gene regulation

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.

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Year: 
2019

Defining mechanisms of lineage transformation in lung cancer to combat resistance to targeted therapies

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in Canada. A major reason for the poor prognosis is the lack of effective drugs for treating advanced tumours.

New understanding of the mutations driving lung cancer has led to the development of targeted therapies that selectively inhibit mutated genes, leading to rapid cancer regression in specific subsets of patients. However, while these therapies improve patient survival and quality of life, they are not curative as all patients develop drug resistance.

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Year: 
2018

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.

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2017

The maladaptive effects of wood smoke on abdominal aortic aneurysms

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Approximately 80% of all aneurysms that form within the aorta (the major blood vessel that deliveries oxygenated blood to the body) occur in the abdominal region. These are classified as abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA). AAA is associated with progressive weakening and, ultimately, rupture of the vessel wall, causing rapid and extreme blood loss and a high rate of mortality. Sadly, aneurysm rupture is often the first sign of the disease and many die before reaching a hospital.

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Year: 
2017
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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. 

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Year: 
2017
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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).

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Year: 
2017
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A comprehensive screen for oncogenic microRNA mutations in an acute myeloid leukemia cohort and across the Cancer Genome Atlas

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a cancer in which blood cells grow out of control. Blood cells have to suffer at least two mutations to become cancerous: one to make them grow faster, and another to stop them developing normally. However, even with whole genome sequencing, in some patients we have been unable to find both mutations using existing methods, and we need to look deeper.   

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2015

Characterizing the interactions between attaching and effacing pathogens and the gastrointestinal microbiota

Diarrheal illnesses remain a major cause of sickness and death worldwide, killing approximately 760,000 children under the age of five each year. This project seeks to better understand one major cause: bacteria known as attaching and effacing (A/E) pathogens.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2015

Targeting the regulation of DNA repair by CDK12 for breast and ovarian cancer therapy

Human cells experience DNA damage every day, but DNA repair systems ensure that resulting mutation rates are extremely low. Two main pathways repair severe DNA damage in cells. The 'copying' pathway connects broken DNA ends by copying the missing sequence from the second DNA copy that is present before cells divide. The 're-joining' pathway simply re-joins the broken DNA ends irrespective of the missing sequence.

Primary Investigator: 
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Year: 
2015
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