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IL-37 signaling via SIGIRR: A novel mechanism to suppress intestinal epithelial cell driven inflammation and dysbiosis

Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) suffer bouts of extreme gut inflammation that disrupt the population of bacteria in their intestines. Consequently, IBD patients often have fewer beneficial bacteria and suffer an overgrowth of potentially dangerous bacteria. In healthy individuals, such responses are typically prevented by SIGIRR, a protein made by the cells that line the gut. 

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017

Shared decision-making at the end of life: Including the voices of people with dementia


Recent debates about palliative end-of-life (EOL) care and legalized assisted dying have stimulated new questions about EOL care for those living with dementia. However, when discussing preferences for EOL care, individuals with dementia are often excluded from the decision-making process, leaving decision making to family members and/or care providers. 

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017

Development and validation of blood-based biomarkers for improved heart failure management

Heart failure (HF) is a progressive condition wherein the heart is unable to fill its chambers and/or pump sufficient blood into the arteries. While there are many causes of HF, it usually presents in two major forms: HF with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF; ‘stiff’ heart), and HF with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF; ‘baggy’ or ‘weak’ heart). 

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017
Health Category: 

Tissue engineered human cerebral blood vessels: A platform for lipoprotein studies on cerebrovasculature health

With every heartbeat, one quarter of all the blood in the body flows through the brain. This activity is essential for the health of neurons in the brain throughout life.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017
Health Category: 

Early-life environmental exposures and development of childhood asthma

In Canada, a striking 13% of children (~500,000) have asthma. It is the leading cause of absenteeism from school, and accounts for more than 30% of Canadian health care billings for children. Asthma is also the leading cause of hospital admissions in both children and the general Canadian population. Given that asthma typically begins in childhood and lasts throughout life, the high prevalence, combined with significant related morbidity, make asthma the most common and burdensome chronic non-communicable disease affecting young Canadians. 

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017
Partners: 
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Translating an exercise program for adults at high risk for type 2 diabetes to the community

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a chronic disease with serious health implications (e.g., cardiovascular disease) that can be prevented with lifestyle changes. Lifestyle-based interventions are particularly needed in the community to help reduce the incidence of chronic disease in Canadian adults, and are critical for preventing T2D. 

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017
Health Category: 

Rethinking early intervention therapy with Indigenous communities and families in northern British Columbia

Early intervention therapy (EIT) programs for children with developmental challenges and disabilities have been shown to be highly beneficial for young children (0-5 years) in the wider Canadian population. However, EIT programs are consistently significantly under-utilized by Indigenous communities and families. Indigenous parents and community stakeholder perspectives on EIT are largely absent in current literature, and Indigenous communities are often not consulted on how these programs are delivered. 

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017

Design and discovery of novel organ specific iron chelating system for the treatment of transfusional iron overload

Iron is essential for different physiological functions and biochemical activities in the body, but is extremely toxic in excess. Because humans don’t have an active mechanism to excrete excess iron, too much iron in the system can lead to iron overload. 

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017
Health Category: 

No time for nice? Exploring the nature and influence of workplace incivility and bullying in long-term residential care

Residential care aides (RCAs) provide the majority of hands-on care for individuals in long-term residential care (LTRC). Yet, as they are situated at the bottom of the workplace hierarchy, they receive little respect or recognition for their work. In BC, LTRC workers (mainly RCAs) have the highest rates of on-the-job injury; four times higher than the provincial average and twice as high as acute care workers, due primarily to overexertion and violent or aggressive acts from residents. 

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017

Protecting insulin-producing beta cell transplants from death and dysfunction

Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases among adults, children and youth. In 2008/09, the Canadian Chronic Disease Surveillance System reported 2,359,252 cases of diagnosed diabetes in Canada and a prevalence of 5.4% in British Columbia. Rates of type 1 diabetes (T1D) among children and youth have been on the rise globally. Poor control of diabetes leads to various complications such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, blindness and renal failure, resulting in a shorter and a reduced quality of life. 

