People we've funded

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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

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

Developing long-, short-, and near-term dynamic models of risk and resilience for intentional self-harm in BC youth

My research aims to answer two questions: when and under what circumstances do some young people intentionally physically harm themselves, and how can we improve our clinical tools to reduce these behaviours? Intentional self-harm is alarmingly prevalent in young British Columbians: around 5-7% of BC youth have attempted to end their own lives, 10-15% have experienced serious suicidal thoughts, and 15-18% have engaged in non-suicidal self-injury. These behaviours can have devastating impacts on youth, their families, and their communities.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Microbial control of gut environment in IBD

Gut health is closely connected to our microbiota, a unique, constantly evolving, group of trillions of bacteria that live in our bodies. Gut microbes produce compounds that are absorbed into our blood, providing nourishment and also affecting the gut environment. The digestive tract is composed of many different local areas, called habitats, in which physical and chemical properties such as water availability, salt concentration, acidity or temperature are tightly controlled by human-microbe interactions.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Transcriptional memory and plasticity in embryonic stem cells

Regenerative medicine such as stem cell based therapy holds great promise towards addressing many diseases that afflict millions of Canadians, including many forms of cancer, muscular and neurological degenerative disorders, diabetes, and arthritis. However, this promise has yet to be fully realized. Despite the many advances in stem cell biology, little is known on the mechanisms governing stem cell identity and on how this identity can be effectively changed and applied towards its target function.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Precision medicine to drive prevention and management strategies for women with endometrial cancer

Endometrial cancer (EC), or cancer of the uterus, is the most common gynecological cancer in Canada, with new cases and deaths increasing annually, due to an increase in the rate of common risk factors, like obesity. In British Columbia, the number of new EC cases is projected to increase by 50% and mortality to double by 2031. We must investigate economically feasible prevention strategies to control the rate of this cancer.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Adapting BC’s healthcare system for equitable and tailored service provision to sexual and gender minorities

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people face judgment and discrimination on the basis of their sexualities and genders. This leads many LGBTQ people to avoid seeking treatment from the healthcare system, to hide aspects of their sexuality/gender when seeking care, or to selectively visit LGBTQ-affirming providers.

The goal of this research program is to develop a comprehensive understanding of healthcare access patterns among LGBTQ people in BC.

Objectives:

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Development and Application of Computational Methods for Profiling Cancers at Single Cell Resolution

Cancer is a complex disease with many factors which determine how rapidly cancer cells can grow and spread throughout the body. Significant differences exist within the cancer cell population of a patient. These differences shape the interaction of cancer cells with the surrounding healthy tissue, with dramatic variation between patients. This so called cancer heterogeneity has profound implication for patient prognosis, and is one of the primary challenges to developing effective cancer treatments.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Exploring Novel Approaches to Reduce the Prevalence of Depression

Depression has recently become the leading cause of disability, worldwide. It affects one out of every 20 Canadians, causing significant suffering to patients and their families and costing the economy CAD$32.3 billion each year. Previous efforts to address the burden of disease caused by depression have mostly been focused on expanding access to mental health services.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Balancing act: Measuring and optimizing the challenge point in rehabilitation to improve walking balance after stroke

Up to 73% of people who are able to walk post-stroke suffer a fall, commonly within the first few months after discharge home. Optimizing the approach to rehabilitation of walking balance remains vital to long-term outcomes post-stroke.  A fall poses a significant risk of injury and erodes confidence. The loss in confidence alone can lead to decreased activity levels, loss of independence and social isolation that affect quality of life and overall health, even hastening death.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

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