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Life and Health Sciences Research Exposition
Principal Investigator
Dr. Jane Alcorn
College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Marek Radomski
Co-Investigator(s)
Lois Berry
2018-2019 Research Connections Grants
FUNDING RECEIVED
$6,500SHRF
Description
The 25th annual Life and Health Sciences Research Exposition (Expo), hosted by the University of Saskatchewan's (U of S) Office of the Vice Provost Health and held on May 3, 2018, showcases student research across the health science disciplines. The poster session, with up to 200 posters, is open to graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and medical residents from the health science colleges at the U of S. An internationally known research scientist and speaker shares their story of collaboration and advice on building a career in health sciences research. Following the keynote address is the presentation of awards for the best posters in each category, the best papers published by students and the best supervisor as nominated by his/her students. The event closes with a networking reception.
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Connecting community leaders, service providers, and homeless persons to address homelessness in Prince Albert: An outreach activity that builds upon SSHRC funded research
Principal Investigator
Dr. June Anonson
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Marek Radomski
Co-Investigator(s)
Jade Anderson
2018-2019 Research Connections Grants
FUNDING RECEIVED
$10,000SHRF
Description
Homelessness is a significant concern in Canada, with especially negative effects on rural and northern communities. Leaders in this domain (e.g. National Centre for Excellence in Homeless Services, Housing First, etc.) agree that increased collaboration between academia, service providers and community leaders is vital to ensuring initiatives are well coordinated, effective and efficient. With funding from a SSHRC Partnership Engage Grant to conduct participant action and community capacity building research in Prince Albert, a full day event will communicate results of pre-event focus groups and elicit follow-up responses through interviews. Two outreach activities will result within the context of this event: a professional video filmed during the event with sound bites from experts and event participants; and, a brochure of services available in PA, translated into multiple local languages, available for to all community members.
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Dose to the Lens of the Eye in Veterinary Workers Performing Diagnostic Radiology Procedures
Principal Investigator
Dr. Alexandra Belotta
Small Animal Clinical Sciences
Western College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Marek Radomski
Co-Investigator(s)
Jade Anderson
Supervisor(s)
Dr. Monique Mayer (Lead Supervisor)
Dr. Shelley Kirychuk (Supervisor)
2018-2019 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
Veterinary workers rarely wear protective eyeglasses during radiographic procedures, and, in contrast to workers in human health care, are frequently in the room in close proximity to the patient during diagnostic x-ray exposures or fluoroscopy. In 2012, the International Commission on Radiological Protection recommended that the annual equivalent dose limit to the lens for occupational exposure be reduced from 150mSv to 20mSv, based on new data regarding the radiosensitivity of the eye. It is now conceivable that a veterinary worker who frequently takes x-rays or regularly performs fluoroscopy could approach or exceed the dose limit. The aim of this study is to provide information regarding the dose to the eye of veterinary workers during real and simulated radiographic procedures, using direct observation of workers at a veterinary teaching hospital and an anthropomorphic radiological head phantom, respectively. Eye lens dosimetry of veterinary workers will be recorded, and the effect of head orientation and type of protective eyewear used also will be assessed. An electronic training module focused in the use of personal protective equipment will be developed with the goal of increasing workers’ radiation safety compliance. An electronic survey will be sent to veterinarians in order to determine availability and self-reported use of lead eyeglasses and consequently identify barriers to prevent their use. Results of this research are expected to increase the awareness of the need for eye protection and to improve radiation safety practices in small animal business, preventing occupational diseases.
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Efficacy of a Self-Compassion Intervention to Prevent Relapse and Recurrence of Depression: Fostering Trait Resilience to Disrupt the Cycle of Depression
Principal Investigator
Dr. Shadi Beshai
Psychology
Arts
University of Regina
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Marek Radomski
Co-Investigator(s)
Heather Hadjistavropoulos
2018-2019 Establishment Grants
FUNDING RECEIVED
$117,539SHRF
Description
Depression affects 12.6% of Canadians at some point in their life. Depression is associated with staggering personal and economic costs. There are several treatments that have been shown to effectively treat episodes of depression when they occur. Unfortunately, more than half who respond to these treatments go on to re-experience an episode of depression. Even with psychological and pharmacological interventions designed specifically to prevent future episodes, relapse and recurrence of the disorder remain alarmingly high. A patient-focused and self-directed intervention that harnesses the effects of an Eastern-influenced concept, called self-compassion, has shown tremendous promise in treating acute depression. Self-compassion is being moved by one's own suffering, and a desire to alleviate such suffering.In the proposed project, we will examine whether a self-compassion intervention is effective in preventing relapse/recurrence of depression over a 12-month period among people who are at high risk for relapse. Applicants will also examine whether the intervention works to prevent depression by increasing patients' innate ability to bounce back from stress, a concept known as resilience. 120 participants with a history of depression will be randomly assigned to the self-compassion intervention or waitlist condition, and their respective relapse rates will be examined over a period of 12 months.This will be the first study to examine the effects of self-compassion as a preventive intervention for depression.If successful, this new intervention can be used by thousands of people in Saskatchewan who are at risk for depression relapse.
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RESOLVE Research Day 2018 - Circles of Care: The Impact of Intimate Partner Violence on Children, Families and Communities
Principal Investigator
Ann Bishop
RESOLVE Saskatchewan
RESOLVE Saskatchewan, University of Regina
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Marek Radomski
Co-Investigator(s)
Darlene Juschka
Mary Hampton
Stephanie Martin
2018-2019 Research Connections Grants
FUNDING RECEIVED
$3,000SHRF
Description
RESOLVE Research Day is an annual conference that profiles the latest anti-violence research. This day gives researchers, community organizations and others the opportunity to showcase the work they are doing to end intimate partner violence (IPV). This year highlights what impact IPV has on children, families and communities. Some of the presentations will disseminate RESOLVE's work on the recently completed, million-dollar Community-University Research Alliances (CURA) grant entitled "Rural and Northern Community Response to Intimate Partner Violence." Keynote speakers are Corey O'Soup, Saskatchewan's Advocate for Children and Dr. Kim Zorn who is an authority on the impact of stalking.
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Walking with mothers: The journey to culturally secure birth in Saskatchewan
Principal Investigator
Dr. Angela Bowen
Nursing
Nursing
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Marek Radomski
Co-Investigator(s)
Darlene Juschka
Mary Hampton
Stephanie Martin
2018-2019 Patient-Oriented Research Leader Awards
FUNDING RECEIVED
$120,000SHRF
$130,000Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research
$250,000Total
Description
Indigenous women who live in rural and remote geographical areas are often forced to leave their home community to give birth. This can leave them feeling lonely, scared and alienated at a time when social supports are essential to protect their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health, as well as promote bonding and kinship with their families and their new baby. Two patient-oriented projects are addressing improving Indigenous birth experiences. The first project involves listening to women's experiences of giving birth in hospital and developing a photovoice resource to promote cultural competence in health care professionals. The second study involves a scan of maternity services and educational needs of birth attendants to increase cultural security of women giving birth across Saskatchewan, but particularly in rural and remote communities. A third research project is proposed to develop traditional kokum-led prenatal classes in a rural community.We believe that by engaging Indigenous mothers, this patient-oriented research will help to create a model that will allow them to reclaim their birth experience.
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Development of New Effective Combination Therapy for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
Principal Investigator
Dr. Renuka Dahiya
Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Marek Radomski
Co-Investigator(s)
Darlene Juschka
Mary Hampton
Stephanie Martin
Supervisor(s)
Dr. Andrew Freywald (Lead Supervisor) Dr. Franco Vizeacoumar (Supervisor)
2018-2019 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
Breast cancer is the most frequent malignancy in women, with an average of 500 Canadians diagnosed with this cancer every day. So-called triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) tumors that lack expression of the estrogen, progesterone and HER2 receptors represent the deadliest type of this disease. In collaboration with Biomirex Inc., we recently generated a novel synthetic antibody that targets a cell surface molecule, EphA2 (anti-EphA2). Excitingly, application of anti-EphA2 efficiently suppresses human TNBC tumors in experimental animals. However, a small percentage of cancer cells become resistant to this treatment and are likely to trigger tumor recurrence following the initial therapy. To further improve tumor elimination, we plan to use a large scale unbiased screen based on the library of 1813 FDA-approved reagents to identify compounds selectively eradicating ex-vivo cell populations derived from resistant tumors. When identified, these FDA-approved compounds will be validated both in cell culture and in animal models of human TNBC for their potential usefulness to breast cancer therapy. Identification and validation of these compounds are expected to trigger a rapid development of new efficient combination therapy relying on their co-administration with anti-EphA2. This treatment is likely to eradicate TNBC tumors and significantly improve patient survival. This project is important, as currently there is no effective therapy for TNBC and it is associated with a very high rate of patient mortality.
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Synchrotron Imaging to Characterize Chronic Allograft Rejection in a Swine Orthotopic lung transplantation model
Principal Investigator
Dr. Mark Fenton
Respirology, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
Medicine
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Marek Radomski
Co-Investigator(s)
Juan Ianowski
Julian Tam
James Carmalt
2018-2019 Ideas that Inspire
FUNDING RECEIVED
$12,500SHRF
$12,500The Lung Association, Saskatchewan
$25,000Total
Description
Organ rejection is a major source of morbidity and mortality in patients undergoing lung transplantation. Several serious complications, including primary graft dysfunction, acute rejection, and chronic lung allograft dysfunction, have been described in transplant patients. Unfortunately, major aspects of the pathobiology of these complications are not well understood, such as the initiation and progression of lesions in the airway and vasculature, as well as the immune mechanisms involved. These questions can be explored using advanced synchrotron-based lung imaging that allows unparalleled high-resolution images of the distal airway anatomy and physiological abnormalities (e.g. edema). To pursue this research, we need to develop a suitable model for lung transplant rejection for in vivo studies. Non-human orthotropic lung transplantation models are useful as they replicate most of the features observed in human patients. However, they are technically challenging to develop and need to be validated. In this grant we request funds to develop and validate an orthotropic lung transplantation model in swine. The swine airway is anatomically and physiologically more similar to human than rodent models, and offer a much longer life span to study long-term outcomes in transplant. To this end we have formed a collaborative group consisting of clinicians, veterinary surgeons and pathologists, and basic scientists, with experience with synchrotron imaging, to develop a swine orthotropic lung transplantation model.
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Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment in a Saskatchewan Context: Who Accesses and Benefits from Treatment? Who is Missing?
Principal Investigator
Dr. Kara Fletcher
Social Work
University of Regina
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Marek Radomski
Co-Investigator(s)
Heather MacIntosh
Barry Duncan
Colleen Dell
Lachlan McWilliams
2018-2019 Establishment Grants
FUNDING RECEIVED
$117,213SHRF
Description
The purpose of this study is to identify, in the Saskatchewan context, the characteristics of those who are accessing mental health and substance abuse services, what their treatment experiences are, the characteristics of those who drop out of treatment, and the reasons for dropout. The results of this study will capture demographics and treatment information from 1371 outpatient mental health and 501 outpatient addiction files in the Saskatoon Health Region collected since December 2015. This study has two specific objectives: 1) To examine the treatment experience and treatment outcome of individuals who have attended mental health and substance abuse services across the Saskatoon Health Region to gain a profile of service users and their experiences, as well as how many individuals dropped out; and2) To assess whether current services offered by the health region are meeting the needs of the population. This is two phase study. Phase 1 will provide a quantitative analysis of an existing dataset on treatment outcome and Phase 2 will provide a qualitative analysis of potential absences and successes in these services through conducting interviews with both service users, and community members who have dropped out of services. By analyzing a large clinical dataset, while also capturing the voices of those who benefit and do not benefit from these services, we can offer a clearer picture of the realities of mental health and substance abuse treatment in Saskatchewan. Results from this study will inform future modifications and enhancements to existing services.
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Role of APOBEC3 Enzymes in Restriction of HIV-1
Principal Investigator
Dr. Amit Gaba
Microbiology and Immunology
College of Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Marek Radomski
Co-Investigator(s)
Heather MacIntosh
Barry Duncan
Colleen Dell
Lachlan McWilliams
Supervisor(s)
Dr. Linda Chelico (Lead Supervisor)
2018-2019 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type I (HIV-1) is a major public health concern worldwide including Saskatchewan where the new HIV-1 infections are above the national average. Currently, HIV is managed by using Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy. However, antiretroviral therapy cannot cure HIV-1 and has significant side effects over a person's lifetime. Although not apparent in an HIV-1+ person, the body's immune system has proteins that can fight HIV. Our research goal is to understand how the host cell produced APOBEC3 (A3) restriction factors work in coordination with each other and with other host cell proteins to restrict HIV-1 replication and use this information to develop a novel treatment strategy for HIV-1. There are four A3 factors (A3G, A3D, A3F and A3H) that can restrict HIV-1. We hypothesize that these A3 enzymes interact with other A3s and other cellular proteins to enhance their restriction of HIV-1. For objective-1, we will determine the roles of A3 enzymes in HIV-1 restriction. We will conduct our experiments with pairs of A3 enzymes and determine which A3 enzymes physically interact and which do not. We will also determine how well they restrict HIV when acting together. For objective-2 we will characterize host proteins that we found to interact with A3's and determine if these host proteins work synergistically with A3's to restrict HIV-1. This research will enhance our understanding of how the body's own defense work against HIV-1 and this may lead to development of novel treatment strategy for HIV-1 that has less side effects.
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Improving Women's Mental Health in Saskatchewan
Principal Investigator
Dr. Jennifer Gordon
Psychology
Arts
University of Regina
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Marek Radomski
Co-Investigator(s)
Heather MacIntosh
Barry Duncan
Colleen Dell
Lachlan McWilliams
2018-2019 Patient-Oriented Research Leader Awards
FUNDING RECEIVED
$119,835SHRF
$129,825Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research
$249,660Total
Description
One in six Canadian women will face infertility during their reproductive lives – half of these women will report that infertility is the most upsetting experience of their lives and 30-40% will develop clinical depression or anxiety as a result. Tragically, poor mental health while undergoing fertility treatments may further lower a woman’s chances of successfully conceiving. It is therefore critical that women struggling with infertility be offered effective psychological treatments allowing them to maintain good mental health during this stressful time. However, most women in Saskatchewan, including Regina, do not have access to appropriate resources. Furthermore, the few treatments that are available have been shown to be largely ineffective in reducing infertility distress. There is therefore a need for a new treatment that better addresses the unique challenges that women face when struggling with infertility.The proposed project will interview women struggling with infertility with the goal of identifying the unique psychological challenges that women face. Using this information, we will then develop a tailored therapy, in collaboration with patient-investigators having personal experience with infertility, comprised of psychological techniques that have been shown to be effective in addressing challenges that are similar to those identified by the women. We will then test-run our therapy, refining it based on patient-investigator and participant feedback. By the end of this award, we aim to have a polished treatment manual that could be used in a large trial testing its long-term efficacy on psychological well-being and pregnancy rates.
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A Journey With You: Indigenous Peer Navigation in Saskatchewan Cancer Care
Principal Investigator
Dr. Gary Groot
Community Health and Epidemiology
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Marek Radomski
Co-Investigator(s)
Donna Goodridge
Sylvia Abonyi
Nathaniel Osgood
Gillian Westhorp
2018-2019 Establishment Grants
FUNDING RECEIVED
$120,000SHRF
Description
The physical symptoms combined with the emotional distress of a cancer diagnosis can make the cancer-care journey difficult for patients and their families. For many Indigenous people in Saskatchewan, the burden of cancer is amplified by a host of systemic, cultural and personal challenges and barriers. Cancer rates are rising faster in Canadian Indigenous communities compared to the general population. Poor survival and screening rates, and later-stage diagnoses have resulted in cancer becoming the leading cause of death in some Indigenous communities in Saskatchewan. Indigenous cancer patients may find themselves traversing an increasingly complex and fragmented health care system with great difficulty. Dr. Groot's ongoing research, informed by Indigenous Elders and community-based partners, calls for specialized support that addresses these logistical, institutional, and cultural safety challenges. This study will pilot an Indigenous Patient Navigator in a Saskatchewan context and attempts to gain a deeper understanding of the unique health experiences and barriers facing Indigenous people with cancer. Using a methodological approach based in realist philosophy that takes into account the importance of patient trust and worldview in engaging in a shared decision-making process with health care providers, this study will follow 30 Indigenous cancer patients accompanied by an Indigenous Patient Navigator as they journey through Saskatchewan's cancer care system from first diagnosis to return home. Using qualitative interviews and mobile-app based questionnaires, we hope to gain a clearer picture of how Indigenous Navigators might improve patient understanding thus removing some of the obstacles patients face in accessing and receiving care.
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The Indigenous Health Collective: Advancing Indigenous Health Knowledge in Saskatchewan
Principal Investigator
Dr. Gary Groot
Community Health and Epidemiology
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Marek Radomski
Co-Investigator(s)
Donna Goodridge
Sylvia Abonyi
Nathaniel Osgood
Gillian Westhorp
2018-2019 Patient-Oriented Research Leader Awards
FUNDING RECEIVED
$120,000SHRF
$130,000Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research
$250,000Total
Description
Currently in Saskatchewan, no formal support structure exists connecting the province’s remote and often isolated northern Indigenous communities with system stakeholders and health researchers. The goal of this patient-oriented research program is to engage Indigenous patients in northern Saskatchewan as partners to pinpoint and address locally-identified health care needs. A collaborative partnership between the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, the Métis-Nation Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency, the Saskatchewan Health Authority Vice President of Indigenous Health, and this research program will build capacity through the establishment of an Elders Council. This Council will serve as a culturally-appropriate mechanism to guide Indigenous patient-oriented researchers in the province, link them with northern, remote communities and offer supports to ensure research respects and complies with cultural protocols and specifically addresses the health priorities as identified by patients in these areas. This program will cultivate a community of learning that will foster community-based dialogues and exchanges that can result in sparking innovative ideas and new partnerships that will help ensure health policy in Saskatchewan is responsive to patient needs, delivered in culturally appropriate ways and integrates Indigenous healing.
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The Role of Mitochondrial Fission in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Tumor-Initiating Cells
Principal Investigator
Dr. Tetiana Katrii
Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Marek Radomski
Co-Investigator(s)
Donna Goodridge
Sylvia Abonyi
Nathaniel Osgood
Gillian Westhorp
Supervisor(s)
Dr. Andrew Freywald (Lead Supervisor)
2018-2019 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
Breast cancer is the most common malignancy among women and, despite recent advances in breast cancer treatment, it remains the second-leading cause of cancer-related mortality in the female population. There are several subtypes of breast cancer, and one of them is presented by triple-negative breast cancer tumours. Triple-negative breast cancer is associated with high patient mortality, which is at least in part due to the complete absence of clinically relevant targeted therapies. Therefore, there is an urgent need to identify effective therapeutic targets for treating this malignancy. A specific group of cancer cells, called tumour-initiating cells is responsible for tumour development, tumour maintenance and tumour aggressiveness, and the elimination of these cells is crucial for curing triple-negative breast cancer. Our recent findings indicate that the fragmentation of the mitochondrial network plays a crucial role in supporting tumor-initiating cells. This suggests that molecules that induce this response may be used as efficient targets for triple-negative breast cancer therapy, as their inhibition would allow to eliminate tumour-initiating cells and thus, eradicate triple-negative tumours. Based on this, we propose in our application to identify molecular mechanisms that drive mitochondrial fragmentation in triple-negative tumour-initiating cells, and to examine if inhibition of these molecular mechanisms indeed, kills tumour-initiating cells and suppresses tumour growth in animal models of human triple-negative breast cancer.

Overall, our investigation is expected to identify effective targets for triple-negative breast cancer therapy and to support the development of new efficient approaches for treating this aggressive malignancy.
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Ambient Air Quality and Respiratory Health in Saskatchewan: The Influence of PM2.5
Principal Investigator
Dr. Shelley Kirychuk
Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture (CCHSA)
Medicine
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Marek Radomski
Co-Investigator(s)
Joshua Lawson
Donna Rennie
Chandima Karunanayake
John Gordon
Niels Koehncke
2018-2019 Ideas that Inspire
FUNDING RECEIVED
$12,500SHRF
$12,500The Lung Association of Saskatchewan
$25,000Total
Description
The goal of this project is to evaluate if levels of particulate matter (PM) in Saskatchewan air impacts respiratory health of the population. We will achieve this by assessing associations between respiratory outcomes in an older cohort of Saskatchewan residents and daily PM2.5 measures. Given that the respiratory response often lags in ambient air exposure, we will also determine if lag associations exist between spikes in respiratory outcomes and PM2.5 measures in the days prior to the respiratory spike. The risk of health effects from air pollution are greatest in the elderly and the very young. In the elderly, exposure to elevated concentrations of PM exacerbates existing respiratory and cardiovascular conditions and is associated with increased hospital and doctor visits and increased premature deaths. From a previous study we have collected measures of respiratory health (twice daily FEV1 and symptom records) in a population of residents of Estevan and Swift Current, Saskatchewan, who were > 50 years of age over four phases (Phase 1 from October- December 2012; Phase 2 from April-June 2013; Phase 3 from October-December 2013; and Phase 4 from April-June 2014). This is a unique set of respiratory data on older adults who are regularly exposed to very low levels of ambient air pollution. There is publicly available data (hourly measures) on PM2.5 for both Estevan and Swift Current for the time period in which the population respiratory data is available. This is a unique opportunity to evaluate respiratory effects from low level ambient pollution.
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Modulation of the Endocannabinoid System in the GAERS Rat Model of Absence Epilepsy.
Principal Investigator
Dr. Robert Laprairie
Pharmacy
College of Pharmacy and Nutrition
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Marek Radomski
Co-Investigator(s)
John Howland
2018-2019 Establishment Grants
FUNDING RECEIVED
$120,000SHRF
Description
Absence seizures are a form of epilepsy that account for approximately 10% of childhood seizures. Children suffering from absence seizures will experience short (10-20 sec) lapses in awareness. Seizures may occur up to 100 times per day. Children experiencing absence seizures have difficulty learning, misbehave more often, and/or have difficulty socializing. Existing therapeutic options successfully manage absence seizures in approximately 2/3 of patients. There is a rapidly growing interest in the usefulness of cannabinoids to treat childhood epilepsies. The major mediator of cannabinoid effects in the brain is the type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1R). CB1R is activated by ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol and the body's own cannabinoids. Most cannabinoids act to turn CB1R on directly, but these produce intoxicating effects. Positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) work by increasing CB1R's response to the body's own cannabinoids, but cannot directly activate CB1R and, because of this, are not intoxicating. The purpose of this study is to test CB1R PAMs for their usefulness to treat absence seizures. This will be done by (1) screening PAMs in cultured cells for high efficacy and potency at CB1R, and (2) selecting the most efficacious PAMs from this screen to test in a rat model of absence epilepsy. We have identified a lead compound
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Patterns of Exposure to Conventional and Electronic Cigarette Smoking and their Relationship to Lung Health Outcomes Among Children and Adolescents
Principal Investigator
Dr. Joshua Lawson
Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture (CCHSA)
Medicine
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Marek Radomski
Co-Investigator(s)
Donna Rennie
Erika Penz
2018-2019 Ideas that Inspire
FUNDING RECEIVED
$12,500SHRF
$12,500The Lung Association, Saskatchewan
$25,000Total
Description
There has been a rise in the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) with marketing suggested to target young people. While touted by proponents of e-cigarettes as a lower risk form of smoking, there is some evidence that it may lead to conventional smoking, which could lead to a rise in smoking behaviours. In addition, we are not currently aware of the full set of potential health outcomes associated with e-smoking. This information is especially lacking in children and adolescents. Among children and adolescents, we will investigate: 1) the current patterns of smoking exposure (conventional and electronic; active and passive); 2) associations between passive and active smoking by different methods and lung related health outcomes, and 3) agreement between reported exposures and salivary cotinine levels. We will accomplish this through the use of a cross-sectional study involving children ages 6-7 years and 13-14 years. Surveys will be distributed to children through schools in Saskatoon for parent-completion among children and self-completion among adolescents. A subsample will provide saliva samples to measure cotinine, a metabolite of nicotine, as a method to assess exposure to smoking. Results of the study can be used to identify groups who are at risk of taking up smoking activities and potential health outcomes associated with these activities. This study can also be used as a baseline for follow-up studies (longitudinal assessments, exposure assessments, and health impact assessments).
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Acquired DNA Mutations Contribute to Neurodegeneration in MS
Principal Investigator
Dr. Michael Levin
Medicine
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Marek Radomski
Co-Investigator(s)
Franco Vizeacoumar
2018-2019 Establishment Grants
FUNDING RECEIVED
$120,000SHRF
Description
The goal of this proposal is to help establish the Office of the Saskatchewan MS Clinical Research Chair as a province-wide resource for people with MS and scientists who study MS in Saskatchewan. Canada has among the highest prevalence of MS in the world and rates are highest in Saskatchewan. MS Health care costs will be ~$2 billion annually by 2031. Because costs increase as MS worsens ('disease progression'), this research is especially important.People have two types of abnormal DNA, also known as DNA mutations, in their body. The first type of DNA mutation is inherited; passed on directly from our parents. The second is acquired mutations, which are acquired from the environment over a lifetime.We discovered that people with MS have acquired mutations in their brains and white blood cells. The mutations caused a protein named 'A1' to malfunction, which caused nerve cells to die. This is important because nerve cell death is related to disease progression in MS. Considering technology exists to correct DNA mutations, this knowledge will allow us to design therapies for people with MS to replace the abnormal DNA with normal DNA, which will stop the nerve cell damage and inhibit disease progression.This is an important starting point in order to address MS in SK. The project has the potential to find a cause of MS and foster research into cures, right here in Saskatchewan.
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Nutrition and Tooth Decay in Children: An Analysis of Parental Perspectives and Publicly Available Written Information
Principal Investigator
Jessica Lieffers
Division of Nutrition and Dietetics
College of Pharmacy and Nutrition
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Marek Radomski
Co-Investigator(s)
Petros Papagerakis
2018-2019 Establishment Grants
FUNDING RECEIVED
$79,687SHRF
Description
Tooth decay is very common amongst children residing in all jurisdictions of Saskatchewan. Although this disease is the result of several interacting factors, nutrition is consistently identified as an important cause. The purpose of this interdisciplinary research is to better understand parent perspectives regarding nutrition and tooth decay in children as well as the content of publicly available written information accessible to them. This research will use two approaches and will be guided by an advisory team consisting of researchers, health professionals, and patients. First, parents from diverse areas of Saskatoon who have children ≤12 years of age with recent experiences with tooth decay will be invited to participate in a qualitative interview to explore their knowledge, experiences, and perspectives regarding tooth decay and nutrition. Second, an analysis of various publicly available written information sources (e.g., websites, newspaper and magazine articles, brochures) on nutrition and tooth decay will be conducted to understand messaging available to Saskatchewan parents on this topic. The knowledge generated from this research will help create a dialogue on the topic of nutrition and tooth decay and will provide direction on how to best move forward with initiating, strengthening, and streamlining nutrition care practices (including educational information available to the general public) to decrease the burden of tooth decay in Saskatchewan and beyond. In addition, results from this study will be used by researchers to create educational resources for parents on nutrition and tooth decay that will be distributed through various channels (e.g., Internet) in Saskatchewan.
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5th Annual Saskatchewan Cancer Research Conference 2018
Principal Investigator
Dr. Kiven (Erique) Lukong
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Marek Radomski
Co-Investigator(s)
Franco Vizeacoumar
Keith Bonham
2018-2019 Research Connections Grants
FUNDING RECEIVED
$3,000SHRF
Description
The 5th Annual Saskatchewan Cancer Research Conference, held at the University of Saskatchewan’s Health Science building on June 13, 2018, brings the province’s cancer researchers/clinicians together to foster communication and collaborations, and promote fundamental and translational cancer research. This year the conference features keynote lecture from Dr. Peter Greer from Queen’s University. In addition to local speakers, students and other trainees present their work in an extended poster session.
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2018 PSFaM (Protein Structure Function & Malfunction) Symposium
Principal Investigator
Dr. Yu Luo
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Marek Radomski
Co-Investigator(s)
Franco Vizeacoumar
Keith Bonham
2018-2019 Research Connections Grants
FUNDING RECEIVED
$2,500SHRF
Description
The Protein Structure, Function and Malfunction (PSFaM) meeting, held on June 14-15, 2018, at the University of Saskatchewan, provides a forum for over 150 researchers and students involved in the study of protein structure and function, to present recent results and interact and discuss their work with other participants from other research institutions in Canada. Renowned scientists invited as keynote speakers include Drs. Gerry Wright (McMaster University), David Schriemer (University of Calgary), Artem Cherkasov (Vancouver Prostate Centre) and Oliver Ernst (University of Toronto). Researchers from the University of Saskatchewan, University of Manitoba, University of Calgary and University of Alberta will also give talks and discuss their results. Oral and poster presentations will be given by the trainees, with prizes awarded to top presenters.
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Pharmacokinetics of Apixaban + Tacrolimus or Cyclosporine in Lung Transplant Recipients
Principal Investigator
Dr. Holly Mansell
Pharmacy
College of Pharmacy and Nutrition
College of Pharmacy and Nutrition
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Marek Radomski
Co-Investigator(s)
Jane Alcorn
Walter Kraft
Babar Bashir
William Semchuk
Ahmed Shoker
James Douketis
Mark Fenton
Julian Tam
Nicole Nelson
2018-2019 Ideas that Inspire
FUNDING RECEIVED
$12,500SHRF
$12,500The Lung Association, Saskatchewan
$25,000Total
Description
New medications are approved in Canada yearly which offer novel solutions for mitigating disease and improving the lives of Saskatchewan residents. Certain patient populations, such as lung transplant recipients, though, cannot realize the benefit of such drugs. These patients are neglected in the drug evaluation process and, therefore, excluded from drug product labels. Our team's mission is to shift this paradigm by serving the understudied; we strive to conduct the well-designed clinical studies necessary to assure safety and efficacy of these new medications in these vulnerable populations. Lung transplantation is the only lifesaving option for patients with end-stage lung disease. After transplant surgery, patients must take anti-rejection medications. Pharmacotherapeutic management of transplant recipients carries significant risk for drug-drug interactions and adverse medication-related events. Apixaban has the potential to provide safer and more effective treatment for conditions common to transplant recipients (blood clots, abnormal heart rhythm, stroke), but it has not been studied in conjunction with anti-rejection agents in this population. Therefore, a pharmacokinetic study will be undertaken to examine the safety of the combined use of apixaban (a new anticoagulant) and tacrolimus or cyclosporine (anti-rejection medications) in lung transplant recipients. Since health costs for a lung transplant measure in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and transplant failure comes with a significant price to both the individual and the health system, the use of apixaban with tacrolimus or cyclosporine in transplant patients has potential to reduce complications, improve quality of life, and reduce costs to the health care system.
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The Forgotten Tissues of Knee Osteoarthritis: Quantitative MRI of Synovium, Muscle, Tendons and Ligaments
Principal Investigator
Dr. Emily McWalter
Mechanical Engineering
Engineering
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Marek Radomski
Co-Investigator(s)
Jane Alcorn
Walter Kraft
Babar Bashir
William Semchuk
Ahmed Shoker
James Douketis
Mark Fenton
Julian Tam
Nicole Nelson
2018-2019 Establishment Grants
FUNDING RECEIVED
$120,000SHRF
Description
Osteoarthritis affects 13% of Canadians and there is no known cure. One reason for this is that we lack the ability to study the structure and function of all tissues involved in the disease in a robust manner. To validate quantitative MRI techniques that assess the structure and function of lesser studied tissues of osteoarthritis, specifically synovium, muscles, tendons and ligaments.To determine the reproducibility of the quantitative MRI metrics.To identify functional differences in quantitative MRI metrics for each tissue between unloaded (relaxed) and loaded (using a pedal) conditions. To identify differences in quantitative MRI metrics between healthy volunteers and individuals with osteoarthritis.All studies will use quantitative MRI techniques. For synovium, a novel method of imaging synovitis without the need for an intravenous contrast agent (current standard) will be used. For muscle, MRI scans will be carried out during motion to determine activation patterns. For tendons and ligaments, T2* relaxation time mapping will be used.Quantitative MRI is currently one of the most important approaches in osteoarthritis research since it can describe tissue structure and function; however, often only one or two tissues are studied. The work proposed examines understudied tissues and thus has the potential for great impact in studies of the whole joint as a system. The validated techniques proposed will provide the objective measures of osteoarthritis required to successfully develop and evaluate the effectiveness of new osteoarthritis treatments.
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Importance of Endothelial Function on Sympathetic-Mediated Cerebral Vasomotor Control in Health and Disease
Principal Investigator
T. Dylan Olver
Veterinary Biomedical Sciences
Western College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Marek Radomski
Co-Investigator(s)
Jane Alcorn
Walter Kraft
Babar Bashir
William Semchuk
Ahmed Shoker
James Douketis
Mark Fenton
Julian Tam
Nicole Nelson
2018-2019 Establishment Grants
FUNDING RECEIVED
$119,991SHRF
Description
The proposed research will establish mechanisms of brain vascular dysfunction using a pre-clinical translationally relevant swine model of human disease that exhibits molecular/clinical features of dementia. Evidence indicates brain vascular dysfunction is an underlying cause of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease. Recently published work and novel preliminary data reveal that in the setting of endothelial dysfunction, a hallmark feature of obesity and high blood pressure (risk factors for dementia), the brain vasculature exhibits increased vasoconstriction to indices of sympathetic activation, and this defect is associated with cognitive decline. The primary aim of this proposal is to examine the direct/functional interplay between the vascular endothelium and sympathetic nervous system and determine whether altered endothelial-sympathetic nervous system cross-talk represents a mechanism associated with obesity-induced impairments in brain blood flow control and cognitive dysfunction. This study will examine the role of the vascular endothelium to inhibit (healthy conditions) or facilitate (pharmacological- and obesity-induced endothelial dysfunction conditions) sympathetic-mediated vasoconstriction of brain blood vessels in swine. It will also determine whether such obesity-induced impairments in brain blood flow control are associated with cognitive outcomes of dementia (i.e. impaired learning/memory). The number of Saskatchewan residents diagnosed with dementia annually is expected to double within the next 20 years, with the economic burden estimated to be ~$30 billion in direct and indirect health care costs over that time. Results of the proposed research will provide novel insight into the causes of vascular dementia and identify targets for future prevention/treatment interventions.
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An Examination of Patient Reported Outcomes in COPD Patients Utilizing a Novel Mobile Application
Principal Investigator
Dr. Erika Penz
Medicine
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Nathaniel Osgood
Co-Investigator(s)
Joshua Lawson
Darcy Marciniuk
Brianne Philipenko
Dr.Dianne Bekolay
2018-2019 Ideas that Inspire
FUNDING RECEIVED
$12,500SHRF
$12,500The Lung Association, Saskatchewan
$25,000Total
Description
The purpose of our study is to directly gather and analyze important information from patients following a recent COPD flare using surveys that are delivered using a smartphone app. This app will administer daily questionnaires assessing quality of life, anxiety symptoms, COPD symptoms and limitations related to shortness of breath. Such information will provide a better understanding of the COPD patient experience in between visits to health care providers. Smartphone sensors will also be capable of collecting information about a subject's environment and activity prior to a COPD flare through tools such as step counts and GPS. The advantage of using a mobile phone app to administer surveys and collect patient reported information on a regular basis is that it can allow us to understand potential fluctuations in an individual COPD patient's symptoms and quality of life, as opposed to the traditional way of trying to understand a patient's recollected experience when they are sitting in the clinic. Trends in COPD symptoms can be analyzed by the smartphone app technology with work towards predicting when a COPD patient may have a flare of their disease. Through collection of information on health care system use in addition to these symptom trends, we hope to identify patterns of symptoms that are more likely to lead to a physician visit. This has the potential to develop an early intervention with the benefit of treating patients before they are sick enough to require hospitalization. This would result in better patient outcomes and savings to the health care system.
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Synthesis of Modular Linkers Towards Next-Generation Peptide-Based Radiopharmaceuticals
Principal Investigator
Dr. Eric Price
Chemistry
Arts and Sciences
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Nathaniel Osgood
Co-Investigator(s)
Joshua Lawson
Darcy Marciniuk
Brianne Philipenko
Dr.Dianne Bekolay
2018-2019 Establishment Grants
FUNDING RECEIVED
$120,000SHRF
Description
Radiopharmaceuticals are radioactive drugs that can be used clinically to detect or treat cancers. Peptide-based radiopharmaceuticals (short sequence of amino acids) selectively attach to a cancer associated receptor and are labeled with a radionuclide, such as galium-68 for imaging with positron emission tomography (PET) or lutetium-177 for therapy. PET imaging provides critical information to clinicians non-invasively, including the size, location, and number of tumours. Uniquely, PET also provides biochemical information such as target receptor levels, which enables true personalized medicine. The most clinically used and FDA approved peptide-agent is the imaging/therapy pair of 68Ga-DOTATATE (NetSpot) for PET imaging, which is followed by 177Lu-DOTATATE treatment depending on PET results. These radiopharmaceuticals attach to a protein called somatostatin, which is abundant on cancerous cells and linked to aggressive disease. All peptide-based radiopharmaceuticals suffer from the same shortcomings: high residual uptake in healthy tissues (e.g. kidneys) which convolutes images and causes radiation damage. Additionally, low uptake of the radioactive peptide in dangerous hypoxic (low oxygen) tumours leads to unreliable detection and treatment resistance. We will systematically design, synthesize, and evaluate novel linker groups built into the well-studied agent DOTATATE with the goals of 1) minimizing uptake in healthy tissues (kidneys), and 2) maximizing uptake and retention in difficult to image and treat hypoxic tumours. This will lead to novel radiopharmaceuticals with improved imaging and treatment efficacy, and lower dose to healthy organs. These improved agents have potential to improve patient care, starting with local Saskatchewan residents via future clinical trials of successful agents.
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Cataloguing and Capturing Community Health Services Association's Social History
Principal Investigator
Dr. Elizabeth Quinlan
Department of Sociology
College of Arts and Science
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Nathaniel Osgood
Co-Investigator(s)
Joshua Lawson
Darcy Marciniuk
Brianne Philipenko
Dr.Dianne Bekolay
2018-2019 Research Connections Grants
FUNDING RECEIVED
$4,994SHRF
Description
The Community Health Services Association (CHSA) is a member-driven cooperative providing team-based interdisciplinary primary care at its Saskatoon Community Clinic. Organized on the principle of patients and providers as partners in delivery of care, CHSA's Community Clinic attends to the physical, mental, and social aspects of health. At its recent semi-AGM the CHSA membership adopted a resolution to support the vision of an archive of historical materials relevant to the association and the Community Clinic. Creating and circulating a catalogue of the historical materials available at the Clinic will facilitate members' and staffs' access to the materials and increase their capacity to be full participants in collaborative planning and coordination of the delivery of health care that is respectful of their health needs and dignifies them as partners in health.
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Wellness - Building on Strengths: Working with Sturgeon Lake First Nation
Principal Investigator
Dr. Vivian Ramsden
Research
Academic Family Medicine
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Nathaniel Osgood
Co-Investigator(s)
Joshua Lawson
Darcy Marciniuk
Brianne Philipenko
Dr.Dianne Bekolay
2018-2019 Patient-Oriented Research Leader Awards
FUNDING RECEIVED
$117,774SHRF
$126,367Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research
$244,141Total
Description
Research that is co-created with the community is designed to improve health and well-being and to minimize health disparities. Projects will evolve from and with Sturgeon Lake First Nation. This model results in questions that improve the health and well-being of patients/individuals, families and the community. Equitable partnerships among patients/individuals, families, communities, health care providers, decision-makers and researchers build a research process in which all partners contribute expertise, share decision-making and ownership. Research that is co-created builds assets. It allows us to explore and address community-identified issues through a collaborative, strength-based and empowering action-oriented process. The projects proposed will build on the results of the co-created community-based surveys completed in 2010, 2015 and 2018; and, will engage the community in integrating Indigenous ways of knowing and medicine with Western ways of knowing and patient-oriented care to co-create programs meaningful to the community for the community. This in turn will facilitate sustainability at the local level. The results/findings from co-created projects have a greater chance for success, the potential to transform the health system in and with the community; as well as, share the methods with other communities in Canada and abroad.
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Attentional Deficits in a Developmental Model of Schizophrenia and their Relationship to Brain Activity Patterns in Prefrontal Cortex.
Principal Investigator
Dr. Thaisa Sandini
Physiology
College of Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Nathaniel Osgood
Co-Investigator(s)
Joshua Lawson
Darcy Marciniuk
Brianne Philipenko
Dr.Dianne Bekolay
Supervisor(s)
Dr. John Howland (Lead Supervisor)
2018-2019 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
The causes of schizophrenia remain largely unspecified, although interactions between genetic and environmental factors almost certainly underlie the etiology of the disorder. One environmental factor known to increase the risk of schizophrenia in the offspring is maternal infection during pregnancy. The behavioural consequences of maternal infection on the offspring are not well understood. To address this knowledge gap, Dr. Howland's laboratory has established a rat model of maternal infection. The experiments proposed in the present application will assess the effects of exposure to infection while in utero on attention in the offspring. Altered attention is one of the core symptoms of patients with schizophrenia; thus, we expect to also observe impaired attention in the offspring of rats which experienced an inflammatory event while pregnant. A novel therapeutic strategy and assessments of brain activity during task performance will also be conducted. These results will provide new information regarding the consequences of maternal infection on behaviour and brain of the offspring, as well as potential strategies to improve these deficits.
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Muskowekwan First Nation: Regaining and Using Our Culture to Heal Generations Together
Principal Investigator
Dr. JoLee Sasakamoose
Educational Psychology
Faculty of Education
University of Regina
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Nathaniel Osgood
Co-Investigator(s)
Joshua Lawson
Darcy Marciniuk
Brianne Philipenko
Dr.Dianne Bekolay
2018-2019 Patient-Oriented Research Leader Awards
FUNDING RECEIVED
$119,894SHRF
$129,827Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research
$249,721Total
Description
Researchers were invited by Muskowekwan Chief and Council, alongside partners Touchwood Agency Tribal Council (TATC) and the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN), to provide research support for the development of a new Healing and Wellness Centre. This centre is intended to support First Nation communities in the region in addressing the systemic and long-term effects of historical trauma as a direct result of the residential schooling system in Canada. First Nations' experiences of many historical and current events have produced lasting detrimental effects on the health of Indigenous peoples which have, in turn, spawned community healing initiatives. Such healing necessarily engages all aspects of Native Wellness which is understood as a balance of spirit, emotion, mind and body, in right relation with family, community and the land. Mental health and wellness is, therefore, an intergenerational, communal endeavour for communities. Accordingly, patients, families and community members will be engaged as research co-participants in determining the direction of development for the Healing and Wellness Centre. Patients/Families and the community will co-design the building and program features with an additional goal to initiate, build and sustain long-term working relationships and relational accountability with community members who are understood as authorities on their own health and partners in research. The aim is to engage community members in a process of relationship-building and participation so as to accurately understand the wellness assets and needs of the community in order to support the foundation and development of a new Healing and Wellness Centre.
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Study of the Pathogenesis and Progression of Bleomycin-Induced Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis in the Distal Airway and Alveoli using Synchrotron-Based Imaging.
Principal Investigator
Robert Skomro
Medicine
Medicine
Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Juan Ianowski
Co-Investigator(s)
Joshua Lawson
Darcy Marciniuk
Brianne Philipenko
Dr.Dianne Bekolay
2018-2019 Ideas that Inspire
FUNDING RECEIVED
$12,500SHRF
$12,500The Lung Association of Saskatchewan
$25,000Total
Description
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a devastating chronic lung disease with unclear etiology. Current hypothesis proposes that ineffective wound healing by the epithelial cells at the alveoli underlie this condition. In this grant we propose to study idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis using synchrotron-based imaging on the murine bleomycin model, the best characterized model of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Using diffraction-enhanced imaging-based multiple-image radiography we will study the distal airway and alveoli of bleomycin-treated mice, compared to saline-treated control animals, and follow them over time in longitudinal studies lasting 28 days. This technique allows us to image the mouse airway in vivo with very high resolution, sufficient to observe the anatomical and physiological changes in lower respiratory system including alveoli to determine the site of initial lesions and progression of the condition with unparalleled detailed. This longitudinal imaging method would reveal alterations in the physiology of the lung as the condition progresses in the idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis mice model. Finally, the animals will be studied post-mortem by a board-certified animal pathologist to correlate the images with more established histological techniques. The results will provide valuable information regarding idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis that may help the development of novel therapies to improve patients' outcome.
