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Better Serving People with Multiple, Complex Needs in BC through Health System Impact.

The aim of this research project is to better understand and address the health needs and service requirements of people with multiple, complex needs under the purview of Community Living British Columbia (CLBC). The proposed research project will build on existing research and fill important gaps in knowledge regarding the health of people with a multiple complex needs designation and effective service delivery mechanisms at points of intersection with the healthcare system. This research project will advance CLBC's research efforts through two key objectives.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2019

Interpreting and addressing barriers impeding effective care transitions for women diagnosed with breast cancer in British Columbia

The number of Canadians diagnosed with cancer is rising with a growing and aging population and we need to ensure our healthcare system is equipped to meet this growing demand. As the most common female cancer worldwide, breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in Canadian women. In recent decades, advancements in breast cancer screening and treatments have resulted in approximately 87% of Canadian women diagnosed with breast cancer surviving 5 years after diagnosis.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2019

Investing wisely: using economic modelling to optimize public health strategies to reduce harm from alcohol, tobacco and cannabis and optimize benefits in British Columbia

Substance use costs British Columbia $4.9 billion in 2014, of which 70% was due to alcohol and tobacco. These estimates include costs related to the use of health care resources, productivity losses, criminal justice, and other direct costs such as accidents, research and prevention. Broader societal costs not included in these estimates relate to inequities, marginalization and hindered social development.  This project aims to develop a model to evaluate the economic and social impact of legal substance use harm prevention in British Columbia.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2019

Building Capacity for Surveillance and Policy Development: Health Impact Assessments of Air Quality in Northern British Columbia

In Northern British Columbia, a region rich in natural resources, there has been a rapid expansion of resource extraction projects across the region in recent years. While generating economic growth for local communities, this has also led to concerns among health practitioners and community members about the potential health risks associated with declining air quality due to increased industrial emissions.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2019

Evaluating the response to British Columbia's overdose crisis within Vancouver Coastal Health: Moving research into practice

The opioid crisis has been hardest felt in British Columbia (BC), which declared a public health emergency in 2016. Last year, there were 1510 drug overdose deaths recorded in BC, which represented 4.5 times the deaths from motor vehicle accidents. The overdose crisis has been largely driven by increasing contamination of the illicit drug supply with powerful synthetic opioids (e.g., fentanyl). Despite efforts to expand harm reduction services and treatments for opioid use disorder, these have had limited success in curbing the current crisis.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2019

Evaluating and optimizing rural and urban lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and Two-Spirit (LGBTQI2S) engagement with hospice and palliative care in the Island Health Region

Existing research focused on the experiences of gay and lesbian older adults with the health care system report that there is a general distrust and reluctance to access healthcare based upon the cumulative effect of discrimination over the life course. At present, while 75% of Canadians have indicated they would like to die at home, 45% of Vancouver Island residents die of in acute care. Clearly there exists a service gap and it appears possible that such a gap may be larger in the LGBTQI2S community.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2019

A scoping review of literature on different models of allocating funds to facilitate integrated care

Jason Sutherland is Professor in UBC’s Centre for Health Services and Policy Research in the School of Population and Public Health. He is also a Scholar of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

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 Turvey
    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

Team Members:

  • Lubormira Cemakova
    BC FH Registry 
  • Dr. Durhane Wong-Rieger
    Canadian Organization for Rare Diseases

Trainee:

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

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