inflammation

Novel nanomedicines for resolving inflammation as a treatment for type 2 diabetes

This project proposes a new nanomedicine approach to treat type 2 diabetes (T2D). Studies in humans and mice have shown that inflammation in fat tissues and the pancreas is a major driving force for the development of obesity-induced insulin resistance and diabetes. A major limitation of current drugs is that they distribute over the entire body, exposing all cell types, while only a small amount reaches the desired target cells at disease sites, such as macrophages in inflamed tissues. This results in limited drug efficacy and unwanted side-effects.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2019

Novel bioengineered probiotics increase colonization and persistence in the gut enhancing bioavailability and their therapeutic potential for inflammatory bowel disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a major global health burden and the rapid surge in pediatric cases in Canada over the past decade is raising alarm bells. Current pharmaceutical therapies are risky or ineffective, cost and health-wise, especially for long-term use and are associated with severe side effects. Therefore, new alternative therapies for IBD are needed urgently. Probiotic therapy, which is the ingestion of non-pathogenic microorganisms to provide health benefits, is considered a potential treatment option.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2019

A GlycoCaged drug delivery system to improve the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is lifelong, debilitating condition that afflicts one in every 150 Canadians. Worryingly, the number of people diagnosed with IBD is rising worldwide, including among new Canadians and children. There is currently no cure for IBD, so treatment options are limited to managing symptoms with anti-inflammatory drugs.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2019

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

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

Effects of cellular origin on the development of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is the third leading cause of cancer related deaths mostly due to the absence of symptoms as the cancer develops. This leads to diagnosis after the tumor has already become widely invasive and cannot be surgically removed. Unfortunately, surgical removal of early stage tumors is the most effective treatment option and other treatments, such as chemotherapy, are woefully ineffective.

Thus, there are two major fronts where research could improve the outcomes of pancreatic cancer patients:

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Therapeutic efficacy of a novel enteral nutrition strategy in pediatric inflammatory bowel disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is characterized by chronic, relapsing inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, and includes Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC).

The gold standard induction therapy for treating active pediatric CD is “exclusive enteral nutrition” (EEN), which is a nutritionally complete liquid diet provided by tube feeding that excludes normal food intake. This nutritional strategy is superior to standard induction therapies; however, treatment must be maintained for 6-12 weeks to induce remission, and relapse rates are high after stopping EEN.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Treatment of sinusitis

Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is an inflammation of the nasal sinuses, and is one of the most common medical complaints in North America, affecting up to 16% of the population. It leads to around 24 million physician visits per year, with an aggregated cost of more than $6 billion. Although the pathophysiology behind CRS isn’t fully understood, it appears to be largely triggered by bacterial biofilm infections. The microbes associated with these biofilms are diverse, and treatment options (including antibiotics) are limited and often fail to cure the disease.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2018

Platelet signaling in chronic inflammation

Proper function of the immune system is essential for protection against infectious disease and maintaining human health. During the onset of infection, white blood cells and platelets release signaling molecules known as cytokines, which orchestrate a protective inflammatory response. When cytokine release is de-regulated, excessive inflammation causes cell and tissue death and loss of function. This is seen in gum disease (periodontitis), which is characterized by gum inflammation and destruction of tooth-supporting connective tissues and bone.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
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

A novel therapeutic for inflammatory skin diseases

Granzyme B (GzmB), an immune-secreted serine protease, is abundant in skin conditions characterized by excessive inflammation (such as burns, blisters, or scarring) at the hair follicle or at or just under the epidermis, and has been identified as a therapeutic target for autoimmune and chronic skin diseases. 

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2017

The role of PCSK9 in clearance of bacterial lipids and the development of anti-PCSK9 treatment for sepsis

Sepsis, which is characterized as an uncontrolled inflammatory response to severe infection, is the leading cause of death in intensive care units. In Canada, sepsis led to a total of 13,500 deaths in 2011, which translates to approximately one in 18 deaths in Canada involving sepsis. Despite this pressing medical need, there are currently no effective treatments for sepsis. 

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017

IL-37 signaling via SIGIRR: A novel mechanism to suppress intestinal epithelial cell driven inflammation and dysbiosis

Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) suffer bouts of extreme gut inflammation that disrupt the population of bacteria in their intestines. Consequently, IBD patients often have fewer beneficial bacteria and suffer an overgrowth of potentially dangerous bacteria. In healthy individuals, such responses are typically prevented by SIGIRR, a protein made by the cells that line the gut. 

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017

Genetic etiology of progressive multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common cause of neurological disability in young adults, other than trauma, with over two million people affected worldwide. Approximately 100,000 Canadians have MS, a rate that is nine times higher than the global average. MS symptoms vary widely and may affect vision, hearing, cognition, balance, and movement; negatively affecting many aspects of quality of life. To date, there is no cure or prevention for MS.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017

Optimizing lifestyle approaches for the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes

The rising incidence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) puts financial stress on health care systems in British Columbia and across the world. Lifestyle interventions can improve cardiometabolic health to prevent or treat T2D, but optimal lifestyle strategies (e.g. exercise intensity, type, timing; diet composition) are not well-defined and adherence is notoriously poor.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017
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