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Take a Load Off: An Ergonomic Evaluation of Exoskeletons for Saskatchewan Farmers
Principal Investigator
Dr. Ornwipa Thamsuwan
Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture
College of Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Juan Ianowski
Co-Investigator(s)
Joshua Lawson
Darcy Marciniuk
Brianne Philipenko
Dr.Dianne Bekolay
Supervisor(s)
Dr. Catherine Trask (Lead Supervisor) Dr. Stephan Milosavljevic (Supervisor)
2018-2019 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
Back pain is highly prevalent among Saskatchewan farmers, and adversely affects their quality of life and work ability. Prolonged back bending contributes to back pain and is typical of many tasks in agriculture. It may not be possible to eliminate or modify some agricultural work tasks that occur on the ground such as calving, but supportive equipment might be a practical solution.An exoskeleton is a structure that allows the lower limbs to be supported while squatting and could be a solution that helps minimize back bending. Because it can reduce exposure to risk factors, exoskeleton technology may be an appropriate prevention strategy for back pain among farmers. This study will investigate the biomechanics and usability of a prototype exoskeleton for use by farmers during work at ground height.The study will recruit farmers on six Saskatchewan farms. We will use sensors to measure the back and lower limb postures and muscle activities of twelve farmworkers undertaking ground-level tasks, both with and without a prototype exoskeleton. We will also conduct a survey on their experience with the exoskeleton.The result of this study will enable us to better understand how an exoskeleton might assist farmers working at ground level. We will provide these insights to the exoskeleton designers with regard to worker movement profiles and any limitations for the use of the device. This study will support intervention design to improve the health, quality of life, and productivity of Saskatchewan farmers and workers with similar ergonomic risks.
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Development of Novel Vaccines for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Viruses with Pandemic Potentials
Principal Investigator
Dr. Xingui Tian
VIDO-InterVac
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Juan Ianowski
Co-Investigator(s)
Joshua Lawson
Darcy Marciniuk
Brianne Philipenko
Dr.Dianne Bekolay
Supervisor(s)
Dr. Yan Zhou (Lead Supervisor)
2018-2019 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
Highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses H5N1 and H7N9 pose an increasing pandemic threat to humans. However, there is no satisfactory vaccine for them. Enterovirus RNA replicons may provide a novel strategy to produce influenza vaccine that would be safe and could induce broad and long lasting immune response.It is hypothesized that by replacing the structural protein P1 of enterovirus with influenza hemagglutinins (HAs) of H5N1 and/or H7N9, the replicon particles can be packaged in complementary Vero-P1 cells. The replicon RNA genome can replicate multiple times and produce a high level of HA, thus eliciting immune responses against influenza infection. Moreover, since the replicons do not produce infectious progeny virions in non-complementary cells, this type of vaccine provides safer advantages. The overall purpose of this project is to develop novel enterovirus RNA replicons vaccine against H5N1 and H7N9. To reach this goal, I propose three objectives: 1) to construct a non-transmissible enterovirus replicon expressing H5 and/or H7 HA; 2) to characterize the replicons in vitro and evaluate their safety in mice; 3) to evaluate the immune responses of the replicon vaccines and the protection efficacy after challenge with highly pathogenic H5 and H7 viruses in mice.The success of the proposal will provide novel vaccines against highly pathogenic influenza viruses that have pandemic potentials. The research contributes significantly to the battle against influenza epidemics and pandemics thus will have significant impact on quality of life. This proposal addresses one of the provincial prioritized research areas - “public health”.
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Nesfatin-1 and Nesfatin-1-Like Peptide Regulation of Growth
Principal Investigator
Dr. Emilio Velez
Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences
Western College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Juan Ianowski
Co-Investigator(s)
Joshua Lawson
Darcy Marciniuk
Brianne Philipenko
Dr.Dianne Bekolay
Supervisor(s)
Dr. Suraj Unniappan (Lead Supervisor)
2018-2019 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
Metabolism and growth are tightly interlinked. Metabolic diseases, including obesity, result in growth defects in humans. Energy intake and proper partitioning of this energy is required to support growth. When energy balance is disrupted, it affects body weight and growth. This lab studies hormones that integrate metabolism and growth. They characterized two naturally occurring peptides that regulate both energy balance and growth. They identified two new hormones, nesfatin-1 and a nesfatin-1-like peptide (NLP) that regulate metabolism. Preliminary results suggest that these peptides have growth regulatory effects.The objective of this study is to determine the effects of nesfatin-1 and NLP on growth, and growth regulatory hormones.Using mice and cell lines, we will study the effects of both nesfatin-1 and NLP on the brain, pituitary, and liver, tissues important in regulating growth. The effects of nesfatin-1 and NLP on the expression of important genes and proteins will be studied in normal mice and mice under metabolic stress (obesity). We will also study whether growth rate and growth regulatory hormone profile is affected in these mice. In addition, mice that genetically lack nesfatin-1 and NLP and wildtype littermates will be studied to determine their growth rate, growth regulatory hormone profile and metabolic parameters.This research will unravel new knowledge on the role of two novel factors involved in the regulation of growth. This will provide important mechanistic insights on nesfatin-1 and NLP actions in health and disease.
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Know your enemy: Characterization of Borrelia burgdorferi strains bringing Lyme disease to Saskatchewan
Principal Investigator
Maarten Voordouw
Western College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Juan Ianowski
Co-Investigator(s)
Joshua Lawson
Darcy Marciniuk
Brianne Philipenko
Dr.Dianne Bekolay
2018-2019 Establishment Grants
FUNDING RECEIVED
$120,000SHRF
Description
Lyme borreliosis (LB) is an emerging tick-borne disease and a growing public health concern in Saskatchewan. The causative agent of LB in North America is the spirochete bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, which is transmitted among vertebrate hosts by Ixodes scapularis ticks. Climate change is driving a rapid range expansion of I. scapularis ticks and LB across Canada. LB is currently not native to Saskatchewan, but endemic I. scapularis populations occur in neighbouring Manitoba, where the incidence of LB has increased 10-fold over the last decade. In the near future, ticks and LB will establish themselves in Saskatchewan. B. burgdorferi is genetically diverse and consists of many distinct strains. This strain diversity has important consequences for public health including disease severity, diagnostics, and control strategies. We will identify the B. burgdorferi strains that are most likely to invade Saskatchewan by screening nearby tick populations. We will also conduct infection experiments with strains in a rodent host to score infection phenotypes. We will test whether strain-specific infection phenotypes in the rodent host (e.g. host-to-tick transmission) predicts the strain-specific frequencies in the wild tick population. This study will tell us which strains of B. burgdorferi are likely to be encountered by the residents of Saskatchewan and why some strains are more common than others in in wild tick populations. This knowledge of strain diversity is critical for developing effective diagnostic tests and control strategies, which should target those strains that are most common in the local tick populations.
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Guarding Cholesterol Homeostasis to Treat Chronic Disease
Principal Investigator
Dr. Scott Widenmaier
Physiology
College of Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Juan Ianowski
Co-Investigator(s)
Joshua Lawson
Darcy Marciniuk
Brianne Philipenko
Dr.Dianne Bekolay
2018-2019 Establishment Grants
FUNDING RECEIVED
$120,000SHRF
Description
Cholesterol is a nutrient crucial for health, but in excess can cause disease. One disease in which too much cholesterol plays a major role is non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, a liver disease characterized by lipid infiltration and liver inflammation that affects 6 % of adults in North America and is a leading cause of liver failure and liver cancer. The purpose of this proposal is to address a critical need for therapies that improve health outcomes in people with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.In previous work, this team found that liver cells have a specialized mechanism that guards against cholesterol excess. It was found that a transcription factor named Nuclear Factor Erythroid 2 Related Factor-1 senses when cholesterol is too high and coordinates actions that restore cholesterol levels and prevent inflammation. The objective of this proposal is to define the mechanisms by which this protein coordinates these actions, and to determine whether targeting it might prevent or reverse non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.General methodology will involve utilizing loss-of-function mouse models and developing a new mouse model that will substantially improve our ability to monitor its activity. Complementary physiological studies will be undertaken to link mechanistic discoveries with its in vivo significance to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.The proposed research will greatly improve our understanding of how hepatocytes adapt to cholesterol excess and may reveal a new path toward treating non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. As aberrant cholesterol metabolism also underlies atherosclerosis, diabetes, and neurodegenerative diseases, these studies could also have broader implications for health and disease in our society.
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17th Biennial Violence and Aggression Symposium 2018
Principal Investigator
Steve Wormith
Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science and Justice Studies, University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Juan Ianowski
Co-Investigator(s)
Joshua Lawson
Darcy Marciniuk
Brianne Philipenko
Dr.Dianne Bekolay
2018-2019 Research Connections Grants
FUNDING RECEIVED
$10,000SHRF
Description
The Symposium on Violence & Aggression has been a collaborative effort of the Regional Psychiatric Centre, Correctional Service Canada, and the University of Saskatchewan since 1986. Targeted to front-line workers, as well as clinicians and other professionals and administrators in criminal justice and forensic mental health, the Symposium translates research and theory into practice and provides an opportunity to highlight excellence and innovation within a variety of correctional and criminal justice environments. The 2018 edition will take place for the third time at the University of Saskatchewan, May 6-8, 2018, and will feature four plenary and 12 concurrent session presenters sharing their knowledge on various topics including aggressive sexual behaviours, gangs, human trafficking, mental health, offender assessment, policing issues, substance abuse and harm reduction, and transgender offenders. Registrants will also be able to participate for free in the Canadian Association of Threat Assessment Professionals' one-day workshop May 9.
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Transforming Mental Health Prevention Service Delivery for Children and Adolescents with Cystic Fibrosis: A Program of Research
Principal Investigator
Dr. Kristi Wright
Psychology
Arts
University of Regina
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Juan Ianowski
Co-Investigator(s)
Joshua Lawson
Darcy Marciniuk
Brianne Philipenko
Dr.Dianne Bekolay
2018-2019 Patient-Oriented Research Leader Awards
FUNDING RECEIVED
$111,790SHRF
$116,605Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research
$228,395Total
Description
Children and adolescents with cystic fibrosis (CF) are at a significantly high risk for the development of mental health symptoms and disorders, with 2-3 times higher rates of anxiety and depressive symptoms than those reported in the community. International experts have advocated for a universal approach to screening and treating depression and anxiety and developed associated guideline recommendations. Unfortunately, these guideline recommendations may not be achievable as services are not always available and, even when they are, there may be barriers to obtaining care (e.g. living in a rural setting necessitating substantial travel, financial restrictions). Internet-delivery of mental health services for individuals with CF is an attractive option to address the existing concerns with traditionally delivered programs, one that would be widely accessible to Canadian children and adolescents, would decrease the requirement of traveling to a CF clinic or health facility and face-to-face interaction with others with CF (as per guidelines for infection prevention and control), and has limited health care costs. Currently, there are no mental health programs delivered via the Internet for children and adolescents with CF. The overall goal is to develop an evidence-based, interactive, Internet-delivered, mental health prevention program for children and adolescents with CF with key contributions from children and adolescents with CF, parent caregivers and health care professionals. The research plan will be achieved over three studies during a three-year period. It is anticipated that the developed program will aid in improving mental health and quality of life for children and adolescents with CF.
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The Effects of Low-Field Magnetic Stimulation on Neuroprotection, Microglia Modulation and Myelin Repair: A Potential Therapy for Cognitive impairment and Depression in Multiple Sclerosis
Principal Investigator
Dr. Yanbo Zhang
Psychiatry
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Juan Ianowski
Co-Investigator(s)
Valerie Verge
2018-2019 Establishment Grants
FUNDING RECEIVED
$120,000SHRF
Description
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a significant health problem among young adults in Saskatchewan. Over 50% of all people with MS have cognitive issues with respects of thinking, memory, attention span, planning, decision making and social ability. The most common cognitive problems in MS patients are poor memory and difficulties with the process of thinking. Cognitive issues significantly reduce patient's quality of life, employment and social activities. Depression frequently co-occurs with cognitive problems and worsens cognitive function. Studies suggest that gray matter and white matter lesions, brain atrophy, inflammation and disrupted brain repair are all contributing to cognitive problems in MS. There are no currently approved treatments for cognitive impairment in MS. Disease-modifying therapies, memory-enhancing drugs or cognitive retraining showed limited cognitive benefits in MS patients. Thus, it is critical to developing efficient, safe and affordable treatments to enhance cognitive function. Low Field Magnetic Stimulation (LFMS) is a safe and novel treatment for depression. Pilot studies have found that LFMS can decrease MS-like brain pathologies, cognitive problems and depressive symptoms in the mouse model of MS. In this study, we will use cuprizone intoxication mouse model to study if LFMS can treat cognitive issues and depression by reducing neuroinflammation and brain damage, and by promoting brain repair. This study will provide a further understanding of the mechanisms of LFMS and will also offer the new approach for cognition rehab in MS and other diseases in the future.
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Disparities in Respiratory Health Among First Nations People: Assess, Redress, Re-assess. Sharing Knowledge & Experience, Revealing Priorities & Directions
Principal Investigator
Dr. Sylvia Abonyi
Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit (SPHERU)
Community Health & Epidemiology
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Juan Ianowski
Co-Investigator(s)
Shelley Kirychuk
Vivian Ramsden
James Dosman
Punam Pahwa
Chandima Karunanayake
2017-2018 Research Connections Grants
FUNDING RECEIVED
$6,000SHRF
Description
This one-day symposium will highlight knowledge about the linkages between adult and child respiratory health outcomes and housing environments in First Nations communities that has been produced during the CIHR-funded 5-year project, “Assess, Redress, Re-assess: Addressing Disparities in Respiratory Health Among First Nations People”. The deliverables will include a background paper summarizing project research findings and a follow-up companion symposium report featuring the priority questions and actions identified during discussion will be produced after the event. Over 60 key stakeholders have been personally invited to attend. The event will take place in Saskatoon at the Wanuskewin Heritage Park on June 13, 2017.
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A Collaborative Approach to Comprehensive Screening and Assessment of Fall Risk for Older Adults across the Continuum of Care in Saskatchewan
Principal Investigator
Dr. Catherine Arnold
Physical Therapy
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Daphne Kemp
Co-Investigator(s)
Janet Barnes
Alexander Crizzle
Kelly Froehlich
Shanthi Johnson
Heather Dyck
Laura Bouvier
Cathy Billett
Gord Moker
Jason Parkvold
Darcy McIntyre
Graham Fast
2017-2018 Sprout Grant
FUNDING RECEIVED
$67,845SHRF
$92,155Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research
$160,000Total
Description
One in three older adults in the community and one in two in long-term care fall at least once each year, and fall injury hospitalizations account for 77% of all injury hospitalizations in Saskatchewan. As the number of seniors in Saskatchewan increases, there is a corresponding impact on health care services and policy. Reducing the number of fall-related injuries in Saskatchewan will help to reduce emergency department and various care wait times. Most importantly, it will support seniors to age in place in their home communities. The overall purpose of this project is to develop a patient-oriented consensus of best practices about fall risk in older adults residing in Saskatchewan across the full continuum of acute, long term and community care. Our provincial team of health decision-makers, patient/family advisors, clinicians and researchers will do this by: 1) ) conducting an environmental scan to determine the scope and diversity of current provincial fall risk screening and assessment practices and how closely these align with evidence-based practice guidelines, 2) gathering stories of lived experience of fall risk screening and subsequent care of about 30 older adults and their families through group discussions held across the province, and 3) hosting a consensus-building session to combine all our findings and develop a provincial care pathway based on best practices. This project is timely as our province moves to one Saskatchewan Health Authority. It devotes needed attention to the prevention of fall-related injury in Saskatchewan and to the development of age-friendly communities.
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Neuroticism and Mood Instability as Suicide Prevention Targets
Principal Investigator
Dr. Lloyd Balbuena
Psychiatry
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Daphne Kemp
Co-Investigator(s)
Angela Bowen
Rudy Bowen
Jill Bally
Anne-Lise Brantsaeter
2017-2018 Establishment Grants
FUNDING RECEIVED
$119,997SHRF
Description
Suicide is a major cause of preventable death, yet the lack of linked health and mortality data nationally hinders suicide research. The overall objective of this research proposal is to evaluate lifestyle and pharmacological interventions targeting neuroticism and mood instability. The personality trait neuroticism and its pathological expression (mood instability) influence the body’s stress response. Chronic stress can result in systemic inflammation, which in turn can result in depression. This project will examine: (a) lifestyle variables for the primary prevention of mood episodes, (b) the use of mood stabilizers in depression, and (c) how differences in daily activities are related to mood. Lifestyle and pharmacological factors will be assessed for their efficacy against suicide at a macro level using the UK Biobank (n=500,000) and Cohort of Norway (n=175,000) databases. At a micro level, a small group of Saskatchewan patients will provide personal narratives to elucidate the link between mood swings and suicidal ideas. Day-to-day mood variation in the same patients will be correlated with smartphone-monitored sleep, sunlight levels, and physical activity. By considering lifetime and situational mood tendencies, behavioural and drug therapies, and national and clinical samples, this project will contribute evidence for suicide prevention at various levels.
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Shake and Break: The Effects of Whole-Body Vibration on Farm Machinery Egress
Principal Investigator
Dr. Behzad Bashiri
Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture (CCHSA)
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Daphne Kemp
Co-Investigator(s)
Angela Bowen
Rudy Bowen
Jill Bally
Anne-Lise Brantsaeter
Supervisor(s)
Dr. Catherine Trask (Lead Supervisor)
2017-2018 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
Agriculture is among the most dangerous occupations in Canada and the number of fatal injuries and hospitalization in agriculture is still very high despite increased mechanization. Machinery is the most important cause of injury in agriculture. Machinery can expose farmers to both whole-body vibration during operation and to risk of falls during egress. Although both of these hazards have been investigated individually, it is plausible that whole-body vibration impacts the risk of egress injury. Occupational whole-body vibrations have a number of effects on health and performance, and can adversely influence balance, coordination, and perception; all these can increase risk of falls from machinery. Understanding the effects of whole-body vibration on egress performance will allow for the development of preventive interventions that will ultimately enhance the health and economic productivity of Saskatchewan farmers. This study will investigate the effects of whole-body vibration on egress from agricultural vehicles by: 1) developing an agricultural tractor test paradigm for whole-body vibration and egress; and 2) conducting lab-based experiments comparing lower limb joint angles, standing balance stability, and foot pressure during egress before and after exposure to seated whole-body vibration. Thirty healthy participants will participate in pre/post performance testing using motion capture systems and force sensors in the University of Saskatchewan Ergonomics Lab. Dr. Behzad Bashiri, the applicant, will conduct all of the stages of this project under the supervision of Dr. Catherine Trask. Findings of this study will enhance the health and safety in agriculture, transportation, and forestry by preventing injuries among machinery operators.
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Transmission of Antibiotic Resistance by DNA Uptake in the Priority Pathogens E. Coli, Klebsiella, and Salmonella
Principal Investigator
Dr. Supriya Bhat
Biology
Science
University of Regina
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Daphne Kemp
Co-Investigator(s)
Angela Bowen
Rudy Bowen
Jill Bally
Anne-Lise Brantsaeter
Supervisor(s)
Dr. Andrew Cameron (Lead Supervisor)
2017-2018 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
Natural competence is the mechanism by which bacteria take up DNA from their environment. This process is well established to facilitate the evolution of pathogens by transmitting pathogenicity genes between bacteria. However, how natural competence contributes to the spread of antibiotic resistance is woefully understudied. Equally overlooked is that the model bacterial species Salmonella and E. coli are capable of DNA uptake by natural competence, but this mechanism of gene transfer has not been characterized in these species nor related members of the Enterobacteriaceae. Our primary objective is to understand the contribution of natural competence to the spread of antibiotic resistance in “priority pathogens” in the family Enterobacteriaceae. The genetic factors contributing to the induction of competence genes in E. coli, Klebsiella, and Salmonella will be determined using a combination of complementary genetic and microscopic techniques, building on the expertise of Dr Bhat and the Cameron lab. Dr Bhat will travel to Switzerland and Vancouver to accelerate her analysis of DNA uptake by confocal microscopy and isolation of DNA from the cell envelope. After characterization of these processes in model laboratory strains, we will apply this knowledge to test the hypothesis that antibiotic resistant pathogens in the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region can acquire resistance genes by natural competence. This project will contribute to understanding the spread of antibiotic resistance in emerging pathogens while developing novel techniques for biomonitoring. Such assays will have direct application to evaluating the effects antibiotics and other environmental stressors contributing to multi-drug resistance.
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Nucleobindin Endcoded Peptides and the Regulation of Growth
Principal Investigator
Dr. Ayelen Blanco Imperiali
Veterinary Biomedical Sciences
Veterinary Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Daphne Kemp
Co-Investigator(s)
Angela Bowen
Rudy Bowen
Jill Bally
Anne-Lise Brantsaeter
Supervisor(s)
Dr. Suraj Unniappan (Lead Supervisor)
2017-2018 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
Metabolic diseases, including obesity, results in growth defects in humans. Metabolism and growth are tightly interlinked. Energy intake and proper partitioning of this energy is required to support growth. When energy balance is disrupted, it affects body weight and growth. Dr. Unniappan's lab studies hormones that integrate metabolism and growth. In the past, they characterized hormones that regulate both energy balance and growth. They identified two new hormones, nesfatin-1 and a nesfatin-1-like peptide (NLP) that regulate metabolism. Peliminary results suggest that these hormones have growth regulatory effects. The objective of this study is to determine the effects of nesfatin-1 and NLP on growth. Using zebrafish, an emerging model organism in biomedical/health research, we will study the effects of both nesfatin-1 and NLP on the brain, pituitary, muscle and liver, tissues important in regulating growth. The effects of nesfatin-1 and NLP on the expression of important genes and proteins will be studied in normal zebrafish, and zebrafish under metabolic stress (obesity). We will also study how growth rate is affected in these fish. In addition, fish that genetically lack nesfatin-1 and NLP will be studied to determine their growth rate, growth regulatory hormone profile and metabolic parameters. Our research will unravel new knowledge on the role of two novel, additional factors involved in the regulation of growth. This will provide important mechanistic insights on nesfatin-1 and NLP actions in health and disease.



Due to success in securing international funding, this recipient declined this funding.
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Bringing Birth Back: Improving Access to Culturally Safe Birth in Saskatchewan
Principal Investigator
Dr. Angela Bowen
Nursing
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Daphne Kemp
Co-Investigator(s)
Carrie Pratt
Katherine Hennessy
Lorna Breitkreuz
Veronica McKinney
Audrey Boyer
Justina Whitehead
Kay Lerat
Nnamdi Ndubuka
Shirley Woods
Terrina Bellegarde
Holly Graham
Jessica Dieter
Katelind Naistus
Norma Rabbitskin
2017-2018 Sprout Grant
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
$60,000Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research
$160,000Total
Description
This timely and essential project will meet the desires of mothers and their families to bring traditional birth back with the hopes to connect them to their babies and their communities in healthful ways. This project involves an Elder, mother-patients, care-providers, professional leaders, decision-makers, and researchers collaborating to increase access to traditional birth, and to empower mothers to access the birth experience of their choice in a province with geographical and seasonal weather challenges relative to the distance to major health centres. Community meetings, Birth Champions, Indigenous Birth Network and a summit, will engage Mother-Patient Advisors, and the partners essential to hear women's voices of birth and motherhood. We will gather knowledge to identify options to increase the training and inclusion of various Indigenous birth attendants and how to provide care to women seeking culture and tradition in their birth experience. The findings will add to the knowledge about the state of Indigenous birth care and needs in Saskatchewan, a province that has 11% of the Indigenous peoples in Canada. It will advance knowledge of birth traditions and ceremonies between generations of Indigenous mothers and various care-providers who interact with them. It will generate a report and policy brief to inform mothers and families, decision-makers, educators and service providers with options for a model of care, education and training, and community-based programs that will help to 'Bring Birth Back' and improve access to culturally safe birth in Saskatchewan.
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Kidney Health and Wellness Day
Principal Investigator
Dr. Carol Bullin
Nursing
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Daphne Kemp
Co-Investigator(s)
Joanne Kappel
2017-2018 Research Connections Grants
FUNDING RECEIVED
$5,000SHRF
Description
A Kidney Health and Wellness Day will take place at the Sakitawak Events Centre in Ile a la Crosse. This one day event consists of a health fair comprising various booths and presentations to community members. Information at the various booths would be presented by local community members, students and regional experts on kidney disease prevention, diagnosis and management. Many of the topics for the Kidney Health and Wellness Day were suggested by community members through discussions at an earlier event held at Ile a la Crosse.
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Telehealth in Northern and Indigenous Communities: Improving Access through Innovation & Collaboration
Principal Investigator
Dr. Lorna Butler
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Daphne Kemp
Co-Investigator(s)
Joanne Kappel
2017-2018 Research Connections Grants
FUNDING RECEIVED
$6,000SHRF
Description
Telehealth as a means of delivering medical information and health care through the use of telecommunication technologies has been proven to provide high quality health care in an accessible and affordable manner. Given Saskatchewan’s proportionately high rural and remote population, and under-served Indigenous communities, there is incredible unfulfilled potential in applying the benefits of telehealth to our health care system. This workshop will bring together stakeholders to: assess the current state of telehealth use in Saskatchewan; identify promising telehealth solutions to common health care challenges found in northern and Indigenous communities; and outline the challenges to more effectively implementing telehealth tools and applications in Saskatchewan. The end goal is to collaboratively develop a vision and plan to maximize the use and benefits of telecommunications technologies for Indigenous and northern health care services in Saskatchewan.
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Developing Diagnostic Tools for Risk Assessment of the Zoonotic Pathogens Borrelia (Lyme Disease), Hantavirus, and Leptospira in Saskatchewan.
Principal Investigator
Dr. Andrew Cameron
Biology
Science
University of Regina
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Daphne Kemp
Co-Investigator(s)
Paul Levett
Ray Poulin
2017-2018 Collaborative Innovation Development
FUNDING RECEIVED
$50,000SHRF
Description
Zoonotic infections occur when a pathogen, like a virus or bacterium, jumps from an animal host to a human, which can cause serious disease and death. Our research will, for the first time, map the distribution of three key zoonotic pathogens, Hantavirus, Leptospira and Borrelia, in Saskatchewan. We will also develop new diagnostic techniques for detection and for tracking the movement of these pathogens in the province. These infectious diseases appear to be on the rise, especially Borrelia, the causative agent of Lyme disease, which is confirmed in breeding tick populations across the Manitoba border. All three diseases are carried by the common deer mouse, thus they pose particular risks to Saskatchewan farmers and anyone who comes into contact with mouse excrement. Indeed, researchers at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum are concerned about the risks of zoonotic infection from collecting and studying mouse specimens. We will partner the genetic expertise and technologies of the Cameron Lab at the University of Regina with the public health expertise and mandate of the Roy Romanow Public Health Laboratory (RRPL) along with the natural history and sample collecting expertise of the Royal Saskatchewan Museum to develop genetic-based diagnostic techniques for the detection of Hantavirus and the bacterial agents that cause leptospirosis and Lyme disease. Once in place, these diagnostic techniques can be used routinely by the Cameron Lab and RRPL for risk assessment for museum personnel and the broader Saskatchewan population.
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Canada Conference on Sports Nutrition and Training
Principal Investigator
Dr. Darren Candow
University of Regina
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Daphne Kemp
Co-Investigator(s)
Paul Levett
Ray Poulin
2017-2018 Research Connections Grants
FUNDING RECEIVED
$2,640SHRF
Description
This event is the premiere sports nutrition and training conference in Canada. In association with the International Society of Sports Nutrition, the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology and the Saskatchewan Kinesiology and Exercise Science Association, this conference will highlight evidence based research for proper recommendations, strategies and practical applications involving nutrition and exercise for optimal health and performance.
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Perpetually, Potentially Pregnant: The Discursive Construction of “Women of Childbearing Age” and its Effects in Public Health and Biomedical Research
Principal Investigator
Dr. Alana Cattapan
Johnson-Shoyama School of Public Policy
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Daphne Kemp
Co-Investigator(s)
Paul Levett
Ray Poulin
2017-2018 Partnership Grants
Three Years
FUNDING RECEIVED
$18,593SHRF
$18,593CIHR
$37,186Total
Description
The concept of "women of childbearing age" is ubiquitous in public health initiatives and biomedical research. The understanding that women's reproductive potential can and should make them a site of study is often taken for granted in the name of protecting fetal health. There are, however, many women who are not planning to reproduce, or who are not physiologically capable of conception or pregnancy and who may be of "childbearing age." Furthermore, there are important roles for men, for the state, and for the private sector in the protection of fetal health, although public health initiatives and biomedical research disproportionately focus on women. This research examines how "women of childbearing age" emerged as a category within public health policy and biomedical research. Through document-based analysis and interviews with key actors, I will investigate whether and how describing women's bodies in terms of "childbearing age" has contributed to the idea that women's health is primarily reproductive, and what effects this might have on women's health and autonomy. I will use these findings to develop other approaches to thinking about women's autonomy and fetal health beyond the language of "childbearing age" and women's reproductive capacity. Then, I will make these other approaches available to policy makers, public health agencies, clinicians, and biomedical researchers through decision-making tools (i.e. fact sheets and checklists) to help knowledge users better consider women's experiences and interest in engagements with "women of childbearing age." Overall, this research aims to reorient public health initiatives and biomedical research to understand fetal health as a collective endeavour, and to challenge uncritical use of discourses that reinforce the idea that women's health and decision-making are inherently matters of reproduction. 
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Neuroscience Research Symposium at U of S - Focus on Multiple Sclerosis and other Neurodegenerative Brain Disorders
Principal Investigator
Dr. Francisco Cayabyab
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Daphne Kemp
Co-Investigator(s)
Paul Levett
Ray Poulin
2017-2018 Research Connections Grants
Three Years
FUNDING RECEIVED
$5,000SHRF
Description
The welcome reception on November 2, 2017 will allow participants to interact in an informal atmosphere within the D-Wing Atrium of Health Science Building. This will enhance collaboration between PI’s, trainees, and our Keynote Speaker Dr. Wee Yong, who will bring new perspectives and new ideas to our Neuroscience Research Community. A reception dinner with Dr. Yong and invited Faculty will be held at a local restaurant. The Neuroscience Research Symposium on Friday, November 3 will include Platform Presentations, Keynote Presentation by Dr. Yong and Poster Presentations. The Meeting will conclude with presentations of Platform and Poster Prizes. Participants have ample opportunity to meet with Dr. Yong during the coffee breaks and lunches.
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Synchrotron Imaging-Based Non-Invasive Studies on 3D Printed Scaffolds for Bone Repair
Principal Investigator
Dr. Xiongbiao (Daniel) Chen
Mechanical Engineering
Engineering
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Daphne Kemp
Co-Investigator(s)
David Cooper
Brian Eames
Ali Honaramooz
James (J.D.) Johnston
Nitin Sharma
2017-2018 Collaborative Innovation Development
Three Years
FUNDING RECEIVED
$50,000SHRF
Description
Bone is a key component of the musculoskeletal system of the body and serves such functions as structural support and protection of internal organs. Problems or defects associated with bone mainly include bone fracture and loss due to trauma, infection and/or disease. In Saskatchewan, bone defects represent one of the common causes of reduced life quality and inability to work. Common approaches (such as the use of autogenous/allogeneic grafts and alloplasts) usually fail to provide stable, long-term restoration of bone function, particularly for large bone defects. Thus, there is keen interest in exploiting tissue engineering technologies to develop implantable scaffolds to augment endogenous repair mechanisms for bone-defect treatment. Based on existing research strengths in engineering, bone imaging and life sciences at the University of Saskatchewan, the overall goal of this pilot project is to establish a research collaboration in bone tissue engineering so as to pursue a preliminary study aimed at developing novel bone scaffolds. Specifically, over the next 1.5 years we will (1) develop novel scaffolds based on the three-dimensional (3D) printing technique in concert with nano-biotechnology-based release strategies and (2) develop synchrotron imaging technologies to non-invasively track bone regeneration in a scaffold-treated animal model. Upon successfully completing these objectives, we will develop comprehensive projects/proposals towards funding agencies including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) for developing novel scaffolds for bone repair in animal models and eventually in human patients, thus directly benefiting Saskatchewan patients who suffer from bone defects.
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Where the Rubber Hits the Road: Alternative Transportation Planning to Enhance Health Service Delivery in Rural Saskatchewan
Principal Investigator
Dr. Alexander Crizzle
Public Health
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Daphne Kemp
Co-Investigator(s)
Debra Morgan
Mary Ellen Andrews
Andrew Kirk
2017-2018 Establishment Grants
Three Years
FUNDING RECEIVED
$120,000SHRF
Description
For many individuals, driving a car is important for staying mobile and independent, especially in rural communities of Saskatchewan where access to alternative transportation is limited. With the aging population and associated medical conditions that can impair driving related abilities (particularly cognitive impairment and/or dementia), developing appropriate, cost-effective and tailored alternative transportation is critical to ensure older adults in rural communities can continue to access health services and age-in-place. Working with stakeholders, the purpose of this mixed methods study is to develop the evidence needed to inform alternative transportation planning in Saskatchewan. The three objectives are: 1) to identify current transportation programs and services available to rural areas of Saskatchewan and subsequent implications on health services; 2) to assess transportation concerns and opportunities of residents in rural Saskatchewan; and 3) to understand the contextual factors related to transportation planning. By performing an environmental scan and conducting surveys, focus groups and interviews, we will develop a website that will help seniors plan for driving retirement (or learn what is available); and inform the development and implementation of alternative transportation options in Saskatchewan. Developing better access to alternative transportation will allow rural residents to access health services, to remain integrated in their communities (because they are healthier) and age-in-place, as well as reduce the health care systems costs from better disease management (less complex cases) and a reduction in motor vehicle accidents.
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Development of Novel Radiopharmaceuticals to Combat Systemic Fungal Infections
Principal Investigator
Dr. Ekaterina Dadachova
Pharmacy
Pharmacy and Nutrition
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Daphne Kemp
Co-Investigator(s)
Elisabeth Snead
2017-2018 Establishment Grants
Three Years
FUNDING RECEIVED
$120,000SHRF
Description
Invasive fungal infections cause devastating morbidity and mortality, especially in organ transplant patients, cancer patients and patients in intensive care units. In Canada, with the population of 35 million, 678,178 cases of invasive fungal infections were diagnosed in 2014. There is a lack of effective drugs for fungal infections, and principally new approaches are urgently needed. Several years ago we proposed to use radioimmunotherapy (RIT) to treat invasive fungal infections. In this approach a fungus-specific antibody carries a radioactive payload to kill fungal cells. The studies in mice infected with several pathogenic fungi demonstrated the efficacy and safety of RIT. However, such approach requires fungus-specific antibodies. Here we propose to investigate targeting the antigens expressed by all classes of pathogenic fungi. In this case, a patient can be treated with a radioactively-armed antibody to one of such antigens without a need for a lengthy diagnosis or a specific antibody. We will select the best radionuclide-antibody combination in a mouse model of blastomycosis, validate our findings in research dogs infected with blastomycosis-causing fungus and then treat companion dogs with blastomycosis. The canine study will show for the first time that RIT of infection works safely and efficiently in large species. If successful, this project will create a quantum leap in treatment of invasive fungal infections which kill tens of thousands of people with weakened immune system every year.
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Indigenous Food in the City Knowledge Dissemination and Exchange
Principal Investigator
Dr. Rachel Engler-Stringer
Community Health and Epidemiology
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Daphne Kemp
Co-Investigator(s)
Philip Loring
Wanda Martin
2017-2018 Research Connections Grants
Three Years
FUNDING RECEIVED
$10,000SHRF
Description
We will hold a series of knowledge dissemination and exchange activities related to our CIHR/SHRF/SSHRC-funded critical ethnographic study of food practices in Saskatoon's inner city. As part of that research, we have almost completed a documentary film by director Tasha Hubbard examining how traditional/country foods make their way into Saskatoon and showing the importance of these foods for health. We will plan screenings of the short film and presentations on our research results for various stakeholders in Saskatoon, including the Saskatoon Indian and Métis Friendship Centre, the Northern Trappers Cooperative, the Central Urban Métis Federation, the Saskatoon Tribal Council and CHEP Good Food Incorporated. We also will hold a working meeting with experts in Indigenous Law, Food Safety, Environmental Conservation and Indigenous Food Sovereignty, and with all of the organizations named above, to spur planning for increased access to traditional foods in Saskatoon and other urban environments.
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U of S Emerging Expertise in Molecular Imaging Research
Principal Investigator
Dr. Humphrey Fonge
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Daphne Kemp
Co-Investigator(s)
Ekaterina Dadachova
Rajan Rakheja
2017-2018 Research Connections Grants
Three Years
FUNDING RECEIVED
$5,000SHRF
Description
The University of Saskatchewan has a rich history of innovation in nuclear sciences beginning with the development of the Cobalt bomb that was (and is still) used world-wide to treat millions of cancer patients. Recent investments in the province including the Saskatchewan Centre for Cyclotron Sciences and Canada's only isotope producing electron linear accelerator have created unprecedented opportunities for research and innovation in nuclear sciences and imaging. This biannual symposium is a key knowledge translation event during which world-class leaders in the field will be brought to U of S. The goals/purpose are therefore to; 1) Showcase the province of Saskatchewan as an emerging power in nuclear sciences and imaging research and 2) Invite world-renowned scientists in the field so as to create an environment where Saskatchewan based scientists and trainees can interact with these renowned scientists and seek opportunities for collaboration and/or further training.
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Elucidatng the Roles of Pathogen Virulence Factors in Subverting Host Cell Processes
Principal Investigator
Dr. Alla Gagarinova
Biochemistry
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Daphne Kemp
Co-Investigator(s)
Ekaterina Dadachova
Rajan Rakheja
Supervisor(s)
Dr. Miroslaw Cygler (Lead Supervisor)
2017-2018 Research Fellowship Top-up Incentive Award
Three Years
FUNDING RECEIVED
$20,000SHRF
Description
Due to increasingly widespread antibiotic resistance, it is predicted that by 2050 bacterial infections will be causing more deaths than cancers. Bacterial pathogens subvert host processes by injecting protein virulence factors (effectors) into host cells to modify the behaviors of specific host proteins, thus causing disease. However, there has been limited success in elucidating effector roles and, correspondingly, pathogenesis mechanisms. This limits the development of new treatment strategies, which are becoming essential in view of increasingly widespread antimicrobial resistance. Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium causes gastroenteritis and is the best-studied bacterial pathogen. However, cellular targets have been identified or predicted for only half of S. Typhimurium's 45 effectors. This research will systematically identify host proteins interacting with each of the 45 effectors during infection and use this information to predict effector roles in causing disease. For each effector, this research will use affinity purification to isolate effector protein complexes from infected macrophages, survival within which is essential for S. Typhimurium virulence. This research will then use mass spectrometry to identify proteins forming these complexes and follow the guilt-by-association principle to predict effector roles, which will be computationally and experimentally validated. The proposed project will be relevant to understanding and combatting diseases caused by Salmonella species, which result in ~116 million illnesses and ~370,000 deaths worldwide annually. Moreover, this strategy will be applicable to investigating other pathogens, thus providing new insights for understanding bacterial pathogenesis and developing new antimicrobial strategies.
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Laboratory and Clinical Investigations of Parenting Factors in Pediatric Pain
Principal Investigator
Dr. Michelle Gagnon
Psychology
Arts and Science
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Daphne Kemp
Co-Investigator(s)
Ekaterina Dadachova
Rajan Rakheja
2017-2018 Establishment Grants
Three Years
FUNDING RECEIVED
$115,427SHRF
Description
Pediatric chronic pain is a significant health problem that affects 11 to 38% of children and adolescents. Family factors are increasingly recognized as integral to the physical and psychosocial functioning of adolescents with chronic pain; however, the underlying processes in which parent-adolescent interactions impact pain, and interventions that are grounded in these processes remain poorly explored. This proposal outlines three investigations with the following objectives: (1) to determine whether parental distress affects parental responses to adolescents with chronic pain; (2) to determine whether parental responses to adolescent pain affects adolescent expressions of pain and pain-related outcomes; (3) to determine if parenting interventions that are effective for other pediatric health and mental health concerns can be applied in pediatric chronic pain. Studies 1 and 2 involve the recruitment of parent-adolescent dyads with and without an adolescent with chronic pain. Using various experimental tasks (i.e. discussion tasks and pain induction tasks), parental response styles and the associated impact on adolescent pain expression and family and pain-related outcomes will be examined. In Study 3, existing evidence-based parenting interventions will be used to develop and evaluate a group-based intervention for parents of adolescents with chronic pain. The proposed research provides a new line of inquiry that will not only add clarity to theories of pediatric pain development and maintenance, but will also provide a potential treatment option for families who are struggling with pediatric chronic pain.
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Multimodal Imaging of Alzheimer's Disease Mouse Models
Principal Investigator
Dr. Graham George
Geological Sciences
Arts and Sciences
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Oleg Dmitriev
Co-Investigator(s)
Ingrid Pickering (Co-Principal Applicant)
Kelly Summers
Eric Price
2017-2018 Collaborative Innovation Development
Three Years
FUNDING RECEIVED
$50,000SHRF
Description
Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is the predominant cause of age-related dementia. Approximately 19,000 people are living with dementia in Saskatchewan today; by 2038 the projection is 28,000, or ~2.3% of the population. The Saskatchewan Alzheimer's Society projects that over the next 30 years the costs of dementia will rise to nearly $40 billion in total health costs, including impacts on caregivers. Remarkable and promising results with metal chelator treatment for AD, in both animals and humans, showed temporary improvements in both cognition and memory. However, recent work has raised doubt over the usefulness of chelators, even questioning whether metals play a role in AD. Our proposed work will bring much-needed clarity by showing quantitatively whether metals are elevated in AD plaques and by how much, and whether metals can be modulated by chelator treatment. Our team will approach this using an innovative multimodal approach, combining for the first time synchrotron-based techniques to determine metal and plaque microscopic localization, with biochemical probes of changes in copper regulation, coupled with Positron Emission Tomography producing whole-body copper distributions in mice. Our findings have promise to understand more about AD and possible treatments. Any mitigation of the effects of AD will lead to patient improved quality of life and reduced health care costs. Given the increasing prevalence of AD within our ageing populations, the outcomes are of direct relevance to the health of Saskatchewan, Canada and the world.
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Molecular Imaging of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) Using a Domain II Specific Antibody
Principal Investigator
Dr. Clarence Geyer
Pathology
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Oleg Dmitriev
Co-Investigator(s)
Humphrey Fonge
Rajan Rakheja
2017-2018 Collaborative Innovation Development
Three Years
FUNDING RECEIVED
$50,000SHRF
Description
Many solid tumors express a protein on their surface called epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) which makes them very aggressive and resistant to available treatments. The confirmation of EGFR positivity is done by traditional ex vivo (outside the body) techniques such as immunohistochemistry on tumor tissue specimens. For obvious reasons these assays yield unreliable results in more than 33% of the cases, and as well, they have no value in surgical planning to excise the tumor. Standard surgical procedure to excise the tumor uses white light illumination and is highly dependent on surgical skills. In addition, surgery may affect quality of life if the tumor is located next to a critical tissue such as nerves. Delineation of tumors cells using nuclear imaging and fluorescence probes can improve diagnosis and surgical outcomes. Recent studies show a more than two-fold improvement in survival when fluorescence probes were used to guide surgery in brain cancer patients. Molecular imaging offers a sensitive and quantitative method for receptor expression. Existing imaging agents that target EGFR have limited clinical value because they bind to the same domain as the therapeutic agents. We have developed an antibody that binds to a domain different from that of all existing imaging and therapeutic agents. This unique binding property of the molecule will allow us to develop imaging agents (and subsequently therapeutic agents) that have many potential applications against EGFR-positive cancers. Here we will develop near infrared and 89Zr labeled antibody probes for image-guided surgery and positron emission tomography (PET)/CT imaging.
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Testing the Efficacy of Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction as a Prophylactic Intervention in the Prevention of Perimenopausal Depression: a Randomized Trial
Principal Investigator
Dr. Jennifer Gordon
Psychology
Arts
University of Regina
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Oleg Dmitriev
Co-Investigator(s)
Tavis Campbell
Robin McMaster
Tracy Morgan
Joanne Alexiuk
Amanda Scollan
Shadi Beshai
2017-2018 Sprout Grant
Three Years
FUNDING RECEIVED
$99,837SHRF
$59,793Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research
$159,630Total
Description
Hormone fluctuation in the years leading up to menopause, known as the menopause transition, may increase a woman's sensitivity to stress, making her more two to four times more likely to develop depression. Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is a well-established eight-week group intervention combining meditation and mindful yoga that has been shown to greatly increase resilience to stress in many populations, yet its mental health benefits have yet to be tested in the menopause transition. The study will enroll 100 healthy, non-depressed women in the early menopause transition, half of whom will take part in an eight-week MBSR intervention while the other half will be put on a waitlist to receive MBSR at the end of the study. Depressive symptoms will be monitored every two weeks for six months following the intervention using an online questionnaire. We predict that women who receive MBSR will have lower depression scores than the waitlist control group. Two perimenopausal patient-investigators and a Women's Health Nurse Practitioner have played an important role in developing this proposal and will continue to be involved throughout the project, first in tailoring the MBSR intervention for this population and later in disseminating our research findings. The medical director from the Regina Community Clinic will help our team conduct follow-up research aimed at testing the feasibility of offering MBSR as a publicly-funded intervention for the prevention of perimenopausal depression. The project directly addresses the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health priority to improve the province's treatment of mental health and addictions.
