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Non-invasive Neuroprosthesis for Cardiovascular Recovery Following Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injury (SCI) not just causes paralysis but also more devastating issues such as impaired blood pressure (BP) and heart rate regulation, which are among the leading causes of illness and death among this population. The individuals with SCI above the mid-thoracic level commonly suffer from highly labile BP that rapidly reaches alarmingly high and low levels within the same day. These extreme BP fluctuations often result in seizures, ruptured brain blood vessels and even death.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Driving Brain Recovery and Enhanced Community Walking with Dual-Task Training After Stroke

Over 400,000 Canadians live with long-term disability from stroke. Stroke survivors say regaining walking ability is a top priority; but, poor cognition, or thinking abilities, can limit walking in the community. How much walking recovery someone achieves likely stems from the brain's ability to dual-task (DT), like walking while talking. In fact, almost 80% of stroke survivors struggle with some aspect of cognition limiting full walking recovery after stroke.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Personalised tools and stimulations in rehabilitation: linking clinical measures of motor recovery and mobility post-stroke with gait performance and functional outcomes of an intervention

Stroke is the leading cause of disability in Canada with more than 400,000 Canadians living with long-term disorders due to stroke. Hence, whilst challenging, it is critical to restore mobility to these individuals such as independent walking; the most frequently stated goal of individuals post-stroke. However, achieving this goal is hindered by motor impairments, including muscle weakness and spasticity, yet we still do not understand how these impairments influence walking post-stroke.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Investigating the Role of MicroRNAs on Granule Cell Development during Mouse Cerebellar Development

The cerebellum is a complex region of our brain involved in the coordination of our movements and cognition. Evidence shows that cerebellum is involved in several brain disorders such as ataxia (inability to move properly), autism, and medulloblastoma (the most prevalent brain tumor in children). The cerebellum is made of different cell types. Among them, the most numerous cell type, the granule cells, contribute to many crucial cerebellar functions. Indeed, an uncontrolled division of granule cells results in the most common form of pediatric brain tumor, the medulloblastoma.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

The effects of 60% oxygen during exercise training in patients with fibrotic interstitial lung disease

Breathing discomfort is common in patients with interstitial lung disease (ILD) and often results in an inability to perform physical activity, leading to a poor quality of life. Exercise training can reduce breathing discomfort and enable ILD patients to perform physical activity. However, severe breathing discomfort makes it challenging for these patients to withstand the amount of training they need to get the most benefit.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Assessing Small Airway Disease Heterogeneity in Asthma to Identify Novel Therapeutic Targets

Asthma is a serious public health issue in Canada and in the world, affecting more than 300 million people globally. To date, clinical trials have established that current treatment strategies for asthma can relieve patient symptoms, but none are able to reverse the disease process. It is known that in asthmatic lungs, the airways -tubes that allow air to flow in and out of the lungs for breathing - are continually injured and scarred in a process called fibrosis.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

HEARTBiT: A novel multi-marker blood test for management of acute cardiac allograft rejection

Patients receive heart transplants as a life-saving measure after heart failure; thus, ensuring the success of the transplant is of utmost importance. Rejection is a primary cause for heart transplant failure, and consequently, heart transplants are monitored at least 12 to 15 times within the first year of operation. However, current monitoring requires biopsies, a surgical procedure which requires repeated sampling of the heart muscle. This procedure is invasive, expensive, and stressful to patients.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Improving sepsis outcomes with anti-PCSK9 monoclonal antibody therapy

Sepsis is a severe disorder that occurs when human defense cells fight off an infection in an uncontrolled manner that can cause organ damage and death. Unfortunately, there is no specific treatment for sepsis, and there is a limited understanding of the mechanisms driving this deadly disorder.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

A Principles-Focused Evaluation of the BC Children’s Hospital Self-Injurious Behaviours Clinic

Children with autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders can engage in self-injurious behaviours (SIB) that produce physical injury to one's body without attempted destruction. The consequences of inadequate treatment of SIB are substantial. However, with effective interventions these poor outcomes can be improved. The integration of medical, psychiatric and behavioural specialists is the key to successful treatment. To address this service need the multidisciplinary SIB Clinic was established at BC Children's Hospital in 2017.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Evaluating gender-sensitive interventions for people who use drugs in the context of British Columbia’s overdose crisis

The drug overdose crisis has been hardest felt in BC. Research has shown that gender plays a key role in shaping contexts of drug use (e.g., within sex work, intimate partnerships) and access to treatment and harm reduction services. Women access treatment with more severe drug-related profiles relative to men (e.g. violence/trauma), yet few services are women-centred. New Vancouver Coastal Health guidelines highlight grave gaps in supports and prevention for marginalized women, and several new models of care are being rolled out (e.g., women-only consumption rooms).

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Protein-energy wasting: prevalence and treatment outcomes among patients with advanced chronic kidney disease in British Columbia

People with or approaching kidney failure requiring dialysis often develop protein-energy wasting (PEW), which is characterized by loss of body stores of protein and energy fuels, and is associated with increased risk of death, heart disease, infections, and poor quality of life. The extent of PEW, its consequences, and its management have not been previously characterized among kidney patients in Canada, yet nutritional management remains a top research priority from the patient perspective.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Role of the Histone Acetyltransferases p300/CBP in Brown Adipose Tissue Adaptive Thermogenesis

Obesity is rising in Canada at an alarming rate, which is bad for our healthcare system because it results in diseases like heart attacks and diabetes. Although eating less and exercising more can reduce weight, these lifestyle changes can be difficult to maintain, prompting interest in finding ways to ramp up the calorie-burning processes in the body to promote weight loss. Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is a kind of fat that is found in both humans and mice. Unlike white adipose tissue, BAT is specialized for calorie burning rather than storage.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Development of a novel intranasal oligonucleotide delivery approach for Huntington disease

Huntington disease (HD) is a progressive brain disorder affecting movement, mood, and cognitive skills, caused by inheriting a mutated copy of the huntingtin gene. This results in the production of a mutant huntingtin protein (mHTT) that is toxic to critical nerve cells in the brain. Reducing mHTT using specialized pieces of DNA, called antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs), should slow or prevent disease onset.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Investigating the impact of evolving cannabis access and use on high-risk drug use behaviours and addiction treatment

Cannabis remains the most widely produced, trafficked and consumed illicit drug worldwide, and at this time Canada and many other countries are implementing alternative regulatory approaches to cannabis. While research on cannabis has traditionally focused on the harms of cannabis use, an emerging body of evidence suggests that cannabis use can also alter high-risk drug practices, such as reducing cocaine use, opioid use and associated overdose.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

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

Health, Work and Society: Improving Health Economic Evaluations

Decision makers need to decide how to best allocate limited societal and healthcare resources to fund different healthcare services. Health economic evaluation is a tool commonly used to inform these types of funding decisions; however, which costs to consider in economic evaluation can have a significant impact on the resulting funding decision. A societal perspective considers costs within the formal healthcare sector (e.g., physician, hospital and drug costs) as well as costs outside the healthcare sector (e.g., work productivity costs of patients and their family caregivers).

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Investigating the Biomechanical Mechanism of Concussions in Sports

Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), commonly known as concussion, is a major public health concern. Around 42 million of the world's population sustain mTBIs annually. In Canada, ice hockey has the highest sports concussion rates in children and youth. In British Columbia, 2.4 million dollars were spent on hospitalization for mTBI in 2010. Furthermore, recent studies have linked multiple mTBIs from sports with heightened risk of long term brain changes.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

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