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Impact of Hypertension on Lung-Heart Interaction in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Over 2.5 million Canadians have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is a progressive lung condition that blocks the airways and makes it difficult to breathe. These patients experience worsening shortness of breath, increasing exercise limitation, and reduced quality of life. Patients must work harder to breathe, and the lungs can over-inflate, which can squeeze the heart and affect how it functions. Further, more than 1-in-4 patients also have high blood pressure, which might amplify the negative effects of lung over-inflation on the heart.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Can Blending Western and Traditional Knowledge Improve Diabetes and Obesity Health in Urban Indigenous Communities?

Indigenous peoples in Canada suffer from significantly higher rates of diabetes and obesity, resulting in reduced quality of life. There is often a lack of Traditional knowledge and community leadership within health, government, and community organizations. The impact of Western care services on improving health are often limited, whereas inclusion of Indigenous community-led care services has shown to improve health. Our current study will co-develop, co-implement, and co-evaluate locally-informed, culturally relevant diabetes and obesity programs in six urban/rural Indigenous Centres.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Investigating components of a Campylobacter jejuni iron uptake system to inform antimicrobial strategies.

Campylobacteriosis is an infectious diarrheal disease and one of the largest contributors to hospitalizations and deaths from food poisoning in Canada and worldwide. It is usually caused by consumption of food or water contaminated by the bacterium Campylobacter jejuni, resulting in watery or bloody diarrhea, fever, and serious post-infectious illnesses. This illness is especially dangerous for very young or old people, made worse by lack of a vaccine and increasing frequency of infections that are resistant to treatment by current antibiotics. A recent WHO report identified C.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Engineering stem cells to improve adaptive immune function

Thousands of Canadians receive bone marrow transplants each year to treat cancer and immune disease. Unfortunately, not only is this treatment dangerous, it is only effective for a small subset of cancers and immune disorders. Our goal is to provide a safer alternative to marrow transplantation that can be applied to a broad set of indications.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Generation of fully mature, functional islet-like organoids from human pluripotent stem cells in vitro

Insulin is a hormone that is crucial for maintaining normal blood sugar levels and is produced by beta-cells in the pancreas. If the amount of beta-cells is insufficient, or beta-cells stop making insulin, blood sugar levels start to rise which can lead to diabetes. Islet transplantation can supply the necessary amount of beta-cells and achieve superior glucose control over exogenous insulin injection, but is extremely limited by its reliance on organ donations. As a result, only a small fraction of people afflicted with diabetes currently benefit from these cell replacement therapies.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

A Lifespan Approach Towards Understanding the Importance of Movement Skills for Health-Enhancing Physical Activity Participation

Participation in regular physical activity is associated with reduced risks of cardiovascular disease, overweight/obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, numerous cancers, mental and reproductive health problems, and osteoporosis. Yet, only 9% of Canadian children and adolescents and 20% of Canadian adults meet physical activity guidelines. An essential component of being active involves having the skills needed to successfully participate in an activity.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Uncovering how specific "STAC" proteins regulate muscle contraction

Skeletal and heart muscle contraction requires calcium ions. Calcium ions enter muscle cells through 'calcium channels', which are effectively gates comprised of protein. The exact timing of the opening and closing of these gates is critical for normal muscle function, whether in maintaining a regular heartbeat or in enabling physical movement of the body as a whole. Any deviation in these calcium channels can cause calcium excess, which may result in disease. These include inherited cardiac arrhythmias or muscular disorders (e.g. Native American myopathy).

Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Small molecules for bad bacteria: Novel peptidomimetics to battle resilient clinical infections

The lack of effective antibiotics in cases such as surgeries, transplantations, early-term and complicated births, sepsis etc. could merely lead to death as antibiotics are crucially needed for treatment. Sepsis for instance, annually kills ~8 million people worldwide with almost 40% of all deaths are linked to antibiotic failure. Likewise, infections caused by bacterial biofilms represent ~65% of all clinical diseases, and there are no antibiotics to treat bacterial biofilms, specifically.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Studying motion processing with eye movements in healthy older adults and patients with ophthalmic diseases

As our population ages, an increasing number of Canadians experience difficulties with their vision. Although it is well known that both normal aging and age-related eye disease can affect a person's ability to see fine detail (such as in reading), tests of visual acuity used in regular eye examinations do not provide a complete picture of a person's ability to see in everyday situations, such as exercising and driving, where moving objects are often involved.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

When poor construction leads to destruction: How do structural defects in the light-sensing cells of the eye cause blindness?

Retinal degenerative disorders are inherited diseases that affect tens of thousands of Canadians. The effects are devastating; severe vision loss or complete blindness occurs early in life, resulting in the loss of livelihood, mobility, and independence. There is no cure, and present treatments focus on easing the symptoms of blindness instead of preventing vision loss in the first place.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Role of TAK1 in resident fibro/adipogenic progenitors. A Key modulator of the inflammatory milieu and a therapeuthic target in chronic diseases

In our aging society, degenerative complications of chronic diseases are on the rise and account for a significant percentage of deaths. Among these, fibrosis is the most common, and yet no therapy capable of mitigating its effects is available. Investigating and understanding the signaling pathways that influence fibrogenic progenitor (FAP) fate will not only elucidate a key component of the regenerative process but may reveal pathways that could be targeted therapeutically to prevent inflammation, fibrosis, and enhance regeneration or maintain muscle homeostasis.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Generating tissue capable of forming blood-progenitor cells at clinical scales

Chronic diseases consume 67% of direct healthcare costs in Canada. Regenerative medicine (RM) is a powerful strategy to address chronic diseases. The next generation of RM therapeutics targets development of living cells and tissues to treat specific indications. Availability of stable progenitor stem cell bio-banks that can be differentiated to desired phenotypes is a crucial pre-requisite.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Improving the methods of economic evaluation to support decision-making: CAR-T, uncertainty, and real-world evidence

The emergence of novel technologies in health care is associated with promising opportunities to improve patient health outcomes. Advances in health technologies also come at a substantial cost. New gene therapies have been estimated to cost between $300,000-$4,000,000 per patient. These new therapies offer promise, but do not offer certainty; decision-makers have to choose whether to reimburse the therapy with little evidence for how it might work in the real-world.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Design and evaluation of an evidence-based exercise program to enhance protective responses for avoiding fall-related traumatic brain injury in older adults

Falls cause up to 80% of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in older adults. Any fall from standing may cause TBI if head impact occurs. Humans use movement strategies to avoid head impact during falls, such as 'arresting' the fall with the arms. Through video capture of real-life falls, we found that these strategies persist but become less effective for older adults in long-term care, with over 1/3 of falls resulting in head impact in this setting.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Value Judgments in Health Economics Modelling for Primary Care: Towards Patient and Public Partnership in BC

In scientific research, many decisions are needed. Some take scientific expertise, but others take knowing what people find important. Such 'value judgments' include: choosing a topic and how to study it, setting goals, and deciding how to share results.

Patients and the public can inform value judgments in research by being partners and sharing what is most important to them, including

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

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

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