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Gathering for Miyo Mahcihowin (Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual Well-Being)
Principal Investigator
Dr. Holly Graham
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Jaris Swidrovich
Co-Investigator(s)
Crystal Maslin
Michael Szafron
Lois Berry
Angela Bowen
2017-2018 Research Connections Grants
Three Years
FUNDING RECEIVED
$10,000SHRF
Description
The University of Saskatchewan’s health science colleges and schools invite health professionals, health service organizations, students, and community partners to this two day Gathering in Saskatoon on March 15 and 16, 2018. The Gathering will showcase approaches to developing reciprocal, respectful partnerships between communities and researchers. The Gathering will also connect communities, students, and researchers interested in addressing common health priorities.

To ensure relevance the planning committee engaged Indigenous community members and invited them to identify health priorities, which included mental wellbeing, access to services, chronic diseases and promising approaches to wellness. Four internationally recognized Indigenous health researchers will be invited to speak and guide sessions organized around these four health priorities. Concurrent sessions will feature nationally recognized local speakers and panels to explore topics in more detail. On Thursday evening we will partner with the Saskatchewan Indigenous Mentorship Network Program for a networking and youth engagement event.
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Sâkipakâwin - Assessing the Support Needs for Saskatchewan Indigenous Cancer Patients and their Families: a Multi-method Study
Principal Investigator
Dr. Gary Groot
Community Health and Epidemiology
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Jaris Swidrovich
Co-Investigator(s)
Tracey Carr
Terri Hansen-Gardiner
Sylvia Abonyi
Lorna Arcand
Eugene Arcand
Julie Stakiw
Gabe Lafond
Veronica McKinney
Ray Deobald
Tania Lafontaine
Raymond Laliberte
Corey Miller
Darren Okemaysim
2017-2018 Sprout Grant
Three Years
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
$59,864Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research
$159,864Total
Description
This project will identify the support needs, both formal (i.e. health care services) and informal (e.g. support groups) of Indigenous cancer patients and their families as they journey through the health care system with the ultimate aim to propose novel patient and family centered interventions that can address those needs. Our objectives are: a) to determine how Indigenous people in Saskatchewan understand cancer, b) to identify the current status of Indigenous cancer care support in the province, c) to detect Indigenous cancer care service gaps, d) to assess the cultural responsiveness of cancer services, e) to determine how the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency (SCA) and other cancer service providers are working with Indigenous communities, and f) to establish cancer service priorities of Indigenous people and communities. By employing a design that gathers data from patients and families, providers and decision makers, we will be well situated to propose interventions that will improve the quality of care for this population. Once these needs-based interventions are implemented and evaluated, the long-term impacts of this research will be an improvement in the quality of cancer care for Indigenous people in this province as well as the provision of seamless patient care.
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Facilitators and Barriers to Clinical Pathway Uptake in Saskatchewan
Principal Investigator
Dr. Gary Groot
Community Health and Epidemiology
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Jaris Swidrovich
Co-Investigator(s)
Donna Goodridge
Joshua Lloyd
Terry Blackmore
Leigh Kinsman
Zane Tymchak
Thomas Rotter
2017-2018 Collaborative Innovation Development
Three Years
FUNDING RECEIVED
$49,960SHRF
Description
Clinical pathways (CPWs) are document-based tools that provide evidence-based recommendations for the management of specific medical conditions and, in so doing, provide a link between available evidence and clinical practice. CPWs are associated with reduced complications and improved patient safety. Several CPWs have been implemented in Saskatchewan by the Ministry of Health, either through the Acute and Emergency Services Branch, or the Appropriateness of Care Program. While the use and effectiveness of these two CPW programs have not been formally evaluated, there are questions regarding their success to date; the Saskatchewan Medical Association’s section of family medicine has expressed concern over further development of CPWs. We will develop an innovative theory-based research survey instrument to explore the potential barriers and facilitating factors to clinical pathway use by family physicians in Saskatchewan. The results of this research will help inform future CPW development and implementation in Saskatchewan, with a goal of optimizing implementation of CPWs in our province and improved patient outcomes. This development of an innovative and validated research tool that can be used in various contexts will build upon existing research into the impact of clinical pathways in healthcare and will strengthen our team’s likelihood of success in securing a CIHR grant for a more comprehensive evaluation across Canada.
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Supporting a New Caregiving Community Towards Improved Wellness
Principal Investigator
Dr. Lorraine Holtslander
Nursing
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Shelley Peacock
Co-Investigator(s)
Megan O'Connell
Kristen Haase
2017-2018 Collaborative Innovation Development
Three Years
FUNDING RECEIVED
$49,046SHRF
Description
Family caregivers are the backbone of the health care system, providing unpaid care, mostly in the community, with very little support. They often bear an increasing amount of distress and burden. An interdisciplinary research team, consisting of nursing and psychology, will collaborate with the Saskatoon Council on Aging (SCOA) and a local application-developer, Refresh Enterprises, to develop and test an app that we hope will improve caregiver wellness, social connectedness and life satisfaction. Using a mixed methods approach, we will collect quantitative measures which will inform the qualitative data we collect at eight focus groups held with caregivers, SCOA, Refresh and the research team. We plan to build a community of caregivers where individuals can obtain support, find respite and information through this innovative internet-based smart phone tool. This project has great potential to impact the health of Saskatchewan residents as most older adults wish to remain in their own homes supported by their families and are looking for creative, online solutions, information and support. The team will apply for additional research funding to expand the reach of this app to rural and remote populations, unique groups of caregivers such as those caring for persons with dementia, bereaved caregivers, and so on. The potential to improve the health of Saskatchewan residents is great, as seen in the prevention of caregiver burden and burnout and their ability to provide care in their own homes and communities.
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Comparative Analyses of Infection Outcomes in Fetuses Exposed to Pre-Epidemic and Epidemic Zika Virus Strains
Principal Investigator
Dr. Uladzimir Karniychuk
Viral Pathogenesis And Vaccine Development
VIDO-InterVac
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Shelley Peacock
Co-Investigator(s)
Megan O'Connell
Kristen Haase
2017-2018 Establishment Grants
Three Years
FUNDING RECEIVED
$119,104SHRF
Description
Zika virus (ZIKV) is spreading across the Americas causing microcephaly, in utero growth restriction and fetal death. Sexual transmission of ZIKV implies an alarming potential for further global spread. In Canada, including Saskatchewan, 473 travel-related and 3 sexually transmitted cases have been reported, counting 27 pregnant women and 4 newborns (February 2017). The WHO predicts that 3-4 million persons across the Americas, including North America, will contract the infection through early 2017. Two genetically distinct ZIKV lineages, African and Asian do exist. Because the Asian lineage is causing the ongoing epidemic in the Americas, scientific efforts are mostly focused on Asian ZIKV strains. The biology of African strains and ability to cause pathology remain unclear, however. Similar to the recent outbreak in Africa caused by Asian ZIKV, African strains can be introduced to other continents. We recently established a fetal pig model for ZIKV infection that reproduces early infection in human fetuses with virus replication in the placenta, amniotic membranes, and fetal brains. We also established a model that reproduces the range of ZIKV related pathology in in utero infected human neonates, including death and in utero growth restriction. Here, we propose to use our models to compare infection outcomes in fetuses exposed to pre-epidemic (African) and epidemic (Asian) ZIKV strains. In addition to the fundamental understanding of ZIKV biology, the study can shape global and national surveillance, diagnostic and preventive strategies, including ongoing efforts in The Public Health Agency of Canada.
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Clinical Stroke Research
Principal Investigator
Dr. Michael Kelly
Division of Neurosurgery
Surgery
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Shelley Peacock
Co-Investigator(s)
Megan O'Connell
Kristen Haase
2017-2018 Saskatchewan Research Chairs
Three Years
FUNDING RECEIVED
$500,000SHRF
$500,000Heart and Stroke Foundation
$500,000U of S
$1,500,000Total
Description
The objective of the renewal of the Saskatchewan Chair in Clinical Stroke Research is to continue improving both stroke research and stroke clinical care in Saskatchewan. The Chair will continue to be a provincial and national leader in the following areas: 1) Conducting clinical trials related to stroke 2) Innovative basic science stroke research 3) Provincial leadership in stroke care with implementation of a provincial stroke strategy. The Saskatchewan Cerebrovascular Centre was formed during the first term of the Chair. The Centre’s goal is to provide nationally recognized stroke research and care. The clinical research program initiated 17 clinical stroke studies since 2012. The basic science program is focused on three main projects: studying biochemical and elemental changes post-stroke, neuroendovascular devices, and aneurysm flow dynamics. The Chair has contributed to attracting competitive research funding, high impact publications and renewed stroke care leadership at the provincial, national and international level. Dr. Kelly is the key government lead for the implementation of the Saskatchewan Acute Stroke Pathway. This pathway implemented Canadian Best Practice Guidelines for hyperacute stroke care provincially. Dr. Kelly is the co-chair of the Saskatchewan Stroke Expert Panel, which is the beginning of a comprehensive provincial stroke strategy. Finally, the Chair has been directly responsible for attracting and hiring many high-quality personnel. These individuals have expertise aligned with the afore-mentioned goals and are key to the record of success. The next 5 years of the Chair will leverage this expertise to realize our goals of world-class stroke care and research in Saskatchewan.
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The Application of Copper-free Click Chemistry in the Preparation of Advanced Radiotracers
Principal Investigator
Dr. Elaheh Khozeimeh Sarbisheh
Chemistry
Arts and Science
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Shelley Peacock
Co-Investigator(s)
Megan O'Connell
Kristen Haase
Supervisor(s)
Dr. Eric Price (Lead Supervisor)
2017-2018 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
Three Years
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
Zirconium-89 has become a focus of interest for PET imaging due to its unique features. The gold-standard chelator for Zirconium-89 is desferrioxamine, but its stability in vivo is not excellent. This results in about 5 – 10% of injected Zirconium-89 becoming un-chelated and "free" in the patient’s body, which localizes in the bone and gives unwanted radioactive dose (bone marrow radio toxicity is a concern) to healthy tissues. Therefore, a new chelator with enhanced stability properties when compared to desferrioxamine is essential. I have started to synthesize new types of desferrioxamine bifunctional chelators with enhanced in vitro stability as potential new PET imaging targets. The methodology will start with synthesis of the new chelator using standard bioconjugation chemistry, followed by conjugation to an antibody (e.g. trastuzumab) and testing in vitro and in vivo for stability. The second part is to synthesize an advanced version of this new chelator to facilitate better attachment to antibodies using site-specific antibody modification and copper-free click bioconjugation chemistry. This will involve synthesis of the new chelator with a dibenzocyclooctyne group, which will attach to azide-containing modified antibodies in a fast, copper catalyst free, and site-specific manner. This new site-specific antibody modification technique allows for sensitive antibodies to be turned into radioactive imaging or therapy agents without affecting their binding affinity. This has the potential to provide a breakthrough in accurate imaging and diagnoses of early-stage tumors, and hence could lead to significantly increased patient survival, due to targeted site-specific imaging, resulting in enhanced early detection.
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Mould as a Respiratory Risk Factor for Rural Populations
Principal Investigator
Dr. Shelley Kirychuk
Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture (CCHSA)
Medicine/CCHSA
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Shelley Peacock
Co-Investigator(s)
George Katselis
Joshua Lawson
Vivian Ramsden
2017-2018 Collaborative Innovation Development
Three Years
FUNDING RECEIVED
$50,000SHRF
Description
Reports of dampness or mould in the home have been shown to have positive associations with respiratory health in both children and adults. Mould is a significant factor in housing and health. Our research in rural Saskatchewan has shown that for children living in rural Saskatchewan, 27.9% reported living in homes with dampness and 19.5% with reported mould or mildew. In our studies with on-reserve First Nations in Saskatchewan, 88% of respondents said their home needs renovations, while 67% of homes always had a musty/moldy smell. Mould was associated with respiratory health in that always having a smell of mould increased the risk of wheeze 3.5 times. Having effective tools to estimate mould levels are important for assessment, mould control and remediation strategies.The overall goal of this project is to assess if measures of mould in dust samples from rural Saskatchewan homes (rural and First Nations) are associated with respiratory health outcomes of residents of the home.
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Efficacy of Nordic Walking to Improve Physical Function, Quality of Life and Posture in Women with Osteoporosis, History of Vertebral Fracture or Hyperkyphosis
Principal Investigator
Dr. Saija Kontulainen
Kinesiology
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Shelley Peacock
Co-Investigator(s)
Elaine Warrington
Kimberly Willison
June Giles
Kasie Kelln
Kevin Spink
Philip Chilibeck
Stephan Milosavljevic
Karen Levesque
James (J.D.) Johnston
Jenny Basran
2017-2018 Sprout Grant
Three Years
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
$60,000Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research
$160,000Total
Description
Osteoporotic bone fractures are a serious public health concern of seniors, particularly of older women. Walking with poles (Nordic walking) has been identified as a potential therapy to lower osteoporotic fracture risk because it has shown to improve muscle strength in women with low bone mass. However, it is unknown if walking with poles can improve muscle strength, hunch-back posture, physical function and quality of life in women with osteoporosis or who have suffered osteoporotic fracture or have severe hunch-back posture (kyphosis). Our study will answer these questions. We will randomize participants to either the pole-walking intervention group or the waiting-list control group (the latter group will receive same intervention after the trial is over). The pole-walking intervention will be 12 weeks in duration, including three sessions (home/group sessions) per week. The details of the methodology will be shaped by the team members and discussions from patient representatives (including seniors in the Forever...in motion program and Osteoporosis Canada representatives), health care providers and decision-makers. To ensure that the results will be practical, pole-walking intervention is tailored for participants to secure feasibility for the participants and the ability of the health region to implement the new evidence/practices in seniors' health care.
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Inaugural Saskatchewan Cannabinoid Research Symposium
Principal Investigator
Dr. Robert Laprairie
Pharmacy and Nutrition
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Shelley Peacock
Co-Investigator(s)
Matthew Links
Andrew Lyon
Kerry Mansell
Holly Mansell
Darrell Mousseau
Richard Huntsman
Jane Alcorn
John Patrick Neary
Blair Seifert
2017-2018 Research Connections Grants
Three Years
FUNDING RECEIVED
$7,750SHRF
Description
The Cannabinoid Research Initiative of Saskatchewan (CRIS) will host its first conference in August of 2018. The event will be a forum to understand health care practitioner concerns; patient and caregiver needs; and share results from cannabinoid research occurring in Saskatchewan. Our goals are (1) to provide an opportunity for health care practitioners, caregivers, and patient advocacy groups to meet with researchers and share knowledge and express needs related to cannabinoids, (2) to showcase the excellent cannabinoid research occurring in Saskatchewan, and (3) bring together researchers, clinicians, veterinarians, and government representatives in an environment that fosters collaborative efforts in Saskatchewan. Trainees will have opportunities to share research projects through poster presentations. This event is important because Canada is entering a new era of cannabinoid legalization, medicinal, and recreational use. Therefore, it is critical that scientists, clinicians, policy makers, and trainees are able to openly share their research with the community.
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A Novel Therapy that Attacks the Pathologic Immune Response in Multiple Sclerosis
Principal Investigator
Dr. Michael Levin
Medicine
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Shelley Peacock
Co-Investigator(s)
Josef Buttigieg
Gillian Muir
2017-2018 Collaborative Innovation Development
Three Years
FUNDING RECEIVED
$50,000SHRF
Description
Residents of Saskatchewan are disproportionately affected by multiple sclerosis (MS), leading to disability, reduced economic productivity and premature death. New treatments for MS would have a great impact on the health of our citizens. MS is caused when a person's own immune cells attack and destroy the brain and spinal cord. Only a small portion of a person's immune cells cause MS, yet current treatments alter all of a person's immune cells. These treatments improve MS, but because they alter the entire immune system, side effects are severe.In this proposal, scientists at the Universities of Saskatchewan and Regina have invented a new molecule designed to stop a person's immune cells from attacking the brain and spinal cord in MS. What is unique about this therapy, is that the molecule alters only the immune cells that cause MS, leaving the remainder of the immune system intact. We will test this new molecule in animals with MS and in test tubes in the laboratory. By pinpointing only the immune cells that cause MS, while leaving the rest of the immune system healthy, this treatment has the potential improve the health of people with MS, without serious side effects. Once we have established that this new molecule works, we will use this information to obtain funding and design clinical trials to test the molecule in people with MS with the goal of lessening disability, improving economic productivity and reducing health care costs in people with MS in Saskatchewan and throughout Canada.
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5th Annual PSFaM Meeting (2017)
Principal Investigator
Dr. Kiven (Erique) Lukong
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Shelley Peacock
Co-Investigator(s)
Josef Buttigieg
Gillian Muir
2017-2018 Research Connections Grants
Three Years
FUNDING RECEIVED
$4,000SHRF
Description
The Protein Structure, Function and Malfunction (PSFaM) meeting will be held on June 15 and 16, 2017 at the University of Saskatchewan. The meeting provides a forum for over 100 researchers and students involved in the study of proteins and protein structure and function, to present recent results and interact and discuss their work with other participants from various part of Canada, and with renowned scientists invited as keynote speakers. This year’s keynote lectures will be delivered by Drs Ralph Isberg, Michael Tyers, Cheryl Arrowsmith, and Chris Overall. Principal Investigators from U of S and other universities are also invited to give talks. Other oral and poster presentations are given by the trainees/students, and presentation and poster prizes are awarded to top candidates.
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Lipid and α-Synuclein Accumulation in Substantia Nigra Contributes to Parkinson's Disease: Role of ABCA1 Cholesterol Transporter and Adenosine A1 Receptor
Principal Investigator
Dr. Yuncheng Lv
Surgery
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Shelley Peacock
Co-Investigator(s)
Josef Buttigieg
Gillian Muir
Supervisor(s)
Dr. Francisco Cayabyab (Lead Supervisor)
2017-2018 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
Three Years
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
Long term activation of adenosine A1 receptor (A1R) impairs mitochondrial functions, reducing the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production. ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) uses ATP as a source of energy to export intracellular substrates. We hypothesize that long term A1R activation causes mitochondrial dysfunction, deactivates ABCA1 transport activity, and consequently results in excessive intracellular accumulation of lipids and lipid-binding α-synuclein in dopaminergic neuron. This signaling pathway could contribute to development of Parkinson's disease (PD). Our research proposal has 2 major objectives: 1) To determine whether long term A1R activation causes mitochondrial dysfunction by reducing cellular ATP production via inhibition of intracellular signaling cascades we previously reported (e.g.p38 MAPK, JNK, PP2A) and nuclear respiratory factor 2 (Nrf2) pathway; 2) To determine whether ABCA1 function is depressed after mitochondrial dysfunction, causing intracellular accumulation of lipids and the toxic lipid-binding peptide α-synuclein in dopaminergic neurons. Using our novel rat PD models involving chronic systemic administration or intracerebral infusion of A1R agonist CPA (+/- A1R antagonist DPCPX), we will determine the expression of Nrf2 and downstream Nrf2 target genes, ABCA1 and alpha-synuclein with Western blot and confocal imaging. Total cellular ATP levels before and after treatment will be assessed with ATP assay kit, and lipid contents will be analyzed with high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and Oil Red-O (ORO) staining. Changes in cognitive and motor behavior is tested with established protocols. This study will increase health-related knowledge to help identify clinically relevant targets of neuroprotection to disrupt the aging-related effects of adenosine in PD patients.
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Developing a PET-Based Microbubble for Simultaneous Imaging and Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Principal Investigator
Dr. Steven Machtaler
Medical Imaging
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Shelley Peacock
Co-Investigator(s)
Humphrey Fonge
2017-2018 Establishment Grants
Three Years
FUNDING RECEIVED
$120,000SHRF
Description
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a life-long ailment that affects 1 in 150 Canadians (one of the highest rates in the world). There is currently no cure, and the first line of defense are drugs that suppress the immune system, with surgery being a likely outcome. Essential to halting the progress of IBD is accurate identification of the affected regions of the bowel. Current imaging methods are, however, invasive (colonoscopy) or have limited ability to identify these regions (MRI, CT, and ultrasound (US)). What is needed is a new approach to identify sites of active inflammation, one that can also deliver high levels of a therapeutic at the target location to stop disease progression. The purpose of this proposal is to develop a new positron emission tomography (PET) contrast agent that can both identify regions of active inflammation in the inflamed bowel and deliver high levels of a therapeutic at that site. Our objective is to construct a vascular restricted contrast agent that can bind radioisotopes. These will also be designed to carry therapeutic nanoparticles and to release them through application of US energy. We will first address the ability of this contrast agent to identify inflammation in the bowels of mice, and subsequently how effectively we can treat these sites through targeted release of the nanoparticles. This approach not only has the potential to identify regions of active inflammation in the bowel, but deliver new, novel therapeutics (like interleukin-27) that can have both short and long term therapeutic effects.
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Exploring the Needs for and Developing Resources for Families Affected by Addiction in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
Principal Investigator
Dr. Geoffrey Maina
Nursing
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Marcella Ogenchuk
Co-Investigator(s)
Jody Hazelwood
Brian Deichert
Robert Bratvold
Elizabeth Bird
Dori Gaudet
Shirley Woods
Marcie Garinger
Donna Brooks
Vera Caine
2017-2018 Sprout Grant
Three Years
FUNDING RECEIVED
$98,618SHRF
$46,404Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research
$145,022Total
Description
People living in Prince Albert and the surrounding areas are afflicted by addiction challenges whose impact on social and health services is astounding. A lack of resources to support families affected by addiction was identified as a pressing need during a community engagement and knowledge exchange event. The aim of this project is to explore the needs of families affected by addiction and to develop resources to address these needs. The objective of this study is to improve the well-being of families affected by addiction by providing them with meaningful resources for self-care and to support family members living with addiction effectively. This project is unique in that it involves families in the creation of resources to address their needs. It has a potential to increase the families' well-being and enhance their ability to be involved in addiction prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. It aligns with the Ministry of Health Strategy on Addiction and the Mental Health and Addiction Action Plan for Saskatchewan's system goals and responds to Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research's mandate of involving patients and family members in the research process.
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Improving Health Outcomes of Kidney Recipients: A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Pre-transplant Education Intervention
Principal Investigator
Dr. Holly Mansell
Pharmacy
Pharmacy and Nutrition
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Marcella Ogenchuk
Co-Investigator(s)
David Blackburn
Rahul Mainra
Nicola Rosaasen
Paraag Trivedi
Errin Willenborg
Jenny Wichart
Michele Hoffert
Leah Biegler
Juxin Liu
Gerald Chartier
Ahmed Shoker
Patrick Head
2017-2018 Sprout Grant
Three Years
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
$60,000Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research
$160,000Total
Description
Kidney transplantation is the best treatment for most patients with end-stage kidney disease, but it is an extremely complicated process. To become active on the transplant waitlist, patients must learn new information, navigate the healthcare system and undergo several specialized tests. After the transplant, another set of challenges emerges. Transplant recipients must commit to lifelong therapy with immunosuppressive medications and adapt to lifestyle changes. Up to half of all patients have difficulty taking the medications as prescribed, which can lead to transplant rejection, kidney loss, and death. The transplant process is challenging and confusing; however, increasing education and support to transplant candidates demands greater use of care providers' time and resources in a health care system that is already stretched.The purpose of this study is to determine whether home-based video education can improve patient health outcomes. A 6-part video series has been developed in collaboration with patients at the Saskatchewan Transplant Program, containing information on all aspects of the transplant process. The video intervention was designed to supplement routine interactions with health care providers and help prepare patients for the challenges ahead (see words.usask.ca/transplant). The intervention will be delivered electronically to patients at home prior to transplant, in a multi-site randomized controlled trial, to assess the impact on knowledge, satisfaction, self-efficacy, and beliefs in medications compared to usual care. If proven beneficial, this novel method of education delivery can be readily provided to transplant patients across Saskatchewan, at low cost, and with little impact to existing health care personnel.
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Therapist-Assisted Internet-delivered Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Persons Following Spinal Cord Injury
Principal Investigator
Dr. Swati Mehta
Psychology
Arts
University of Regina
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Marcella Ogenchuk
Co-Investigator(s)
David Blackburn
Rahul Mainra
Nicola Rosaasen
Paraag Trivedi
Errin Willenborg
Jenny Wichart
Michele Hoffert
Leah Biegler
Juxin Liu
Gerald Chartier
Ahmed Shoker
Patrick Head
Supervisor(s)
Dr. Heather Hadjistavropoulos (Lead Supervisor)
2017-2018 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
Three Years
FUNDING RECEIVED
Description
Individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) can experience high levels of emotional distress and pain leading to decreased quality of life and increased health care costs. Due to the high rates of psychological distress and pain, clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) recommend the adjunct use of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for management of individuals with SCI. In current practice, CBT is typically delivered in person by a trained therapist. However, access to suitable transportation to and from outpatient therapy appointments can be a potential barrier for many individuals with mobility challenges, including those with an SCI. The primary objective of the study is to explore the feasibility and effectiveness of guided internet CBT among people with SCI. The study will deliver online CBT to individuals with SCI across Canada through the Online Therapy USER website (www.onlinetherapyuser.ca). Participants will be recruited throughout Canada through collaborations with established national service providers in SCI. The online course will be delivered over eight weeks. A trained CBT guide will contact study participants by email and telephone weekly to address questions and provide encouragement in completing the self-study activities. Participants will be administered comprehensive self-report questionnaires prior to the treatment. Primary outcomes will include: depression, anxiety, and pain; secondary outcomes will include: quality of life and treatment satisfaction. The study will provide access to health care service to SCI individuals with potential barriers to receiving standard treatment. This in turn may help to reduce health care costs and improve quality of life among the SCI population.



Due to success in securing Tri-Agency funding, this recipient declined this funding.
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Therapist-Assisted Internet-delivered Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Persons Following Spinal Cord Injury
Principal Investigator
Dr. Swati Mehta
Psychology
Arts
University of Regina
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Marcella Ogenchuk
Co-Investigator(s)
David Blackburn
Rahul Mainra
Nicola Rosaasen
Paraag Trivedi
Errin Willenborg
Jenny Wichart
Michele Hoffert
Leah Biegler
Juxin Liu
Gerald Chartier
Ahmed Shoker
Patrick Head
Supervisor(s)
Dr. Heather Hadjistavropoulos (Lead Supervisor)
2017-2018 Research Fellowship Top-up Incentive Award
Three Years
FUNDING RECEIVED
$20,000SHRF
Description
Individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) can experience high levels of emotional distress and pain leading to decreased quality of life and increased health care costs. Due to the high rates of psychological distress and pain, clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) recommend the adjunct use of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for management of individuals with SCI. In current practice, CBT is typically delivered in person by a trained therapist. However, access to suitable transportation to and from outpatient therapy appointments can be a potential barrier for many individuals with mobility challenges, including those with an SCI. The primary objective of the study is to explore the feasibility and effectiveness of guided internet CBT among people with SCI. The study will deliver online CBT to individuals with SCI across Canada through the Online Therapy USER website (www.onlinetherapyuser.ca). Participants will be recruited throughout Canada through collaborations with established national service providers in SCI. The online course will be delivered over eight weeks. A trained CBT guide will contact study participants by email and telephone weekly to address questions and provide encouragement in completing the self-study activities. Participants will be administered comprehensive self-report questionnaires prior to the treatment. Primary outcomes will include: depression, anxiety, and pain; secondary outcomes will include: quality of life and treatment satisfaction. The study will provide access to health care service to SCI individuals with potential barriers to receiving standard treatment. This in turn may help to reduce health care costs and improve quality of life among the SCI population.
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Development and Evaluation of a Remote Robotic Ultrasound Clinic Model to Improve Access to Medical Imaging in Rural, Remote and Indigenous Communities
Principal Investigator
Dr. Ivar Mendez
Surgery
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Brent Burbridge
Co-Investigator(s)
Scott Adams
Veronica McKinney
Grant Stoneham
Vivian Ramsden
Paul Babyn
Erika Penz
Georgina MacDonald
Maggie Broussie-Robillard
2017-2018 Sprout Grant
Three Years
FUNDING RECEIVED
$95,325SHRF
$58,828Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research
$154,153Total
Description
Ultrasound imaging is essential for many medical diagnoses; however, this imaging modality is not readily available in many rural and remote communities because of a lack of on-site sonographers and radiologists. An emerging solution to increase access to ultrasound imaging is telerobotic sonography. Telerobotic ultrasound systems allow sonographers or radiologists based at a central site to remotely perform ultrasound examinations, allowing patients to receive care they need in their home community and avoid transport to another facility. The objective of this project is to co-design, co-implement, and co-evaluate a pilot, remote robotic ultrasound clinic in a northern Saskatchewan Indigenous community which does not have access to local ultrasound services. Informed by local Elders, community members, patients and health care providers, we will determine best practices for establishing a robotic ultrasound clinic and evaluate the effect of this clinic on patient management, ultrasound imaging utilization, and patient and community satisfaction. We will conduct a cost analysis comparing a robotic ultrasound clinic and a conventional ultrasound clinic to which patients must travel. Finally, using provincial ultrasound imaging utilization data, we will use GIS mapping to determine where additional supports for ultrasound imaging are most needed, with a view to scale up the proposed robotic ultrasound clinic model. Findings from this research will inform the development of robotic ultrasound clinics, enabling more patients to receive ultrasound imaging in their home community. This may reduce time to diagnosis and treatment, improve health outcomes and patient satisfaction, reduce strain on referral hospitals and reduce health care costs.
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Palliative Care "Three Journals" Publication
Principal Investigator
Jean Morrison
Saskatchewan Hospice and Palliative Care Association
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Brent Burbridge
Co-Investigator(s)
Lesley McBain
Roberta Cross
2017-2018 Research Connections Grants
Three Years
FUNDING RECEIVED
$10,000SHRF
Description
The very first palliative care unit (PCU) in Saskatchewan opened at Saint Paul’s Hospital (SPH) on April 1, 1980. PCU staff wrote in three shared journals, dating from 1980 to 1985. The goal was to teach each other, and express their thoughts and feelings about this new work that none of them had done before.

Journal entries date from 1980-85. Three original staff decided in 2015 to publish the journals as a book to share their knowledge and learning experiences of how to be with people as they die. They also want to profile the PCU as a grass-roots initiative and encourage peer-learning practices among health care professionals.

The Saskatchewan Hospice and Palliative Care Association (SHPCA) became project partners in 2016.

SPH CEO has granted full permission to publish. Patient and family privacy will be protected and permission will be obtained from all writers.

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Elucidating Human Mitochondrial Interactome and Protein Complexes Critical for Mitochondrial Function and Neurodegeneration
Principal Investigator
Dr. Mohamed Taha Moutaoufik
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Science
University of Regina
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Brent Burbridge
Co-Investigator(s)
Lesley McBain
Roberta Cross
Supervisor(s)
Dr. Mohan Babu (Lead Supervisor)
2017-2018 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
Three Years
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
Mitochondria generate the majority of a cell’s energy supply, which is consumed by neurons in the brain to execute many essential cellular functions. Mitochondrial dysfunction plays a critical role in the pathophysiology of a variety of human diseases, including neurodegenerative disorders. In view of the pervasiveness of these disorders, there is an urgent need for more effective treatments. Reductionist investigations have explained important details for isolated mitochondrial (mt) protein systems, yet our knowledge of how human mt proteins function globally in neurons, and how their dysfunction contributes to neurodegenerative disorders (NDs), remains incomplete. The overall research goal is to address this challenge using our proteomics and computational platforms, specifically the ‘tagless’ co-fractionation strategy, which combines biochemical separation techniques with precision mass spectrometry (BF/MS), in multiple in vitro neuronal cells, where mt assume their diverse functions due to the high energy demand of neuronal cells. The research aims to: (i) Systematically map, for the first time, the human mt protein interactome in neuronal cells to uncover mt biology and the underlying causal mechanisms of NDs. (ii) Assess in mouse and/or human neuron models of NDs, the physiological and pathological significance of the new candidate interacting proteins involved in mt trafficking. Completion of these aims will reveal insights into new protein-protein interactions and complex memberships, contributing to the functions of mt in neurons and diseases. As well enable us to develop detailed molecular models for new binding partners in quality control (trafficking) and NDs.
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A Novel Strategy Using Wheat Grains (Modern and Ancient) as a Tool for the Prevention and Management of Type-2 Diabetes.
Principal Investigator
Dr. Joseph Ndisang
Physiology
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Ravindra Chibbar
Co-Investigator(s)
Rex Newkirk
2017-2018 Collaborative Innovation Development
Three Years
FUNDING RECEIVED
$50,000SHRF
Description
Wheat is a major Saskatchewan crop and a staple in human diet around the world. In a wheat grain, starch is a major storage carbohydrate made up of a predominantly linear glucan polymer amylose (25%) and a highly branched glucan polymer amylopectin (75%). In the human digestive system, amylopectin is easily digested while amylose resists enzymatic breakdown. The ratio of amylose to amylopectin influences the glycemic index of food consumed by humans. Ancient wheats like emmer, einkorn and spelt have low glycemic index but the grain constituent structure function relationship in terms of diabetes prevention has not been studied. In the proposed study, five wheat lines normal wheat (25% amylose), waxy wheat (non-detectable amylose) and a variety each of emmer, einkorn and spelt wheat will be used to prepare diets to be fed to Zucker diabetic fatty rats and monitored for the onset of diabetes and other physiological parameters. The ancient wheats will be compared to a modern wheat variety and waxy wheat (non-detectable amylose) developed at the U of S. The waxy wheat is being used to test the relative contributions of starch structure and non-starch carbohydrates to type-2 diabetes prevention and management. This project will: (i) develop a structure function relationship between carbohydrate/starch structure to glycemic index; (ii) provide novel targets for wheat breeders to develop new varieties with optimum starch/amylopectin structural characteristics targeted for type-2 diabetes prevention/management; (iii) generate new theories and opportunities for trainees in multidisciplinary areas combining agriculture, grain chemistry and medicine.
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Professional Identity Development of Addiction Counsellors in Recovery Working in Addiction Services in Saskatchewan: Grounded Theory
Principal Investigator
Dr. Gabriela Novotna
Social Work
University of Regina
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Ravindra Chibbar
Co-Investigator(s)
Rex Newkirk
2017-2018 Establishment Grants
Three Years
FUNDING RECEIVED
$78,200SHRF
Description
Substance abuse treatment is a unique specialty within health services. One of the distinctive aspects of this specialty is the issue of personal recovery experience among substance abuse counsellors. In Saskatchewan, 46% of frontline addiction service providers self-identify as being in recovery. Even though this subpopulation presents a significant component of the addiction workforce, there is a lack of research about how these experiences contribute to the development of their professional identity and ultimately affect them as service providers. The evolution of the Canadian addiction field toward its professionalization and accreditation and the increased diversity of recovery models being used to guide treatment have made the gap in the knowledge about this group of service providers even wider. The purpose of this study is to generate a theory of identity development of addiction counsellors in recovery and stimulate the proactive development of policies and supports in certification of the addiction counsellors both at provincial and national level. We will conduct semi-structured interviews with addiction counsellors in Saskatchewan with different types of lived recovery experience who work in different treatment modalities (residential, outpatient, outreach) across the province to capture the differences in the nature of their lived experience. At the end of the study, we will disseminate findings related to the processes of creating and maintaining the professional identity of this subpopulation of service providers to inform the policy, education, and training strategies that would assure ongoing opportunities for the development of the quality of services in this specialized treatment field.
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Asthma Diagnosis and Severity among Children in Saskatchewan
Principal Investigator
Dr. Oluwafemi Oluwole
Nursing
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Ravindra Chibbar
Co-Investigator(s)
Rex Newkirk
Supervisor(s)
Dr. Donna Rennie (Lead Supervisor)
2017-2018 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
Three Years
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
Asthma is not a single disease but manifests in different forms which may depend on age of onset. Not all children who have asthma during preschool years continue to experience the disease in adolescence. Factors that cause children to outgrow (resolved) or continue to experience asthma in later years (persistence) are currently unknown. Furthermore, children with persistent asthma symptoms may experience a decline in lung function over time moreso than those who resolve. Asthma medications are recommended as a management strategy. However, such interventions may not alter the progression of the disease or the degree of severity since most loss of lung function in early childhood asthma seems to occur during the preschool years. We plan to investigate the natural progression of asthma in children over time by exploring: 1) Changes in diagnosed asthma over time with regards to resolved, persistence, and new cases; 2) Associations between baseline factors and resolution, persistence, and new cases; and 3) Associations between baseline management strategies and symptom severity and lung function. Data for this study will be from two complementary data sources: the Saskatchewan Health databases (1995–2014) and the Saskatchewan Children Lung Health Study (SCLHS: 2013–2015). Both data sources provide information on respiratory health for children over time. In addition, the SCLHS provides information on clinical variables. Results from the study will provide an understanding of risk for the development or progression of childhood asthma as well as severity. This will aid in planning asthma care that might reduce morbidity.
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Innovative Approaches to Treat Tooth Defects
Principal Investigator
Dr. Petros Papagerakis
Dentistry
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Ravindra Chibbar
Co-Investigator(s)
Xiongbiao (Daniel) Chen
2017-2018 Establishment Grants
Three Years
FUNDING RECEIVED
$120,000SHRF
Description
The regeneration of enamel and dentin composite tissues is required to biologically restore dental crown defects due to aging, trauma or disease. In this field, we have successfully (1) isolated the dental epithelial stem cells (hDESC), (2) illustrated the essentiality of co-culture of hDESC and human dental pulp stem cells (hDPSC) for regenerating enamel and dentin, and (3) fabricated various scaffolds using the three-dimensional (3D) printing techniques. Based on these successes, this project aims to advance the technologies to regenerate dental enamel and to promote enamel–dentin integration. We hypothesize (1) hDESC will differentiate into enamel-producing ameloblasts within poly(L-lactic acid) scaffolds and (2) the joint enamel and dentin formation can be achieved within a novel 3D PLLA scaffolds with two compartments separated by a membrane (which allows biomolecule communication between hDESC and hDPSC but prevents cell migration between the two compartments). To test these hypotheses, we will first study the differentiation potential of hDESC into ameloblasts as a function of scaffold pore size and over-expression of TBX1 ameloblast differentiation driver. Next, we will fabricate PLLA scaffolds with two compartments using the 3D printing technique and then impregnate the alginate hydrogels with hDESCs and hDPSCs into the two compartments of the scaffolds, respectively. Upon cell culture, the scaffolds will be implanted in immune-compromised mice to evaluate enamel and dentin regeneration. It is envisioned that the two-compartment scaffold will support simultaneous formation of human enamel and dentin in vivo, which is an essential step towards the biological repair of diseased or missing tooth parts.
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Custody and Caring: 15th Biennial International Conference on the Nurse's Role in the Criminal Justice System
Principal Investigator
Ms. Cindy Peternelj-Taylor
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Arlene Kent-Wilkinson
Co-Investigator(s)
Xiongbiao (Daniel) Chen
2017-2018 Research Connections Grants
Three Years
FUNDING RECEIVED
$10,000SHRF
Description
In recent years, forensic psychiatric hospitals and correctional facilities have become health care havens for large numbers of vulnerable, marginalized and at risk populations. Offenders often present with long-term physical and mental health care concerns, and experience complex treatment challenges during hospitalization and incarceration, and upon reintegration into the community.

This three day conference highlights innovations in practice, education, research and policy development in forensic mental health and correctional health care, from a provincial, national and international perspective. Clinical issues and work life issues unique to professionals working within forensic mental health and correctional environments will be featured. The conference includes five plenary sessions, two workshops, 32 concurrent sessions and a poster session. Plenary speakers were vetted by the conference planning committee, and concurrent and poster session presenters selected following review by the Abstract Review Committee. “Finding Freedom Through Art” an offender art competition will also be showcased.

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Evaluation of PET Radiotracers for Imaging Glucocerebrosidase in Parkinson's Disease
Principal Investigator
Dr. Christopher Phenix
Chemistry
Arts and Science
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Arlene Kent-Wilkinson
Co-Investigator(s)
David Palmer
Jean-Christophe Rochet
Rebecca Davis
Darrell Mousseau
2017-2018 Partnership Grants
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$50,000SHRF
$341,880Canadian Glycomics Network (GlycoNet)
$167,576Other Partners (cash and in-kind)
$559,456Total
Description
Positron emission tomography (PET) is a clinically established, noninvasive technique useful for creating images that represent the activity of enzymes and receptors in the human brain. Due to the unrivaled sensitivity of the technique, excellent images can be obtained that reveal enzyme activity in vivo without worrying about the possibility of toxic side effects. The purpose of this research proposal is to build upon our successful Catalyst Grant (funded by GlycoNet in 2016 ended in January 2017) and leverage our SHRF Establishment Grant towards developing radioactive tracers for imaging β-glucocerebrosidase (GCase), an enzyme that has been declared a high priority biomarker of early and late Parkinson’s disease. This work could lead to a clinically relevant research tool to study GCase biology in humans and lead to a diagnostic aid potentially capable of detecting early Parkinson’s disease. In addition, Saskatchewan would be the first place in world capable of imaging GCase.
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Cortisol, Alpha-Amylase, Cytokines and Treatment-Related Symptoms in Breast Cancer Survivors Submitted to a Swedish Massage Intervention.
Principal Investigator
Dr. Kalyani Premkumar
Department of Community Health and Epidemiology
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Arlene Kent-Wilkinson
Co-Investigator(s)
Emiliana Bomfim
Anne Leis
Franco Vizeacoumar
2017-2018 Collaborative Innovation Development
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$49,508SHRF
Description
Many women who have received treatment for breast cancer have a high risk of developing late side effects, which are called long-term treatment-related symptoms. These are side effects of cancer treatment that can last up to five to 10 years even after the treatment and can be as difficult to endure as the disease itself. The lack of research on cancer survivorship care is one of the barriers in the implementation of survivorship care for cancer survivors. This study aims to provide the strongest evidence to date on how Swedish massage therapy acts in improving sleep and reducing fatigue, stress and pro-inflammatory biomarkers in breast cancer survivors. Participants will undergo one hour of a Swedish massage protocol for eight weeks. Fatigue, sleep and quality of life will be assessed through validated questionnaires. Sleep will be measured by Actigraphy, a non-invasive method of monitoring human rest/activity cycles. Saliva will be collected to quantify some biological molecules that are related to fatigue, sleep and stress, such as cortisol, α-amylase and pro-inflammatory cytokines levels. This project will provide powerful and precise evidence on how biological markers related to stress, fatigue and sleep patterns respond to a massage therapy intervention for eight weeks. It is collaborative and interdisciplinary research that applies existing methods to answer a novel research question in integrative oncology.
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Indigenous Palliative Care in Saskatchewan: Exploring Access, Needs, and Challenges.
Principal Investigator
Dr. Louise Racine
Nursing
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Susan Fowler-Kerry
Co-Investigator(s)
Linda Wason-Ellam
Holly Graham
Brenda Mishak
Gail MacKay
Jeanie Wills
2017-2018 Collaborative Innovation Development
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$42,415SHRF
Description
According to the 2016 Census, Indigenous peoples represent 4.3 per cent of the total Canadian population and in Saskatchewan, 15.6 per cent. By 2035, Indigenous peoples will account for 25% of Saskatchewan's population. Canada's Indigenous population is young and fast-growing. Today Indigenous peoples are affected by life-limiting, chronic health problems (HIV/AIDS, diabetes, cardiovascular, cancer, chronic renal and respiratory diseases) at a rate much higher than the general population. Lack of access to palliative care is especially problematic for Indigenous populations living in rural and remote areas of Saskatchewan. Preliminary unpublished data collected in Saskatchewan show estimates for the numbers of Indigenous peoples accessing palliative services ranging anywhere from one to 15 per cent. Using a case study approach informed by an Indigenous methodology and guided by a postcolonial theory, we will work with the Thunderchild First Nation to explore needs and challenges of access to culturally respectful palliative care in the community. Results will help us to design and implement culturally competent palliative services with the goal of increasing access and utilization of palliative care. Also, the research has the potential to improve quality of life and care that is culturally respectful and inclusive of Indigenous values on death and dying. The Thunderchild First Nation and the Saskatchewan Hospice Palliative Care Association support our project.
