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Neuromodulation research program for youth addiction and mental health

Each year, approximately 1 in 5 Canadians experiences a mental health or addiction problem. Young people aged 15 to 24 are more likely to experience mental illness and substance use than other age groups.

Depression is one of the most common mental illness, but current treatments are either ineffective or lead to side effects in up to 50% of youth. In youth, medications are often borrowed from adult population not accounting for age-related brain differences. New solutions are needed to address major gaps in treatment of youth mental health.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Phosphoinositide kinases: Molecular determinants for their regulation and role in human disease

Lipids are the primary constituent of all cellular membranes, however, they also can play key roles as signaling molecules that controls how a cell responds to its environment.  Almost every aspect of a cell's decision to live and die is impacted by the role of lipid signals called phosphoinositides. These signals are generated in the correct location and at the appropriate time by proteins in our body called phosphoinositide kinases (PI kinases). Misregulation of PI kinases is a key driver of disease, including cancer and immunodeficiencies.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Improving youth mental health and substance use outcomes through primary-care based health services

Mental health and substance use (MHSU) disorders affect 1 in 4 Canadian youth. Of all age groups, young Canadians (ages 15 to 24) have the poorest access to health services. In response, British Columbia (BC) established a primary health initiative called 'Foundry' to promote and support early treatment for young people with MHSU disorders. Foundry is comprised of seven centres that provide integrated, coordinated health services for young people.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Sexual pain in endometriosis: Role of somatic mutations

Endometriosis is a common condition, affecting 1 in 10 women of reproductive age, or approximately one million women in Canada. Endometriosis occurs when tissue from inside the womb grows outside of the womb, such as in different areas of the pelvis. Half of women with endometriosis experience sexual pain, which is felt as pelvic pain with deep penetration during sexual activity. 

Sexual pain in endometriosis can occur when the endometriosis cells show invasive qualities. We recently identified non-inherited gene mutations in this type of invasive endometriosis. 

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2018

Custom platform for preoperative planning of complex head and neck reconstruction

Advanced head and neck cancers involving facial bone often require aggressive removal of diseased bone. Reconstruction of the bone is typically done by cutting and reshaping patient donor bone. This process involves is complex, since the accuracy of the reconstruction significantly impacts cosmetic and functional outcomes. Doing this during surgery is challenging, time-consuming and can be improved with better planning before surgery. 

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2018

Individual disposition and mHealth: Personalized care to improve outcomes

Today the greatest barrier to optimal health among persons living with HIV (PLWH) is antiretroviral (ART) adherence. The WelTel program uses weekly text-messages to improve ART adherence and HIV viral suppression among PLWH, but does not work for everyone. The literature states that personality traits and sense of purpose (dispositional traits) play a role in HIV-related outcomes. Measuring disposition is simple and rapid, and could be used to personalize adherence supports for clients with relative ease. 

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2018

Assessment of breast cancer and response to systemic therapy before surgery using diffuse optical imaging technology

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. Patients with large breast tumour or palpable lymph nodes often receive chemotherapy first, followed by surgery. During chemotherapy, a doctor performs serial breast exams and occasional imaging to monitor tumour shrinkage, but this is not good enough to capture shrinkage accurately. It is important to develop a better way to measure breast cancer response on chemotherapy before surgery, as it can predict outcomes and change treatment plans.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2018

Implementing and evaluating ActionADE to transform medication safety

Medications have transformed the lives of Canadians suffering from many debilitating conditions. However, medications may also cause harm. As medication use has increased, so has the incidence of adverse drug events (ADEs), harmful and unintended events related to medication use. Today, ADEs cause over 2 million emergency department visits across Canada each year, and are a leading cause of admissions. 

Preventing ADEs is not easy. Health care providers often unknowingly expose patients to the same or similar medications as ones that previously caused harm. For example: 

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2018

Cerebral Oximetry to assess CErebral autoregulation in Hypoxemic Ischemic Brain Injury (COnCEpT – HIBI)

There are 40,000 patients who suffer a cardiac arrest in Canada each year. When the heart stops beating from a cardiac arrest, blood flow to the brain stops which can lead to large strokes, called ischemic brain injury. Only a small percentage of people who develop ischemic brain injury survive with normal brain function.  

