People we've funded

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The role of the hematopoietic progenitor antigen, CD34 on mature mast cells

A study that Erin Drew took part in revealed some surprising insights about the mysterious CD34 protein. Contrary to the predominate belief that this protein is absent on mature blood cells, this study demonstrated that CD34 is present on mature mast cells. These cells play a major role in the development of asthma and allergies by releasing strong chemicals such as histamine into tissues and blood. In her Master's research, Erin further investigated the role of CD34, and a similar protein CD43, on mast cells.

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2001

The role of BDNF in progesterone and estradiol effects on cell proliferation, survival and cell fate in the dentate gyrus of adult female rats following contusion

Research has revealed that adult humans and all other mammals are unique in their ability to generate new brain cells as part of a process called neurogenesis. After a traumatic injury, estrogen and progesterone (female steroid hormones) and the Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) protein help the brain recover. Jennifer Wide’s Masters research focused on the interaction between estrogen and neurogenesis, and in particular, the effects of chronic estradiol treatment on neurogenesis.

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2001

Bone Health in Adult Women: The Relevance of Dietary Restraint, Cortisol Excretion and Nutrition-Related Stress

Candice Rideout is fascinated with bones. Despite a perception that bones are static once we're fully grown, they're actually ever-changing, which intrigues Candice. She is also interested in how nutritional behaviours affect bone health. The two interests come together in her research. Candice, who transferred from a Masters to PhD program, is examining bone health in adult women, looking specifically at possible links between dietary restraint, stress and bone density. The first phase of the research involved a broad survey of more than 1000 healthy postmenopausal women.

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2001

Heroin and Methadone Maintenance Treatment: Accessibility, Barriers and Quality of Life issues for Women in the Downtown Eastside, Vancouver, British Columbia

Magdalena Recsky developed her passion for epidemiology while working summers as a research assistant at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. She put that passion into practice through her Masters research, which explored issues surrounding methadone dosing, satisfaction with methadone doses and associated HIV-risk behaviours. Using existing data, she investigated the barriers women face in accessing methadone maintenance programs, which led to a broader study into methadone dosing.

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2001

Regulation of the transcriptional activator, beta-catenin, by the B cell receptor

Sherri Christian is studying a process that's integral to the immune system: the development of B cells that produce antibodies - immune cells that attach to and destroy infectious microbes and other harmful agents. Signals from within and outside B cells direct the multi-stage process by which these cells develop. Christian is investigating the nature of these signals and specifically examining the regulation of a protein called beta-catenin. The protein's importance in the development of other cell types suggests it may play a similar developmental role in B cells.

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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

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

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

Gene Therapy for a genetic cardiovascular disease: AAV-mediated gene transfer of a powerful, naturally occurring, LPL-S447X variant for the treatment of LPL deficiency

Dr. Colin Ross believes that studying genetics and diseases at the molecular level can open many doors for the treatment of diseases at their root causes. He's doing exactly that in cutting edge research to develop treatments for a genetic cardiovascular disease that has the highest worldwide frequency in Canada's French-Canadian population. People with lipoprotein lipase (LPL) deficiency are missing a key enzyme that helps break down triglycerides (fats) in the blood stream. Elevated levels of these fats can cause serious, life-threatening damage to the pancreas, heart and other organs.

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2001

Neurocognition, movement disorder and corticostriatal function in first-episode schizophrenia

For people living with schizophrenia, anti-psychotic medications can help control delusions and hallucinations. However, it is far more difficult to treat schizophrenia's neurocognitive effects, such as disordered thinking and problems with memory and planning. Dr. Donna Lang is working toward uncovering the underlying causes of these devastating symptoms. Her previous research included a study comparing risperidone - a new-generation drug - to traditional anti-psychotics, in terms of how they affect deep-brain structures called the basal ganglia.

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2001

Dietary lipids in growth, development and health

My research focuses on the role of dietary fat in providing essential fatty acids to support growth and development, including long-term effects on children's physical, cognitive and behavioural health. I am investigating how specific fatty acids influence brain development and nerve function, the dietary intakes needed to ensure optimal development, and the role of altered fatty acids in disorders such as liver disease and cystic fibrosis.

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2001

Genetic studies in common, complex diseases with special emphasis on Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is one of the most common neurological diseases, usually striking people between the ages of 20 and 40. My research focuses on understanding genetic epidemiological, molecular genetic and environmental factors that increase susceptibility for MS and other common complex diseases that begin in adulthood. As part of my work in the Canadian Project on Genetic Susceptibility to MS, a BC and Canada-wide database on MS has been established. This is the largest database of information on family histories of MS in the world.

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2001

Quality improvement of stroke surveillance, prevention and care in a sentinel health region

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in BC and the leading cause of brain disability. Stroke is also estimated to be the most expensive disease in Canada that, until recently, was considered untreatable. My research team is evaluating a three-step stroke program in the Vancouver Island Health Region to improve prevention and treatment options. The first step will be developing a surveillance system to collect information on all strokes in the region and to find people who are at high risk.

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2001

Patient-focused care over time: issues related to measurement, prevalence, and strategies for improvement among patient populations in B.C.

Patients often see multiple health professionals in a variety of places for the care of their health problems. Linking care from different providers over time is challenging, with the risk that some care may be missed, duplicated or ill-timed. Concern about this fragmentation of care is growing in Canada and worldwide. Continuity of care, which is accomplished when the connections between care are seamless, is thought to improve patient outcomes, patient satisfaction with their care and physician and health providers' satisfaction as well.

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2001

P-glycoprotein, ABC transporters and genomics in cancer research

My research focuses on genes that play a role in the development of cancer, with a particular interest in genes that help malignant cells survive by limiting the effects of anti-cancer drugs. Our research team was the first to discover a protein (P-glycoprotein) on the surface of cancer cells that resists multiple cancer drugs. The protein protects cancer cells by pumping out drugs before they inflict lethal damage. With recent advances in genome science, the team has learned that proteins similar in structure to this one are present in more than 50 genes in the human genome.

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2001

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