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Investing in Future Healthcare Solutions: Collaborating with Saskatchewan Patients to Measure Empowerment and Improve eHealth Engagement
Principal Investigator
Dr. Tracie Risling
Nursing
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Susan Fowler-Kerry
Co-Investigator(s)
Donna Goodridge
Laurie-ann Hellsten
John Moss
2017-2018 Establishment Grants
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$111,576SHRF
Description
Patient empowerment has emerged as an essential element in the ongoing evolution of health care delivery. Connections have been established between patient empowerment and improved engagement in care, commitment to healthy behaviours, and more active participation in shared decision-making. Research supports patient empowerment as a means to improve outcomes and lower health care costs. However, the challenge in advancing empowerment interventions is a lack of clarity in how to capture the concept in a comprehensive and scientifically sound measure. The purpose of this research is to collaborate with Saskatchewan patients to address this urgent need in patient empowerment research. In this study, the patient driven development of a new measure of patient empowerment will be used in an assessment of the eHealth Saskatchewan Citizen Health Portal. The portal provides provincial residents with electronic access to health care data stored in their electronic health record and is a highlighted project in Saskatchewan’s ongoing Patient First initiative. Building on pilot data from a recently completed study by the principal investigator, this primarily quantitative research project will employ Q methodology, a suite of psychometric measurement evaluation, and a correlational design in meeting stated objectives. Once complete, the study will produce a new and rigorously tested measure of patient empowerment and needed information on how patient-centred initiatives, like the citizen health portal, influence empowerment. This work can support the advancement of patient and family-centred intervention in the province and will be used by the research team in response to national calls to advance patient empowerment study.
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A One Health Gene-to-Molecule Initiative: Systematic Investigation of Bacterial Plasmids Relevant to Health and Disease
Principal Investigator
Dr. Antonio Ruzzini
Veterinary Microbiology
Veterinary Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Susan Fowler-Kerry
Co-Investigator(s)
Donna Goodridge
Laurie-ann Hellsten
John Moss
2017-2018 Establishment Grants
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$120,000SHRF
Description
An individual bacterium can rapidly change its behaviour and lifestyle by acquiring new genes from other bacteria in its environment. This remarkable ability allows new pathogens to emerge and old ones to become resistant to our current therapies. Small circular DNA molecules named plasmids are the preeminent source of these new genes and subsequent lifestyle changes. Since plasmids can be exchanged by bacteria, we must become vigilant in our efforts to identify and characterize those that pose the most imminent threats to public health. Many of these potential virulence factors come from sources that we come into close contact with, including the plasmids that are present in bacteria that live in and on animals. Accordingly, we propose to investigate the pool of plasmids that are associated with companion animals (cats and dogs) and livestock (cattle and swine). The results of this research will improve our understanding of the potential threats that these bacteria and their plasmids pose to human health. Careful characterization of the plasmid-borne genes will also allow us to identify new antibiotics and intervention strategies to better treat the bacteria that cause both emergent and resilient human infections.
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Developing Combination Therapy to Treat Androgen-Insensitive Prostate Cancer
Principal Investigator
Dr. Meena Sakharkar
Pharmacy and Nutrition
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Susan Fowler-Kerry
Co-Investigator(s)
Franco Vizeacoumar
Andrew Freywald
2017-2018 Establishment Grants
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$120,000SHRF
Description
Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in males. Androgen Deprivation Therapy is the standard of care to treat this malignancy. However, in advanced stages the clinical management of patients with androgen-independent cancer cells, otherwise called “castration-resistant prostate cancer” (CRPC) becomes challenging. We have recently shown that a synthetic molecule called pioglitazone kills CRPC cells both in vitro and in vivo. Although, higher doses of pioglitazone have toxic effects and may even induce bladder cancer, our recent analysis has shown that encapsulation of pioglitazone in redox nanoparticles improves its selective anti-cancer effectiveness and reduces toxic side effects in CRPC cells and xenograft tumors. This strongly indicated that optimal use of this FDA approved pioglitazone, perhaps in combination with the inhibition of another target molecule may improve the therapeutic index and benefit prostate cancer patients. Therefore, here we propose to identify novel targets that would synergize with the action of pioglitazone in killing CRPC cells, which should allow to use lower doses of pioglitazone in CRPC treatment. These combination therapies are expected to improve elimination of CRPC tumors without producing any detrimental side effects and therefore, would support survival of CRPC patients.
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Cellular Prion Protein (PrPC) as a Molecular Link Between Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Brain Insulin Resistance and Neurodegenerative Diseases
Principal Investigator
Dr. Sathiya Sekar
Pharmacology
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Susan Fowler-Kerry
Co-Investigator(s)
Franco Vizeacoumar
Andrew Freywald
Supervisor(s)
Dr. Changiz Taghibiglou (Lead Supervisor)
2017-2018 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
Traumatic brain injury/concussion (TBI) is a growing epidemic throughout the world. It can be caused by head injury due to falls, vehicle collisions, violence, and sports. In Canada, between 2009 and 2010, 99,000 individuals needed medical attentions for brain injuries. It is the leading killer and disabler of Canadians under the age of 40. TBI has been increasingly accepted as one of the major external risk factor in the development/progression of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinsonism. Various studies showed a positive association between diabetes/brain insulin resistance and neurodegenerative diseases as well. The impairment in brain insulin signaling leads to neuronal dysfunction and increases neurodegeneration. Although evidence suggest alterations in the brain glucose metabolism following TBI, the underlying molecular mechanisms are not clearly understood. Taghibiglou and his team recently reported the release of cellular prion protein (PrPC) from brain to circulation following sport concussion and blast-induced brain injury. In this study, we hypothesize that PrPC may play an important role in central insulin sensitivity and brain glucose uptake/metabolism. Also, TBI causes brain insulin resistance and alters glucose metabolism partly due to the dislodgment of PrPC. Young Adult male Sprague Dawley rats will be subjected to single and repeated TBI and monitored for 45 days post-TBI. Cortical, hippocampal, and cerebellar brain slices as well as blood samples will be biochemically examined for brain damage, receptor trafficking, insulin singling and glucose metabolism cascade. This study will pave the way for the potential application of anti-diabetic and insulin sensitizing medications in TBI treatment.
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Global Analysis of Cellular Functions of the Human R2TP Chaperone Complex Through Physical and Genetic Interaction Mapping
Principal Investigator
Dr. Thiago Seraphim
Biochemistry
Science
University of Regina
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Susan Fowler-Kerry
Co-Investigator(s)
Franco Vizeacoumar
Andrew Freywald
Supervisor(s)
Dr. Mohan Babu (Lead Supervisor)
2017-2018 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
Deregulation of ribosome biogenesis and cellular signaling pathways are hallmarks of cancer cells. In 2005, the Houry group (University of Toronto) identified a complex termed R2TP required for ribosome biogenesis. This complex is conserved across species, and it was found to be upregulated in cancer cells. In humans, R2TP is essential for the assembly and proper functioning of critical protein complexes involved in cellular development and proliferation. The human R2TP is formed by four proteins: RVB1, RVB2, PIH1 and RPAP3. RVB1 and RVB2 form a hexameric structure and interact with proteins critically linked to cancer development. PIH1 interacts with RVB1-RVB2 and functions as a specificity factor for R2TP. RPAP3 interacts with PIH1 and connects R2TP to HSP90, an essential chaperone for cellular homeostasis. Despite the importance of R2TP, it is not clear how it functions in the human cell and what cellular pathways are modulated by this complex. To address these questions, an integrative analysis of physical and genetic interactions of R2TP is proposed in this project. Cellular-based assays will be performed to identify proteins interacting with R2TP, either strongly or transiently (Aim 1). Additionally, epistatic screens will be used to map the interactions between thousands of genes and the R2TP-coding genes (Aim 2). This approach will allow the identification of pathways where R2TP is involved. A global picture of how R2TP operates in the human cell will be obtained. Deciphering R2TP functions will also provide important insights for future development of therapeutic targets to fight cancer.
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Validation of a Mobile Electroencephalogram Technology Platform for Deployment in a Telehealth Epilepsy Clinic Setting: A Pilot Trial and Proof of Concept Study
Principal Investigator
Dr. Jose Tellez-Zenteno
Division of Neurology
Medicine
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Lizbeth Hernandez Ronquillo, Syed Rizvi
Co-Investigator(s)
Franco Vizeacoumar
Andrew Freywald
2017-2018 Collaborative Innovation Development
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$50,000SHRF
Description
In primary practice, epilepsy ranks as the second most commonly reported neurological condition worldwide. Epilepsy affects quality of life in patients and their caregivers, and can result in high societal costs through loss of work productivity and high medical care expenditures. For rural patients and those geographically distant from an epilepsy care centre, long transportation and the prospect of prolonged hospitalization are significant challenges that impede access to care. In Saskatchewan, there is a single provincial epilepsy program (SEP) located at Royal University Hospital (RUH) with a mandate to provide coverage to the entire province and regional catchment areas in Alberta and Manitoba. Currently the SEP is unable to fulfill its role as a unified single point of access for patients in Saskatchewan with refractory epilepsy. The electroencephalogram (EEG) is the main test to diagnose patients with epilepsy (PWE). In this study we will test a new EEG (electroencephalogram) technology obtained with cellular phone. The device is highly portable and can be done by a non-EEG technologist. After the device is tested we will also implement a remote epilepsy clinic (telehealth clinic) equipped with the mobile EEG at RUH with an initial site of consultation in Regina. The implementation of a remote epilepsy clinic will impact the health of people with epilepsy in Saskatchewan who live in distant communities improving its prompt referral and adequate treatment. We will be the first center in Canada creating a remote epilepsy clinic equipped with mobile-EEG technology.
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A Pilot Study to test the Effectiveness and Feasibility of Saskatchewan's First Chronic Disease Management Intervention Program for Children with Congenital Heart Disease
Principal Investigator
Dr. Corey Tomczak
Kinesiology
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Marta Erlandson
Co-Investigator(s)
Timothy Bradley (Co-Principal Applicant)
Kristi Wright (Co-Principal Applicant)
Charissa Pockett
Scott Pharis
2017-2018 Collaborative Innovation Development
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$50,000SHRF
Description
Our expert team has tested the feasibility and child/parent satisfaction of a one-week day-camp style chronic disease management (CDM) program for 20 children with congenital heart disease (CHD) annually over the last three years. That program included psychological education sessions, physical activity promotion, and health-related self-care education. With the positive results and feedback from our prior work, this project will now test the feasibility and effectiveness of a novel eight-month CDM intervention program. Our CDM intervention program will be an innovative and significant step forward in CDM for children with CHD, and will entail fundamental components of established cardiac rehabilitation guidelines that are specially tailored for children with CHD based on our one-week day-camp style CDM program experience. Included with these components, attention will be given to specially designed and targeted sessions that aim to improve physical activity, arterial function, cardiopulmonary fitness, body composition, bone health, and psychological functioning. We will also determine participant adherence and satisfaction with our novel CDM program. There is currently no such CDM programming model in Saskatchewan or Canada that is specifically tailored for children with CHD.
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Research Showcase 2017
Principal Investigator
Mrs. Megan Vanstone
Research and Performance Support
Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Marta Erlandson
Co-Investigator(s)
Timothy Bradley (Co-Principal Applicant)
Kristi Wright (Co-Principal Applicant)
Charissa Pockett
Scott Pharis
2017-2018 Research Connections Grants
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$5,000SHRF
Description
Research Showcase is an annual research sharing and networking event, hosted by the Research and Performance Support Department of the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region (RQHR). Every year, this event draws together a diverse gathering of participants including health and science researchers, policy makers, clinicians, physicians, students, and the general public in order to highlight research conducted within the region over the past year. The relevance of the event and engaging discussions surrounding the application of research into practice and policy draws an increasing number of participants every year. This year Research Showcase will take place on June 21st at Delta Hotels Regina.
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Saskatchewan Cancer Research Conference
Principal Investigator
Dr. Franco Vizeacoumar
Oncology
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Marta Erlandson
Co-Investigator(s)
Keith Bonham
Kiven (Erique) Lukong
2017-2018 Research Connections Grants
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$3,000SHRF
Description
The 3rd Annual Saskatchewan Cancer Research Conference will be held at the University of Saskatchewan's Health Sciencebuilding on June 22nd 2016. For the past two years over 100 scientists attended this SHRF funded event. The conference goals are to bring together the provinces cancer researchers to foster communication and collaborations, with a special interest in translational research. This year the conference will feature keynote lecture from Dr. Shoukhat Dedhar from the BC Cancer Agency. In addition to local speakers, students and other trainees will present their work in an extended poster session.
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Saskatchewan Epidemiology Association's 17th Annual Fall Symposium & Workshop
Principal Investigator
Dr. Brandace Winquist
Saskatchewan Epidemiology Association
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Marta Erlandson
Co-Investigator(s)
Adriana Angarita Fonseca
2017-2018 Research Connections
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$3,600SHRF
Description
Food, an integral part of life, affects our physical, mental and social well-being. Our environments (physical, social and political) play important roles in regulating the food system. There are relationships between the quality and supply of food and the physical and psychosocial health problems. Are we adequately meeting the food needs of our society? The 17th annual Saskatchewan Epidemiology Association Symposium on November 2 and 3, 2017 in Regina will bring together researchers, knowledge users and decision makers to explore this question and to interact with top experts in the fields of human and animal health, in this conversation.
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Major Mental Illness: Early Intervention and Psychiatric Rehabilitation, with Special Consideration for Marginalized Populations
Principal Investigator
Dr. Yanbo Zhang
Psychiatry
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Marta Erlandson
Co-Investigator(s)
Adriana Angarita Fonseca
2017-2018 Research Connections Grants
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$5,000SHRF
Description
On Friday, May 5th, 2017, the Department of Psychiatry will hold a conference of interest to allied health care professionals, researchers, trainees, and community members. The venue will be the Saskatoon City Hospital Rependa Theatre. Speakers include Dr. Sean Kidd (U of T), Dr. Abraham Rudnick (Lakehead University), and Dr. Phil Tibbo (Dalhousie). The purpose is to share most recent advancements in treatment of major mental health illness, including depression and psychosis with the special focus on marginalized populations. This event will be of benefit to allied health care professionals, researchers, trainees, and community members. We expect approximately 160 participants.
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The Relationship Between Attachment, Recidivism and Treatment in Forensic Patients with Mental Illness
Principal Investigator
Dr. Gheorghita Adams
Psychiatry
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Mansfield Mela
Co-Investigator(s)
Andrea Kotlar-Livingston
Anne McKenna
Anita Andreen
Olajide Adelugba
2016-2017 Collaborative Innovation Development
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$48,923SHRF
Description
Criminality and mental illness represent a hard to treat and costly combination with risks for the population at large. This is highly concerning in Saskatchewan given the increase in the rate of supervised offenders that exceeds all other provinces. Although sparse, studies of Offenders with Mental Disorders (OMDs) show high rates of childhood trauma, long-standing difficulties in relationships, costly and minimally successful treatments. Moreover, after release, OMDs re-offend faster and more frequently than their counterparts without mental illness. Attachment style is a pattern of viewing and behaving in relationships developed in childhood through interactions with caregivers. Attachment persists throughout life, represents a risk factor for mental illness and relational problems, and impacts the engagement and success of treatments. However, studies exploring attachment in the forensic population are lacking. Forgiveness has been recently shown to have remarkable curative potential in preventing criminal behavior and improving the quality of relationships. The current study aims to explore the relationship between the attachment style of OMDs in the context of childhood trauma, their recidivism risk and capacity to forgive, as well as their engagement in psychiatric treatment and the associated costs. The goal of the project is to identify factors that could improve the health of OMDs, decrease healthcare costs and reduce recidivism. The study benefits from a significant team of forensic clinicians and experienced researchers, as well as the involvement of end-users and advisors with direct experience in forensics.
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Improving Capacity to Reduce Fall-Related Injury Risk in Older Adults
Principal Investigator
Dr. Catherine Arnold
Physical Therapy
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Joel Lanovaz
Co-Investigator(s)
Ian Stavness
Margareth Peterson
Graham Fast
Soo Kim
Janet Barnes
Howard Giles
Jonathan Farthing
Jenny Basran
Melanie Weimer
2016-2017 Targeted Collaborative Innovation Development Grant (SPOR)
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$74,890SHRF
Description
Fall-related injuries among seniors are common and cost the health care system about $2 billion every year. Women have higher rates of fall-related fractures, but men and women have equal rates of other serious fall injuries such as brain injury. Fall Arrest Strategy Training (FAST) is a unique, simple exercise program designed to improve one's ability to prevent injury when a fall is unavoidable. FAST, now successfully integrated into a Saskatoon Health Region community program called Staying on Your Feet (SOYF), decreases fall risk and improves strength and mobility. Women are more likely to take part in SOYF than men. The purpose of this project is to test differences between men and women's physical capacity to control the downward descent of a forward fall and prevent injury and to understand factors that influence participation of women and men in fall prevention programming. A total of 60 seniors (30 men and 30 women) age 60 years or older will do their regular activities for 12 weeks followed by 12 weeks of FAST training. They will be tested before and after for muscle strength, balance and their ability to land and descend in a simulated forward fall using a safe protocol in our lab. Group discussions among women and men after FAST will help us determine facilitators and barriers to exercise participation. This is a new direction for fall prevention research, focusing on the important goals of both fall prevention and injury prevention in the event where a fall is unavoidable. This study aims to improve the quality of life and physical mobility of older adults by preventing the downward spiral of failing health, admission to long term care and even death following a serious fall-related injury.
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Building Sustainable Partnership with Patients to Guide Pediatric Chronic Pain Research
Principal Investigator
Dr. Krista Baerg
Pediatrics
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Joel Lanovaz
Co-Investigator(s)
Jennifer Stinson
Jill Chorney
et. al
2016-2017 Partnership Grants
One Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$5,000SHRF
$24, 955CIHR
$28,547Other Partners
$33,571Total
Description
We know that chronic pain affects 11-38% of children and teens. This means that 1- 3 million Canadian youth often deal with pain. This can get in the way of being active, sleeping, going to school and getting along with friends and family. Teens with chronic pain and their families are experts on what it’s like to live with pain. The goal of this project is to create partnerships between teens with chronic pain, their families, health care providers and researchers to make pain better. This means giving everyone a voice in deciding what we need to learn, how we should learn it and the best way to share what we learn with others. We will do this in three ways: (1) develop a list of teens with chronic pain and their families who are interested in partnering with health care providers and researchers; (2) teach teens with chronic pain, parents, health care providers and researchers about how to create good partnerships; and (3) develop a list of the top 10 most important things we still need to learn. Each step will involve teens with chronic pain, parents, health care providers and researchers. We will ask everyone about their experiences. Then, we can share what we learn about these partnerships to make them better in the future. The project will be led by a group of chronic pain researchers and health care providers across Canada, as well as teens with chronic pain and their parents.
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Evaluation of Gait Variability in Individuals with Relapsing-Remitting MS Using an iOS Gait Variability App.
Principal Investigator
Dr. John Barden
Kinesiology and Health Studies
University of Regina
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Joel Lanovaz
Co-Investigator(s)
David Gerhard
Abdulhakim Raghig
Jennifer St.Onge
2016-2017 Collaborative Innovation Development
One Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$46,799SHRF
Description
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive neurological disease that has a significant impact on an individual's health and mobility. Canada has the highest rates of MS in the world, while the Prairie provinces have some of the highest rates in Canada. The ability to walk, which is essential for functional independence and quality of life, is compromised in persons with MS (pwMS) and can be assessed by determining the basic characteristics of gait (e.g. stride time, stride length, etc.). While these basic characteristics can be used to assess impaired mobility, measuring their variability allows for improved assessments and insight into the more subtle differences in gait function. Normal gait is also made up of complex (fractal) patterns that have been shown to predict falls and diminished gait capacity in other neurological conditions such as Parkinson's disease. Only a handful of studies have looked at gait variability in pwMS, and while stride time variability appears to be associated with an increased fall risk, no study has investigated the fractal patterns of gait in pwMS. Consequently, this project will investigate the relationship between gait variability, fractal patterns and disability level in individuals with relapsing-remitting MS. A smartphone-based motion sensor will be used to measure the variability and fractal pattern of stride time during a 6-minute walk test, which is a validated measure of walking capacity in pwMS. This study will provide a foundation for future projects that will investigate the relationship between gait variability and fall risk in pwMS.
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Does Matching Treatment Rationale with Individuals' Explanatory Models of Depression Improve Perceptions of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy for Depression?
Principal Investigator
Dr. Shadi Beshai
Psychology
Arts
University of Regina
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Joel Lanovaz
Co-Investigator(s)
Murray Abrams
Lisa Watson
2016-2017 Collaborative Innovation Development
One Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$34,028SHRF
Description
Depression affects 12% of Canadians in their lifetime, and is a condition that interferes with all domains of life. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is one of the most evaluated and effective treatments for depression. Unfortunately, many sufferers are unaware of this safe treatment, or believe that CBT will be ineffective to treat their depression. Results of a pilot project conducted by the applicants, in addition to a growing literature on CBT marketing, indicate that the majority of individuals adopt a non-cognitive explanatory model of depression, and if such individuals are provided with generic information about CBT, they tend to harbor negative perceptions of the treatment. As such, this project has two phases. In the first phase, the team will tailor the generic message of CBT for depression to fit with the three most endorsed explanatory models of depression (biological, interpersonal and environmental). In the second phase, the ability of these tailored rationales to influence perceptions of CBT will be evaluated among a sample of participants recruited online. Half of the participants will receive a CBT message consistent with their baseline model of depression, while the other half will receive a generic message. We hypothesize that those receiving tailored messages will have more positive perceptions of the effectiveness and logic of CBT than those in the generic condition. Adapting treatment rationale will help improve patient "buy-in" to treatment. Given the prevalence of depression in Saskatchewan, the results of this study will be highly relevant to the mental health of Saskatchewan's residents.
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Indigenous Water Forum: Bridging Cultural Knowledges on Water and Health
Principal Investigator
Dr. Lalita Bharadwaj
School of Public Health
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Joel Lanovaz
Co-Investigator(s)
Rebecca Zagozewski
2016-2017 Research Connections Grants
One Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$10,000SHRF
Description
The Indigenous Water Forum will function as a catalyst for the bridging of cultural knowledges for water and health. It will be held on June 8-9, 2016 at the Gordon Oakes Red Bear Student Centre at the University of Saskatchewan campus. The goals of the forum are to: 1) facilitate learning of, and a sense of respect for, Indigenous ways of knowing regarding water and its impact on health; 2) serve as a knowledge dissemination session to inform First Nations community members on previous research regarding the barriers and challenges to safe drinking water, source water protection, and waste water challenges in communities ; and 3) facilitate research relationships on water and health between faculty and students, First Nations communities, and businesses focused on the promotion of healthy water and lifestyles. Targeted invitees include faculty and students engaged in water and health research in a variety of colleges and schools across the U of S campus, as well as other Canadian Universities; First Nations community members and leaders within Saskatchewan and Alberta; Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada representatives; and Health Canada representatives.
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Mechanisms Underlying Autonomic Neuropathy in Cystic Fibrosis
Principal Investigator
Dr. Veronica Campanucci
Physiology
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Joel Lanovaz
Co-Investigator(s)
Julian Tam
George Katselis
Juan Ianowski
2016-2017 Collaborative Innovation Development
One Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$50,000SHRF
Description
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a life-shortening genetic disorder caused by mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene. Defects in CFTR impairs epithelial transport, which is the hallmark defect in CF. Many of the features observed in CF patients and organs affected in CF are modulated by the nervous system. In fact, CFTR expression has been reported in both the peripheral and central nervous systems, in which is believed to modulate neuronal excitability. Thus, lack of CFTR in the nervous system affects neuronal function and several nervous system abnormalities and nervous system disorders have been described in people with CF and animal models of CF. There is a growing body of evidence of autonomic nervous system dysfunction (neuropathy) in CF. Autonomic neuropathy refers to a collection of syndromes resulting from poor autonomic control. The autonomic nervous system (ANS), which is largely responsible for the regulation and function of nearly all organ systems, maintains internal homeostasis. Among the clinical phenotypes caused by autonomic abnormalities in CF, gastrointestinal (GI) dysfunction is one of the most concerning complications. In addition to impaired expression of CFTR in the GI tract, which contributes to thick mucus accumulation and electrolyte imbalance, autonomic dysfunction leads to impaired gut motility and intestinal obstruction. In the current study we will investigate the underlying mechanisms of neuronal malfunction in animal models of CF, and with the ultimate goal of developing techniques to diagnose and monitor autonomic dysfunction in CF, and to identify new molecular targets for CF patients.
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Therapeutic Potential of Novel Dimer Drugs in a New Rat Model of Parkinson's Disease
Principal Investigator
Dr. Francisco Cayabyab
Surgery
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Joel Lanovaz
Co-Investigator(s)
Ivar Mendez
Jeremy Lee
2016-2017 Collaborative Innovation Development
One Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$50,000SHRF
Description
According to the World Health Organization, more than 10% of Canadians suffer from neurological conditions, such as Parkinson's disease (PD), which is more prevalent in Canada's aging population. Canada's senior population (>65 years old) is growing, and comprises nearly 15% of Saskatchewan's total population. The incidence of PD is expected to rise as the percentage of Saskatchewan's aging demographics will likely double by 2026 when more than one in five Canadians will be expected to be 65 or older. The present proposal addresses the needs of seniors who suffer from PD, which is characterized by loss of brain cells that control movement. Currently there is no cure for PD, and traditional animal models of PD inadequately mimic the early cellular events involved in the progressive destruction of neurons that produce the brain chemical dopamine. We are developing a new rat PD model that better reflects the physiology of the aging brain. We aim to characterize how elevation of another brain chemical adenosine triggers loss of dopaminergic nerves, which results in PD-like symptoms. Pilot studies revealed that our novel rat PD model recapitulates some of the movement and cognitive abnormalities seen in PD patients. We also aim to introduce into animals potential neuroprotective agents to determine whether the progression of PD-like symptoms and nerve degeneration in the motor regions of the brain can be halted in our PD model. This study represents a critical first step in developing a combinatorial treatment that will ultimately help the aging population living with PD.
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CFD-Based Visualization of Cerebral Aneurysms Treated with Flow-Diverting Stents
Principal Investigator
Dr. Xiongbiao (Daniel) Chen
Mechanical Engineering
Engineering
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Mr. Donald Bergstrom
Co-Investigator(s)
Lissa Peeling
Michael Kelly
Mauro Malve
2016-2017 Collaborative Innovation Development
One Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$50,000SHRF
Description
A cerebral aneurysm (or brain aneurysm) is an abnormal blood-filled bulge in a blood vessel. If untreated, a cerebral aneurysm presents a high risk of rupture, and may lead to haemorrhagic stroke - a leading cause of disability and death in both Saskatchewan and Canada. Flow-diverting stents (small mesh tubes inserted into the artery) show considerable promise for the treatment of cerebral aneurysm by lowering rupture risk. Despite encouraging results of treatment with such stents, post-treatment complications have been reported at rates of 15-35%. Notably, treatment with stents can alter the local flow of blood depending on the stent, aneurysm and blood vessel. These changes further affect and determine the treatment outcome. As such, it is highly desirable for neurosurgeons to have knowledge of the local flow in the stented vessel. Aiming to provide such knowledge, this project will develop novel models to visualize cerebral aneurysms treated with stents. The specific objectives are to (1) collect patient-specific data pre- and post-treatment with stents; (2) develop novel models to visualize the local flow in stented vessels; and (3) correlate the information obtained from the models to treatment outcome, thus providing neurosurgeons with a means to optimize the outcome of stent treatment. This project will be pursued in a collaborative effort involving three engineers (Drs. Chen, Bergstrom, and Malve) and two neurosurgeons (Drs. Kelly and Peeling). The knowledge generated will be transferred to the practices of Drs. Kelly and Peeling for cerebral aneurysms using FD stents, thus directly benefiting Saskatchewan patients.
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Towards a porcine model of tuberculosis aerosol transmission
Principal Investigator
Dr. Jeffrey Chen
Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization - International Vaccine Centre
VIDO-InterVac
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Mr. Donald Bergstrom
Co-Investigator(s)
Lissa Peeling
Michael Kelly
Mauro Malve
2016-2017 Establishment Grants
Three Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$120,000SHRF
Description
In 2014 alone, Mycobacterium (M.) tuberculosis, the agent of human tuberculosis, killed 1.5 million and sickened 9.6 million people world-wide. Tuberculosis control is a public health priority in Canada, especially in the province of Saskatchewan which has a tuberculosis incidence rate almost twice the national average. Furthermore, with the emergence of multi-antibiotic resistant M. tuberculosis strains posing an increasing threat to global public health, better anti-tuberculosis vaccines and drugs are urgently needed. A key step in the spread of tuberculosis is the cough-mediated expulsion of M. tuberculosis into the surrounding air by symptomatic infected individuals and its subsequent uptake by naïve susceptible individuals. Blocking tuberculosis transmission would be a promising and highly effective way to control the disease. However, the drivers of tuberculosis aerosol transmission remain poorly defined. To better understand M. tuberculosis aerobiology and identify ways to block its spread we propose to develop a pig model of tuberculosis aerosol transmission. To achieve this goal we will: 1) determine the optimal dose and route of experimental M. tuberculosis infection required to result in symptomatic coughing pigs. 2) determine if infected coughing pigs generate aerosols containing viable M. tuberculosis. 3) identify biomarkers associated with symptomatic and transmissible tuberculosis in pigs. 4) determine if M. tuberculosis can be spread in aerosols from infected coughing pigs to naïve pigs. A robust pig model of tuberculosis aerosol transmission will ultimately facilitate the testing and development of novel vaccines and therapies that target the spread of this disease.
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Academic Health Sciences Student Research Day 2016
Principal Investigator
Mr. Adam Clay
Research and Performance Support
Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Mr. Donald Bergstrom
Co-Investigator(s)
Megan Vanstone
2016-2017 Research Connections Grants
Three Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$4,050.65SHRF
Description
Academic Health Sciences Student Research Day is a half-day research event in October hosted in the concourse of the Wascana Rehabilitation Centre. The event is open to all undergraduate, graduate and resident researchers who would like to share their research projects in poster format with the RQHR community. Students who have completed a University of Saskatchewan Undergraduate Medicine Dean’s Project in the summer are required to present. Students submit their research for poster presentations and are evaluated for prizes in different areas during the event by a panel of local judges. Researchers, clinicians and faculty members from medicine, nursing, pharmacy, psychology, kinesiology and health studies are all invited so that students have the opportunity mingle with colleagues from other health science faculties throughout the afternoon.
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National Summit on the Control of Agricultural Injury and Death in Canada: Transforming today’s science into tomorrow’s prevention
Principal Investigator
Dr. James Dosman
Canadian Centre for Health & Safety in Agriculture
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Mr. Donald Bergstrom
Co-Investigator(s)
Shelley Kirychuk
Niels Koehncke
2016-2017 Research Connections Grants
Three Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$7,500SHRF
Description
The aim of the National Summit is to bring together researchers & students, industry partners, knowledge transfer specialists, policy makers, and end users (including agricultural producers) from across Saskatchewan and Canada to discuss the state of applied research in key topic areas in safety and health in agriculture, and develop an applied research agenda to address key issues affecting the health and safety of producers, agricultural workers, farm families, and rural people. The event will be held at TCU Place in Saskatoon, SK on Tuesday June 7, and is open to any individuals and organizations who have an interest in research-based approaches to health and safety in agriculture.
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Targeting resistance to anti-EphA2 treatment in breast cancer
Principal Investigator
Dr. Amr El Zawily
Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Mr. Donald Bergstrom
Co-Investigator(s)
Shelley Kirychuk
Niels Koehncke
Supervisor(s)
Dr. Andrew Freywald (Lead Supervisor)
2016-2017 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
Breast cancer is the most frequent malignancy in women, with an average of 500 Canadians diagnosed with this cancer every day. So-called triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) tumors that lack expression of the estrogen, progesterone and HER2 receptors represent the deadliest type of this disease. In collaboration with Biomirex Inc., we recently generated a novel synthetic antibody that targets a cell surface molecule, EphA2 (anti-EphA2). Excitingly, application of anti-EphA2 efficiently suppresses human TNBC tumors in experimental animals. However, a small percentage of cancer cells become resistant to this treatment and are likely to trigger tumor recurrence following the initial therapy. To further improve tumor elimination, we plan to use a novel approach called "Synthetic Lethality" (SL), where an inhibition of a SL gene selectively kills only cancer cells carrying a specific genetic alteration, while not affecting healthy cell populations. We plan to use genome-wide SL screening to find genes SL with resistance of TNBC tumors to anti-EphA2. When identified, these genes will be validated both in cell culture and in animal models of human TNBC for their potential usefulness to breast cancer therapy. Identification and validation of these SL genes is expected to trigger the development of new efficient therapeutic approaches, relying on targeting SL genes simultaneously with anti-EphA2 application. These treatments are likely to eradicate TNBC tumors and significantly improve patient survival. This is important, as currently there is no effective therapy for TNBC and it is associated with a very high rate of patient mortality.
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The impact of amino acid depletion and metformin treatment on Hutchinson Gilford Progeria Syndrome genome function and structure
Principal Investigator
Dr. Christopher Eskiw
Food and Bioproduct Sciences
Agriculture and Bioresources
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Mr. Donald Bergstrom
Co-Investigator(s)
Shelley Kirychuk
Niels Koehncke
2016-2017 Establishment Grants
Three Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$120,000SHRF
Description
Children suffering from the premature aging disease Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome (HGPS) succumb to age-related complications, such as heart attack or stroke at ~14 years of age. HGPS results from a single mutation which generates a toxic protein called Progerin. Progerin disrupts the function and organization of our genetic material (genome) causing our cells to become ‘old' (senescent) at increased rates. Current HGPS therapies have shown limited results and have severe side effects and therefore, new strategies are required for the treatment of this devastating childhood disease. Recently, rapamycin, an immuno-suppressant, has been shown to cause HGPS cells to preferentially degrade Progerin. This coincides with a significant decrease in the rates at which cells age. Although promising, there are concerns over potential side effects associated with rapamycin and its ability to completely restore genome function and organization. Our aim is to test alternative strategies which mimic rapamycin to determine if they are potential treatments for HGPS. We will treat HGPS cells with the anti-diabetic drug metformin or decreased levels of amino acids and determine if this causes Progerin degradation, improves genome function/organization, and decreases the rates at which HGPS cells become senescent. Although HGPS is relatively rare, afflicting only 1 in 4 million live births, Progerin has been identified in cells from normal older individuals. Therefore, the results from this research could provide understanding into the molecular mechanisms associated with the normal aging process to facilitate increased health later in life.
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Establishing the incidence and prevalence of multiple sclerosis in Saskatchewan
Principal Investigator
Dr. Charity Evans
Pharmacy and Nutrition
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Mr. Donald Bergstrom
Co-Investigator(s)
Katherine Knox
2016-2017 Establishment Grants
Three Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$78,700SHRF
Description
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, degenerative disease, which places a considerable burden on patients, families and society. The lifetime cost of MS is estimated at $1.6 million per affected person. Canada has one of the highest rates of MS in the world, with approximately 100,000 people affected. Saskatchewan is estimated to have one of the highest rates of MS in Canada, but the actual number of people with the disease is unknown. This goal of this study is to determine how many people in Saskatchewan currently have MS (prevalence) and how many people are being diagnosed with MS every year (incidence). To do this, we will use datasets from the provincial government, which collects information on health care use for almost all residents in the province. These data will allow us to define individuals with MS based on their use of health care for reasons that are likely related to MS. However, to make sure we correctly identify individuals with MS, we must test a number of definitions to find which one is the most accurate for our Saskatchewan data. We will then use this definition to determine the incidence and prevalence of MS in Saskatchewan. Knowing the actual incidence and prevalence of MS is extremely important to help inform decisions related to treatment, health care delivery, policy development and resource planning, and will ultimately benefit those individuals affected by MS.
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Aboriginal Youth Mentorship Program in Saskatchewan
Principal Investigator
Dr. Leah Ferguson
Kinesiology
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Mr. Donald Bergstrom
Co-Investigator(s)
Louise Humbert
Carol Rodgers
Jon McGavock
2016-2017 CIHR Pathways to Health Equity for Aboriginal Peoples
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$133,240SHRF
$20,000Diabetes Action Canada
$24,000CIHR
$177,240Total
Description
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Research Study to Initiate a Clinical Trial for Targeting Synthetic Lethality Between EPHB6 and SRC in Breast Cancer
Principal Investigator
Dr. Andrew Freywald
Experimental Pathology
Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Franco Vizeacoumar
Co-Investigator(s)
Sunil Yadav
Lynn Dwernychuk
2016-2017 Collaborative Innovation Development
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$49,858SHRF
Description
Application of tumor genome sequencing has identified numerous loss-of-function alterations in cancer cells. These alterations can be targeted using an approach called "Synthetic Lethality" (SL), where one gene causes lethality only when another gene is also inactivated. The EPHB6 receptor tyrosine kinase is often down regulated in multiple malignancies, including breast cancer, making it an attractive target for SL applications. In this approach, Drs. Vizeacoumar and Freywald took advantage of a genome-scale effort where they asked which gene should be "turned-off", such that, it kills only the tumor cells that lack EPHB6 but not the normal cells. The team identified the SRC kinase as a druggable target that can be potentially used to treat triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) patients. The team is currently in the process of initiating clinical trial for clinical validation of targeting SRC Kinase in EphB6-deficient TNBC patients in collaboration with co-applicants Dr. Yadav as well as with the clinical Director at the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency, Ms. Lynne Dwerynchuk. However, as EPHB6 is also lost in other sub-types of breast cancer patients, in the current project, the team aims to validate SRC kinase in additional tumour models that represent different sub-types of breast cancer.
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Elucidating the roles of pathogen virulence factors in subverting host cell processes
Principal Investigator
Dr. Alla Gagarinova
Biochemistry
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Franco Vizeacoumar
Co-Investigator(s)
Sunil Yadav
Lynn Dwernychuk
Supervisor(s)
Dr. Miroslaw Cygler (Lead Supervisor)
2016-2017 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
Due to increasingly widespread antibiotic resistance, it is predicted that by 2050 bacterial infections will be causing more deaths than cancers. Bacterial pathogens subvert host processes by injecting protein virulence factors (effectors) into host cells to modify the behaviors of specific host proteins, thus causing disease. However, there has been limited success in elucidating effector roles and, correspondingly, pathogenesis mechanisms. This limits the development of new treatment strategies, which are becoming essential in view of increasingly widespread antimicrobial resistance. Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium causes gastroenteritis and is the best-studied bacterial pathogen. However, cellular targets have been identified or predicted for only half of S. Typhimurium's 45 effectors. This research will systematically identify host proteins interacting with each of the 45 effectors during infection and use this information to predict effector roles in causing disease. For each effector, this research will use affinity purification to isolate effector protein complexes from infected macrophages, survival within which is essential for S. Typhimurium virulence. This research will then use mass spectrometry to identify proteins forming these complexes and follow the guilt-by-association principle to predict effector roles, which will be computationally and experimentally validated. The proposed project will be relevant to understanding and combatting diseases caused by Salmonella species, which result in ~116 million illnesses and ~370,000 deaths worldwide annually. Moreover, this strategy will be applicable to investigating other pathogens, thus providing new insights for understanding bacterial pathogenesis and developing new antimicrobial strategies.
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Creating a Culture of Patient and Family Engagement in Health Care: Impact of Interdisciplinary Bedside Rounds on Patient Experience and Team Collaboration
Principal Investigator
Dr. Donna Goodridge
Division of Respirology, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Franco Vizeacoumar
Co-Investigator(s)
Thomas Rotter
Liz Harrison
Jordan Olfert
Erika Penz
Steven Campbell
Kelsey Kevinsen
Malori Keller
Jenny Basran
Murray Scharf
Kamma Larsen
2016-2017 Targeted Collaborative Innovation Development Grant (SPOR)
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$75,000SHRF
Description
Adoption of innovative, novel patient- and family-centred approaches is increasingly linked to better health outcomes and lower use of health services. The introduction of structured Interdisciplinary Rounds (IDR) across health regions in Saskatchewan has been deliberately designed to better engage patients in acute care settings and their families in health care, presenting a real-world opportunity to study the processes of implementation and key outcomes of this complex intervention across diverse settings. The aim of this project is to evaluate the process and selected outcomes of implementing IDR within acute care settings in Saskatchewan using a longitudinal multiple case study approach. We will specifically examine whether and how these rounds may influence the patient/family experience and team collaboration through the use of interviews, observations and questionnaires. Our team, comprised of patient advisors, health care professionals, decision-makers and researchers, possesses the breadth and depth of skills required to successfully undertake and complete this study.The longitudinal, multiple case study method we will use to study the implementation of IDR has been under-utilized in implementation research, creating the opportunity to test and refine new research approaches in quality improvement research. Findings from our project will be of direct value to the ongoing implementation of IDR throughout the province and lay the foundation for future research that strengthens the goal of promoting patient-centred care in Saskatchewan. Including the voices of patients and families with respect to the implementation of these rounds ensures that quality improvement strategies are, in fact, responding to needs of service users.
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How Do Material and Social Deprivation Affect Health Care Utilization of High System Users with Multimorbidity? A Retrospective Cohort Study
Principal Investigator
Dr. Donna Goodridge
Respirology, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
Medicine
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Cory Neudorf
Co-Investigator(s)
Heather Ward
Hyun-Ja Lim
Cristina Ugolini
Sylvia Abonyi
Dylan Chipperfield
Jennifer Hiebert
Erika Penz
Lloyd Balbuena
2016-2017 Collaborative Innovation Development
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$50,000SHRF
Description
Saskatchewan, a province with some of the most extreme health inequities in Canada, is in the midst of a large scale transformation intended to result in reforms that promote a sustainable, patient-centred health care system. While significant attention has been directed towards understanding the characteristics of high system users in terms of single diseases, the potentially incremental effects of living with multimorbidity (the presence of two or more chronic conditions in the same individual) under conditions of material and social disadvantage have yet to be understood and addressed. Applying a health equity lens to better understand the complex associations between multimorbidity, health care utilization and the social determinants of health, we will use the robust data available through the Canadian Institute for Health Information and Statistics Canada to address key issues related to multimorbidity and social/material deprivation within Saskatchewan. Findings from this study will inform practice and policy decisions and develop future research initiatives that will promote health and system outcomes.Our project would be the first in Canada to address these issues at both the individual and area levels using the innovative approach of linking records from the recently released CIHI Dynamic Cohort of High-System Users with the Social Data Linkage Environment (SDLE) available through Statistics Canada. This linkage will provide precise and accurate data that will allow us to focus on "people and populations and on the interrelationships of risk factors and illnesses rather than on specific risk factors and disease."
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Estradiol variability and the emergence of depressive symptomatology during the menopause transition
Principal Investigator
Dr. Jennifer Gordon
Psychology
Arts
University of Regina
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Cory Neudorf
Co-Investigator(s)
Laurie Sykes Tottenham
Tory Eisenlohr-Moul
Amanda Scollan
2016-2017 Establishment Grants
Three Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$119,985SHRF
Description
The menopause transition or 'perimenopause' represents the five to six years surrounding the last menstrual period. During this transition, women are two to four times more likely to develop depression than any other time in their lives. Though it is commonly assumed that perimenopausal depression results from an increased sensitivity to the hormonal changes that accompany the menopause transition, this assumption remains to be tested. The proposed study will therefore test the “hormonal sensitivity” hypothesis of perimenopausal depression. The proposed study will enroll 100 healthy perimenopausal women from the community who will undergo two study phases: Phase I (lasting 12 weeks), during which participants will, once weekly, monitor their mood and collect a urine sample to allow for hormonal measurements, and Phase II (lasting 9 months), during which they will complete a monthly mental health survey. This study will have two objectives: 1) to examine the relationship between week-to-week hormone fluctuation and weekly mood during Phase I, and 2) to examine mood sensitivity to hormone fluctuation as a predictor of perimenopausal depression development in Phase II.This study represents a crucial first step in understanding why some women are at increased risk for depression during the menopause transition. The results of this study will directly inform the development of pharmacological interventions, such as the use of hormone therapy to stabilize hormone levels, to treat and prevent perimenopausal depression, which affects 26-33% of women.
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Assessing the Neurobiology of Motor Recovery After Stroke With and Without Cross-Education Rehabilitation
Principal Investigator
Dr. Layla Gould
Surgery
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Cory Neudorf
Co-Investigator(s)
Laurie Sykes Tottenham
Tory Eisenlohr-Moul
Amanda Scollan
Supervisor(s)
Dr. Michael Kelly (Lead Supervisor) Dr. Jonathan Farthing (Supervisor)
2016-2017 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability and the third leading cause of death in Saskatchewan. Each year in the province about 2,000 people suffer a stroke, and as many as 88% of those patients suffer severe limb weakness or paralysis that severely disrupts their daily activities. Despite its prevalence, there is little agreement on optimal treatment, and there remains great variation in current rehabilitation practices. An innovative approach to stroke rehabilitation is ‘cross-education,' which involves physically training the healthy limb to benefit the injured limb. Cross-education has the potential to ‘boost' function of the impaired limb leading to more complete recovery. The purpose of this research is to apply cross-education combined with usual care, as part of a strengthening program to improve hand function post-stroke. Functional magnetic resonance imaging will be used to track changes in brain activation, especially in motor and sensory regions, following motor recovery with and without cross-education. Diffusion tensor imaging will be used to examine differences in cortical thickness in regions-of-interest. The abovementioned neuroimaging methods will help gain insight into the neurobiological mechanisms involved in hand motor recovery in subacute stroke. This novel rehabilitation strategy will be compared to usual care alone, and will be the first neuroimaging study to examine this outcome. By studying this rehabilitation method and applying neuroimaging techniques, we are helping to identify changes in specific brain regions that are involved in motor recovery after stroke, and helping to define more effective stroke rehabilitation strategies, leading to better patient outcomes.