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2018

Improving outcomes in the treatment of eating disorders: Self-compassion in patients, families and clinicians

Self-compassion refers to an individual's capacity to be mindful, recognize our common humanity in times of hardship, and to practice self-kindness in times of suffering. It has been shown to be beneficial in working with individuals with chronic health conditions, such as HIV/AIDS, diabetes, and eating disorders. However, many individuals have difficulty with this skill and experience barriers to being self-compassionate. 

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2018

SECRET: Study of rivaroxaban for CeREbral venous Thrombosis

Cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) is a rare type of stroke that can cause headaches, vision loss, weakness, seizures and coma. It is most common in young women and causes 1/3 of strokes that occur around pregnancy. Among those affected, up to 15% are left dead or disabled, 25% cannot return to work, and over half have lasting issues with energy, thinking or mood. 

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2018

IgE-mediated inflammation generated by the airway epithelium is antigen independent: A cause of a novel asthma phenotype

Asthma is the most common chronic disease in childhood and continues to increase through adulthood. When a patient has asthma, airways in the lungs become swollen and tight causing symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness, and cough. Current therapies for asthma relieve symptoms but do not restore airways back to normal function or cure the disease. 

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2018

Improving the safety of health information technology: From international knowledge to local application

Health information technology (HIT) safety is an important issue internationally. Clinician organizations (e.g. American Medical Association, Institute of Medicine) and health informatics organizations (e.g. Digital Health Canada) have made statements about HIT safety concerns and their implications.

This research will encompass several interconnected studies to develop a comprehensive strategy to improve HIT safety in Canada and internationally, to be conducted in a series of phases. 

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2018

Unraveling disparate roles of Notch-1 and Notch-2 signaling in bladder cancer

Bladder cancer is the fifth most common cancer, yet it remains understudied and we are only now making strides in understanding it's molecular make-up. Recently we and others have discovered that loss of the cell surface receptor Notch-1 drives growth of some bladder cancers, while increased Notch-2 activity drives growth of other bladder cancers. Here we aim to determine how Notch-1 and Notch-2 can lead to such differing effects on cancer growth even though they share many features. From this we aim to design a new drug to inhibit Notch-2. 

We will: 

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2018

Improving outcomes through precision medicine for adults with primary immunodeficiency

Primary immunodeficiencies (PIDs) are a group of conditions in which part of the immune system is either missing or does not function normally. Those affected by PIDs may suffer from recurrent infections, autoimmune disease (where the immune system attacks the body's own tissues), and certain cancers. These conditions are not rare; affecting 1:2,000 to 1:10,000 people, with nearly half of cases diagnosed in adulthood. Too often, adults with PIDs undergo a painful journey that spans decades in search of a diagnosis.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2018

BC's Primary Health Care Research Network

The BC-PHCRN, part of the pan-Canadian Primary and Integrated Health Care Innovations Network (PIHCIN) initiative, was launched in November 2013 by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Strategy for Patient Oriented Research (SPOR) program.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2015

Orthogonal multicolour high-affinity tags for RNA imaging and manipulation

RNA plays a very important role in the regulation of gene expression. Yet, the spatial and temporal dynamics of RNA are still poorly understood, mainly due to the scarcity of effective and simple RNA imaging and purification techniques.

The development of technologies that simultaneously allow imaging, purification and manipulation of multiple RNAs in live cells promises to enable the study of RNA in development, metabolism and disease, which is essential for understanding the control of gene expression in diseases such as autism, cancers and type II diabetes.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017

The effects of balance training with or without cognitive training in older adults with MCI and impaired mobility

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is an intermediate stage between normal cognitive function and dementia. The rate of progression of MCI to dementia in older adults has been found to be between 10-12% per year, whereas those without cognitive impairment acquire dementia at a rate of only 1-2% per year. MCI has been linked to poor dual-tasking, impaired balance and functional mobility, and is a significant risk factor for falls. Individuals with MCI need preventive therapies that target both the cognitive and mobility-related outcomes. Dr.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017

Servo-controlled device to maintain physiological functioning

300,000 individuals live with spinal cord injury (SCI) in the US alone, of which 180,000 suffer from orthostatic hypotension, sudden falls in blood pressure upon standing. Such dysregulated blood pressure can also be caused by multiple sclerosis, autonomic failure, autonomic neuropathy, or neurological cancers. A high quality, efficient, and cost effective method is needed to help these individuals regulate their blood pressure.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2017

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