect pathogenic infections and release drug at the wound site is of the utmost importance to expedient patient care. We recently developed an advanced multifunctional dressing (GelDerm) capable of colorimetric measurement of bacterial infection and release of antibiotic agents at the wound site.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2019

Novel nanomedicines for resolving inflammation as a treatment for type 2 diabetes

This project proposes a new nanomedicine approach to treat type 2 diabetes (T2D). Studies in humans and mice have shown that inflammation in fat tissues and the pancreas is a major driving force for the development of obesity-induced insulin resistance and diabetes. A major limitation of current drugs is that they distribute over the entire body, exposing all cell types, while only a small amount reaches the desired target cells at disease sites, such as macrophages in inflamed tissues. This results in limited drug efficacy and unwanted side-effects.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2019

Developing a safe and effective analgesic for chronic pain relief

About 6 million Canadians report a form of chronic pain, yet half of the sufferers do not get enough pain relief from their medications. This severely affects their quality of life and has significant social and economic burdens. Opioid medications, such as morphine, are the most powerful pain killers available, but these drugs also cause serious side effects, such as suppressed breathing, leading to a high risk of death from overdose.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2019

Improving cancer immunotherapy using G-CSF-blocking antibodies to overcome myeloid cell-mediated immunosuppression

Half of all Canadians will develop cancer and 1 in 4 will die of the disease. Cancer immunotherapy is a promising solution applicable to multiple types of cancer. The immune system plays a critical role in removing tumour cells. However, tumours escape the immune system to continue growing. Immunotherapy can enhance the immune system's ability to fight cancer and, in some cases, achieve long-lasting remission. However, many cancers do not respond to currently available immunotherapies.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2019

Novel bioengineered probiotics increase colonization and persistence in the gut enhancing bioavailability and their therapeutic potential for inflammatory bowel disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a major global health burden and the rapid surge in pediatric cases in Canada over the past decade is raising alarm bells. Current pharmaceutical therapies are risky or ineffective, cost and health-wise, especially for long-term use and are associated with severe side effects. Therefore, new alternative therapies for IBD are needed urgently. Probiotic therapy, which is the ingestion of non-pathogenic microorganisms to provide health benefits, is considered a potential treatment option.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2019

A GlycoCaged drug delivery system to improve the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is lifelong, debilitating condition that afflicts one in every 150 Canadians. Worryingly, the number of people diagnosed with IBD is rising worldwide, including among new Canadians and children. There is currently no cure for IBD, so treatment options are limited to managing symptoms with anti-inflammatory drugs.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2019

Asthma in the Age of Epigenetics & Microbiomics: Research, Clinical Practice & Policy

Co-leads:

  • Stuart Turve
    University of British Columbia
  • Kyla Hildebrand
    BC Children's Hospital Research Institute,University of British Columbia 

Trainee:

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Familial Hypercholesterolemia - Patient Engagement Forum

Co-leads:

  • Liam Brunham 
    University of British Columbia 
  • Fred Hazen
    St. Paul's Hospital

Trainee:

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

A socially responsible dentist: an evidence-based curriculum to address stigma and discrimination

Co-leads:

  • Mario Brodani
    University of British Columbia 
  • Kinnon Ross
    Providence Health Care

Trainee:

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

No one size fits all for measuring what matters: Supporting the use of PRO data in healthcare

Co-leads:

  • Richard Sawatzky
    Trinity Western University
  • Jae-Yung Kwon International Society for Quality of Life Research, University of British Columbia

Trainee:

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

#DebunkingDesire:Disseminating Facts of Women’s Low Desire Using a Coordinated Social Media Campaign

Co-leads:

  • Lori Brotto
    University of British Columbia 
  • Rayka KumruUniversity of British Columbia 

Trainee:

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Building on Strengths in Supported Housing and the Treatment of Mental Illness in BC

Research co-lead: 

  • Julian Somer
    Simon Fraser University, At Home Project, Homeless Intervention Program, Inter-Ministry Research Initiative 

Research user co-lead:

  • Darrell Burnham
    Coast Mental Health

Team members: 

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2019

Virtual Innovative health Strategies through Interdisciplinary co-Operative Network (VISION)

Research co-lead: 

Research user co-lead:

  • Thomas Noseworthy
    BC Academic Health Sciences Network (BCAHSN)

Team members: 

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2019

Promoting shared decision-making for the treatment of heart valve disease in Canada

Research co-lead: 

  • Sandra Lauck
    University of British Columbia 

Research user co-lead:

  • Jacqueline Forman
    St. Paul's Hospital

Team members: 

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2019

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