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Exploring the Effectiveness of an In-Person Integrated Counselling Training Module to Increase Exercise Providers' Knowledge and Beliefs to Instruct and Educate Saskatchewan Adults With Chronic Non-Cancer Pain
Principal Investigator
Dr. Nancy Gyurcsik
Kinesiology
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Susan Tupper
Co-Investigator(s)
Pamela Downe
Laurie-ann Hellsten
Larry Brawley
Danielle Brittain
Bart Arnold
2016-2017 Collaborative Innovation Development
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$49,979SHRF
Description
One in five Saskatchewan adults live with chronic non-cancer pain, which negatively affects their mental health and physical functioning. Pain health care costs exceed those for each of heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Medications are the usual treatment strategy for pain management, yet they are largely ineffective. In contrast, exercise helps with pain management. Since most adults with pain do not exercise regularly, recommendations are that they should be counselled on exercising with pain (called integrated counselling). Our pilot research identified exercise providers (instructors/personal trainers) are the desired delivery agents of integrated counselling. However, providers receive no integrated counselling training by their certification bodies. They also report low pain knowledge, low confidence to counsel and inaccurate fears that participant pain during exercise signals harm, which can combine to limit their counselling efforts. To date, no research has examined training strategies to counter providers' problematic beliefs and improve their integrated counselling. Our objective is to develop, test and refine a novel 3-hour in-person exercise provider integrated counselling workshop. Study 1 compares providers trained versus untrained in our workshop with regard to differences in their knowledge on pain and appropriate exercise modifications, counselling confidence and fears about participants with pain attempting exercise. Study 2 identifies workshop strengths, limitations and potential workshop changes to facilitate future widespread delivery by provider certification organizations.Findings will inform a Canadian Institutes of Health Research application comparing pain participants, instructed by providers trained or untrained in our workshop, on exercise-promoting beliefs (e.g. exercise confidence) and exercise participation.
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Implementing the "Patient's Charter of Tuberculosis Care" in High Incidence Indigenous Communities and Across Jurisdictional Borders
Principal Investigator
Dr. Paul Hackett
Geography & Planning
Arts and Science
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Richard Long
Co-Investigator(s)
Pamela Downe
Laurie-ann Hellsten
Larry Brawley
Danielle Brittain
Bart Arnold
2016-2017 CIHR Pathways to Health Equity for Aboriginal Peoples
Three Years
FUNDING RECEIVED
$150,000SHRF
$675,000CIHR
$100,000FNIHB-AB Region
$75,000FNIHB-SK Region
$150,000Alberta Innovates Health Solutions
$1,150,000Total
Description
Among Indigenous Peoples in the Prairie provinces tuberculosis (TB) occurs in focal pockets of incidence, such that most communities have little to no TB while a few others are very high-incidence. High incidence communities tend to be clustered together and are bound both by their geographic proximity and through kinship to members of other nearby communities. We believe that eliminating TB in these regional clusters is additionally complicated given that TB programming and the provision of services is defined by jurisdictional and geographical borders that do not reflect the mobility and realities of the people who live there. In other words, these jurisdictional borders and the resultant delineation of services tend not to be based on the realities of the people to whom TB programming is meant to relate. As such, in Component I we proposed the development of a cross-border, regional coalition to advocate for better population and community health supports that would have the downstream effect of reducing TB transmission and progression to disease. TB elimination cannot be met in isolation, but instead requires that interests of the region at large and the people living therein be considered and promoted. In Component II, this regional committee would support the implementation of two locally specific TB elimination strategies across diverse, yet interconnected, communities. Our team has identified two interrelated strategies that we will implement and evaluate in Component II. These two TB elimination strategies are: 1) improved, regional, surveillance and translation of those surveillance data back to relevant community members, and 2) an expanded program of outreach that has as its primary focus "wellness".
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Functional genetic investigation of a novel inter-organ signaling pathway critical to integrity of the immune system.
Principal Investigator
Dr. Kimberly Jett
Biochemistry
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Richard Long
Co-Investigator(s)
Pamela Downe
Laurie-ann Hellsten
Larry Brawley
Danielle Brittain
Bart Arnold
Supervisor(s)
Dr. Scot Leary (Lead Supervisor)
2016-2017 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
Mitochondria are tiny compartments within the cell that fulfill multiple functions that are central to homeostasis. Gene mutations that affect any of these functions cause human diseases that collectively have a minimum estimated birth prevalence of 1 in ~3,500. The bulk of these disorders result from mutations in the protein machinery that is responsible for producing the chemical form of energy consumed by cells, and is commonly referred to as respiratory chain defects (RCDs). Patients with RCDs exhibit signs of systemic disease and typically present with symptoms that affect liver, brain and/or heart function. In general, the mechanisms that underlie these diseases are not well understood. However, emerging data suggests that the clinical symptoms in affected individuals are caused in part by the disrupted function of signalling pathways that allow different organ systems to communicate with one another. The identification of relevant inter-organ signalling pathways, while challenging, is therefore attractive from a therapeutic perspective. Using a mouse model of a human disease in which altering mitochondrial function in the liver compromised immunological integrity of the spleen and thymus, suggests that signaling between these organs is altered. Since these pathways remain largely unknown, the objective of this research is to use this mouse model to identify the factor(s) that allows for communication between the liver, thymus and spleen. The results of this research have implications for the treatment of affected individuals and as such are aligned with the determinants of health status priority area of provincial health research.
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Life and Health Sciences Research Exposition
Principal Investigator
Dr. Lisa Kalynchuk
Neurology
Medicine
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Richard Long
Co-Investigator(s)
Pamela Downe
Laurie-ann Hellsten
Larry Brawley
Danielle Brittain
Bart Arnold
2016-2017 Research Connections Grants
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$5,000SHRF
Description
The Life and Health Sciences Research Exposition is a two-day event planned for May 4 and 5, 2017 hosted by the University of Saskatchewan (U of S). It will include internationally-recognized external speakers, a networking dinner, a research day with parallel symposia and a student poster session. The poster session is open to graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and medical residents from the health science colleges at the U of S. It is expected that 150 research posters will be submitted. Keynote speakers will speak about developing a career in the health sciences and about current hot topics in health research. Two parallel morning symposia led by researchers from Saskatchewan will focus on alternate careers in science and translating research from basic sciences to the clinic.
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Closing the Gap: Indigenous Health Innovations Forum
Principal Investigator
Dr. Tarun Reddy Katapally
Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy
University of Regina
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Richard Long
Co-Investigator(s)
Cassandra Opikokew Wajuntah
Roger Francis
2016-2017 Research Connections Grants
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$4,000SHRF
Description
The Saskatchewan Institute (SI) of The Conference Board of Canada, the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy (JSGS), the Indigenous Peoples' Health Research Centre (IPHRC) are coming together to conduct an Indigenous Health Innovations Forum aimed at highlighting innovative Indigenous health interventions in Saskatchewan. The forum will be held on May 25, 2016, at Delta Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, The forum will bring together around 100 Indigenous scholars, elders, researchers, students, community members, policymakers, administrators and health leaders. The main goal of the event is to provide a platform for Indigenous innovations from across Saskatchewan that would demonstrate the effectiveness of Indigenous-based policymaking and program delivery as a means to tackle health inequities in Indigenous populations. The Conference Board of Canada has this event listed in its event lineup and a complete description of the event, including sponsor logos appears on the website: http://www.conferenceboard.ca/conf/16-0050/default.aspxRegistration will be conducted through this website.
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Smart Active Living Policy
Principal Investigator
Dr. Tarun Reddy Katapally
Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy
University of Regina
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Richard Long
Co-Investigator(s)
Mark Tremblay
Richard Larouche
Nathaniel Osgood
Justin Longo
Daniel Rainham
Scott Leatherdale
Leah Ferguson
2016-2017 Establishment Grants
Three Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$118,500SHRF
Description
Physical activity's benefits to a wide range of health outcomes, and the overall quality of life, have been well established. Despite this evidence, a majority of the world's population is physically inactive. One major challenge is limited resources in understanding how policies and programs influence active living in populations. The proposed study introduces a highly cost-effective active living surveillance model that is relevant to human health not only in the province of Saskatchewan, but could be replicated in other provinces in Canada and elsewhere. Main objectives are: 1) to understand how active living policies and programs at national, provincial and local levels influence active living in participants in two urban jurisdictions in Saskatchewan. 2) over time, to link these policies and the environmental factors (urban design, etc.) that are driven by these polices with active living. 3) to understand and address the challenges of implementing an innovative surveillance model. The methodological approach of the surveillance model combines a policy scan with the data obtained through participants' smartphones in different seasons in accomplishing the study objectives. Participants will be recruited through a strong community partnership with the YMCAs in the cities of Moose Jaw and Regina. This approach will be highly important to population health research, as the advanced methods used here could be replicated in addressing other major public health issues.
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Optimizing in vivo assessments of cortical bone porosity and strength: A validation study linking advanced imaging, mechanical testing and finite element modeling
Principal Investigator
Dr. Chantal Kawalilak
Mechanical Engineering
Engineering
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Richard Long
Co-Investigator(s)
Mark Tremblay
Richard Larouche
Nathaniel Osgood
Justin Longo
Daniel Rainham
Scott Leatherdale
Leah Ferguson
Supervisor(s)
Dr. James (J.D.) Johnston (Lead Supervisor)
2016-2017 Research Fellowship Top-up Incentive Award
Three Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$20,000SHRF
Description
Osteoporosis is called brittle bone disease, because it makes bones fragile and more likely to fracture, especially when a person falls. Approximately two million Canadians live with osteoporosis, costing our health care system $20 billion each year. Wrist fractures are the most common type of osteoporotic fractures. Current osteoporosis diagnostic tools are unable to identify individuals with high fracture risk. The overall goal of this research is to develop and validate a new method for determining bone strength that can be used to identify individuals at risk of wrist fracture. Synchrotron-based imaging will be used to optimize measurements of bone micro-architecture provided by advanced clinical imaging, and the development of a computer model will estimate wrist bone strength when falling onto the outstretched hand. This research is scientifically important and clinically relevant as findings will improve our understanding of how to characterize bone micro-architecture underpinning osteoporosis, bone strength and fracture risk.
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Bringing Together Physical Activity and Culture to Promote Mental Health for Indigenous Youth
Principal Investigator
Dr. Serene Kerpan
Community Health and Epidemiology
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Richard Long
Co-Investigator(s)
Mark Tremblay
Richard Larouche
Nathaniel Osgood
Justin Longo
Daniel Rainham
Scott Leatherdale
Leah Ferguson
Supervisor(s)
Dr. Sylvia Abonyi (Lead Supervisor)Dr. Sarah Oosman (Supervisor)
2016-2017 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
In Saskatchewan Indigenous youth are the fastest growing demographic and unfortunately they bear a disproportionate burden of mental health issues, including high rates of suicide. Research has identified that the promotion of culture can increase the mental health of Indigenous youth. Studies with non-Indigenous youth have shown that physical activity significantly reduces depression, anxiety, psychological distress, and emotional disturbance. Indigenous youth value physical activity because they feel it is important for their health and social connections. They also believe that traditional forms of physical activity (e.g. hunting, fishing, hiking, dancing, games) are important. For this study Indigenous worldview and physical activity will be brought together in an intervention designed to enhance the mental health of Indigenous youth. An implementation science approach coupled with participatory action research methods will be used to collaboratively develop a study with Whitecap Elementary School (WES) and Whitecap First Nation. The main goal for this research is to examine the association between a physical activity intervention and mental health for Indigenous elementary school youth in Whitecap Dakota First Nation. Community members (i.e. youth, parents, leaders, Elders) will be engaged to design, implement and evaluate this intervention. If the intervention is successful, scalability and adaptive approaches will be investigated to determine if this evidence-based strategy can be used to enhance the mental health of youth in other Indigenous communities.
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Protein Structure, Function and Malfunction Conference (PFSaM) 4th Annual Meeting
Principal Investigator
Dr. Wolfgang Koester
Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization
Bacterial Vaccine Development
VIDO-InterVac
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Richard Long
Co-Investigator(s)
Mark Tremblay
Richard Larouche
Nathaniel Osgood
Justin Longo
Daniel Rainham
Scott Leatherdale
Leah Ferguson
2016-2017 Research Connections Grants
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$2,500SHRF
Description
The purpose of the PSFaM, 4th Annual Meeting, 2016, is to bring together protein scientists and structural biologists from Western Canada to present recent findings from their laboratories, to network and meet colleagues, to discuss common interests and goals, and to develop a strong, tightly knit community of protein scientists from Western Canada. Much of the presented research has been performed in part at the Canadian Light Source and the staff of the Canadian Macromolecular Crystallography Facility participates in organization of this conference. The theme of the meeting is the role of proteins in health and disease. The meeting will take place on the University of Saskatchewan Campus, Health Science Building.
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5th Western Canadian Medicinal Chemistry Workshop
Principal Investigator
Dr. Edward Krol
Pharmacy and Nutrition
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Richard Long
Co-Investigator(s)
David Palmer
2016-2017 Research Connections Grants
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$4,500SHRF
Description
The Western Canadian Medicinal Chemistry Workshop (WCMCW) was established to facilitate knowledge exchange and increase research intensity in the pharmaceutical sciences in Western Canada. The workshop also provides training and career development opportunities for postdoctoral, graduate and undergraduates researchers. The WCMCW has been held every 2 years since 2008. The 5th WCMCW will be held September 23-25, 2016 at the University of Saskatchewan. Past attendees have come from Western Canadian universities including: Calgary, Alberta, Lethbridge, Manitoba, Brandon, Winnipeg, Lakehead, UBC, Simon Fraser, Victoria, Regina and Saskatchewan.
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Multiple Sclerosis Clinical Research Chair
Principal Investigator
Dr. Michael Levin
Internal Medicine
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Richard Long
Co-Investigator(s)
David Palmer
2016-2017 Saskatchewan Research Chairs
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$500,000SHRF
$500,000Saskatoon City Hospital Foundation
$1,000,000Total
Description
Canada has amongst the highest worldwide prevalence of MS. Some studies suggest that rates are highest in the prairies, inclusive of Saskatchewan. Health care costs will be ~$2 billion annually by 2031. Because costs increase with disease progression, this research is especially important. Our team has discovered a novel mechanism of disease that helps explain the underlying cause of nerve cell damage in MS. We have discovered that a small piece of a nerve cell, known as a protein, is not functioning properly in people with MS> The protein is named 'heterogeneous nuclear ribonuclear protein A1', or just 'A1' for short. A1 malfunctions because there are both DNA mutations in A1 and antibodies directed at A1, in those with MS. In nerve cells grown in the lab, both DNA mutations and A1 antibodies caused nerve cell damage and death. In animal models of MS, not only did the A1 antibodies cause nerve cell damage, but also caused the animals to develop muscle spasms (known as spasticity). Spasticity is a common and sometimes disabling and painful symptom that people with MS experience. This is just the beginning. As we continue to unravel this mechanism, we can design new medications to treat progression in MS. In turn, this will reduce nerve cell damage and spasticity, thereby relieving this disabling symptom, reducing disease progression and lessening health care costs in people with MS throughout Canada.
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Molecular epidemiology and functional genomic discovery of pathogenicity factors in community-acquired MRSA in Saskatchewan First Nations communities
Principal Investigator
Mr. Keith MacKenzie
Biology
Science
University of Regina
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Richard Long
Co-Investigator(s)
David Palmer
Supervisor(s)
Dr. Andrew Cameron (Lead Supervisor)
2016-2017 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
Antibiotic resistant bacteria are becoming one of the greatest health care challenges of the modern era, and they are only going to get much worse. A leading cause of antibiotic resistant infection is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Although this pathogen is famous as a source of hospital-acquired infection, it is now acquired predominantly in communities. This community-acquired (CA)-MRSA is a particular health challenge in Saskatchewan First Nations communities, where infection rates are 10-times higher than comparable communities in Alberta and Manitoba. This research will address this Saskatchewan health priority using the latest DNA sequencing technology to resolve how CA-MRSA has moved and continues to move within and between communities. This epidemiological research will build on the Northern Antibiotic Resistance Partnership (NARP) and provide greater insight using the most modern DNA sequencing technologies. As well, this research will use genomic techniques to identify genes associated with severe health outcomes in Saskatchewan patients, then, study the functions of these virulence genes in the laboratory using gene expression and infection assays. This research is designed to promote proactive health care by identifying mechanisms of infection and disease transmission that can be targeted through preventive means, such as identifying reservoirs of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and blocking routes of transmission.
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Development and pilot testing of a decision aid for dementia patients in long-term care in Saskatchewan and their surrogate decision makers
Principal Investigator
Dr. Leslie Malloy-Weir
Canadian Centre for Health & Safety in Agriculture (Department of Medicine)
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Richard Long
Co-Investigator(s)
David Palmer
Supervisor(s)
Dr. Debra Morgan (Lead Supervisor)
2016-2017 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
In Canada and elsewhere, there are two overlapping trends that have major implications for the delivery of health care: 1) an increase in the prevalence of patients with dementia, and 2) increasing efforts to involve patients in decisions about their care using decision aids. Dementia patients in long-term care settings are commonly prescribed antipsychotic medications to treat aggression, delusions and agitation. The involvement of dementia patients and/or their surrogate decision makers in decisions about the use of antipsychotic medications is critical because these medications have risks (e.g. infections, falls, death) that may outweigh their benefit. This study will use a mixed-methods approach to design and test a decision aid to help dementia patients in long-term care and/or their surrogate decisions makers to: 1) learn about the benefits and risks of antipsychotic medications, and 2) decide whether or not these medications should be taken. Scientific evidence, along with feedback obtained from physicians, dementia patients in long-term care and/or their surrogate decision makers, will inform the design of the decision aid (i.e. content and mode). The effects of the decision aid on: 1) knowledge about the benefits and risks of antipsychotic medications, and 2) decision to take, or not, these medications, will be assessed using a survey and interview with dementia patients in long-term care and/or their surrogate decisions makers who were not involved in the design phase. This study will promote patient-centred dementia care and will inform efforts to implement the use of decision aids in Saskatchewan and elsewhere in Canada.
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Deciphering the mechanistic role of newly identified mitochondrial interactions in Parkinson's disease
Principal Investigator
Dr. Ramy Malty
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Science
University of Regina
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Richard Long
Co-Investigator(s)
David Palmer
Supervisor(s)
Dr. Mohan Babu (Lead Supervisor)
2016-2017 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
Mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, protein aggregation and microglial activation are key to Parkinson's disease (PD) pathogenesis. We concluded a large-scale screen to identify novel mitochondrial protein complexes associated with PD. Superoxide dismutase (SOD1)-peroxiredoxin5 (PRDX5) heterodimer and inhibitor of NF-κB (IκBε)-PINK1-PARKIN heterotrimer are novel complexes that were detected and validated.PRDX5 perturbation in differentiated SH-SY5Y cells shows reduced SOD1 activity, increased superoxide anion and increased mitochondrial depolarization, suggesting that SOD1 activity requires PRDX5. I propose that SOD1-PRDX5 interaction protects SOD1 from auto-oxidation. Using computational modelling, we determined that SOD1-E133 is critical for PRDX5 interaction. I will construct SOD1-E133 mutants and test for loss of PRDX5 interaction. SOD1-E133 mutants will be used to examine the role of SOD1-PRDX5 interaction in differentiated SH-SY5Y cells. NF-κB is activated by ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation of IκBs. Mitochondrial depolarization activates PINK1, a kinase, which activates PARKIN, a ubiquitin ligase. Mitochondrial dysfunction was shown to activate NF-κB, however, the mechanism is unknown. I propose that PINK1-PARKIN link mitochondrial dysfunction to NF-κB activation via ubiquitination and degradation of IκBε. We show that the mitochondrial toxin rotenone, increases ubiquitination of IκBε. I propose using microglial cell line to test if rotenone activates NF-κB, whether this effect is mediated by PINK1- or PARKIN-induced IκBε degradation.In both models, key findings will be verified in human induced dopaminergic neurons and microglia, respectively. These studies will expand our understanding of PD pathogenesis and shed light on new PD drug targets.
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Behavioural and neural network comorbidities of a psychiatric phenotype in a rat model of absence epilepsy: effects of the T-type calcium channel blocker Z944
Principal Investigator
Dr. Wendie Marks
Physiology
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Richard Long
Co-Investigator(s)
David Palmer
Supervisor(s)
Dr. John Howland (Lead Supervisor)
2016-2017 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
T-type calcium channels are implicated in the pathophysiology of complex psychiatric and neurological disorders such as absence epilepsy. Genetic Absence Epilepsy Rats from Strasbourg (GAERS) is a spontaneously occurring rodent model of absence epilepsy that displays interictal behavioural changes related to symptoms of psychiatric illness. Systemic treatment with the novel T-type calcium channel blocker, Z944, rescues the behavioural deficits observed in GAERS. To elucidate how T-type calcium channels mediate these behaviours, GAERS will be used to identify and define the neural networks that are perturbed to alter behaviour. This will be achieved in two series of studies. The first will identify the brain regions involved in mediating the effects of Z944 on two measures: visual (crossmodal) and emotional (Pavlovian fear extinction) learning and memory, by infusing Z944 into task-dependent brain areas prior to testing. The second series of studies will examine patterns of neural activity, using freely moving electrophysiology, that are associated with crossmodal and fear extinction deficits in GAERS and the impact of systemic Z944 on the synchrony of neural oscillations. Brains will be double labelled for immediate early gene activation and parvalbumin to correlate patterns of activity with alterations in interneuron network properties. The proposed experiments will be the first to link behaviour in GAERS with altered patterns of neural activity using direct recordings of brain activity and post-mortem histology techniques. Increasing our understanding of the mechanisms of cognitive impairment is expected to provide new avenues for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of psychiatric disorders.
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Advancements in FASD Symposium: Diagnostic Training and Development of Recommendations for a Psychotropic Algorithm
Principal Investigator
Dr. Mansfield Mela
Psychiatry
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Richard Long
Co-Investigator(s)
David Palmer
2016-2017 Research Connections Grants
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$6,500SHRF
Description
We are hosting a one-day symposium on FASD and psychotropic medication which will include training workshop and an expert panel at the University of Saskatchewan. This clinical workshop will seek to accomplish 2 main goals; 1) The first is to provide a forum for training physicians to recognize and diagnose FASD according to the recently updated Canadian guidelines (published in 2015). 2) The second is to host an expert panel to generate a consensus of recommendations for developing the first-ever algorithm to assist physicians treating patients with FASD and psychotropic medications (with an end goal of producing a Cochrane review).
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Identifying and Understanding the Health and Social Care Needs of Older Adults with Multiple Chronic Conditions and their Caregivers: A Scoping Review
Principal Investigator
Dr. Debra Morgan
Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture (CCHSA)
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Richard Long
Co-Investigator(s)
David Palmer
2016-2017 SPOR PIHCI Network - Knowledge Synthesis Grants
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$5,000SHRF
$25,000CIHR
$29,000Other Partners
$59,000Total
Description
Canadians are living longer, however, many older Canadians do not experience good health and wellbeing as they age. Older adults are at a high risk of having multiple chronic conditions (MCC), otherwise known as multimorbidity. Many older adults with MCC live with complex health issues that adversely affect their day-to-day functioning and overall wellbeing. As a result, they rely on the support of caregivers to complete daily activities. Caregiving for older adults, without the appropriate help, can negatively affect an individual's financial and emotional wellbeing. Currently, not enough is known about how best to identify, understand and meet the needs of older adults with MCC, or the needs of their family caregivers. This study will contribute to minimizing the existing gap in knowledge. This project will provide much needed evidence to support current efforts to improve the Canadian healthcare system and ensure that older adults with MCC, and their caregivers, receive appropriate, equitable and cost-effective health and social care. The project team is comprised of patients, their family members, researchers, healthcare providers and policy and health system administrator decision makers, from Nova Scotia, Ontario, Québec and Saskatchewan. Our research will offer an overview of the existing evidence on the health and social care needs of older adults with MCC and their caregivers, as well as evidence about how best to determine and understand these needs. Findings from our work will directly support the development and implementation of Primary & Integrated Health Care Innovations (PIHCI) tailored to meet the needs of diverse individual, and groups of, older Canadians. We take a collaborative and participatory approach to research. We aim to contribute to building a strong evidence base to support a new culture of person-centred, functioning-focused care that adds "health to years" for current and future generations of older Canadians.
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Case Management in Primary Care to Improve Outcomes Among Frequent Users of Health Care Services with Chronic Conditions: A Realist Synthesis of What Works, for Whom and in What Circumstances
Principal Investigator
Dr. Nazeem Muhajarine
Community Health and Epidemiology
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Richard Long
Co-Investigator(s)
David Palmer
2016-2017 SPOR PIHCI Network - Knowledge Synthesis Grants
One Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$5,000SHRF
$25,000CIHR
$30,000Other Partners
$60,000Total
Description
A common reason for frequent use of health care services is the complex health care needs of individuals suffering from multiple chronic conditions, often together with mental health comorbidities and/or social vulnerability. Individuals with such complex health care needs require a variety of services across the health and social services system and the community networks. This often leads to difficulties in the integration of care. Frequent users of health care services are more at risk for incapacity, loss of quality of life and mortality. Currently it would appear case management (CM) is the most promising intervention to improve care integration for frequent users and reduce health care costs. However, important gaps in knowledge remain: we don't know how CM works, in what populations, and in what circumstances. Our overarching goal is to ensure that patients, practitioners and policy makers better understand CM for frequent users with chronic conditions, the most promising effective intervention to improve outcomes for this population with complex care needs in primary care. In order to achieve this goal, we propose to explain how CM in primary care works to improve outcomes among frequent users with chronic conditions, for whom and in what circumstances.
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Exploring Oral Health With Indigenous Communities: Collaborative Pathways for Early Intervention
Principal Investigator
Dr. Marcella Ogenchuk
Nursing
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Vivian Ramsden, Rob Weiler, Holly Graham, Gerry Uswak
Co-Investigator(s)
David Palmer
2016-2017 Collaborative Innovation Development
One Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$49,765SHRF
Description
Tooth decay is the most prevalent chronic childhood disease in Canada; Saskatchewan has the third highest rate of day surgery operations performed to treat cavities among children aged 1-5 years. Children who are treated for tooth decay in dentist's offices or clinics are not included in the above data thus underestimating the severity of the problem. Dental surgery is the most common pediatric outpatient procedure completed in Saskatoon Health Region. Despite services available, the prevalence of decay in some First Nations communities exceeds 90% - two to three times higher than non-Aboriginals and constitutes a public health crisis. Early childhood caries can have serious consequences for the functional, psychological and well-being of children. Typically, oral health falls outside the Canada Health Act thus there is considerable variation in services, continuity of programming/services, portability of benefits and oral health providers from one province or territory in First Nations communities. The oral health needs of two Indigenous communities will be explored with the communities utilizing participatory health research methodology. Specifically, the availability, accessibility, accommodation and acceptability of oral health care services will be explored along with their perceptions and health behaviours related to oral health. The knowledge gleaned by this interdisciplinary team including community members will identify strength and barriers of oral health care services to better understand oral disease, build individual, community and provincial capacity: engaging individuals, families, community leaders, health care practitioners, educators and policy makers in the building of a framework and the groundwork necessary for future funding opportunities.
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Understanding the Role of Subchondral Angiogenesis and Bone Turnover in Progression of Osteoarthritis
Principal Investigator
Dr. Arash Panahifar
Anatomy and Cell Biology
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Vivian Ramsden, Rob Weiler, Holly Graham, Gerry Uswak
Co-Investigator(s)
David Palmer
Supervisor(s)
Dr. David Cooper (Lead Supervisor)
2016-2017 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
Osteoarthritis is the leading cause of long-term disability in many western societies. In a 2015 study it was estimated that 14.2% of the Canadian population are diagnosed with osteoarthritis. It is a slowly developing, multifactorial disease that is characterized by destruction of cartilage and structural damage to bone in the affected joints. Despite knowing many risk factors, the cause of osteoarthritis is not well-understood and as a result there is currently no disease-modifying drug available for its treatment.Many studies suggest that early increased turnover in bone precedes degeneration of overlying cartilage. One major hypothesis is that osteoarthritis begins by occurrence of small cracks (20-100µm length) in the calcified cartilage and subchondral bone plate (bone layer directly underneath calcified cartilage). Subsequently, one of the early structural changes in an affected joint is the increased vascular invasion from bone towards the cartilage that leads to acceleration of cartilage destruction. In order to understand the role of local angiogenesis (vascular proliferation) in progression of osteoarthritis we seek to image different stages of vascular invasion and its association with micro-cracks and cartilage integrity using synchrotron X-ray imaging. For this purpose, an X-ray contrast agent will be injected into healthy and a surgical animal model of osteoarthritis before the imaging starts. Animals will be scanned live before the surgery and at 10-day intervals for the duration of one month after the surgery to mark early pathological changes in the joint. This study will eventually help us to understand why osteoarthritis happens in human patients.
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A novel, high-resolution, in vitro technique to assess hemodynamic flow in cerebral aneurysms.
Principal Investigator
Dr. Lissa Peeling
Neurosurgery
Surgery
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Vivian Ramsden, Rob Weiler, Holly Graham, Gerry Uswak
Co-Investigator(s)
Michael Kelly
2016-2017 Establishment Grants
Three Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$120,000SHRF
Description
Each year, 50,000 Canadians of all ages suffer a stroke, and 14,000 die, making stroke the number three killer in Canada and number one cause of long term disability. Subarachnoid hemorrhage represents a type of stroke often related to aneurysm rupture. Given the catastrophic nature of this type of stroke, it has a huge burden on society, especially since up to 5% of people may harbor an unruptured brain aneurysm. The development of innovative therapies to understand blood flow within cerebral aneurysms will reduce the overall burden of stroke on society. It is not well understood why and when some aneurysms rupture. Being able to identify higher risk aneurysms would be of tremendous value. Although there are current strategies to quantitatively and qualitatively assess flow within an aneurysm, these techniques are limited by the need for contrast agents or particles, or their poor spatial resolution. This proposal uses a novel synchrotron based imaging technique to analyze aneurysm hemodynamics within in vitro models by tracking the flow of porcine blood, utilizing the red blood cells themselves as a contrast agent. 3D patient-specific silicone aneurysm models will be used with a physiological flow pump to reproduce the pulsatile flow within the intracranial circulation. This original synchrotron imaging provides an unexplored window into aneurysm hemodynamics. Success of this project will be the foundation for a new research program at the University of Saskatchewan to study flow modeling, also to develop and evaluate therapeutic devices utilized for human aneurysm treatment.
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PET imaging GBA1 activity, a potential marker of early Parkinson's disease.
Principal Investigator
Dr. Christopher Phenix
Chemistry
Arts and Science
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Vivian Ramsden, Rob Weiler, Holly Graham, Gerry Uswak
Co-Investigator(s)
Michael Kelly
2016-2017 Establishment Grants
Three Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$119,900SHRF
Description
Parkinson's disease affects 7-10 million people globally with 66,000 new cases diagnosed annually in the U.S/Canada. While the incidence of Parkinson's increases with age, an estimated 4% of patients are diagnosed prior to age 50.There is currently no diagnostic test for patients that are having early Parkinson's symptoms. Instead, the diagnosis typically occurs after the occurrence of advanced clinical symptoms where an estimated 50-60% of the cells in areas of the brain important for movement control are already dead. Mutations in the gene that encodes for β-glucocerebrosidase result in a lysosomal storage disorder called Gaucher Disease. Interestingly, a strong link between Gaucher and Parkinson's disease was established leading to the discovery that mutations in the glucocerebrosidase gene are the most potent genetic risk factor for developing Parkinson's disease. This work resulted in pioneering preclinical and clinical studies that have shown a deficiency in glucocerebrosidase enzyme activity is known to occur in both early and late Parkinson's as well as sporadic Parkinson's disease patients. This project will provide all the preliminary steps towards the development of a positron emission tomography method that will be useful as a research tool to investigate the role of glucocerebrosidase in Parkinson's disease as well as guide the development of novel Parkinson's therapies. Eventually, this work could lead to a new clinical test capable of detecting early Parkinson's disease based on a deficiency in glucocerebrosidase activity prior to the onset of advanced symptoms and neuron death.
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Seventh CIHR-THRUST Retreat
Principal Investigator
Dr. Ingrid Pickering
Geological Sciences
Arts and Science
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Vivian Ramsden, Rob Weiler, Holly Graham, Gerry Uswak
Co-Investigator(s)
Susan Nehzati
Janna Andronowski
Kelly Summers
Devin Brown
Andrew Crawford
2016-2017 Research Connections Grants
Three Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$3,000SHRF
Description
CIHR-THRUST, the CIHR Training grant in Health Research Using Synchrotron Techniques, promotes innovative health research training using the Canadian Light Source. The keystone annual retreat continues to be a tremendous resource supporting networking amongst trainees, mentors and special guests, and features the sharing of accomplished research during the year from a diverse group of scientists including clinical and biomedical researchers, engineers, and synchrotron specialists. Around 76 invited guests are anticipated at this year's event held on November 9th in Saskatoon. This day encourages expert discussions on synchrotron-related health research as well as platform presentation and poster sessions for trainees.
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Predicting risk of disease progression in patients with chronic kidney disease in Saskatchewan
Principal Investigator
Dr. Bhanu Prasad
Nephrology
Internal Medicine
Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Vivian Ramsden, Rob Weiler, Holly Graham, Gerry Uswak
Co-Investigator(s)
Navdeep Tangri
Jennifer St.Onge
Tiffany Blair
Diane Kozakewycz
Joanne Kappel
2016-2017 Targeted Collaborative Innovation Development Grant (SPOR)
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$43,076SHRF
Description
Chronic kidney disease describes the gradual loss of kidney function to kidney failure. Currently, patients with chronic kidney disease are referred to multidisciplinary clinics in Regina and Saskatoon for treatment and follow-up, with the purpose of slowing the progression of the disease. The multidisciplinary clinics include a nephrologist, dieticians, diabetes nurses, pharmacists and social workers that provide a variety of interventions to patients with complex kidney disease. However, there are no criteria to indicate which patients require the level of care that the multidisciplinary clinic provides and which patients can be appropriately managed in primary care or by a nephrologist alone. Care in the multidisciplinary setting is more expensive and can lead to unnecessary testing/interventions for patients who are unlikely to progress to end-stage renal disease. Recently, our collaborators developed a tool that accurately predicts the progression to kidney failure. The Kidney Failure Risk Equation uses demographic and routine laboratory data to predict the risk of progression to renal failure for an individual patient. The purpose of this project is to a) validate the effectiveness of this tool for a Saskatchewan population using retrospective data from all patients enrolled in the chronic kidney disease clinics in Regina and Saskatoon from 2004-2010; and b) estimate the potential savings to the health care system if low- and intermediate-risk patients are redirected to primary care or a nephrologist, respectively. This project is a collaborative effort between clinicians, researchers, policy makers and patient/family advisors in Regina and Saskatoon to ensure all patients with chronic kidney disease in Saskatchewan get the right care at the right time.
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Developing a Mobile Application to Support Healthcare Transition Success for Adolescents with Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Principal Investigator
Dr. Tracie Risling
Nursing
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Noelle Rohatinsky
Co-Investigator(s)
Sharyle Fowler
Derek Risling
2016-2017 Collaborative Innovation Development
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$48,551SHRF
Description
The purpose of this research is to collaborate with teens and young adults living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), their caregivers and healthcare providers to develop and test a mobile application to support healthcare transition (HCT) success. The study will use an innovative mix of traditional data collection methods and tools commonly employed by software developers in a new approach to the development and evaluation of patient-centered technology solutions. The specific objectives of this study are to: collaborate with IBD patients, families and providers in the pilot development of a mobile application for HCT, specifically designed to their identified and prioritized needs; and employ a novel blend of tools combining well established research processes with software development best practice to create an innovative framework for the development of patient-centered technologies. The project will provide two key outcomes. First, the development of the mobile application for HCT which, once completed beta testing, will be available for pilot use and integration into further research study. Second, this study will combine traditional research measures with software development tools thereby extending the current boundaries of mixed-methods approaches. The collaborative research design of this project will unite the expertise of patients, families, healthcare providers, researchers and software development professionals to deliver a new means of support for HCT as well as adding innovative techniques to the methodological toolkit.
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Prenatal Determinants of Chronic Inflammation-Mediated Diseases
Principal Investigator
Dr. Alan Rosenberg
Rheumatology
Pediatrics
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Noelle Rohatinsky
Co-Investigator(s)
Darryl Adamko
Marta Erlandson
John Gordon
Munier Nour
Mark Inman
SALAH ALMUBARAK
Timothy Bradley
Marie-Jocelyne Martel
Roland Dyck
Adam Baxter-Jones
Noreen Agrey
Fergall Magee
Hassanali Vatanparast
Angela Bowen
Lannae Strueby
Anthony Kusali
2016-2017 Collaborative Innovation Development
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$50,000SHRF
Description
This project aims to improve understanding of the earliest origins of disease by investigating the effect that inflammation during pregnancy has on the development of diseases in the child after birth. In Canada and in Saskatchewan prematurity; obesity and obesity-related diseases, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease; asthma; bone and joint diseases; and nervous system disorders represent major health burdens for affected individuals, families and society. There is evidence that these diseases have their origins before the disease becomes apparent and that inflammation during pregnancy might promote occurrence of these chronic diseases later in life. In this study we will begin to identify factors in pregnant women, including blood markers and genetic characteristics, that appear when inflammation is present. Knowing when inflammation is present will allow us to then study how inflammation during pregnancy is associated with premature birth, impaired development of the nervous system, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, reduced bone quality and respiratory conditions such as asthma. Also, during this project our Saskatchewan-based team will continue to strengthen nationwide collaborations and, together with other Canadian researchers, design future, larger-scale, definitive projects to study the association of inflammation during pregnancy with maternal lifestyle factors such as nutrition, physical activity, stress, social circumstances and environmental exposures, in conjunction with certain genetic vulnerabilities.More information about inflammation during pregnancy and its influences on the occurrence of future diseases in the child will help guide health promotion and prevention strategies to ensure healthy children now and into their long-term futures.
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Interventions and Policies Influencing Primary Healthcare Professionals Managing Chronic Diseases: An Evidence Synthesis
Principal Investigator
Dr. Thomas Rotter
Pharmacy and Nutrition
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Donna Goodridge
Co-Investigator(s)
Darryl Adamko
Marta Erlandson
John Gordon
Munier Nour
Mark Inman
SALAH ALMUBARAK
Timothy Bradley
Marie-Jocelyne Martel
Roland Dyck
Adam Baxter-Jones
Noreen Agrey
Fergall Magee
Hassanali Vatanparast
Angela Bowen
Lannae Strueby
Anthony Kusali
2016-2017 SPOR PIHCI Network - Knowledge Synthesis Grants
One Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$3,750SHRF
$25,000CIHR
$22,500Other Partners
$51,250Total
Description
Approximately six in ten Canadians aged 20 years and older live with chronic diseases, which account for $93 billion/year. Despite the enormous expenditure, 12% of Canadians have reported a feeling of unsatisfied with the quality of care and availability of health care services, which varies with the type and number of chronic diseases. The growing perception of the quality gap is a major challenge for Canadian primary health care policy makers. Indeed, a patient-centered healthcare system has been shown to support health promotion, early detection and timely treatment for people living with chronic diseases.Decision-makers in several provinces, namely Quebec, Ontario and Alberta have articulated the desire to close the gaps in quality of care that impact patient outcomes and improve primary care professionals' experience by implementing the "patient-centered medical home" model. This is a family practice, defined by its patients as the place where they would feel most comfortable (most at home) to present and discuss their personal and family health and medical concerns with primary healthcare professionals. The province of Manitoba is planning to follow suit. However, it is unclear which interventions and policies are appropriate, sustainable and sufficient to fill the perceived quality gap and support practice change in primary healthcare settings. The objectives of this integrated knowledge users' need-driven evidence synthesis are to: 1) identify, classify and critically appraise interventions and policies influencing primary healthcare professionals; 2) determine their efficacy and feasibility in the primary healthcare centers (primarily managing chronic diseases); 3) assess determinants influencing magnitude of response; 4) provide evidence-based recommendations to policy-makers in the Canadian context; and 5) identify knowledge gaps for future research.
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The Patient-Provider Toolkit: Using a Community-Based Research Approach to Support HIV+ Patients Accessing Health Care
Principal Investigator
Dr. Michael Schwandt
Community Health and Epidemiology
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Donna Goodridge
Co-Investigator(s)
Sugandhi del Canto
Jann Ticknor
Patti Tait
Ryan Meili
Mary Ermine
Barb Bowditch
Nicole Burns
2016-2017 Targeted Collaborative Innovation Development Grant (SPOR)
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$74,850SHRF
Description
The HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) epidemic in Saskatchewan is unique in that it involves the convergence of social, cultural, behavioural, health and institutional issues not commonly found in other Canadian provinces. This can hinder treatment and care, limiting the management of the HIV epidemic in Saskatchewan. Issues of intravenous drug use, colonized experiences (e.g. residential schools), limited resources (e.g. high rate of homelessness), co-occurring health issues (e.g. Hepatitis C, mental health challenges), and past/persistent negative experiences with healthcare staff all contribute to a lack of trust and willingness to initiate and adhere to recommended treatments. The result is an ongoing epidemic of HIV that is two to three times the national rate. Conventional approaches to addressing this problem have had minimal impact, leading to increased suffering for this patient population, the surrounding community, and an ongoing burden on healthcare systems. Using a community-based research design, the study builds on several local studies that have found health care barriers experienced by Indigenous people in Saskatchewan, including an ongoing needs assessment of health care needs of HIV+ patients in Saskatoon. We will expand the assessment to Regina and Prince Albert, to gain a fuller understanding of the barriers and supports experienced by HIV-positive people accessing health care in urban centres in Saskatchewan. We will work collaboratively with health care providers to identify gaps in health care delivery, as well as identify gaps to optimal health care interactions. Through these findings, and as directed by patient-peer members of the research team, we will develop an interactive patient-provider toolkit rooted in Indigenous, arts-based knowledge translation approaches.
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Sustain the Gains: Sustainability in Global Health
Principal Investigator
Dr. Michael Schwandt
Community Health & Epidemiology
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Donna Goodridge
Co-Investigator(s)
Sugandhi del Canto
Jann Ticknor
Patti Tait
Ryan Meili
Mary Ermine
Barb Bowditch
Nicole Burns
2016-2017 Research Connections Grants
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$5,000SHRF
Description
The 5th Annual Global Health Conference (September 30 - October 1, 2016 at Edwards School of Business) aims to bring together an interdisciplinary audience of approx. 200 students, faculty, and community members around the theme of sustainability in global health, inspired by the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations in 2015. The conference will provide an opportunity for participants to explore pressing global health issues through presentations and panel discussions by leading global health experts, and hopes to inspire participants to work collaboratively across local and global boundaries. We expect the participants to come away from the conference better informed about health inequities, its causes and negative impacts and motivated to work toward approaches, practices and policies that will lead to health and social equity and justice for all.
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3D Multiple Object Tracking Training in Persons with Multiple Sclerosis
Principal Investigator
Dr. Jennifer St.Onge
Research and Performance Support
Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Donna Goodridge
Co-Investigator(s)
vinesh pillay
Anthony Feinstein
Abdulhakim Raghig
Sebastian Harenberg
Kim Dorsch
2016-2017 Collaborative Innovation Development
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$45,795SHRF
Description
Saskatchewan has one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis in the world. Cognitive impairments (e.g. attention, memory) occur in about 45-60% of persons with multiple sclerosis (pwMS) and negatively impacts activities of daily life, such as driving, working and social activities. There are few treatments or rehabilitation strategies available for pwMS and many cognitive rehabilitation programs are time consuming, difficult to administer and have not been linked to activities of daily life. Computerized three-dimensional multiple object tracking (3DMOT) is a novel technology designed to improve attention and processing speed, which are the functions most impaired in pwMS. Importantly, improvements observed in older healthy adults after 3DMOT have been linked to navigating in crowds and traffic. The technology is portable and very easy-to-use; however, it has never been tested in pwMS. The purpose of this study is to examine whether pwMS show improvements after 3DMOT training to the same extent as healthy people and whether these changes are associated with improvements on standardized measures of cognitive function specifically designed for pwMS. This pilot study will be the first to examine the effectiveness of 3DMOT training in pwMS. Future research will build upon this foundation to determine the real-world applicability of 3DMOT training for pwMS. Our collaboration between neurologists, academic experts in 3DMOT and cognitive impairment in pwMS, rehabilitation clinicians and staff, and the MS community will ensure that the findings are disseminated directly to knowledge users, pwMS and their families and to the broader research and clinical community.