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017
Health Category: 

Precise prescription of rTMS for treatment resistant depression

Dr. Vila-Rodriguez's research will work towards improving diagnostic accuracy and treatment outcomes in persons suffering treatment-resistant depression (TRD). By incorporating neurophysiological-based biomarkers (NPBs) into clinical practice, treatment response can be more easily predicted, preventing relapse in patients with major depressive disorder.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017
Health Category: 

Genetic etiology of progressive multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common cause of neurological disability in young adults, other than trauma, with over two million people affected worldwide. Approximately 100,000 Canadians have MS, a rate that is nine times higher than the global average. MS symptoms vary widely and may affect vision, hearing, cognition, balance, and movement; negatively affecting many aspects of quality of life. To date, there is no cure or prevention for MS.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017

The role of the norepinephrine system in emotionally-biased attention and learning

Individuals vary widely in the aspects of the world they perceive and remember: some filter their environments through rose coloured glasses to perceive sources of pleasure, while others are attuned to signs of threat. Such affective biases in attention influence memory and characterize mood disorders and pathological responses to trauma as well as addictive behaviours. Yet much remains to be learned about neural mechanisms underlying such biases, and the factors that influence their development and potential for change.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017
Health Category: 

Responding to the dual epidemics of hepatitis C and addiction in British Columbia

In British Columbia (BC), it is estimated that 78,000 people are living with hepatitis C virus (HCV), most of whom do not even know they have the disease. If left untreated, HCV can cause serious harm, including liver cancer and death. People who inject drugs (PWID) are at elevated risk of HCV infection given their exposure to various individual and environmental circumstances, such as their ongoing addiction and barriers to accessing health care.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017
Health Category: 

Gene clusters and natural products from the human microbiota

Worldwide, prematurity is the leading cause of death for all infants, with almost one million deaths per year. Babies born before 32 weeks face the worst odds. These babies are only 2% of births, but they account for over 1/3 of all infant deaths. For these infants, a disease called necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) can be one of the most deadly complications of prematurity after the first week of life. NEC is an acquired condition in which intestinal tissue suddenly becomes inflamed and then begins to die off.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017
Health Category: 

Identifying the molecular mechanisms underlying sex differences in fat storage using Drosophila as a model

In Canada, metabolic diseases (e.g. cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity) are leading causes of death, disability, and hospitalization. Currently, more than 10 million Canadians suffer from metabolic disease, with direct and indirect costs to the economy estimated to be $20 billion each year. Approximately 40% more men than women suffer from metabolic disease. In addition, commonly prescribed drugs used to prevent and treat metabolic disease are more effective in one sex than the other (e.g. fenofibrates).

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017
Health Category: 

Studying genetic mechanisms of treatment resistance in non-Hodgkin lymphomas

Dr. Morin's research program will develop and apply laboratory and computational genomic methodologies that use DNA sequencing and other sensitive platforms to study the drivers of tumour onset, progression and treatment resistance in solid cancers in order to understand the somatic drivers of non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHLs). Using massively parallel (next-generation) DNA and RNA sequencing, Dr. Morin will be able to identify somatic alterations and gene expression signatures in tumour tissue and liquid biopsies (circulating tumour DNA).

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017
Health Category: 

Genetic dissection of neuronal pattern formation

Neurological diseases and disorders have been estimated to affect 3.6 million Canadians living in the community and over 170,000 Canadians living in long-term care facilities, including in British Columbia. However, we have limited information about the molecular mechanisms that cause many of those neurological conditions, largely because of the complexity of our nervous system. Therefore, understanding the mechanical processes that impart precise neural circuit formation using a simple model organism is critical to try to find ways to prevent neurological diseases and cure patients.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017
Health Category: 

Optimizing lifestyle approaches for the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes

The rising incidence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) puts financial stress on health care systems in British Columbia and across the world. Lifestyle interventions can improve cardiometabolic health to prevent or treat T2D, but optimal lifestyle strategies (e.g. exercise intensity, type, timing; diet composition) are not well-defined and adherence is notoriously poor.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017
Health Category: 

Improving maternal and perinatal health outcomes in high risk mothers

Among women who give birth in industrialized countries maternal age, obesity, twin or triplet pregnancy, and presence of chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension continue to increase. For example, 34% of mothers in Canada today are overweight or obese, and approximately 20% of births are to women over 34 years. These demographic trends highlight the need for increasingly complex obstetric care with careful prenatal monitoring and timely obstetric intervention if necessary. 

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017
Health Category: 

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