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Knowledge Translation Seminar in Heart Failure Pathophysiology and Rehabilitation
Principal Investigator
Dr. Corey Tomczak
Kinesiology
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Donna Goodridge
Co-Investigator(s)
vinesh pillay
Anthony Feinstein
Abdulhakim Raghig
Sebastian Harenberg
Kim Dorsch
2016-2017 Research Connections Grants
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$1,100SHRF
Description
Heart failure is a complex syndrome that can benefit from exercise-based rehabilitation. However, a majority of individuals with heart failure do not participate in cardiac rehabilitation. We propose a knowledge translation "lunch & learn" seminar to be held at the College of Kinesiology on June 27, 2016 with the purpose of highlighting our current understanding about the pathophysiology of exercise intolerance in heart failure and the role cardiac rehabilitation. Attendees can register by email and will include an audience of researchers, physicians, clinical and research trainees, cardiac nurses, exercise therapists, and chronic disease management managers. Following will include planned meetings and discussions with targeted individuals in health care and research.
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Development of Protein Inhibitors Targeting SREBP1 for Targeted Therapy of Glioblastoma
Principal Investigator
Dr. Maruti Uppalapati
Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Changiz Taghibiglou
Co-Investigator(s)
Neal Lemon
Vijayananda Kundapur
2016-2017 Collaborative Innovation Development
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$50,000SHRF
Description
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most aggressive and common type of malignant primary brain tumor which has a high fatality rate and no known cure. New targeted therapies are much needed, to improve prognosis and survival of patients. Here we propose to target SREBP1, a transcription factor that is up-regulated in many cancers and is the main regulator of genes involved in lipid metabolism. Given that actively proliferating cancer cells are addicted to high SREBP1 activity for nutrient supply, inhibition of SREBP1 has been showing promising results in killing cancer cells. Experimental drugs targeting SREBP1 have been developed, but the indirect mechanism of action for these inhibitors can lead to unwanted side-effects. Here we propose developing protein-based inhibitors that bind to SREBP1 and prevent protein-interactions that are necessary for its function. We will then screen these binders for their ability to disrupt SREBP1 activation using cell-based screens. The lead molecules will then be tested by their ability to specifically kill cancer cells while sparing normal cells. The proposed work is novel and has the potential to lead to better drugs for treating GBM, thereby improving patient prognosis and quality of life. Upon successful completion of this study, we will take the lead molecules from this study and utilize them as epitope guides to identify small molecule drugs with similar potency. Given that this is a priority area of research for CIHR, promising preliminary data will lead to successful funding applications for further development.
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Research Showcase 2016
Principal Investigator
Mrs. Megan Vanstone
Research and Performance Support
Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Changiz Taghibiglou
Co-Investigator(s)
Neal Lemon
Vijayananda Kundapur
2016-2017 Research Connections Grants
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$5,000SHRF
Description
Research Showcase is an annual research sharing and networking event, hosted by the Research and Performance Support Department of the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region (RQHR). Every year, this event draws together a diverse gathering of participants including health and science researchers, policy makers, clinicians, physicians, students, and the general public in order to highlight research conducted within the region over the past year. The relevance of the event and engaging discussions surrounding the application of research into practice and policy draws an increasing number of participants every year. This year Research Showcase will take place on June 20th at the Delta Regina Hotel.
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Saskatchewan Cancer Research Conference
Principal Investigator
Dr. Franco Vizeacoumar
Oncology
Division of Oncology
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Changiz Taghibiglou
Co-Investigator(s)
Keith Bonham
Kiven (Erique) Lukong
2016-2017 Research Connections Grants
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$3,000SHRF
Description
The 4th Annual Saskatchewan Cancer Research Conference will be held at the University of Saskatchewan's Health Sciencebuilding on June 14th 2017. For the past three years over 100 scientists attended this SHRF funded event. The conference goalsare to bring together the provinces cancer researchers to foster communication and collaborations, with a special interest intranslational research. This year the conference will feature keynote lecture from Dr. Paul Rennie from the Vancouver Prostate Centre. In addition to local speakers, students and other trainees will present their work in an extended poster session.Registration and attendance is free and available on-line http://homepage.usask.ca/~frv603/scrc.html
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Improving Emergency Department Care Provider and Patient Outcomes Using a Synergy Tool
Principal Investigator
Dr. Joan Wagner
Nursing
University of Regina
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Lois Berry, Sonia Udod
Co-Investigator(s)
Amber Alecxe
Glen Perchie
2016-2017 Collaborative Innovation Development
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$28,456SHRF
Description
The synergy tool has never been used in an emergency department (ED) context due to high patient volumes. The Saskatchewan government, the Regina Qu'Appelle Region (RQHR) and Saskatchewan Union of Nurses (SUN) have priority goals to reduce ED wait times and improve patient flow while optimizing the use of nurses and enhancing quality, safe care delivery. This "real-time" staffing tool is needed to prioritize patient needs and determine a 'fit' between patient needs and ED staff (i.e. numbers, types of staff). The synergy tool, developed by an expert panel of nurses from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, is a valid, reliable tool that has been used in acute care settings in the United States, British Columbia and Ontario. Executive and clinical leadership at RQHR are working with their information technology (IT) department to incorporate patient synergy scores into the electronic health record (EHR). The EHR is also used by nurses to chart patient progress and status. The purpose of this study is to determine whether innovative use of EHR, combined with the synergy tool, will better inform ED patient care delivery and nurse workload management within RQHR. A ground-breaking partnership has been established with researchers, RQHR and SUN to evaluate data from ED patient synergy scores, patient outcomes and nurse utilization. The accurate assessment and feedback to decision makers regarding this first-time use of IT and a "real-time" staffing tool may lead the way for EDs across Saskatchewan to enhance work environments and improve patient care.
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Chronic in vivo study of lanthanide compounds in an osteoporosis model (OVX rat) for the treatment of bone density disorders
Principal Investigator
Dr. Kishor Wasan
Division of Pharmacy
Pharmacy and Nutrition
University of Saskachewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Lois Berry, Sonia Udod
Co-Investigator(s)
David Cooper
Ellen Wasan
Jacqueline Cawthray
Chris Orvig
2016-2017 Establishment Grants
Three Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$119,856SHRF
Description
Bisphosphonates are commonly used to treat bone density disorders, such as osteoporosis, however they suffer from several disadvantages. They exhibit poor solubility which contributes to low oral absorption (<1%). The guidelines for oral administration require fasting before and patients must not lie down for 30 minutes following administration. Such strict guidelines lead to poor patient compliance and lower treatment efficacy. There are also health risks associated with prolonged use. Importantly, bisphosphonates and newer treatments only target one aspect of the bone remodelling cycle; bone resorption. As the Canadian population ages, more, and better, drugs for osteoporosis are required.Our hypothesis is that lanthanum compounds with designed ligands have potential as therapeutic agents for bone disorders in which the bone remodeling cycle is disrupted. Lanthanum, La3+, shares many similar properties with calcium including a high affinity for bone. La3+ is known to affect both aspects of the bone remodelling cycle: stimulate bone formation and inhibit bone resorption.In preliminary published (Chem. Sci. 2015, Dalton Trans. 2013, Dalton Trans. 2007) and unpublished work, we identified two promising La3+-containing compounds that are targeted to bone, (La(dpp)3 and La(XT)) based on in vitro and cell studies as well as acute (1 month) animal studies. This proposal concerns testing these lead compounds in an oral chronic (6-month) study using an osteoporosis (OVX rat) model. The uptake of lanthanum on bone, their biodistribution and toxicity will be assessed. The effect of these compounds on bone architecture and possible mechanisms of action will also be assessed.
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Epidemiology for Understanding our Changing World
Principal Investigator
Dr. Brandace Winquist
Performance and Quality Management
Cypress Regional Health Authority
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Lois Berry, Sonia Udod
Co-Investigator(s)
Silvia Bermedo-Carrasco
2016-2017 Research Connections Grants
Three Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$3,250SHRF
Description
Epidemiology for understanding our changing worldOur environments (global, local, social and physical) are ever-changing, prompting us to reflect on the way we practice epidemiology, the kinds of questions we ask, and the methods we use to answer them (Neil Pearce, Int J Epidemiol, 2010). New challenges will require new ways of thinking about problems, working together across disciplines, and innovative ways of applying health informatics.Symposium date: Nov 2, 2016 Workshop date: Nov 3, 2016 Location: Marquis Hall, University of Saskatchewan, 67 Campus Drive Saskatoon SK S7N 4L3 Expected attendees: 90 (symposium), 25 (workshop) Registration: https://www.picatic.com/SEA2016
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A Combined Bio-Statistical and Behavioral Approach to Understanding Outcomes in Patients Living with HIV in Saskatchewan
Principal Investigator
Dr. Alexander Wong
Infectious Disease Clinic
Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Lois Berry, Sonia Udod
Co-Investigator(s)
Jeffrey Joy
Maurice Hennink
Cindy Feng
Richard Harrigan
Nathaniel Osgood
Julie Reed
Dominik Werber
Debbie Rodger
Tania Diener
Holly Graham
2016-2017 Targeted Collaborative Innovation Development Grant (SPOR)
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$73,182SHRF
Description
Saskatchewan currently faces a unique HIV epidemic driven primarily by injection drug use with disproportionate representation of Indigenous peoples. HIV incidence rates in Saskatchewan are nearly double the Canadian average. Limited evidence is available to identify optimal approaches to improve clinical outcomes for those living with HIV and reduce the number of new infections. Our key research questions include:1. Which patient characteristics predict poor clinical outcomes and failure to achieve HIV viral suppression?2. Is it feasible to capture data to understand behavioural patterns in HIV-infected individuals using innovative mobile technology which can in turn help predict clinical outcomes?The study has two distinct components; the use of retrospective data of persons diagnosed with HIV attending the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region's Infectious Disease Clinic to determine the patient factors which predict engagement, retention in care, medication use and viral suppression; and an innovative pilot analysis utilizing the Ethica iEpi platform, a health monitoring application, developed in Saskatchewan, designed to run in the background of smartphones. iEpi allows for individualized data collection through detailed sensor-level data, participant-triggered self-reporting via questionnaires and submission of photos and audio recordings by the user.Many persons living with HIV in Saskatchewan struggle with complex social and medical challenges, and account for very high rates of utilization of health care resources in community and in acute care settings. By understanding which clinical interventions are most likely to improve retention in care and viral suppression, provincial incidence rates of HIV will decline and downstream pressures on health care resources will improve.
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Targeting HAGE (DDX43) Helicase in Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Principal Investigator
Dr. Yuliang Wu
Cancer Cluster
Biochemistry
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. John DeCoteau
Co-Investigator(s)
Jim Xiang
Miroslaw Cygler
2016-2017 Collaborative Innovation Development
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$50,000SHRF
Description
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is the most common and aggressive form of adult acute leukemia, accounting for approximately 30% of leukemias and more than 40% of leukemia-related deaths. The clinical outcome of AML is poor, with an overall five-year survival rate of about 25% that greatly depends on the patient's ability to tolerate the combination of cytotoxic chemotherapies that suppress much-needed haemopoiesis. Therefore, there is an urgent need for innovative therapies directed against relevant biological targets in AML to improve clinical outcomes. HAGE, helicase antigen gene, first identified in a sarcoma cell line, encodes a member of the DEAD-box family of ATP-dependent RNA helicases, also known as DDX43. HAGE is expressed in many hematological and solid tumours but not in any normal tissues, except the testis. Thus, HAGE is proposed to be a valid candidate for designing vaccines and drugs against cancer. In this team project, we will first determine the efficacy of HAGE as a potential biomarker of AML using cultured AML cells and AML patient samples. Second, we will identify drugs that inhibit HAGE protein enzymatic activity. Last, we will determine the effect of identified drugs on AML patient cells and in an AML mouse model. We expect to confirm that the over-expression of HAGE is a biomarker of AML and identify potential drugs that inhibit HAGE's activity and may specifically kill AML cells. Such initial results would lead to requests for subsequent funding from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada, the Canadian Cancer Society and CIHR.
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Beneficial Cytotoxic T Lymphocyte Responses Derived from Irreversible Electroporation (IRE-NanoKnife) of Pancreatic Cancer for Improvement of IRE-Ablation Cancer Therapy
Principal Investigator
Dr. Jim Xiang
Cancer Cluster
Oncology
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. John DeCoteau
Co-Investigator(s)
Michael Moser
Wen Jun (Chris) Zhang
Rajni Chibbar
2016-2017 Collaborative Innovation Development
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$50,000SHRF
Description
Irreversible electroporation (IRE) is a relatively new technology that destroys tumors and has been used in over 500 cases in the United States. Saskatoon is only the second centre in Canada to have a clinical IRE program, which just started in 2015. What is unique about IRE is that, compared to other technologies which destroy tumours by the insertion of probes into the tumor and ‘burning’ the tumour, IRE generates no heat. The current "punches" tiny holes in cancer cells and is very effective at tumour cell killing with no heat and minimal collateral damage.Studies have shown that IRE has improved the overall outcome for pancreatic cancer for the first time in 40 years. The fact that cells are not "melted" by this technology leads us to hypothesize that the dead but non-melted cells can be targets for the immune system to "learn" how to seek and destroy cancer cells within the initial tumor, and also against cancer cells that have spread elsewhere (metastasis). Saskatoon is fortunate to have strong collaborations between a cancer immunity specialist, pancreatic cancer surgeons and biomedical engineers to work together on answering this question and to look at ways of increasing that immune response.
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Shaken, and Stirred: Exploring the Bonds Between Whole Body Vibration and Human Performance
Principal Investigator
Dr. Marcus Yung
Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture (CCHSA)
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. John DeCoteau
Co-Investigator(s)
Michael Moser
Wen Jun (Chris) Zhang
Rajni Chibbar
Supervisor(s)
Dr. Catherine Trask (Lead Supervisor) Dr. Stephan Milosavljevic (Supervisor)
2016-2017 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
Saskatchewan's agricultural, mining, construction and transportation workers commonly experience physical shaking, jarring and sudden movements as part of their work. Such exposure to whole body vibration (WBV) is a risk factor for many chronic health conditions including low back pain, musculoskeletal issues, balance disturbances, digestion problems and prostate disorders. WBV may also negatively affect performance, which can lead to fatal and non-fatal occupational injuries and accidents, including equipment-related injuries, falls and vehicle collisions. For instance, 10.7% of all workers compensation time-loss claims were from vehicle-related injuries. Current WBV exposure guidelines were designed to prevent long-term musculoskeletal disorders and discomfort. It is uncertain whether these standards protect workers from short-term effects. This research evaluates the effects of current WBV standards on short-term human performance. In a laboratory setting, 16 healthy adult participants will be exposed to 30 minutes of simulated WBV at two constant vibration intensities (based on standard guideline thresholds) plus a control condition with no vibration exposure. A fourth condition will consist of vibration combined with short, high-amplitude mechanical shocks associated with excessive speed, uneven terrain and obstacles common in occupational work. Before and after each condition, we will measure cognitive, sensory, motor control, biomechanical and physiological performance effects. By exploring the relationships between WBV and various aspects of performance, we will clarify the suitability of current WBV guidelines to lessen short-term effects, and contribute to the development of recommendations that will improve working conditions for a safer and healthier Saskatchewan.
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Dust Exposure Reduction for Workers: Airborne Dust Removal in Poultry Houses by Electrostatic Space Charge System (ESCS)
Principal Investigator
Dr. Lifeng Zhang
Chemical and Biological Engineering
Engineering
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. John DeCoteau
Co-Investigator(s)
Shelley Kirychuk
Huiqing Guo
Christina Nelson
2016-2017 Collaborative Innovation Development
Two Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$47,000SHRF
Description
Modern methods of poultry facility management require that workers spend a large proportion of the day in an atmosphere containing comparatively high levels of dust, endotoxin, gases and odors. Recent studies conducted among Saskatchewan poultry workers showed that after long-term exposure in the contaminated atmosphere, poultry workers have the greatest prevalence of lower air ways respiratory symptoms, upper respiratory symptoms and chronic bronchitis compared to workers from other agriculture industries. This research project will aim to demonstrate the efficiency of airborne dust removal by an electrostatic precipitator-based technique. As a result, improved air quality will considerably benefit workers and birds in both short and long terms. Additionally, emissions of hazardous particulate matter from poultry facilities will be subsequently reduced, posing fewer threats to public health.This project aims to develop an advanced dust removal technique suitable for dust-laden poultry houses and conduct preliminary testing of its impact on improving air quality. The preliminary results from this project will position the team well to obtain more funding to optimize and scale-up the design and monitor health of workers to demonstrate efficacy of the technology for reducing respiratory symptoms and/or illness. The long-term goal is to identify and recommend suitable exposure limits for reducing negative effects on exposed workers in the poultry industry in Saskatchewan while simultaneously offering a technologically viable solution to meeting those targets. In a broader spectrum, the results can be extended to other confined animal facilities where particulate matter is a potential hazard to the health of exposed workers.
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Identification of New Biomarkers for Breast Cancer
Principal Investigator
Dr. Deborah Anderson
Cancer Research & Saskatchewan Cancer Agency
Oncology
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. John DeCoteau
Co-Investigator(s)
Pamela Meiers
Lynn Dwernychuk
Scott Napper
2015-2016 Collaborative Innovation Development
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$40,000SHRF
Description
Breast cancer affects 1 in 9 women in Canada. Whereas imaging (i.e. mammography) has allowed for earlier detection of breast cancer and a reduction in the mortality rate, the participation rate in screening programs is consistently <50% of eligible women (ages 50-69). There are also significant challenges to providing screening services to a disperse population (i.e. rural Saskatchewan) and to methods that some consider quite invasive. This project will use a new innovative technology to determine if a blood test can be used to screen for breast cancer. Two groups of women will be invited to participate in this study, healthy women and women with a breast lump (of which ~60% will have breast cancer), prior to any surgery to remove the lump. Immune cells will be isolated and tested for the activation of several hundred protein kinases. To reduce the variability in the samples, we will focus on post-menopausal women that do not have any known infections or autoimmune conditions. Our team consists of clinicians/end users that see patients with breast lumps, a clinical trials specialist, cell biologist and immune/kinase specialist. Success in this pilot study will be followed up with an application to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. In this subsequent study we will expand the sample size and compare the accuracy of this test to existing screening. We will also focus on making the analysis more feasible for translation from the broad and expensive analysis used in a research setting (hundreds of kinases), to a more focused (likely 10-20 signature kinases) and economical analysis better suited for a clinical laboratory setting. We expect that there are a subset of kinases that are consistently activated or inactivated in participants with breast cancer, as compared to those with benign breast lumps (no cancer) and healthy women. Our goal is to develop a blood test for the identification of women with breast cancer in Saskatchewan, Canada and globally.
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Does Fall Arrest Strategy Training (FAST) Added to a Fall Prevention Program Improve PhysicalCapacity to Prevent Serious Fall-related Injury in Women?
Principal Investigator
Dr. Catherine Arnold
Physical Therapy
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Joel Lanovaz
Co-Investigator(s)
Jonathan Farthing
Jo Ann Walker Johnston
Soo Kim
2015-2016 Collaborative Innovation Development
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$39,763SHRF
Description
Falls are the leading cause of injury hospitalization for seniors across Saskatchewan and addressing the underlying causes is a provincial health priority. Older women are more vulnerable to the most common fall-related injuries (upper body) during forward falling while walking. Exercise programs designed to improve balance and strength can reduce fall risk but it is not known if specific exercises targeted to upper body strength and agility can improve chances for safe landing when a fall is inevitable. This research team has developed such a program, Fall Arrest Strategy Training (FAST) and successfully piloted the exercises in Staying on Your Feet, an established Saskatoon Health Region fall prevention program. FAST is meant to increase arm strength, reaction time, trunk control and teach better landing techniques. The potential efficacy of such an intervention to improve landing capacity has not been studied in older women. Thirty-two women age 60 years or older will be randomly assigned to either FAST or a Standard Exercise group. Half will do standard exercises targeting balance, mobility and lower extremity strength; the other half will do the same exercises with the addition of FAST. Both groups will exercise twice per week for 12 weeks. Participants will be tested before and after for arm strength, reaction time, balance, mobility and the ability to control body descent (absorb energy) using a technique we developed in our lab. While in a safety harness, they will simulate a forward fall onto a platform that measures energy during impact. While completely preventing falls is not possible, this study will help us learn if simple exercises like FAST combined with balance training can decrease fall risk AND reduce the risk of serious injury when a fall is unavoidable. It will help address the growing personal and societal cost of fall-related injury. This study will also inform future research targeted to include a large-scale trial evaluating the impact and implementation of FAST training in older adults across the spectrum of care and development of a computer simulation model to determine which factors are most important for reducing the risk of fall-related injury.
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Chronic Pain Network
Principal Investigator
Dr. Krista Baerg
Pediatrics
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Joel Lanovaz
Co-Investigator(s)
Jonathan Farthing
Jo Ann Walker Johnston
Soo Kim
2015-2016 Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research Networks in Chronic Disease
Five Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$125,000SHRF
Description
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Evaluating a Theory-Based Hope Intervention to Support Parents of Children with Life Limiting and Life Threatening Illnesses
Principal Investigator
Dr. Jill Bally
Nursing
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Joel Lanovaz
Co-Investigator(s)
Chris Mpofu
Lorraine Holtslander
Heather Hodgson-Viden
2015-2016 Establishment Grants
Three year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$119,999SHRF
Description
Having a child diagnosed with a life limiting (LLI) or life threatening illness (LTI) is a shocking and devastating experience for a parent, made worse by repeated periods of uncertainty, loss of control, and distress. Hope has been described by parents as ‘the calm in the storm', and a critical and essential aspect of their health and caregiving activities. Thus, keeping their hope possible is an important part of providing optimal and total health care for families. However, parents are at risk for losing hope. There is little scientific information available to support health care providers in assessing and intervening successfully to promote and maintain all aspects of parents' health when undergoing the very difficult transitions related to their child's illness. Similarly, there are very few supportive interventions to improve holistic health care and positive health outcomes for families who have children with LLIs and LTIs. The purpose of this two-phased, quasi-experimental, mixed methods study is to: a) refine and pre-test the acceptability and feasibility of a theory-based hope intervention for parents who have children with LLIs or LTIs and b) evaluate the effectiveness of the revised intervention. This collaborative research will help to provide better comprehensive supportive care for families. The findings from this study will also establish a foundation for future research aimed at improving pediatric family care.
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Getting to the source of inter-regional variation in patient flow performance: A complex systems perspective
Principal Investigator
Dr. Jenny Basran
Division of Geriatric Medicine
Medicine
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Joel Lanovaz
Co-Investigator(s)
Chris Mpofu
Lorraine Holtslander
Heather Hodgson-Viden
2015-2016 Partnerships for Health System Improvement (PHSI)
Three year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$80,000SHRF
$400,000CIHR
$480,000Total
Description
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Saskatchewan Cancer Research Conference
Principal Investigator
Dr. Keith Bonham
Oncology
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Joel Lanovaz
Co-Investigator(s)
Franco Vizeacoumar
2015-2016 Research Connections Grants
Three year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$3,000SHRF
Description
The 2nd Annual Saskatchewan Cancer Research Conference will be held at the University of Saskatchewan's Health Science building on June 25th 2015. The conference will bring together the provinces cancer researchers to foster communication and collaborations, with a special interest in translational research. This year the conference will feature two keynote speakers, Dr. Lynne-Marie Postovit from the University of Alberta and Dr. Cheryl Helgason from the BC Cancer Agency. In addition to local speakers, students and other trainees will present their work in an extended poster session.
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Analysis of pharmacological targets in acute and chronic spinal cord injury
Principal Investigator
Dr. Josef Buttigieg
Biology
Science
University of Regina
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Joel Lanovaz
Co-Investigator(s)
Mohan Babu
2015-2016 Spinal Cord Injury Research Grants
Two year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$69,000SHRF
Description
Spinal cord injury (SCI) causes devastating impairment. Current therapies for SCI are limited and more effective treatments are required. Following the initial mechanical injury there is massive loss of neurons and supportive cells due to a substantial increase in calcium inside the cell and can spread from cell to cell in an uncontrolled manner. At the moment we are developing a novel pharmatherapeutic in the treatment of the acutely injured spinal cord (recent injury). By modulation of certain classes of potassium channels, we were able to reduce acute SCI severity. What is not known is whether other classes of proteins are able to better improve motor function or restore damaged tissue in chronically injured spinal cords (long-term injury) or promote regeneration. Some of our initial work indicates that there are several proteins that may fit this category. Here, we propose to utilize proteomic analysis of the chronically injured spinal cord. In proteomics we are able to map the interaction of thousands of proteins simultaneously to identify potential targets. These in turn can be analyzed in a rodent model of moderate SCI that we currently employ at the University of Regina. The targets of interest include mitochondrial membrane proteins involved in reactive oxygen species generation, surface membrane proteins involved in regulating calcium influx. Lastly we will also be investigating the migration and activity of endogenous stem cells. These experiments, in a clinically relevant rodent model of SCI, are critical to translating this promising treatment strategy into the clinic.
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Canadian Society of Microbiologists 2015 conference
Principal Investigator
Dr. Andrew Cameron
Biology
Science
University of Regina
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Joel Lanovaz
Co-Investigator(s)
Paul Levett
Aaron White
2015-2016 Research Connections Grants
Two year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$10,000SHRF
Description
The University of Regina is hosting the 2015 meeting of the Canadian Society of Microbiologists (CSM), a non-profit organization of 450 members from academic and government laboratories. The 2015 meeting has a large emphasis on infectious disease, with a focus on challenges facing Saskatchewan and its aboriginal communities, including tuberculosis, antibiotic resistance, and waterborne diseases. The CSM attracts around 250 scientists, and speakers include scientists from the Saskatchewan Disease Control Laboratory, the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization, First Nations University, local health authorities, and Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory. Thus CSM 2015 will bring together Saskatchewan infectious disease specialists with conferees from across Canada, the US, and Europe.
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A prospective assessment of PTSD symptoms using analogue trauma training with nursing students
Principal Investigator
Dr. Nicholas Carleton
Psychology
Arts
University of Regina
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Joel Lanovaz
Co-Investigator(s)
Florence Luhanga
Jaime Mantesso
Kish Lyster
Joan Wagner
Samantha Horswill
Sebastian Harenberg
Michelle McCarron
2015-2016 Collaborative Innovation Development
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$39,959SHRF
Description
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be the result of exposure to traumatic events and involves several clusters of symptoms including intrusive thoughts, avoidant behaviours, negative changes in mood, and symptoms of anxiety, such as hyperarousal. PTSD is associated with substance abuse, pain, interpersonal issues, and suicide. People exposed more frequently to traumatic events (e.g., nurses, paramedics, police) are more likely to develop PTSD as a function of that exposure. Despite the high personal and societal costs of PTSD, studying PTSD experimentally is challenging unless people are assessed before and after exposure to traumatic events. Ethical and practical concerns about such research designs have slowed PTSD research; however, several populations engage in advanced, realistic training scenarios that could serve as very valid approximations of trauma and, therein, facilitate research to reduce PTSD. Realistic training scenarios are resource-intensive; as such, a preliminary pilot study is required before investing in a full-scale research project using such scenarios. The faculty and students at the University of Regina will make conducting a pilot very achievable. A sample of nursing students will be assessed for psychosocial factors thought to increase or decrease the risk for PTSD symptoms. Each student will then proceed through a challenging high fidelity disaster-training triage scenario designed to be stressful. The students' self-reported symptoms and self-care behaviours before, during, immediately after, and in the few weeks that follow can help to narrow psychosocial factors that predict problematic symptoms after a stressful experience; thereafter, the study provides a critical proof-of-concept for acquiring larger funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to study larger and more diverse samples. In addition, even the preliminary data will help to narrow psychosocial factors that predict problematic symptoms after a stressful experience. Results from this line of research would provide critical information to inform policies and procedures for reducing the risk of developing PTSD, identifying those who may need help early, and improving the quality of treatments. In the interim, this exciting pilot project will provide an important training opportunity for nursing and psychology students, and facilitate the acquisition of much needed funding for PTSD research.
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Impact of Pro-inflammatory Blood-born Intruders on Neuronal Survival in Animal Stroke Models
Principal Investigator
Dr. Francisco Cayabyab
Surgery
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Joel Lanovaz
Co-Investigator(s)
Lixin Liu
Michael Kelly
2015-2016 Collaborative Innovation Development
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$40,000SHRF
Description
It is increasingly recognized that in acute ischemic stroke, some blood cellular components, including lymphocytes, macrophages and neutrophils, infiltrate the brain parenchyma, thereby contributing to excessive inflammatory processes and neuronal damage. We have recently shown in animal studies that these cells accumulate in the cerebral cortex after an in vivo focal cortical ischemia stroke model. The research objective includes determining whether the leukocyte-specific protein 1 (LSP1) is an important molecular switch inside endothelial cells lining the blood vessel wall, which regulates entry of intruding leukocytes into the brain to increase stroke damage in highly susceptible brain areas, such as the hippocampus (the memory-forming center in the brain); and determining whether G31P peptide and anti-alpha4 integrin therapy, both of which attenuate leukocyte chemotaxis and recruitment, respectively, can prevent hippocampal neurodegeneration. These related aims will further clarify the properties and roles of the specialized endothelial wall lining of intracranial vessels in stroke damage. We predict that the loss of LSP1 or inhibition of leukocyte recruitment by G31P peptide and anti-alpha4 integrin therapy will produce less inflammatory response and hence less neuronal damage after stroke. We will use transgenic animals along with biochemical, electrophysiological, confocal immunofluorescence microscopy imaging, and behavioural assays that are already established in our labs. Overall, this research aims to determine whether minimizing the hyper-inflammatory damage caused by activated peripheral immune cells and their secreted factors could be a viable way to reduce neurodegeneration and cognitive and other behavioural deficits after stroke injury. The results will greatly impact the aging demographics, as excessive inflammation is involved in silent strokes and vascular dementia - two aging-related neurological diseases prevalent in Saskatchewan.
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Perspectives on Furthering Synchrotron Research in the Biological and Life Sciences
Principal Investigator
Dr. Dean Chapman
Anatomy and Cell Biology
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Joel Lanovaz
Co-Investigator(s)
Ingrid Pickering
Michael Pushie
Isaac Pratt
2015-2016 Research Connections Grants
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$7,000SHRF
Description
Alongside the annual meeting, we are hosting a biological and life sciences focused workshop. We will focus on a broad range of topics of relevance, including neuroscience, bone, vascular and pulmonary, metals in life, and cancer. We will also focus on how synchrotron science can contribute to these fields. This day long workshop addresses the current state of the art, where this area may head in the next 5 years, here and elsewhere, and finally what the future may hold. The workshop will produce a report that CLS management will use to identify key infrastructure needs and research opportunities, determine strategic goals, and develop funding strategies for operations and new initiatives. The strength of this workshop is that it engages trainees (i.e., graduate students and post-doctoral fellows) as leaders in both the organization and operation of the workshop. They represent the future of research and will have a key role to play in helping to define that future.
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Exploring the intersections of leadership, interdisciplinary teams, and patient engagement processes in Home First: A Case Study.
Principal Investigator
Dr. Roslyn Compton
Nursing
Saskatchewan Polytechnic - Saskatoon
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Joel Lanovaz
Co-Investigator(s)
Donna Goodridge
Susan Sommerfeldt
Vera Caine
donna jouan-tapp
Brenda Rossow-Kimball
Charlotte Berendonk
2015-2016 Collaborative Innovation Development
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$20,000SHRF
$20,000Technology Evaluation in the Elderly Network (TVN)
$40,000Total
Description
With the first baby boomers reaching the age of 65 in 2011, the older adult population is growing exponentially, making it necessary to better understand what is needed to allow older adults to age-in-places of their choice. Aging-in-place refers to people being able to remain in their home, even though they may require increasing support. Home First is an innovative, quick response team in Saskatoon with the goal to change the path of long-term care placements for older adults living with significant acute or chronic health challenges. The Saskatoon Council for Aging identified that many seniors prefer to age in their own home, yet in face of acute incidences older adults are often confronted with difficult decisions about where to reside. Home First shows success in both decreasing hospital readmissions and visits to emergency room departments. A unique opportunity exists to explore the intersections of leadership, interdisciplinary teams and patient engagement in Home First. These areas were identified in a previous interpretive descriptive study as key in the program's acceptance and uptake in the client and caregiver population. Using a case study approach, the focus will be on making innovative and new inferences between processes and outcomes within a ‘real world' or natural context. Patient complexity and multi-system diseases call for well designed and implemented community programs to improve outcomes for clients and families living within Saskatchewan communities. The innovative disruptions utilized by Home First to achieve success have not been clearly identified. This study will contribute to new knowledge to support the Saskatoon Health Region to establish and maintain interprofessional healthcare teams and care delivery models relevant to the care of older adults living with complex care needs in the community. By delineating the processes of interdisciplinary teams, describing the relationships, including patient engagement, among and between team members, and explaining the function of team leadership, a next step from this research is a pilot study. A pilot study would provide an opportunity to bridge the gap between rural and urban service initiatives and support capacity building within rural communities to support older adults to age-in-place.
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Research Showcase 2015
Principal Investigator
Ms. Julie DeGroot
Research & Health Information Services
Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Joel Lanovaz
Co-Investigator(s)
Donna Goodridge
Susan Sommerfeldt
Vera Caine
donna jouan-tapp
Brenda Rossow-Kimball
Charlotte Berendonk
2015-2016 Research Connections Grants
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$5,000SHRF
Description
Research Showcase is an annual research sharing and networking event, hosted by the Research Department of the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region (RQHR). Every year, this event draws together a diverse gathering of participants including health and science researchers, policy makers, clinicians, physicians, students, and the general public in order to highlight research conducted within the region over the past year.
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First steps towards developing a porcine model for gonorrhea - optimization of infection of pig genital tract epithelial cells with Neisseria gonorrhoeae
Principal Investigator
Dr. Sidharath Dev
VIDO
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Joel Lanovaz
Co-Investigator(s)
Donna Goodridge
Susan Sommerfeldt
Vera Caine
donna jouan-tapp
Brenda Rossow-Kimball
Charlotte Berendonk
Supervisor(s)
Dr. Heather Wilson (Lead Supervisor)
2015-2016 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
Two year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
Gonorrhea, caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae, is the second most commonly reported bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI) in Canada, and internationally. Saskatchewan has one of the highest provincial rates of gonorrhea in Canada. Rates of reported cases in Canada increased 53.4% between 2001 and 2010, with rates in 15 to 19 year old women being four times the national average. As many as 80% of infected women may be asymptomatic, and if untreated, they can suffer from pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and ectopic pregnancy. Gonorrhea can only be cured with antibiotics, and because certain strains have become resistant to all classes of antibiotics, it may soon be untreatable. No effective vaccines against gonorrhea currently exist. An important step in developing an effective vaccine is the establishment of an animal model that mimics infection and/or disease progression and transmission. Pigs are closely related to humans in terms of anatomy, genetics, physiology, and pigs and humans share highly conserved immunological parameters, therefore, this study intends to develop a pig model for Neisseria gonorrhoeae infection. The first step will be to develop and optimize gonococcal infection of porcine genital tract epithelial cells as a model. The researchers will examine the impact that hormones have on Neisseria gonorrhoeae infections, and how this infection impacts the host cell inflammatory and innate immune responses.
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Exercise and nutrition as treatment alternatives in women with Inflammatory Bowel Disease during preconception: Saskatchewan Multidisciplinary Inflammatory Bowel Disease Clinic [MDIBDC]
Principal Investigator
Dr. Whitney Duff
Medicine
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Joel Lanovaz
Co-Investigator(s)
Donna Goodridge
Susan Sommerfeldt
Vera Caine
donna jouan-tapp
Brenda Rossow-Kimball
Charlotte Berendonk
Supervisor(s)
Dr. Sharyle Fowler (Lead Supervisor) Dr. Jane Alcorn (Supervisor)
2015-2016 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
Two year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$50,000SHRF
$50,000Crohn's and Colitis Canada
$100,000Total
Description
Dr. Whitney Duff is the Crohn's and Colitis Postdoctoral Research Fellow exploring alternative treatments in an effort to manage symptoms and treat inflammation in women in the preconception phase who suffer from an inflammatory bowel disease. Poorly controlled symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases in women in their child-bearing years have a negative impact on both fertility and quality of life. Although many medical therapies are safe to use in pregnancy, pharmaceutical use during pregnancy can be a source of fear and anxiety for many patients. Thus, alternative approaches are needed. Potential participants will be recruited from the recently established Preconception and Pregnancy Inflammatory Bowel Disease Clinic within the University of Saskatchewan. Assessment of quality of life and objective markers of disease activity and fertility status will be completed at baseline and at regular intervals throughout the intervention. The intervention will be moderate intensity exercise supplemented with novel nutritional strategies theorized to manage symptoms and treat inflammation in inflammatory bowel disease patients.
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From Elders to Youth: A Traditional Indigenous Knowledge Gathering
Principal Investigator
Dr. Jo-Ann Episkenew
Indigenous Peoples' Health Research Centre
Indigenous Peoples' Health Research Centre
University of Regina
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Joel Lanovaz
Co-Investigator(s)
Donna Goodridge
Susan Sommerfeldt
Vera Caine
donna jouan-tapp
Brenda Rossow-Kimball
Charlotte Berendonk
2015-2016 Research Connections Grants
Two year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$5,000SHRF
Description
The Indigenous Peoples' Health Research Centre will host a national gathering of Traditional Indigenous Knowledge holders, scholars, and students (graduate, undergraduate, and high school) at the University of Regina February 19-21, 2016. This invited gathering will bring together traditional Indigenous knowledge holders, researchers, and students from across Canada for the purpose of inter-generational transmission of Traditional Indigenous Knowledge (TIK) to advance health and well-being in contemporary contexts. Other conference venues will be the First Nations University of Canada and the All Nations Healing Hospital and Treaty Four Governance Centre in Fort Qu'Appelle.
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Novel Methods for Computational Risk Assessment of Thyroid Nodules in Sonographic images
Principal Investigator
Dr. Mark Eramian
Computer Science
Arts and Science
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Paul Babyn
Co-Investigator(s)
Gary Groot
2015-2016 Collaborative Innovation Development
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$40,000SHRF
Description
Thyroid nodules are very common, and, although some are cancerous, most are benign. Assessment of thyroid nodules is difficult; the first step is an ultrasound to assess the thyroid gland and adjacent lymph nodes. Human judgments are used to determine the need for follow-up procedures including biopsy and/or surgery. The number of referrals for biopsies and surgeries of minimal risk thyroid nodules that are ultimately determined to be benign is high, resulting in higher than necessary health-care costs, increased wait-times for genuinely necessary surgeries, and anxiety for patients with benign nodule who undergo biopsy or surgery. This project aims to enhance the accuracy of thyroid ultrasound diagnosis and reduce the number of unnecessary biopsies and surgeries of thyroid nodules in Saskatchewan. This project will develop a prototype proof-of-concept system that will provide risk assessment based on novel computational methods that perform deep learning for extracting nodule features in ultrasound images and integrate them with current best practice use of a dedicated thyroid imaging reporting and data system (TI-RADS). Currently no computational image analysis methods have been integrated with human assessment based risk scores. We hypothesize that such a hybrid approach will significantly reduce the number of biopsies and surgeries performed on low-risk nodules (>20%). We will compare assessments with TI-RADS alone, to assessments with both TI-RADS and computational methods and compare their efficacy to reduce unnecessary surgeries.Success of the proposed prototype in improving diagnosis will position our team to secure funding for longer-term wherein a fully-automated thyroid nodule assessment system is envisioned which will provide detailed risk assessment for thyroid nodules. Further, we would attempt to combine this system with a large public database of richly annotated images of thyroid nodules, and an image and metadata-based search system for this database would be designed to allow practitioners to examine historical cases similar to that of a given patient and facilitate case-based reasoning and learning.
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Adolescent Exercise for Bone Health
Principal Investigator
Dr. Marta Erlandson
Kinesiology
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Paul Babyn
Co-Investigator(s)
Alan Rosenberg
Louise Humbert
Adam Baxter-Jones
Philip Chilibeck
2015-2016 Establishment Grants
Three year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$120,000SHRF
Description
Physical activity during the growing years has a beneficial impact on bone development, with the most active children laying down more bone compared to less active peers. Greater bone mass from childhood carries into young adulthood and, if maintained, may reduce the risk of bone fragility and related fracture later in life. The type of exercise required to bring about the greatest benefits for bone development remains unknown. Most physical activity programs have focused on lower limbs, paying little attention to upper limb exercises. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of a school-based physical activity intervention that challenges the upper and lower limbs on bone development for both short- and long-term health benefits. This study will provide a first step in identifying the type of physical activity interventions with the greatest long-term bone health benefits. It will provide new knowledge related to determinants of health status, one of our provincial health priorities.
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Aboriginal Women Athletes' Flourishing in Sport
Principal Investigator
Dr. Leah Ferguson
Kinesiology
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Paul Babyn
Co-Investigator(s)
Tara-Leigh McHugh
Sean Lessard
Louise Humbert
2015-2016 Establishment Grants
Three year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$83,180SHRF
Description
Sport participation fosters a range of positive physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social health outcomes. Aboriginal peoples in Canada encounter many barriers to participate in sport and remain at a disadvantage to achieve these health gains. Aboriginal women athletes, in particular, experience many challenges and they continue to struggle to increase their recognition and participation in sport. The purpose of this research is to explore Aboriginal women athletes' meanings and experiences of flourishing in sport and to identify culturally-relevant strategies to allow them to reach their potential and attain health outcomes. It focuses on the voices of a core group of 15 Aboriginal women athletes competing at the provincial level in various sports. Their understandings of flourishing in sport and unique stories of journeying towards reaching their full potential will be told through talking circles, individual interviews, artifacts, and photographs. Generation of knowledge about the perspectives, experiences, needs, and lives of Aboriginal women athletes will help guide policy development and sport programming truly capable of enhancing Aboriginal women athletes' sport participation, flourishing in sport, and overall health.
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Targeting non-responsive Her2-positive breast cancer with novel anti-Her3 alpha-particle labelled antibody drug radioconjugates
Principal Investigator
Dr. Humphrey Fonge
Nuclear Medicine
Medical Imaging
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Paul Babyn
Co-Investigator(s)
Clarence Geyer
2015-2016 Establishment Grants
Three year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$120,000SHRF
Description
Almost all patients with positive epidermal growth factor receptor II (Her2) breast cancers are resistant (both de novo (innate) or acquired resistance) to the available treatment options. The most widely studied mechanism of resistance involves the co-expression of other growth factor receptors and their ligands notably epidermal grow factor receptor III (Her3). Drs. Fonge and Geyer will develop a new drug molecule that will specifically target Herceptin (current standard of care for this cancer type) insensitive breast cancer that co-expresses Her2 and Her3. This new molecule will consist of two very potent components namely a high energy α particle (225Ac) and a potent cytotoxic drug maytansinoid (DM1) linked to each other by high affinity human anti-Her3 antibody. This novel antibody drug radioconjugate (ADR; 225Ac-mAb-PEG-Mal-DM1) will be evaluated in Herceptin insensitive cell lines and in mice xenografts. The hypothesis is that treating breast cancer with a single molecule that contains a very potent drug and high energy radiation will lead to eradication of the cancer cells compared to the single agents (radiation (225Ac) or drug alone (DM1)). The ADR will be assessed following three aims: the development of the ADR; evaluation for its affinity and ability to kill resistant human breast cancer cells; and the effectiveness in mice bearing resistant human breast cancer tumors. Drs. Fonge and Geyer will develop an imaging agent for this ADR that will allow us to use SPECT/CT imaging to monitor the fate and response to treatment of the ADR in mice in real time.
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Nesfatin-1 Regulation of Energy Balance
Principal Investigator
Dr. Kavishankar Gawli
Veterinary Biomedical Sciences
Veterinary Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Paul Babyn
Co-Investigator(s)
Clarence Geyer
Supervisor(s)
Dr. Suraj Unniappan (Lead Supervisor)
2015-2016 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
Two year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
Obesity and diabetes are debilitating diseases reaching pandemic proportions. Recent statistics indicated that roughly 25% of Canadians are obese, one billion of the global population is obese, and about 5% of Canadians have diabetes. Several hormones are involved in regulating blood glucose levels and body weight. Defects in the production, secretion and/or action of these hormones could contribute to certain types of obesity and/or diabetes. There is a great deal of interest in using naturally occurring hormones for the treatment of diabetes and obesity. Nesfatin-1 is a recently discovered natural hormone found in humans and other animals. This research will determine what will happen to food intake, body weight and blood glucose if nesfatin-1 is not produced in the body. This will be achieved using a mouse model with a dysfunctional gene encoding nesfatin-1. The experiments will be conducted in normal, diabetic and obese mice lacking nesfatin-1. This research will help in understanding how critical nesfatin-1 is in normal, diabetic and obese mice.
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Cellular immunotherapy for atopic dermatitis and the 'atopic march' to asthma
Principal Investigator
Dr. John Gordon
Division of Respirology, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
Medicine
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Paul Babyn
Co-Investigator(s)
Elemir Simko
Duane Lichtenwald
Christopher Rudulier
2015-2016 Collaborative Innovation Development
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$20,000SHRF
$20,000The Lung Association of Saskatchewan
$40,000Total
Description
Atopic dermatitis (AD), or eczema, is a chronic skin condition that affects ~30% of children and ~2% of adults in industrialized countries. Of relevance to Saskatchewan, its pathology is exacerbated by dry climates. AD costs Canadians $1.2B annually, dramatically decreases the quality of life, and brings high socioeconomic costs, but it is also strongly linked to asthma; many AD patients progress naturally to subsequently develop asthma in a phenomenon known as “the atopic march”. Indeed, ≈70% of children with severe AD develop asthma, while only ≈8% of children without AD do so. It is proposed that the broken and inflamed skin of AD lesions (i.e., versus intact skin) allows allergens, which are otherwise harmless proteins found in the environment, to enter the body, triggering an allergic immune response that is initially confined to the skin. However, with time, allergic cells populate the entire body, such that subsequent inhalation of the allergen triggers allergic inflammation in the airways (i.e. asthma). Like asthma, AD is driven by an inappropriate immune response. We propose to use suppressive immune cells, called suppressive macrophages (sMacs), to silence the AD immune response in the skin. Decreasing the AD response will allow the skin to heal, re-establishing its ability to keep out allergens, but it will also spread to suppress the responses against the allergens throughout the body and thereby prevent sensitization for asthma. We will test our hypothesis in a mouse model of AD, and in vitro with human cells generated from the blood of AD donors. Our approach has the potential to increase the quality of life of people with AD and to derail the atopic march, with its ultimate legacy of asthma, further adding to the savings in societal and healthcare costs. The preventative nature of the asthma component of our strategy sets it apart from the majority of asthma strategies, which are directed at treating established disease (i.e. therapeutic approaches); these latter efforts are substantially complicated by the fact that there are many different types of asthma. Preventing the development of asthma should be substantially less complex than reversing established disease.
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RESOLVE Saskatchewan's RESOLVE Research Day 2015
Principal Investigator
Dr. Mary Hampton
Luther College
Psychology
Luther College, University of Regina
RESOLVE Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Paul Babyn
Co-Investigator(s)
Elemir Simko
Duane Lichtenwald
Christopher Rudulier
2015-2016 Research Connections Grants
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$5,000SHRF
Description
RESOLVE Research Day is held once per year across three prairie provinces and it is RESOLVE Saskatchewan's turn to host. The conference showcases researchers, policy makers, service providers and those who have personally experienced intimate partner violence. This year our theme is Intimate Partner Violence - Engaging Beyond the Survivor. In addition to the plenary sessions with keynote speakers, we expect to have 16 research and information sessions.
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Understanding Lymphedema Symposium
Principal Investigator
Dr. Liz Harrison
Physical Therapy
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Paul Babyn
Co-Investigator(s)
Stacey Lovo Grona (Co-Principal)
Catherine Jeffery
2015-2016 Research Connections Grants
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$5,000SHRF
Description
This symposium will provide an evidence-based update on the management of lymphedema with a focus in the treatment areas of lower extremity, obesity, and breast cancer. Symposium topics will promote interprofessional treatments of lymphedema in Saskatchewan that is consistent with and based on best-practice guidelines. The format will include plenary sessions and interactive small group workshops.The target audience for the symposium is: Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Pharmacists, Physicians, Massage Therapists, Kinesiologists, Chiropractors, Psychologists, Podiatrists, Social Workers, students in these disciplines, other interested health professionals, policy makers, and program planners. Symposium participants will be able to: 1) Describe and implement the best practice guidelines for treatment of all types of lymphedema, regardless of cause. 2) Facilitate evidence-based compression management strategies across Saskatchewan. 3) Outline provincially consistent treatment-planning principles for lymphedema management for the purpose of mitigating the consequences of lymphedema. 4) Facilitate lymphedema management program planning to ensure maximum benefits for patients.The symposium will be held at University of Saskatchewan's Academic Health Science Building, May 6-7, 2016.
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Seasonal and daily variation in physical activity and sedentary behaviour: Associations with cardiometabolic health
Principal Investigator
Dr. Katya Herman
Kinesiology & Health Studies
University of Regina
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Paul Babyn
Co-Investigator(s)
Stacey Lovo Grona (Co-Principal)
Catherine Jeffery
2015-2016 Establishment Grants
Three year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$120,000SHRF
Description
Evidence exists for seasonal or weekday-weekend variations in physical activity (PA) in some geographies. However, there is little evidence that these inconsistent patterns, contrasted with more consistent PA, negatively impact health outcomes -- beyond total or average PA levels (e.g. if PA guidelines are met, regardless of patterns to get there). This research will investigate how seasonal and within-week variations in PA and sedentary behaviour (SED) affect cardio-metabolic health outcomes in adults. The objectives are to 1) describe seasonal (winter, spring, summer, fall) variations in PA and SED; 2) describe daily variations in PA and SED (e.g. active daily vs. "œweekend warrior"); and 3) investigate how different patterns are associated with weight status, percent body fat, blood pressure, and blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Participants aged 20 to 65 will visit the University of Regina four times in one year to have measures taken, and complete a questionnaire. Then participants will wear a small computerized device on a belt at their hip for seven days to measure their PA and SED levels. The summer-winter climate extremes in Saskatchewan may be more likely to produce inconsistent PA patterns compared to more moderate climates. The results of this research may provide insight into the higher rates of obesity in Saskatchewan, allowing for better targeted interventions to increase PA, reduce SED, and ultimately reduce obesity and its health consequences.
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Redefining the role of Gardnerella vaginalis in the vaginal microbiome
Principal Investigator
Dr. Janet Hill
Veterinary Microbiology
Veterinary Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Paul Babyn
Co-Investigator(s)
David Palmer
Deborah Money
2015-2016 Collaborative Innovation Development
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$39,430SHRF
Description
A common and important condition for women occurs when the fine balance of healthy bacteria in the vagina becomes disrupted resulting in a condition often called ‘bacterial vaginosis' (BV). This disruption in the vaginal bacterial ecosystem results in symptoms of vaginitis with excessive discharge and odour, but this can have even more serious consequences including placing women at higher risk of getting sexually transmitted infections (STI) including HIV, as well as placing pregnant women at higher risk of preterm birth. Saskatchewan has disturbingly high rates of sexually transmitted infections and HIV in women, especially among Aboriginal women. In particular, Aboriginal women experience higher rates of preterm birth than non-Aboriginal women. The cause of this is complex, but BV is thought to be a contributing factor. Diagnostic tests for detection of BV and strategies for treatment remain ineffective. A particular bacterium called Gardnerella vaginalis is considered a hallmark of BV, but its classification as a disease-causing bacterium is complicated because it is also commonly found in healthy women. Our research group has already discovered that G. vaginalis consists of subgroups distinguished by the genetic make up of the bacteria and by their distinct behaviours. We have identified G. vaginalis genes that may relate to different ability to cause disease (virulence factors) among subgroups. Understanding these characteristics will permit a more sophisticated understanding of vaginal community composition associated with health and disease and enable the development of effective diagnostic tests. We will build on an established research team with expertise in microbiology and women's health, adding expertise in protein characterization. Our interdisciplinary approach will allow us to identify and characterize virulence factors distinguishing G. vaginalis subgroups and catalyze further development of women's health research capacity in Saskatchewan. The results will position us for further research focused on elucidating the role of G. vaginalis in initiating and maintaining abnormal vaginal microbiota, and developing improved diagnostic tools for evaluating vaginal health.
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Partnering Together to Improve Palliative Care in Long Term Care Homes
Principal Investigator
Dr. Paulette Hunter
St. Thomas More College
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Paul Babyn
Co-Investigator(s)
David Palmer
Deborah Money
2015-2016 Partnerships for Health System Improvement (PHSI)
Three year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$80,000SHRF
$400,000CIHR
$480,000Total
Description
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Examining the Developmental Origins of Kidney Disease in Infants of Diabetic Mothers using Urine Proteomics
Principal Investigator
Dr. George Katselis
Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture (CCHSA)
Medicine
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Roland Dyck
Co-Investigator(s)
Robin Erickson
Joshua Lawson
2015-2016 Collaborative Innovation Development
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$40,000SHRF
Description
Kidney failure is a devastating disorder for affected individuals and their families, and treatment using dialysis and transplantation requires a disproportionate share of health care resources. Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure in Canada and First Nations people experience marked ethnic-based disparities in the incidence of both type 2 diabetes and diabetes-related kidney failure. A key factor in the epidemic of diabetes among First Nations people is the role of diabetic pregnancies. Gestational diabetes and pre-gestational type 2 diabetes are both more prevalent among First Nations women and enhance the risk of type 2 diabetes, and possibly diabetic kidney disease, in their offspring. This research aims to identify infants of diabetic mothers who are at increased risk for kidney disease. This would provide an opportunity for prevention of kidney failure through surveillance of affected children and initiation of kidney-protective therapy. We will use mass spectrometry-based clinical proteomics to characterize and compare the urine protein profiles of infants of diabetic and non-diabetic mothers. We will examine if differences in protein markers exist between the two groups at birth, and if these differences suggest abnormal kidney development related to in-utero exposure to diabetes. We anticipate that the application of mass spectrometry will provide the platform from which to develop a standardized diagnostic procedure to monitor infants for early development of kidney disease.
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Optimizing in vivo assessments of cortical bone porosity and strength: A validation study linking advanced imaging, mechanical testing and finite element modeling
Principal Investigator
Dr. Chantal Kawalilak
Mechanical Engineering
Engineering
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Roland Dyck
Co-Investigator(s)
Robin Erickson
Joshua Lawson
Supervisor(s)
Dr. James (J.D.) Johnston (Lead Supervisor) Dr. David Cooper (Supervisor)
2015-2016 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
Two year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
Osteoporosis is called brittle bone disease, because it makes bones fragile and more likely to fracture, especially when a person falls. Approximately two million Canadians live with osteoporosis, costing our health care system $20 billion each year. Wrist fractures are the most common type of osteoporotic fractures. Current osteoporosis diagnostic tools are unable to identify individuals with high fracture risk. The overall goal of this research is to develop and validate a new method for determining bone strength that can be used to identify individuals at risk of wrist fracture. Synchrotron-based imaging will be used to optimize measurements of bone micro-architecture provided by advanced clinical imaging, and the development of a computer model will estimate wrist bone strength when falling onto the outstretched hand. This research is scientifically important and clinically relevant as findings will improve our understanding of how to characterize bone micro-architecture underpinning osteoporosis, bone strength and fracture risk.
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Validation of the Alive activity monitor in cardiac rehabilitation patients
Principal Investigator
Dr. Andrea Lavoie
Cardiology
Cardiology
Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Roland Dyck
Co-Investigator(s)
Sebastian Harenberg
Payam Dehghani
John Patrick Neary
Jenny Basran
2015-2016 Collaborative Innovation Development
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$38,820SHRF
Description
The longitudinal measurement of vital sign has been an integral aspect of gaining information about patients' cardiovascular health after a cardiac event. Traditionally, vital sign monitoring involves stationary and/or minimally portable devices. However, recent developments in wearable technology have made it possible that consumer-based products are now equipped with functions that provide reliable and valid longitudinal information about one's health. Some activity monitors include, among other functions, measurements of heart rate, electrocardiogram (ECG) and step count. The devices provide activity updates to the user by transferring the gained data to an online platform that is accessible via computers and other internet-ready devices (e.g., smart phones). Activity monitors bear great potential for cardiac rehabilitation. The devices provide accurate information about the amount and intensity of rehabilitation exercise. In addition, the devices aid to ensure that the patient is exercising safely. Through routine monitoring of cardiovascular function, the risk of a heart event could be detected before they occur. Over 1400 patients receive percutaneous coronary intervention or open-heart surgery each year in the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region (RQHR). Only approximately 27% engage in cardiac rehabilitation after surgery despite the proven benefits (e.g., less hospital readmission, morbidity, mortality). In addition, health regions in Southern Saskatchewan currently offer a structured cardiac rehabilitation program only in major centres. Yet, many patients in Saskatchewan would benefit from accessible and low-cost cardiac rehabilitation programs, particularly those that live in rural and/or remote areas. The use of activity monitors may aid in providing an inexpensive, safe and easy-to-use way of delivering cardiac rehabilitation in rural Southern Saskatchewan. However, before activity monitors can be used for these purposes, the validity of the devices needs to be demonstrated. Consequently, the objective of this study is the validation of the Alive activity monitor in a cardiac rehabilitation population.
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Health care utilization patterns among children with asthma
Principal Investigator
Dr. Joshua Lawson
Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture (CCHSA)
Medicine
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Roland Dyck
Co-Investigator(s)
Donna Goodridge
David Blackburn
Donna Rennie
2015-2016 Collaborative Innovation Development
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$19,988SHRF
$19,987The Lung Association of Saskatchewan
$39,975Total
Description
Asthma is one of the most common childhood conditions, costing Canadians hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Proper management of asthma can reduce health care costs and improve patient outcomes. For example, we know that regular use of controller medication and proper management leading to controlled asthma can significantly reduce hospitalization for asthma and health care costs, yet a large proportion of the population remain uncontrolled. We plan to identify patterns of management and gaps in care that are related to socio-demographic factors and the subsequent impact of these management patterns on health outcomes among children with asthma through the use of the Saskatchewan Health databases. Through the completion of our study, we will be able to better identify at risk groups. We will accomplish this by conducting a retrospective birth cohort study involving children born between 1995 and 2014. Through the linkage of these databases, we will be able to investigate the patterns of management in relation to outcomes of health care utilization (e.g. hospitalization and physician visits) as well as the relation with socio-demographic factors (e.g. age, sex, location of dwelling). More specifically, we will use linked administrative health databases in Saskatchewan to 1) Describe the predictors of poor asthma outcomes (hospitalization, high number of physician visits, poor control) and, 2) Describe asthma drug utilization and identify robust predictors of optimal drug use and adherence. Once we identify the current practices, gaps and basic associations from the current study, we will be able to design more specific studies on key issues through the collection of additional exposure and clinical factors as well as the adherence information. This study is particularly relevant to Saskatchewan given the high prevalence of childhood asthma and the use of provincial databases, and will provide information as a resource for knowledge end users such as asthma educators, pharmacists, nurse practitioners and general practitioners, who care for the vast majority of children with asthma in Saskatchewan. We will work with the Saskatchewan Thoracic Society and Certified Asthma Educators as representatives of the aforementioned knowledge users as partners in this project.
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Development of Drugs which Bind to α-Synuclein for treatment of Parkinson's Disease.
Principal Investigator
Dr. Jeremy Lee
Biochemistry
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Roland Dyck
Co-Investigator(s)
Edward Krol
Troy Harkness
Miroslaw Cygler
Christopher Phenix
2015-2016 Collaborative Innovation Development
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$40,000SHRF
Description
The pathology of Parkinson's disease is not well understood but it is clearly linked to the misfolding and aggregation of the protein α-synuclein in neuronal cells. It is postulated that drugs which bind to α-synuclein and cause the protein to adopt a loop conformation will prevent aggregation of the protein and thus prevent the progression of the disease. We have recently demonstrated by nanopore analysis, NMR and isothermal titration calorimetry that drugs such as caffeine, nicotine and 1-aminoindan bind to α-synuclein and cause a loop conformation. Not only do these drugs prevent aggregation but there is good epidemiological evidence that they are neuroprotective and lower the incidence of Parkinson's disease. We propose to synthesize homo- or hetero-drug dimers which are expected to have increased affinity for α-synuclein and, therefore, should be suitable lead compounds for drug therapy of Parkinson's disease and could also be used for early diagnosis with PET scanning. Promising drug dimers will initially be evaluated in a yeast model which overexpresses α-synuclein. Further structural information will be obtained by X-ray crystallography of α-synuclein/drug complexes which will help to guide the development of second generation drugs.The incidence of the disease in Saskatchewan is about 0.3% of the population but rises rapidly with age to over 1% by age 65. There is also evidence that exposure to agricultural chemicals increases the risk of the disease. Thus, the disease is of particular economic importance to Saskatchewan with a large rural and aging population.Drug dimers designed from known neuroprotective agents are a novel approach to prevent protein misfolding. Positive initial results should lead to enhanced funding from the Weston Brain Institute, CIHR or the Parkinson's Society.
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Targeting epigenetic modification to eradicate cancer stem cells
Principal Investigator
Dr. Shuangshuang Li
Saskatchewan Cancer Agency
Cancer Cluster
Division of Oncology
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Roland Dyck
Co-Investigator(s)
Edward Krol
Troy Harkness
Miroslaw Cygler
Christopher Phenix
Supervisor(s)
Dr. Franco Vizeacoumar (Lead Supervisor)
2015-2016 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
Two year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
It is becoming more evident that successful therapeutic strategy must target cancer stem-like cells (CSCs), which control tumor initiation, progression, and maintenance. As the oncogenic evolution of tumor cells is partly controlled by DNA methylation, it has been proposed that DNA hypermethylation (caused by up regulation of DNMT1) might result in emergence of cancer stem and progenitor cells. These CSCs often give rise to secondary tumours and drug resistance. To efficiently eradicate CSCs, the researchers will induce the expression of DNMT1 in tumorsphere cultures that are known to be enriched for CSCs, and identify cancer drug targets. First, the researchers will establish an inducible cell line system to stably overexpress DNMT1 by Gateway and lentivirus-compatible plasmid, and then perform a shRNA-based screen in DNMT1 overexpressing tumorsphere cultures. From this screen, they will identify genes essential for the survival of CSCs by microarray-based analyses that is already optimized in the Vizeacoumar lab. Next the researchers will use a color assay, where the inducible cells will be evaluated for their ability to form tumorspheres by knocking down the hit gene identified in the screen. Confirmation of the hit in perturbing the formation of tumorspheres(over expressing DNMT1) will lead to the identification of cancer drug targets. More importantly, as CSCs are highly resistant to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, this approach will provide highly valuable therapeutic targets with high clinical relevance.
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Developing a low-intensity parent-directed CBT treatment program for children with anxiety via the On-Line Therapy Unit
Principal Investigator
Dr. Lynn Loutzenhiser
Psychology
Arts
University of Regina
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Heather Hadjistavropoulos
Co-Investigator(s)
Amy Zarzeczny
David Gerhard
Glenna Curry
Michelle McCarron
Senthil Damodharan
2015-2016 Collaborative Innovation Development
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$39,455SHRF
Description
Recent research suggests that 6.5% of Canadian children suffer from disabling anxiety; however, only 1 in 4 Canadian children actually receive treatment. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) has been shown to be an effective treatment for reducing anxiety in children, but it is expensive and resource intensive. Moreover, there are a number of barriers that make it difficult for parents to access these programs for their children, including economics, time, transportation and childcare. There is emerging evidence that supporting parents in providing CBT to their children with anxiety is an effective, low-cost alternative to traditional CBT. Consistent with the Saskatchewan Government's Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan for Saskatchewan, the overall goal of this research project is to improve access to mental health treatment for Saskatchewan children suffering from anxiety. To achieve this goal, our first step is to develop a parent-delivered internet-based CBT (ICBT) program for Saskatchewan children suffering from anxiety. We believe that developing a program for parents that can be accessed online will be able to address these barriers to treatment access identified above. Program development will be done through integrating information from a number of sources. Once we have identified the core content of the program, this information will be translated into an online format for delivery through the Online Therapy Unit. The evaluation phase of this program development will focus on evaluating a) the usability of the program and b) its sustainability in the Saskatchewan health context. The outcomes will form the basis of applications for larger, longer-term funding to support robust evaluation and broad-scale program implementation. Our team consists of researchers from multiple disciplines (i.e., Psychology, Computer Science, Health and Public Policy, Psychiatry) and knowledge users involved in the direct provision of services for children's mental health (i.e., Regina Child and Youth Services, Child Psychiatry, Saskatchewan Health). To our knowledge, this will be the first program to deliver parent-directed CBT to children using an online format.
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Youth Transitioning Out of Care: Resource and Knowledge Sharing Days
Principal Investigator
Dr. Marie Lovrod
Women's and Gender Studies/HUMFA
Women's and Gender Studies, English
Arts and Science
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Heather Hadjistavropoulos
Co-Investigator(s)
Amy Zarzeczny
David Gerhard
Glenna Curry
Michelle McCarron
Senthil Damodharan
2015-2016 Research Connections Grants
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$5,000SHRF
Description
The Youth Transitioning Out of Care: Resource and Knowledge Sharing Days is to introduce the new resource packages and training modules to young people, care providers, professionals and other community stakeholders working with the child welfare system. These knowledge sharing days is an opportunity for people to try out the handbooks, learn more about how they were developed, and understand how the resources can be used to support young people when planning their transitions out of care. The five one-day workshops will be held in Regina, Yorkton, Saskatoon, Prince Albert and Meadow Lake during the months of April and May.
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Concept Mapping to Improve Health through Urban Agriculture
Principal Investigator
Dr. Wanda Martin
Nursing
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Heather Hadjistavropoulos
Co-Investigator(s)
Rachel Engler-Stringer
Pammla Petrucka
Grant Wood
Eric Micheels
Debra Davidson
2015-2016 Collaborative Innovation Development
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$39,110SHRF
Description
Urban populations are growing worldwide, including a near doubling of the City of Saskatoon by 2023. Feeding this growing population will be an increasing challenge as we try to gain balance in the post-carbon era. Careful planning is essential to help meet the increasing demands for nutritious affordable food in growing urban settings. Urban built environments and design that embed access to food and physical activity directly influence population health. This research will inform changes to the built environment in Saskatoon catalyzing sustainable quality food and active living and contributing to improved health and resilience. These intents are reflected within two objectives: 1) To create an urban agriculture action plan for Saskatoon that can increase access to quality affordable food and; 2) To identify barriers and propose solutions to increased support for urban agriculture in Saskatchewan. More specifically, by revealing the depth of economic barriers, we will explore whether urban agriculture could also be a means to enhance income, particularly in lower-income areas of the city. We propose a case study design, involving participatory diagramming and concept mapping that includes a series of focus groups across the city and individual interviews with urban farmers. This research will contribute to the work of the Saskatoon Food Council and the City of Saskatoon, while tackling health inequities using an upstream approach. It will provide an action plan to inform and invite future projects to embrace multiple determinants of health including food, physical activity and income. This is an innovative project in both topic and methodology. Public health has not prioritized urban agriculture as an approach to improving health, and concept mapping is a novel method that necessitates real community involvement in rigorous data collection and analysis. Healthy built environments providing green space, food and potential for income are essential for better health through easy access to fresh foods, social cohesion and increased physical activity. This study will collectively explore, generate and prioritize innovations and ideas on a preferred future for municipalities' and food action groups' efforts to reduce food insecurity and improve health.
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The Impact of a Pulse-Based Diet Intervention on Measures of Infertility and Metabolic Syndrome in Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Changes in Liver Adiposity and Individual Responsiveness based on Genetic Variation.
Principal Investigator
Dr. Laura McBreairty
Pharmacy and Nutrition
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Heather Hadjistavropoulos
Co-Investigator(s)
Rachel Engler-Stringer
Pammla Petrucka
Grant Wood
Eric Micheels
Debra Davidson
Supervisor(s)
Dr. Gordon Zello (Lead Supervisor)
2015-2016 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
Two year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine disorder affecting 4 to 8 percent of women of reproductive age. Typically, Women with PCOS present irregular menstrual cycles, polycystic ovaries, and elevated levels of male hormones. Metabolic syndrome is a clinical diagnosis for an individual who exhibits risk factors, such as insulin resistance and abnormal blood lipid levels. Also, increased levels of liver fat are thought to be the liver manifestation of metabolic syndrome. Pulse-based diets (i.e. diets high in legumes) are effective for lowering insulin as demonstrated in a 16-week pulse-based diet and exercise intervention conducted by the researchers. The aim of this study is to determine the therapeutic effects of a pulse-based diet on levels of liver fat in women with PCOS, because elevated liver fat levels are one of the first detectable changes during the development of metabolic syndrome. This assessment will be added to an ongoing randomized control trial in which women with PCOS will be assigned to either a pulse-based diet or a healthy control diet for 16 weeks with both groups participating in an exercise program. Outcome measures will be determined following the intervention, and at six and 12 months.
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The Three Wishes Project: Individualized, Patient-Oriented, Compassionate Care for Palliative Patients and their Families
Principal Investigator
Dr. Michelle McCarron
Research and Performance Support
Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Heather Hadjistavropoulos
Co-Investigator(s)
Carmen Johnson
Patricia Engel
Deborah Cook
Sandra Lynn
2015-2016 Collaborative Innovation Development
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$37,222SHRF
Description
According to Statistics Canada, over 10,000 Saskatchewan residents aged 18 and older die each year, many of whom will have experienced a progression of illness over the course of days, weeks or months. In the 2014-2015 fiscal year, the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region (RQHR) provided palliative care services to 420 in-patients and 317 home care patients. Palliative care recognizes death as a natural part of the life cycle and aims to provide comfort care to terminally ill patients when life-saving measures are no longer possible. Palliation is multi-faceted and holistic; it recognizes the importance of caring for all aspects of the person, including physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health, as well as supporting family members. This study will build upon recently published research from an intensive care unit in Ontario. Our pilot study will be innovative in its adaptation of the Three Wishes program to in-patient and home-based palliative care patients, with the aim of improving quality of life and psychosocial well-being for palliative care patients and their families in the RQHR. Participants will be asked to list three wishes that we will aim to fulfill via this project. Based on previous research, wishes are expected to be modest in nature and thus reasonable for the research team to facilitate (e.g., having their favourite flowers in the hospital room, dedicating a park bench in their memory, facilitating a Skype call to relatives overseas). A combination of quantitative data and one-on-one interviews will be used to examine the efficacy of this program in helping patients to foster a sense of closure and to improve their quality of life. This study will mark the first time that this program has been offered within a palliative care unit and home care program. This pilot study will be used as the foundation for an application to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Project Scheme for funding to support a multi-site randomized controlled trial. This future trial will compare the efficacy of the Three Wishes program to other models of psychosocial support in a palliative care setting.
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Measurement Matters: The Art and Science of Developing the Right Indicators
Principal Investigator
Ms. Christine McDougall
Saskatchewan Epidemiology Association
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Heather Hadjistavropoulos
Co-Investigator(s)
Joshua Marko
2015-2016 Research Connections Grants
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$3,400SHRF
Description
Symposium: 'Measurement Matters: The art and science of developing the right indicators'Measuring concepts that are meaningful to the health of a society is largely a scientific endeavor, but at times can seem like a creative pursuit. Still it has been said that “what matters is measured and what is measured ends up mattering”. Accurate, timely, and meaningful statistics can be a powerful agent for change. The Saskatchewan Epidemiology Association will bring together a full-day of thought-provoking presentations and discussions to contemplate this issue.Workshop: 'Identifying clusters in space and time: Tools to help prioritize resources for outbreak management'Clusters of disease events can arise in both infectious and chronic disease epidemiology. One of the first steps to investigating a potential cluster is determining whether the collection of cases is different from what we would expect based on chance alone. This one day workshop will introduce participants to a basic toolkit for identifying clusters of disease events based on their location and reporting time. The workshop will be a mix of some basic theory with hands on exercises. Participants will be encouraged to bring their own laptops as the software used in the workshop will be open access.
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Global Health: Nourishing Equity
Principal Investigator
Dr. Ryan Meili
Community Health & Epidemiology
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Heather Hadjistavropoulos
Co-Investigator(s)
Joshua Marko
2015-2016 Research Connections Grants
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$5,000SHRF
Description
The College of Medicine, in collaboration with the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, will host a Global Health Conference entitled "Global Health: Nourishing Equity" on October 17, 2015 at the Edward School of Business at the University of Saskatchewan. The goal of the conference is to address some of the very troubling and timely health equity issues that have relevance in Saskatchewan as well as in other parts of Canada and the world. There will be particular focus on equity issues surrounding food security and nutrition. We will bring in Dr. Ronald Labonte from the University of Ottawa who is the Canada Chair in Globalization and Health Equity and Dr. Valerie Tarasuk, a prominent researcher and advocate in the field of food security and health equity. The Conference anticipates 200-250 participants, mostly UofS researchers, students, academics, clinicians,as well as community members. There will be a poster session, a global health expo and a United Nations display on world hunger. A conference website will provide conference and registration information.
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One Health Research Symposium: what's in it for you?
Principal Investigator
Dr. Vikram Misra
Veterinary Microbiology
Veterinary Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Heather Hadjistavropoulos
Co-Investigator(s)
Amanda Clarke
2015-2016 Research Connections Grants
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$2,500SHRF
Description
One Health is a signature research area at the University of Saskatchewan because of the increasing realization that the health of humans, animals, and the environment are inevitably linked in complex ways. The One Health Research Symposium: What's in it for you? is designed to promote a) knowledge exchange between participants of interdisciplinary projects b) capacity building for future collaborative research partnerships and c) future visioning of interdisciplinary One Health research at the University of Saskatchewan.
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Novel therapeutic interventions for managing cognitive comorbidities in status epilepticus
Principal Investigator
Dr. Farzad Moien-Afshari
Neurology
Medicine
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Heather Hadjistavropoulos
Co-Investigator(s)
Lisa Kalynchuk
Changiz Taghibiglou
2015-2016 Establishment Grants
Three year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$119,977SHRF
Description
In Canada, 850 deaths occur per year in association with status epilepticus (SE), which is a state of prolonged seizures. In addition to high mortality, SE may cause significant brain damage, leading to profound memory impairments resulting in permanent disability. During SE, seizures become self-sustained and resistant to conventional anti-seizure drugs. This leads to neuronal death in vulnerable brain regions, especially the memory-forming region of the brain (i.e., hippocampus). It is known that the neuronal death in SE is caused by excessive activation of glutamate receptors (AMPA and NMDA) within the neurons (excitotoxicity). Current treatments for SE do not stop excitoxicity, which tends to progress in the days and weeks after the SE. This project will test the possibility that glutamate receptor antagonists might have neuroprotective effects. There are two antagonists that have been approved for use in humans, Amantadine (NMDA-antagonist) and Perampanel (AMPA-antagonist), but they have not been tested in SE. Using a rat model of SE, the researchers will assess the effects of Amantadine and Perampanel, alone or in combination, on SE-mediated changes in: 1- memory, 2- hippocampal cell death and changes in glutamate receptor expression, and 3- biochemical signature of neuronal damage using synchrotron imaging. If Amantadine and Perampanel prevent the deleterious effects of SE on neurons and memory, this could inform a subsequent clinical trial to assess the effect of these agents on patients with SE.
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Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia
Principal Investigator
Dr. Darrell Mousseau
Neuropsychiatric Research Unit
Psychiatry
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Heather Hadjistavropoulos
Co-Investigator(s)
Lisa Kalynchuk
Changiz Taghibiglou
2015-2016 Saskatchewan Research Chairs
Five Year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$500,000SHRF
$500,000Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan
$1,000,000Total
Description
There is accumulating evidence that clinical depression increases the risk for developing Alzheimer's disease. Recent published reports also suggest that certain widely prescribed antidepressants may be associated with an increased risk. Dr. Darrell Mousseau was awarded the Saskatchewan Research Chair in Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias to study the link between Alzheimer's disease and depression. Dr. Mousseau and his team of researchers have found that an enzyme, known for playing an important role in depression, can severely weaken brain cells and perhaps trigger the neurodegenerative processes that lead to Alzheimer's disease. The team is also looking at the possibility that it is not the depression itself that is a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, but rather the treatment of depression that is an unintentional trigger. Through their program of research, Dr. Mousseau and his team hope to contribute to the development of a marker or molecular target that will allow for earlier and more accurate diagnoses, more effective treatments of Alzheimer-related dementia and/or a means of preventing the onset of the disease. They are currently examining several antibodies and peptides (small proteins) that could be useful in diagnosing the disease at earlier stages.
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Acute intermittent hypoxia to improve motor function after spinal cord injury
Principal Investigator
Dr. Gillian Muir
Veterinary Biomedical Sciences
Veterinary Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Valerie Verge
Co-Investigator(s)
Lisa Kalynchuk
Changiz Taghibiglou
2015-2016 Spinal Cord Injury Research Grants
Two year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$75,000SHRF
Description
Regaining arm and hand function is of the highest priority for persons with cervical spinal cord injury. We propose to extend our SHRF-funded investigation of the potential of a novel non-invasive therapy, acute intermittent hypoxia (AIH) to improve forelimb function recovery in a rat model of cervical spinal cord injury, to incorporate exciting new insights. We previously showed that 7 days of daily AIH, administered 4 weeks after spinal cord injury, improves forelimb recovery on a ladder-walking task and significantly elevates plasticity-associated gene expression in spared spinal circuitry. But, despite an obvious trend toward recovery, this protocol was insufficient to significantly improve forelimb reach-to-grasp abilities in these rats, implying that the duration or timing of when to initiate treatment may not be optimal. In peripheral nerve injury paradigms, we have preliminary data supporting novel effects of AIH on nerve repair and polarization of immune cells toward a pro-repair phenotype. This suggests that AIH, beyond increasing plasticity in spared circuitry, may also favorably impact actual repair and immune cell responses following spinal cord injury. Thus, we propose to examine whether intervening earlier post spinal cord injury (1 week) and employing a longer AIH treatment protocol (ie. low level AIH 3 x per week after initial 7 day treatment) may favorably impact behavioral outcomes (i.e. forelimb reach-to-grasp abilities) by mitigating the secondary damage associated with spinal cord injury and/or enhancing regeneration of the injured circuitry. This will further elucidate the potential of this therapeutic intervention required for successful translation to clinical trials.
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Investigating the effect of haptic input on walking balance following a spinal cord injury
Principal Investigator
Dr. Alison Oates
Kinesiology
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Valerie Verge
Co-Investigator(s)
Catherine Arnold
Joel Lanovaz
Gary Linassi
Kristin Musselman
Renato Moraes
Stephan Milosavljevic
2015-2016 Spinal Cord Injury Research Grants
Two year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$73,621SHRF
Description
Falls and fall related injuries are more common in adults with an incomplete spinal cord injury (iSCI) compared to the general population. Lightly touching an object such as a railing improves walking balance in healthy individuals and in those who have a neurological condition such as a stroke. Haptic input (adding sensory information through touch) has not been tested as a method to decrease fall risk in persons with an iSCI. This research is the first to investigate the effects of adding haptic input on walking balance in someone with an iSCI and look at the differences in how haptic input is used. To provide haptic input, two tools will be tested: Gently touching a railing, and carrying devices called ‘anchors' that are similar to leashes with light weights at the bottom. Both individuals with an iSCI and healthy adults will have their dynamic balance safely measured in our state of the art lab as they walk in different ways with eyes open and closed. They will also be asked how they feel about the haptic tools and if they feel their balance has been improved. This research is designed to advance health care delivery for persons with an iSCI. Improving balance could increase the amount and quality of walking resulting in sustainable long term outcomes such as preventing falls, fall-related injuries and associated costs, reducing the complications of immobility, and improving the quality of life of those living with an iSCI.
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Tah-Nigahniwhak! (They will be leaders!) Growing up well in a northern Métis Saskatchewan community
Principal Investigator
Dr. Sarah Oosman
School of Physical Therapy
Physical Therapy
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Valerie Verge
Co-Investigator(s)
Bonnie Jeffery
Tara-Leigh McHugh
Sylvia Abonyi
Thomas Roy
2015-2016 Establishment Grants
Three year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$119,415SHRF
Description
In Canada, the Indigenous population is younger than the overall population, but experiences more chronic conditions at an earlier age. This trajectory is set early in life and is influenced by circumstances in which people are born, grow up, live, and age. Little is known about what Indigenous youth perceive is important to set them on a healthier life path, because research has focused on First Nations youth, resulting in a lack of knowledge specific to Métis youth. This research will reveal aspirations and current experiences for growing up well for Métis youth in a remote community. The project was developed in partnership with the Métis community of Île-à-la-Crosse, and is part of a broader program of research exploring living well across generations in northern Saskatchewan. This project is guided by an Aboriginal ecological epistemology and framework of health and well-being that community partners have identified as adaptable to Métis worldviews and knowledge. Data collection methods include sharing circles, conversations, interviews, and photo projects. Formal and informal supports currently available to youth in the community will be systematically identified and assessed for their alignment with the Métis framework and youth aspirations. The analysis will consider sex and gender in order to better understand growth and development needs. The findings will enhance our understanding of the intergenerational aspects of health and well-being among Métis populations and will inform program and policy interventions for Métis youth health and well-being.
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Research Matters: Facilitating Research Connections
Principal Investigator
Dr. Elan Paluck
Research and Performance Support
Research & Health Information Services
Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Valerie Verge
Co-Investigator(s)
Bonnie Jeffery
Tara-Leigh McHugh
Sylvia Abonyi
Thomas Roy
2015-2016 Research Connections Grants
Three year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$1,000SHRF
Description
The Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region (RQHR) is hosting an event to facilitate the development and growth of clinical research teams in Southern Saskatchewan. Attendees will include the RQHR Clinical Research Steering Committee and Clinical Research Advisory Group, select members from RQHR Senior Leadership and selected Deans and Vice-Presidents from the University of Regina. The objective of this event is to improve research collaborations between the RQHR and University of Regina. We anticipate this event will foster the creation of a short term strategy that builds on current research partnerships and clinical research teams and explores additional opportunities for collaboration.
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Development of an Oral Vaccine Platform for Neonates
Principal Investigator
Dr. Jonathan Pasternak
VIDO-InterVac
VIDO
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Valerie Verge
Co-Investigator(s)
Bonnie Jeffery
Tara-Leigh McHugh
Sylvia Abonyi
Thomas Roy
2015-2016 Research Fellowship Top-up Incentive Award
Two year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$20,000SHRF
Description
Vaccines are the most effective tools for the control of infectious disease, however, their use in combating intestinal infection and diarrheal disease, which play a key role in childhood development and public health, has yet to be fully realized. The majority of pathogens enter the body through mucosal surfaces such as the intestinal mucosa, where classical vaccinations fail to trigger significant immunity. Oral vaccination not only has the benefit of inducing both mucosal and systemic immunity but avoids the need for both needles and health professionals for administration. A small number of whole-agent oral vaccines (live-attenuated virus) have been brought to market but a safe and effective oral subunit vaccine remains elusive. This is likely owing to minimal transport across the gut wall and a tendency for the body to respond to oral antigens with tolerance instead of immunity. The intestine of the neonate however, is unique. It is maintained for a short time in a “leaky” state to allow the passive transfer of maternal antibodies into the bloodstream. This project seeks to develop an oral subunit vaccination platform by capitalizing on this unique physiological state. Using swine as a large animal model, we intend to evaluate the transit and immunogenicity of the protein ovalbumin (an academic antigen) and relate this to the permeability of the neonatal gut over time. Dr. Pasternak's team will use Eshericia coli (E.coli) proteins as vaccine antigens, deliver them to neonates using dose/timing identified as optimal using ovalbumin, then establish the immune response and protection against diarrhea.
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Saskatchewan Stroke Symposium
Principal Investigator
Dr. Phyllis Paterson
Pharmacy and Nutrition
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Valerie Verge
Co-Investigator(s)
Helen Nichol
Michael Kelly
2015-2016 Research Connections Grants
Two year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$2,000SHRF
Description
The Saskatchewan Stroke Symposium is intended to bring together clinical and basic science stroke researchers from across Saskatchewan and key leaders in stroke research from Alberta. The symposium offers the opportunity for stroke researchers to learn from each other and develop new productive collaborations. The event is being planned by the CIHR-HSFC Synchrotron Medical Imaging Team and Saskatchewan Cerebrovascular Centre.
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Custody and Caring: 14th Biennial International Conference on the Nurse's Role in the Criminal Justice System
Principal Investigator
Ms. Cindy Peternelj-Taylor
Nursing
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Valerie Verge
Co-Investigator(s)
Helen Nichol
Michael Kelly
2015-2016 Research Connections Grants
Two year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$10,000SHRF
Description
The goal of the conference is to provide an interactive forum for nurses and other health care professionals to explore work-life and clinical issues that bridge the gap between the criminal justice system and the health care system. The conference provides opportunities to highlight innovations in practice, education, research, administration, and policy development in a variety of correctional, forensic mental health, and criminal justice environments, in Canada and internationally. Join us October 7-9, 2015 at the Delta Bessborough Hotel in Saskatoon, SK. For further information please see http://custodyandcaring.usask.ca/
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Sixth Annual CIHR-THRUST Retreat
Principal Investigator
Dr. Ingrid Pickering
Geological Sciences
Arts and Science
University Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Valerie Verge
Co-Investigator(s)
Ashley James
Isaac Pratt
Kelly Summers
2015-2016 Research Connections Grants
Two year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$3,000SHRF
Description
CIHR-THRUST, the CIHR Training grant in Health Research Using Synchrotron Techniques, supports innovative health research training using the Canadian Light Source synchrotron. Based at the University of Saskatchewan, the training program engages clinical and biomedical health researchers with synchrotron specialists and other scientists and engineers to push the boundaries of synchrotron health research. Our Annual Retreat on December 9th in Saskatoon is the focus of our program year, bringing together the trainees with experts and invited guests -around 92 participants. This day comprises oral presentations, poster session for trainees, and a unique opportunity for synchrotron health research networking and brainstorming.
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Examining Innovations to Support Disadvantaged Patients with Complex and Integrated Community Health Care Needs
Principal Investigator
Dr. Vivian Ramsden
Family Medicine
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Valerie Verge
Co-Investigator(s)
Ashley James
Isaac Pratt
Kelly Summers
2015-2016 SPOR Network in Primary & Integrated Health Care Innovations - Quick Strikes
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$10,000SHRF
$68,550Other Partners
$69,400CIHR
$147,950Total
Description
Literacy is now recognized as an important determinant of health and is closely linked to other social determinants of health in Canada. Persons with low health literacy, including urban Aboriginal persons with low levels of education, persons living in poverty and non-English or French speaking new Canadians, experience major obstacles in navigating the health care system in every province in Canada. In Saskatchewan, improving the capacity of the health care system to meet the complex needs of urban Aboriginal and underserved communities is of high importance. The Saskatchewan aspect of this project will focus on health literacy and helping individuals that would be considered vulnerable to become health advocates through engagement with one or more health care provider(s) and the co-creation of tools that will help them to ask questions of their health care providers.The involvement of people with low literacy in research is crucial because these people are: 1. more likely to live with multiple chronic conditions and at the same time may be excluded from mainstream healthcare services; and, 2. Under-represented in primary care innovation focused research. This project's aims are twofold: 1. Identify the complex health care needs and expectations of persons living with low levels of health literacy; and, 2. Co-create innovative solutions in two primary care jurisdictions with patients with low health literacy.
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Increasing utilization of home renal replacement therapies in First Nations communities: A collaborative and culturally relevant approach
Principal Investigator
Dr. Bonnie Richardson
Nephrology
Internal Medicine
Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Valerie Verge
Co-Investigator(s)
Michelle McCarron
Wilson Sutherland
Kyle Prettyshield
Siva Karunakaran
Joanne Kappel
2015-2016 Collaborative Innovation Development
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$40,000SHRF
Description
Renal replacement options or dialysis can be delivered in the home setting or hospital setting. Home dialysis offers a number of benefits over hospital-delivered dialysis. Peritoneal dialysis is the most common type of home dialysis. This dialysis is done through a catheter in an individual's abdomen which cleans the blood, typically overnight while the individual sleeps. The advantages of home dialysis include better quality of life, less travel and fewer dietary restrictions. Home- and hospital-based dialysis have comparable effectiveness. Home dialysis is significantly more cost effective than hospital dialysis. In Canada, the cost on a per year, per patient basis is almost double annually for hospital dialysis ($60,000) compared to home peritoneal dialysis ($32,000), marking a substantial savings when home peritoneal dialysis is implemented. These studies do not include costs to the individual, such as a family member taking time off work, driving or purchasing meals away from home when receiving hospital-based dialysis. Although, First Nations use dialysis more frequently than non-First Nations, they underutilize home dialysis at 16.2% vs 25.7 % in Saskatchewan. Hospital-based dialysis is only offered in Regina and Saskatoon, meaning that individuals who live in rural communities often incur substantial costs in time and money in order to receive services. The Federal Government, through Health Canada, pays $0.14 per km of travel for First Nations people. Hospital dialysis is usually done three times a week. Since First Nations live predominately in rural communities, the economic cost burden to both communities and governments are significant. The potential savings to First Nations individuals and governments are millions of dollars, annually.Our demonstration project with collaboration with the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN), two engaged First Nations communities, Health Canada and the Provincial Kidney Program (with three kidney physician specialists) will partner and offer culturally relevant kidney care, with the goal of increasing home dialysis. The intent is for the translation of knowledge and care to be empowered to First Nations communities.
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Registered Nurse and Physician Mentorship in Saskatchewan's Rural Communities
Principal Investigator
Dr. Noelle Rohatinsky
Nursing
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Valerie Verge
Co-Investigator(s)
Donna Rennie
June Anonson
Olufemi Olatunbosun
Sonia Udod
2015-2016 Establishment Grants
Three year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$82,061SHRF
Description
Mentorships can serve to help organizations recruit and retain healthcare professionals. The purpose of this study is to modify an existing provincial mentorship program to meet the workplace transition and learning needs of registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and physicians in rural communities. The outcome of this research is a pilot rural-specific mentorship program that will be implemented and evaluated to assess the program's influence on supporting rural mentorships, easing workplace transition, strengthening community connections, and encouraging recruitment and retention of healthcare providers. The qualitative study, which involves semi-structured interviews, is important because rural communities struggle to recruit and retain healthcare providers. Innovative methods to achieve and sustain these beneficial relationships are integral to creating work environments that result in enhanced patient care and service delivery in rural communities. If healthcare providers feel supported in their work, they will be more likely to stay in their positions.
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Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Syndromes: A Saskatchewan-led International Transdisciplinary Conference for Development of Early Detection, Targeted Treatment, and Prevention Protocols
Principal Investigator
Dr. Alan Rosenberg
Pediatrics
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Valerie Verge
Co-Investigator(s)
Donna Rennie
June Anonson
Olufemi Olatunbosun
Sonia Udod
2015-2016 Research Connections Grants
Three year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$8,800SHRF
Description
This event will gather together a multidisciplinary consortium of local and international experts to establish a collaborative network aimed at improving care, awareness and understanding of Pediatric Acute Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndromes.
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Investigating the therapeutic ability of tolerogenic dendritic cells in humanized asthmatic mice
Principal Investigator
Dr. Christopher Rudulier
Medicine
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Valerie Verge
Co-Investigator(s)
Donna Rennie
June Anonson
Olufemi Olatunbosun
Sonia Udod
Supervisor(s)
Dr. John Gordon (Lead Supervisor)
2015-2016 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
Two year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
The prevalence of allergic asthma is increasing worldwide. Allergic asthma is caused by unnecessary and damaging immune responses to harmless particles in the air, such as cat dander or pollens. Current therapies only target the symptoms of asthma, and do not address the underlying immunological cause of the disease. In fact, despite the widespread availability of drugs to control asthmatic symptoms, approximately 20 Canadian children and 500 Canadian adults die each year due to asthma. Thus, a therapy that corrects the pathological immune response that drives asthma is urgently required. This research will take the first steps in moving this therapy into humans by employing mice engrafted with allergic cells from asthmatic subjects. These cutting-edge "œhumanized" mice will enable the researchers to assess the effectiveness of our conditioned cells in turning off various well-characterized human asthma-causing allergic cells. This will provide the researchers with the critical information necessary to gain approval for future clinical trials involving the treatment of asthmatic subjects with these asthma-reversing conditioned cells.
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Social Determinants of Health Among Migrant Workers in Saskatchewan
Principal Investigator
Dr. Michael Schwandt
Community Health and Epidemiology
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Lori Hanson
Co-Investigator(s)
Sean Tucker
Andrew Stevens
Leslie Rea
2015-2016 Collaborative Innovation Development
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$39,691SHRF
Description
Throughout North America, migrant workers have been found to be particularly vulnerable to factors affecting health such as poor housing conditions, unsafe working conditions and reduced access to health services. This is a growing concern in Saskatchewan, where immigration is increasing dramatically. In spite of various legislation and regulations setting standards in these areas, migrant workers continue to be a vulnerable group of workers. To date there has been little research on factors associated with the health and safety of migrant workers in Saskatchewan.Our study will begin to address this gap in knowledge, informing the development of further research and policy pertaining to this population. Working with agencies that support newcomers to Canada, our novel research will study living and working conditions and access to health services among migrant workers in Saskatchewan, while examining some of the applications of major policies regulating these factors. This study represents the first research of its kind in Saskatchewan, offering an opportunity to provide information to decision-makers, and to support the enactment and refinement of policies and programs that benefit the health of migrant workers in the province. Following this study, we propose to utilize potential funding from the CIHR-SSHRC Healthy and Productive Work initiative and the Saskatchewan Workers Compensation Board to scale up our research, beginning with a comparative policy study and a robust quantitative study of migrant workers' health.
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Toward Equitable Distribution of Primary Health Care: A Comparative Geospatial Examination of Access to Community Based Health Services across Canadian Prairie Provinces
Principal Investigator
Dr. Tayyab Shah
Physical Therapy
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Lori Hanson
Co-Investigator(s)
Sean Tucker
Andrew Stevens
Leslie Rea
Supervisor(s)
Dr. Stephan Milosavljevic (Lead Supervisor) Dr. Brenna Bath (Supervisor)
2015-2016 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
Two year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
There are growing concerns in Canada that the primary health care system is not as responsive as it could be in certain geographic areas. Some communities do not have the same access to a range of primary health care professionals, such as family physicians, nurse practitioners, and physiotherapists. These differences in access to health services have negative consequences for best meeting the health needs of all Canadians. This research will investigate the availability and geographic accessibility to family doctors, nurse practitioners, and physiotherapists in all three Prairie Provinces. We will map service delivery at both health region and municipality levels. Results in Saskatchewan will be compared with Alberta and Manitoba to see whether there is variation across provinces based on different provincial health policies. The results of this study will identify primary health care patterns and any under-served (or poorly served) populations in the Prairie Provinces. It will assist health care managers and policy makers to understand the distribution of existing key primary health care personnel resources. By noting differences in geographic accessibility to health services, this study will suggest several courses of action to help strengthen primary health care in Saskatchewan and better meet the health needs of everyone, regardless of where they live.
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Mobile Hepatitis-C Care and Treatment in Big River First Nation
Principal Investigator
Dr. Stuart Skinner
Infectious Diseases
Medicine
Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Mamata Pandey
Co-Investigator(s)
Derek Klein
Stryker Calvez
2015-2016 Collaborative Innovation Development
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$40,000SHRF
Description
Saskatchewan has one of the highest rates of Hepatitis-C infections as compared to the national average and the infection rates are proposed to be four times higher in Indigenous people. Health outcomes of Indigenous people are further jeopardized due to lack of access to standardized care. This has exacerbated the communicable disease risk in these communities leading to further transmission and high disease related morbidity and mortality. In this project a collaborative relationship will be developed with Big River First Nations community to address the healthcare needs of Hepatitis-C patients. The objective is to develop an integrated care model that can be delivered through a mobile on-reserve unit at Big River. A community participatory research method will be adopted to engage community members and patients to identify needs and barriers to healthcare access. Through continued and meaningful community involvement the research team will develop an integrated care model that is best suited to address the unique needs of the community. Thereafter, the outcomes of the treatment group receiving treatment through the mobile on-reserve unit will be compared with the outcomes of a comparison group receiving treatment through other programs (cohort study design); to evaluate the quality of care received and health outcomes of patients. Finally, a cost-benefit analysis will be carried out to evaluate the sustainability and the scalability of this care-model. If this model adequately addresses the needs of the Hepatitis-C patients then this can be an alternative to address other infections such as HIV. This innovative project represents a first step taken to design and test an evidence based care-model that is best suited to address the unique needs of Hepatitis-C patients residing in under-served community in remote Saskatchewan. By employing technology and community engagement, the project aims to bring standardized care to Hepatitis-C patients residing in remote First Nations communities in Saskatchewan. The results of this pilot study will be employed to improve the structure of the care-model and secure additional funding from the Primary Integrated Health Care Innovations network.
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Synthetic Lethal Approaches to Metastatic Breast Cancer Therapy
Principal Investigator
Dr. Shari Smith
Oncology
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Mamata Pandey
Co-Investigator(s)
Derek Klein
Stryker Calvez
Supervisor(s)
Dr. Deborah Anderson (Lead Supervisor)
2015-2016 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
Two year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women, and each year approximately 1.7 million new cases are detected globally. Metastatic breast cancers are the most aggressive form of this disease, with an average survival rate of less than two years. Metastatic breast cancer cells acquire new properties that allow them to migrate and invade surrounding tissue. Under normal conditions, non-cancerous cells produce CREB3L1, which restricts the production of proteins involved in cell migration and invasion. The researchers recently discovered that CREB3L1 is not present in ~53% of high-grade metastatic breast tumors. Therefore, they will use this unique feature of metastatic breast cancer cells as a way to target them for drug therapy. The aim of this study is to identify a target that when blocked with a drug triggers death in only cells lacking CREB3L1, and thus, sparing normal breast cells. This will be tested in a mouse model of breast cancer to determine whether this decreases tumor formation, and prevents the spreading of cancer to other organs. Since ~53% of high-grade breast tumors lack the CREB3L1 protein, the innovative research highlighting a potential targeted drug therapy could have significant positive impact on the breast cancer community.
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The Concept and Role of Place for First Nations Youth Mental Health
Principal Investigator
Dr. Angela Snowshoe
Educational Psychology
Educational Psychology
Education
University of Regina
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. JoLee Sasakamoose
Co-Investigator(s)
Amanda Scandrett
2015-2016 Collaborative Innovation Development
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$39,990SHRF
Description
First Nations youth in Canada have a considerably higher risk to develop mental health problems when compared to the general population. In Saskatchewan, the delivery of culturally sensitive and equitable treatment to First Nations youth has been identified as a priority by the Ministry of Health. However, many early career counsellors are not provided with adequate training that is needed to deliver culturally sensitive therapy for First Nations youth. While there is a growing understanding about the importance of culture for First Nations youth well-being, there has been little consideration of how the physical design of a counselling setting can facilitate (or hinder) First Nations youth ability to heal. The purpose of this research project is to address the need-service gap in service development and health policy related to culturally sensitive therapy with First Nations youth. The research project aims to explore the role of place in the healing process for First Nations youth in counselling settings across Saskatchewan. The research team will identify best practice examples for organizations and mental health service providers working with First Nations youth in Canada. The research results will provide a foundation from which health policy development and research initiatives can be carried out that emphasize the importance of place for First Nations youth mental health.
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Effect of Early Access Cardiac Rehabilitation on Ventricular Remodeling and Exercise Adherence: A Pilot-Feasibility Study
Principal Investigator
Dr. Corey Tomczak
Kinesiology
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. JoLee Sasakamoose
Co-Investigator(s)
Larry Brawley
Mark Haykowsky
2015-2016 Establishment Grants
Three year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$120,000SHRF
Description
Research initiatives have led to a reduction in deaths from heart disease. Despite this, a heart attack, also known as a myocardial infarction, remains a major health problem, because a growing number of individuals are living with heart damage from their heart attack. The heart damage reduces heart pump function and physical activity ability, and increases the chance for further health problems. Cardiac rehabilitation is effective for improving heart function after myocardial infarction. However little is known about the best time to start cardiac rehabilitation in order to maximum benefit for the damaged heart. The major objective of this study is to compare the effects of cardiac rehabilitation access time on heart function at one year following myocardial infarction. Specifically, to compare heart pump function in participants randomized to early access cardiac rehabilitation (1-week following hospital discharge) with those randomized to standard access cardiac rehabilitation (5-weeks following hospital discharge). This objective will inform us about the heart health benefits of early cardiac rehabilitation following a heart attack. Establishing these benefits will improve clinical decision-making, influence future Canadian cardiac rehabilitation guidelines and practices, and lead to improved hospital utilization efficiency and patient care.
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Building Nurse Manager Leadership within the Lean Management System
Principal Investigator
Dr. Sonia Udod
Nursing
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Mrs. Patti Simonar
Co-Investigator(s)
Donna Goodridge
Thomas Rotter
Judy Duchscher
2015-2016 Collaborative Innovation Development
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$40,000SHRF
Description
Nurse managers (NM) are essential for building and sustaining workplaces that are conducive to safe, quality patient care. However, high role demands, lack of proper support, and constricting resources lead to NM role stress, increased turnover, and poor succession. Additionally, the increased strain on the healthcare system with respect to the need to reduce costs while improving quality of care has pressured its leaders to implement system-wide quality improvement initiatives, such as the Lean management system. In Saskatchewan, these two contributing factors result in a unique challenge: redefined NM roles within the context of Lean. The purpose of this study is to identify leadership behaviours and managerial practices of NMs that facilitate or impede the “normalization” of Lean in acute rural and urban hospitals in Saskatchewan. This study will be done in the context of Normalization Process Theory, which explains how complex interventions, such as Lean, can become routinely embedded in practice. This qualitative study will build upon previous work related to Lean implementation and features semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions with NMs. The research environment includes two contrasting health regions: Saskatoon (urban) and Kelsey Trail (rural). This will be the first study to generate evidence supporting practice-based theory regarding Lean and effective NM leadership practices. The research is relevant and important because NMs are pivotal players in the implementation of transformative healthcare practices that reinforce behaviours to promote and sustain strategies to reduce waste, improve coordination, and increase patient safety. Creating positive work environments supporting current NMs in providing patient and family-centered care through appropriate leadership styles and practices can also foster succession planning.
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Developing affinity reagents for molecular imaging and therapy of ovarian cancer
Principal Investigator
Dr. Maruti Uppalapati
Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Mrs. Patti Simonar
Co-Investigator(s)
Donna Goodridge
Thomas Rotter
Judy Duchscher
2015-2016 Establishment Grants
Three year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$120,000SHRF
Description
Ovarian cancer affects nearly 2700 Canadian women every year with very poor prognosis. Unfortunately, most patients are diagnosed at an advanced stage, and current therapies do not improve the survival of these patients. Therefore, there is a clear need for new avenues of treatment. CA125/MUC16 is a protein that is overexpressed in greater than 80% of epithelial ovarian cancers, making it a good biomarker for targeted therapy. However, the complex nature, multiple splicing, and heterogeneity of the protein isolated from various sources has led to lack of reliable affinity reagents that can be used for non-invasive imaging and therapy in human patients. Using combinatorial protein engineering techniques, the researchers plan to generate protein-based affinity reagents that bind to a defined region on CA125 that is conserved across multiple isoforms. For this purpose, the researchers will develop several combinatorial phage libraries based on human proteins, and use a novel screening method to screen for binders to this conserved region of CA125. The generated reagents will be validated for improved sensitivity and specificity of binding across several ovarian cancer cell lines in comparison with other affinity reagents that are routinely used for staging ovarian cancer. These new reagents will have applications in molecular imaging and immuno-therapy of epithelial ovarian cancer cells expressing CA125.
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Public Health Nutrition Research Network Symposium, Connecting for Food Security: From Global to Local Perspective
Principal Investigator
Dr. Hassanali Vatanparast
School of Public Health
Nutrition
Pharmacy and Nutrition
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Mrs. Patti Simonar
Co-Investigator(s)
Susan Whiting
2015-2016 Research Connections Grants
Three year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$1,500SHRF
Description
The 3nd Annual Saskatchewan Public Health Nutrition Research Network Symposium: Connecting for Food Security: From Global to Local Perspective aims to promote communication with stakeholders; encourage collaborative and multidisciplinary research; identify the needs in public health nutrition as a field of practice; and initiate programs that build capacity for practitioners. The event will be held October 17th, 2015 at the University of Saskatchewan. It features respected speakers Dr. Valerie Tarasuk and Dr. Ron Labonte, as well as many Saskatchewan researchers and practitioners in the field. This is a unique opportunity to meet and discuss with 2 internationally known leaders in the field of food security and public health nutrition. For symposium program and registration information, please visit www.usask.ca/phnr
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Developing targeted therapeutic reagents for prostate cancer
Principal Investigator
Dr. Franco Vizeacoumar
Oncology
Oncology
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Maruti Uppalapati
Co-Investigator(s)
Jiong Yan
Sunil Yadav
2015-2016 Collaborative Innovation Development
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$40,000SHRF
Description
Given the advances that have been made in understanding the biology of prostate cancer, a major obstacle that limits the development of new drugs is the lack of appropriate, well-validated targets. Particularly, castration-resistant prostate cancers (CRPC) are the most aggressive form with complete absence of a clinically relevant targeted therapy. We will employ a phenomenon called Synthetic Dosage Lethality (SDL) that takes advantage of lethal combinations between gene pairs to cause the death of the cancer cell alone, provided one of the them is a genetic alteration causing cancer. Applying this technology, we will identify potential targets that can be translated to clinical studies upon validation. In this study, we provide a systematic strategy to build the pipeline to specifically identify cell surface molecules that when inhibited with synthetic antibodies should cause selective killing of CRPC cells. The funding from SHRF will position us to demonstrate proof-of-concept through in vitro studies. The therapeutic relevance will be systematically evaluated in animal models with further funding from CIHR. The successful completion of our project will trigger new targeted therapies for CRPC patients and we hope that our work will eventually contribute to better ways to manage this problem in patients in Saskatchewan and elsewhere.
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SYNTHETIC DOSAGE LETHALITY OF POLO-LIKE KINASE 1 IN COLORECTAL CANCER
Principal Investigator
Dr. Franco Vizeacoumar
Oncology
Oncology
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Maruti Uppalapati
Co-Investigator(s)
Jiong Yan
Sunil Yadav
2015-2016 Establishment Grants
Three year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$119,901SHRF
Description
The commonly used therapies for cancer involve delivering high doses of radiation or toxic chemicals to the patient to help suppress tumor growth, but they also cause substantial damage to normal tissue. To overcome this we need targeted therapy that selectively kills cancer cells. This study will exploit genome instability, one of the most common unifying features of the cancer cells that primarily arise due to defective repair tools that maintain the integrity of the genome. There is another side to genetic instability that might work to the benefit of the patient, rather than to that of a tumor. Unlike normal cells, cancer cells do not have intact repair tools and succumb to any genotoxic insults. Rather than targeting a particular mutation that causes cancer, targeting these checkpoint tools can be employed without even having to know the underlying mutation. In order to do this in a systematic fashion, the researchers will employ a basic biological concept called "Synthetic Dosage Lethality" that takes advantage of interactions between gene pairs where an over-expression of a gene is lethal only when another, normally non-lethal, mutation or deletion is present. The researchers have developed a screening pipeline that can query every single gene in the genome and define these so-called synthetic dosage lethal interactions. This methodology will exploit those gene pairs that could be translated for cancer therapeutics.
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16th Biennial Violence & Aggression Symposium
Principal Investigator
Dr. J. Stephen Wormith
Psychology
Arts & Science
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Maruti Uppalapati
Co-Investigator(s)
Jiong Yan
Sunil Yadav
2015-2016 Research Connections Grants
Three year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$2,500SHRF
Description
The Violence & Aggression Symposium is a conference held biennially since 1986 that brings together academics, government and non-governmental representatives, aboriginal and other community groups/agencies to enhance knowledge, and build partnerships and collaborations aimed at understanding and addressing critical issues related to mental health and criminal justice. The 2016 edition will take place for the second time at the University of Saskatchewan, May 15-17, 2016, and will feature 4 plenary and 12 concurrent session presenters sharing their knowledge on an array of topics including mental health in the justice system, radicalization, adult and youth psychopathy and child exploitation.
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Metabolomic analysis of urine: Improving the diagnosis of asthma and COPD
Principal Investigator
Dr. Darryl Adamko
Pulmonary Medicine
Pediatrics
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Maruti Uppalapati
Co-Investigator(s)
Anas El-Aneed
2014-2015 Establishment Grants
Three year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$120,000SHRF
Description
There is no single test today that can accurately diagnose and help manage respiratory diseases in a typical family physician's office setting that is non-invasive. So family physicians try different therapies, often on a trial and error basis, hoping something will work. This is a serious problem that is leading to unnecessary hospitalizations and health costs. The overall purpose of Dr. Adamko's work is to provide a better method of diagnosing and managing respiratory diseases so that the correct treatment can be identified and started sooner, leading to improved wellbeing of the patient.This research proposes a unique approach to tackling this problem; the development of a simple urine test that would help doctors correctly identify specific airway diseases. Previous research has already shown that certain airway diseases produce cellular products (metabolites) in the urine and that the array, or “signature”, of metabolites differs between asthma and COPD. The objectives of this current funded project are to: 1) improve the research by further studying available human samples using a more sensitive technology called mass spectrometry; and 2) to establish patient groups in Saskatchewan.This research aims to dramatically improve diagnosis and the management of airway diseases and fits with the current health research priority areas of primary care settings. In addition, since Aboriginal people are over-represented among these patient populations, as are the elderly in the COPD population, this research also addresses the health needs of specific populations.
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Nature and nurture: A biopsychosocial exploration of the relationship between childhood trauma, adult attachment, and severity of depression and social anxiety in Saskatchewan.
Principal Investigator
Dr. G. Camelia Adams
Psychiatry
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Maruti Uppalapati
Co-Investigator(s)
Scott Napper
Rudy Bowen
2014-2015 Establishment Grants
Three year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$110,393SHRF
Description
There is an intricate interaction between nature and nurture. The earliest years in our physical, mental, and social development are critical. In these early years our trust in others and ourselves develops and when our early interactions are healthy, so are we. When they are not, neither are we. Adversity and unhealthy interactions in early life can shape our attachment to others and this template may stay with us throughout life. We are social beings and we spend our lives “attaching” to others.Successfully negotiating these attachments impacts how we function in our daily lives, including the impact on our health and wellbeing. Failure to negotiate these attachments can have adverse outcomes that can include depression, an acknowledged mental health burden and a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. In addition, social anxiety remains the most frequent anxiety disorder either alone or when comorbid with depression. Dr. Adams research aims to examine the psychological and biological vulnerability that arises from childhood trauma and how this trauma may impact attachment style(s) in adulthood. In addition, her team will examine the relationships between adult attachment styles, hormonal characteristics due to stress, and clinical severity in depression and social anxiety. Given the high prevalence and co-occurrence of these conditions, the research has the potential to provide immediate translational potential for diagnosis and treatment in a critical, yet understudied area.
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Mechanistic Analysis of miR-122 promotion of HCV replication
Principal Investigator
Dr. Yalena Amador Cañizares
Microbiology and Immunology
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Maruti Uppalapati
Co-Investigator(s)
Scott Napper
Rudy Bowen
Supervisor(s)
Dr. Joyce Wilson (Lead Supervisor)
2014-2015 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
Two year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
Saskatchewan has a high incidence of HCV infection relative to the Canadian average, and a very high percentage of HCV infected people self-identify as First Nations. This makes HCV infection a priority health issue that affects both First Nations and non-First Nations Saskatchewan residents. Current HCV treatments are frequently ineffective and can induce virus resistance. Dr. Cañizares' team aims to discover how the host cellular micro-RNA, miR-122, promotes HCV infections and use the information to develop new ways to inhibit the virus and treat HCV infected patients. We hypothesize that miR-122 promotes HCV replication through specific activity of Argonaute 2 (Ago2), and by modifying protein binding to the HCV 5'UTR. The first objective of the research will be to focus on the host protein, Ago2, a key player in miR-122 promotion of HCV. miR-122 binds to Ago2 and then the complex binds directly to the RNA genome of the virus. What isn't understood is how the protein-RNA complex promotes HCV replication? Ago2 is a multifunctional protein with regions (motif) of the protein having different functions. By mutating each motif and then measuring the effect on HCV replication the key Ago2 functions required for miR-122 promotion of HCV replication will be identified. The research team also aims to identify novel host and viral proteins that bind to the HCV genome and investigate if miR-122 regulates (promotes or inhibits) their binding. This research will lead to a better understanding of the mechanism by which miR-122 promotes HCV infections and identify targets for therapeutic intervention.
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Effects of maternal immune activation during pregnancy on patterns of brain activity in the offspring: implications for schizophrenia
Principal Investigator
Dr. Lei An
Physiology
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Maruti Uppalapati
Co-Investigator(s)
Scott Napper
Rudy Bowen
Supervisor(s)
Dr. John Howland (Lead Supervisor)
2014-2015 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
Two year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
Schizophrenia is a severe, disabling brain disease that affects about 1 per cent of the population. Recently, cognitive impairments such as deficits in learning and memory have been emphasized as fundamental features of the disorder. However, the mechanisms through which developmental risk factors for the disorder lead to the cognitive impairments are not known. Dr. Lei plans to use a well-validated rat model of maternal infection during pregnancy, an established environmental risk factor for schizophrenia, to assess the specific changes in brain activity that may underlie cognitive symptoms of the disorder. Her team will test whether the offspring of pregnant rats exposed to a simulated viral infection during pregnancy display altered working memory, a specific type of memory altered in schizophrenia. In a second series of experiments, we will record the activity of single cells (neurons) in the brains of control and infection-exposed rats while they perform the working memory test. These results will enable us to describe the alterations in brain activity that occur during cognition on a single cell level for the first time. Dr. Lei's resarch may enable the development of novel therapeutics for schizophrenia that could improve the cognitive symptoms of the disorder.
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Strengthening Inter-Professional Ethics Education Practices of Nursing and Social Work Professionals in Saskatchewan: Deepening Understandings of Ethical Issues and Early Indicators
Principal Investigator
Dr. Ebin Arries
Nursing
University of Regina
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Maruti Uppalapati
Co-Investigator(s)
Randy Johner
Ann-Marie Urban
Joan Wagner
June Anonson
Florence Luhanga
Glenn Donnelly
2014-2015 Collaborative Innovation Development
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$36,512SHRF
Description
This research seeks to extend the theory and practice of ethics education of nurses and social workers by deepening our understanding of ethical issues and early indicators and develop an integrated framework. The aims of the research are to: design, implement and evaluate an inter-professional ethics curriculum; measure outcomes; and strengthen ethics education practices. The research objectives are to explore undergraduate students' and educational professionals' experiences of ethical issues in nursing and social work education and understand how they characterize early indicators; and understand ways in which they respond to and prioritize these ethical issues and early indicators and analyze for patterns of similarities and differences in their viewpoints. This study employs a Q-methodological research design.
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Development of theranostic agents for melanoma
Principal Investigator
Dr. Ildiko Badea
Pharmacy
Pharmacy and Nutrition
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Maruti Uppalapati
Co-Investigator(s)
Humphrey Fonge
Kishor Wasan
Kamaljit Kaur
2014-2015 Collaborative Innovation Development
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$40,000SHRF
Description
Melanoma is a devastating skin disease due to its high propensity for metastasis. Internationally, the incidence of melanoma cases has increased by 45% since 1992, which emphasizes the urgent need for efficient therapy options. With the growing incidence of melanoma in Canada, the availability of new diagnostic tools (radioimaging and synchrotron-based biomedical imaging) and novel radiotherapeutics will lead to timely diagnosis and efficient treatment of melanoma patients of Saskatchewan. This research aims to develop new targeted theranostic (diagnosis and therapy) agents for melanoma, based on lipid nanoparticles incorporating an agent for imaging 111In and 225Ac for targeted radiotherapy. The objectives are to synthesize targeting peptide-conjugated lipids and formulate them into nanoparticles; to incorporate radioagents into the nanoparticles; to study their stability in a biological environment; and to evaluate targeting of the radiopharmaceuticals to melanoma cells. To achieve these objectives, the researchers will use the cyclotron to generate the radionuclides and synchrotron-based radiation to study the properties of the nanoparticles and their interactions with cancer cells. The long-term objectives are to develop a commercially viable product for the localization and treatment of metastatic melanoma.
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Glucocorticoid effects on acute neuroinflammation and chronic neurodegeneration
Principal Investigator
Dr. Lane Bekar
Neuroscience Research Group
Pharmacology
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Maruti Uppalapati
Co-Investigator(s)
Humphrey Fonge
Kishor Wasan
Kamaljit Kaur
2014-2015 Establishment Grants
Three year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$120,000SHRF
Description
Stress can have a profound effect on inflammation. Studies have shown that injecting the glucocorticoid corticosterone prior to an inflammatory challenge show an increased neuroinflammatory reaction, but if the injection occurs after an inflammatory challenge, the reaction is suppressed. Although previous studies have addressed the impact of acute and chronic stress on the magnitude of inflammatory responses, there has been little research that has addressed the duration of the response. In the context of inflammatory-mediated neurodegeneration where neuron death is dependent on the duration of inflammatory cascades, the duration of the response becomes extremely relevant. Could it be that acute stress primes both the inflammatory and anti-inflammatory pathways to allow an increase in magnitude of the inflammatory response with a shortened duration?Dr. Bekar's research aims to assess the effects of acute corticosterone on the magnitude and duration of systemic lipopolysaccharide-induced neuroinflammation and long-term neurodegenerative processes. The research will employ standard behavioral, histological and biochemical techniques in order to characterize different aspects of acute neuroinflammation as well as chronic neurodegeneration. A greater understanding of stress effects on the different aspects of inflammatory 'activation states' may lead to treatment regimens that can optimize immune responses for specific challenges. In any case, these studies are necessary to build a base of understanding for comparison with immune system changes under conditions of chronic stress that may be the basis for the rapid increase in chronic neurodegenerative conditions seen today in our society.
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All Ages, All Stages: Transitions in the Continuum of Hospice Palliative Care Conference and Clinical Day
Principal Investigator
Ms. Claire Belanger-Parker
Saskatchewan Hospice Palliative Care Association
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Maruti Uppalapati
Co-Investigator(s)
Humphrey Fonge
Kishor Wasan
Kamaljit Kaur
2014-2015 Research Connections Grants
Three year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$10,000SHRF
Description
The three sub-themes this year are Pediatric Palliative Care, Chronic Disease Management, and Palliative and Long Term Care. We will: Address the importance of Pediatric Palliative Care Advance the knowledge and skills of professionals in the field of Chronic Disease Management Advance the delivery of Palliative and Long Term Care Provide a networking opportunity for leaders, clinicians and members of the public Dates: May 13, Clinical Day, May 14-15, 2014, Conference Radisson Hotel, Saskatoon, SK 250 delegates including doctors, nurses, social workers, spiritual care people, volunteers To register: www.saskpalliativecare.org Click on Conference Registration Link
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Saskatchewan Cancer Research Conference
Principal Investigator
Dr. Keith Bonham
Oncology
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Maruti Uppalapati
Co-Investigator(s)
Franco Vizeacoumar
2014-2015 Research Connections Grants
Three year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$3,000SHRF
Description
The Saskatchewan Cancer Research Conference will be held on June 18th, 2014 at the University of Saskatchewan, Health Sciences Building. The goal of the conference is to bring together Cancer Researchers from across the province to foster communication and collaborations, with a special emphasis on translational research. The Conference will feature an internationally respected keynote speaker (Dr. Phil Heiter from the University of British Columbia http://www.msl.ubc.ca/faculty/hieter) as well as Saskatchewan researchers. In addition, a poster session will provide trainees an opportunity to present their finding.
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Suicide: An Update on Assessment and Prevention
Principal Investigator
Dr. Rudy Bowen
Psychiatry
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Maruti Uppalapati
Co-Investigator(s)
Franco Vizeacoumar
2014-2015 Research Connections Grants
Three year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$1,650SHRF
Description
On Friday, March 20/2015, the Department of Psychiatry will host a conference entitled "Suicide: An Update on Assessment and Prevention". The venue will be the Saskatoon City Hospital Theatre. Speakers include Dr. Shawn Shea (New Hampshire), and Dr. Jitender Sareen, Manitoba. The purpose is to provide a novel look at suicide prevention for the benefit of allied health care professionals (psychiatrists, family physicians, psychologists, psychiatric nurses, social workers), researchers, trainees and community members in Saskatchewan. We expect approximately 100 registrants. For detailed information on agenda, speakers, learning objectives and registration, please refer to the attached event description.
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Determination of Matrix Metalloproteinase Expression in Symptomatic and Asymptomatic Human Carotid Artery Tissue
Principal Investigator
Dr. Josef Buttigieg
Biology
Science
University of Regina
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. David Kopriva
Co-Investigator(s)
Tzu-Chiao Chao
2014-2015 Collaborative Innovation Development
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$21,650SHRF
Description
Atherosclerosis is the primary cause of heart disease and plays an important role in the development of stroke or stroke like symptoms. Often atherosclerosis is thought of as a blood flow problem: fat collects on the inside of arteries, eventually limiting the flow of blood or causing closing off the artery completely. While this may be the case in some people, more commonly a piece of the atherosclerotic plaque ruptures. When this happens, the free flowing debris can then lodge elsewhere (e.g. brain or heart) causing disruption of blood flow in that organ and causing death of cells (e.g. stroke or heart attack). While most people will develop atherosclerosis, only a certain subset of the population will develop unstable plaques that rupture and cause stroke. Individuals with stable plaques typically are not aware of their presence and only become aware when they are being examined for some other unrelated condition. What is not known are the factors that are involved in the transition from a stable plaque to an unstable plaque. To date, we can only determine that a plaque is unstable after it has ruptured and caused a stroke or heart attack. If we can determine whether an individual is at risk earlier, e.g. before a stroke or heart attack, we can then employ preventative measures (e.g. diet modification, surgery, or diet modification) much earlier and limit brain or heart damage. The goal of this study is to demonstrate our ability to analyze atherosclerotic plaques at the gene and protein level and thus be able to identify biomarkers. These biomarkers (either biopsy or blood sample) can then be utilized to predict plaque stability and thus allow preemptive treatment, before the plaque causes a stroke. The long-term goals are to take these initial findings and validate them in a larger population base (nationwide). Funding for the long-term goals will be sought from the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation and from CIHR.
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Role of pulmonary neuroendocrine cells in lung physiology
Principal Investigator
Dr. Josef Buttigieg
Biology
Science
University of Regina
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. David Kopriva
Co-Investigator(s)
Tzu-Chiao Chao
2014-2015 Establishment Grants
Three year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$119,926SHRF
Description
Diseases that affect the function of the lung such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and pulmonary arterial hypertension are serious detriments to an individual's quality of life. Severe enough, these lung problems can often cause death. In Canada, lung diseases cost the healthcare system over $20 billion in 2010 an amount projected to grow to $24 billion by 2025. After heart disease and cerebrovasculor disease, lung disease is the third leading cause of death in Canada.In many lung diseases, the problem is essentially the inability to match blood perfusion - the process of a body delivering blood to a capillary bed - to ventilation. In a healthy lung, peripheral oxygen sensors such as the pulmonary neuroendocrine cells (pNEC) or clusters of pNEC called neuroepithelial bodies (NEB), play a key role in lung ventilation to blood perfusion. The innervated pNEC/NEB monitors changes in ventilation, and blood gasses relay this information to the brain and act to adjust pulmonary vasculature appropriately. However, little is known about the mechanism by which this occurs or how, in the diseased state, the function of these cells becomes altered. Using molecular immunocytochemistry (a laboratory technique used to anatomically localize the presence of a specific protein or antigen in cells by using a specific primary antibody that binds to it) and electrophysiological techniques (a branch of physiology that studies the relationship between electric phenomena and bodily processes), Dr. Buttigieg's team will investigate the mechanism by which pNEC/NEBs sense asphyxia and how this is impaired under developmental and environmental stimuli.
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Regina Qu'appelle Health Region and University of Regina research network meeting
Principal Investigator
Dr. Josef Buttigieg
Biology
Science
University of Regina
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. David Kopriva
Co-Investigator(s)
Tzu-Chiao Chao
2014-2015 Research Connections Grants
Three year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$420SHRF
Description
On June 9th 2014, the University of Regina will be hosting a research networking meeting, hosting researchers from both the University of Regina (UofR) and the Regina Qu'appelle Health Region (RQHR). This is a direct invite event that seeks to foster a more collaborative health research environment between the two institutions. Access to this event is only through direct invitation via the Vice President Research (UofR) and Director of Research (RQHR)
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Tracking the Transmission of Bacterial Infections with Whole Genome Sequencing
Principal Investigator
Dr. Andrew Cameron
Biology
Science
University of Regina
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. David Kopriva
Co-Investigator(s)
Jessica Minion
David Alexander
Ryan McDonald
2014-2015 Collaborative Innovation Development
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$40,000SHRF
Description
The severe health burden of bacterial infections will continue to increase with the loss of effective antibiotics, growing and aging human populations, and eroding environmental quality. The best mechanism to prevent infection is to block transmission by identifying sources and transmission routes of infectious bacteria. DNA sequencing technologies are developing faster than computer technologies, making it possible to sequence all genes in multiple bacteria from an outbreak. This new level of genetic insight is revolutionizing epidemiology, the science of identifying routes of transmission and sources of infectious disease. This research will sequence 160 bacterial isolates from past outbreaks (2013-2014) and a future outbreak (2015) to identify sources of infection and routes of transmission. Bacterial pathogens from the Regina Qu'Appelle region will be used to interrogate the persistence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in hospitals and care homes, while isolates from across Saskatchewan will reveal the dynamics of disease spread across the province at an unprecedented level of resolution. Specifically, the research will address the leading causes of antibiotic-resistant infections in hospitals and long-term care homes: methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), and genes for extended-spectrum β-lactamases. In addition, the researchers will use DNA sequencing to examine chronic infections caused by nontuberculous mycobacteria to determine if they are due to treatment failure or are caused by reinfection of susceptible patients. This study will evaluate a practical application of genome sequencing and enhance our understanding of disease transmission in Saskatchewan.
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RAGE mediates neurogenic airway hypersensitivity in asthma
Principal Investigator
Dr. Veronica Campanucci
Physiology
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. David Kopriva
Co-Investigator(s)
Juan Ianowski
Dean Chapman
2014-2015 Collaborative Innovation Development
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$20,000SHRF
$20,000The Lung Association of Saskatchewan
$40,000Total
Description
Asthma is an inflammatory disease of the airways causing that affects 6.5% of the population of Saskatchewan. Asthmatic patients suffer from pulmonary obstruction caused primarily by a decrease in the inner airway diameter as a result of excess mucus secretion and thickening of the walls of airways. “Asthma attacks,” characterized by severely obstructed breathing, is the main cause of asthma-related fatalities, which emphasizes the urgency for additional strategies to manage this disease. Asthma can be induced by inhaled allergens or by viral infections; which trigger innate and adaptive immune responses involving pattern-recognition receptors. One pattern-recognition receptor that has recently come to attention in chronic airways disease is the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE). RAGE is a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily that recognizes pathogen- and host-derived ligands to initiate the immune response to tissue injury, infection and inflammation. Although the role of RAGE in lung physiology and pathophysiology is not well understood, recent studies have linked RAGE gene polymorphisms with airflow obstruction. This research will test the contribution of RAGE to neurogenic inflammation of the distal airways using the ovalbumin-sensitized model of asthma in wild type and RAGE knock-out mice.
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Analysis of membrane protein clustering in lymphocytes as a putative biomarker of therapeutic efficacy in mood disorders
Principal Investigator
Dr. Hector Caruncho
Division of Pharmacy
Pharmacy and Nutrition
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. David Kopriva
Co-Investigator(s)
Juan Ianowski
Dean Chapman
2014-2015 Establishment Grants
Three year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$118,890SHRF
Description
Major depression is a severe and devastating psychiatric illness that affects roughly 16 per cent of the population worldwide. Although numerous antidepressants have been developed, up to one third of patients don't respond to most currently used medications, and up to two thirds of patients never reach remission. Such a low response rate underscores the importance of developing new biomarkers of therapeutic efficacy in depression.Dr. Caruncho's research will aim to analyze membrane protein clustering in lymphocytes to see if they can be used as biomarkers of therapeutic efficacy in major depression and provide a basis for the development of personalized medical treatment. His team has previously published results suggesting the validity of this hypothesis.The team will perform experiments in a well-characterized animal model of depression to determine possible alterations in membrane protein clustering in lymphocytes during the depression cycle. They will also evaluate in antidepressant treatment any improvements to behavioral tasks designed to evaluate depressive-like behavior.A second set of experiments will be carried out using lymphocyte samples from depression patients to study alterations in membrane protein clustering in lymphocytes in treatment-resistant depression, and in major depression associated with different comorbidities. The team will study changes in membrane protein clustering in lymphocytes from depression patients after incubation in vitro with antidepressants.The outcome of this research aims to help better define a antidepressant treatment for each individual patients.
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Assessing the Healing Needs of Former Students of Indian Residential Schools and their Families
Principal Investigator
Dr. Brian Chartier
Psychology
St. Thomas More College
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Tracey Carr
Co-Investigator(s)
James (Jim) Miller
Joanne Yakowec
2014-2015 Collaborative Innovation Development
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$28,668SHRF
Description
The Canadian Indian Residential School (IRS) system was created to aggressively assimilate Aboriginal children into white society. While a few positive aspects of the IRS experience have been acknowledged by former students, stories of sexual, emotional, physical and spiritual abuse and neglect are more far common. First Nations communities continue to be impacted by intergenerational effects of the residential school experience. Details regarding what sustains the healing process for this population remain relatively unknown. The research objectives are to understand the healing experiences of a sample of former students of residential schools and their families and to assess what resources are required to enhance healing efforts. The researchers will conduct the research in partnership with the Resolution Health Support Program (RHSP) in Saskatchewan. The program has been asked to collaborate on the research design and to play a key role in participant recruitment and data verification. This program, established in accordance with the IRS Settlement Agreement, provides emotional and cultural support to former students of residential schools and their families. A specific focus of the program is to support individuals as they undergo proceedings related to legal claims of IRS abuses. The objective is to interview up to a total of 25 RHSP workers, Elders, and family members at five program locations by employing a qualitative approach to understand the healing experiences among this population and to assess the necessary resources to enhance healing. Critical discursive psychology will be used to analyze the transcripts. The ultimate goal of this research is to understand the important features of the healing process.
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Revealing the role of mechanical factors on bone remodelling: a longitudinal study linking in vivo fatigue loading, advanced imaging and finite element modelling
Principal Investigator
Dr. Wubin Cheng
Mechanical Engineering
Engineering
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Tracey Carr
Co-Investigator(s)
James (Jim) Miller
Joanne Yakowec
Supervisor(s)
Dr. James (J.D.) Johnston (Lead Supervisor) Dr. David Cooper (Supervisor)
2014-2015 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
Two year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
Bone turnover or remodeling, is a lifelong process that involves the ongoing replacement of bone following damage or in response to mechanical forces. Little is known, however, about what specific mechanisms control remodeling. This information is important as it may provide answers to address and cure metabolic bone diseases such as osteoporosis, a debilitating disease typically leading to fracture. The process of remodeling involves bone-resorbing cells called osteoclasts and bone forming cells called osteoblasts. Together osteoclasts and osteoblasts form a basic multi-cellular unit (BMU). The exact mechanisms which control the activities of BMUs are largely unknown, but are thought to be related to mechanical strain (deflection) and/or interstitial fluid flow through bone. Unfortunately, it is difficult if not impossible, to quantify cellular-level strain and fluid flow using experimental methods. Computational finite element modeling (FE), however, is capable of simulating both of these metrics. The overall goal of Dr. Cheng's research is to identify the exact mechanical-regulating factors affecting BMU activity. In this study Dr. Cheng will develop an FE model of the rat ulna using computational modeling, experimental mechanical testing, and advanced imaging at the Canadian Light Source synchrotron. Using this model in combination with an ongoing in vivo fatigue loading study (of rat ulnae), the research will investigate the role of mechanical strain/fluid flow on BMU activity. The results should identify mechanical regulating factors affecting bone turnover.
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Research Showcase 2014
Principal Investigator
Ms. Julie DeGroot
Research & Health Information Services
Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Tracey Carr
Co-Investigator(s)
Michelle McCarron
Erwin Karreman
Jennifer St.Onge
2014-2015 Research Connections Grants
Two year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$5,000SHRF
Description
Research Showcase is an annual research sharing and networking event, hosted by the Research Department of the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region (RQHR). Every year, this event draws together a diverse gathering of participants including health and science researchers, policy makers, clinicians, physicians, students, and the general public in order to highlight research conducted within the region over the past year. The relevance of the event and engaging discussions surrounding the application of research into practice and policy draws an increasing number of participants every year. This year Research Showcase will take place on June 23rd at the Delta Hotel in Regina. Participants can register for the event at http://fluidsurveys.com/s/research-showcase-2014-registration/.
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Developing a Point-of-Care Diagnostic Platform for Antibiotic Resistant Bacterial Infections in Saskatchewan
Principal Investigator
Dr. Jo-Anne Dillon
Bacterial Vaccine Development
VIDO-Intervac
University of Saskathewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Tracey Carr
Co-Investigator(s)
Rajinder Parti
Anthony Kusalik
2014-2015 Collaborative Innovation Development
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$40,000SHRF
Description
Saskatchewan experiences the highest rates of infection for Neisseria gonorrhoeae (Ng), a sexually transmitted infection (STI), compared to all other Canadian provinces. Ng infections are responsible for significant economic loss due to illness and disease complications of the reproductive tract, especially in women (e.g. infertility, ectopic pregnancy, foetal death). Ng infections are linked to the spread of other STIs including the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. There are no vaccines against Ng and infections can only be cured by treatment with antibiotics. Sadly, Ng isolates can be resistant to all antibiotics and infections may soon be untreatable. The identification of antibiotic resistant Ng isolates requires culture of the microorganism. Over 85% of Ng infections in Saskatchewan are diagnosed by molecular methods where culture is not possible; therefore, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) cannot be ascertained. To combat the development of AMR in Ng, there is a need to identify Ng and its AMR rapidly and simultaneously when a patient seeks health care. Currently no such method/test (called a point-of-care test -POCT) exists. The researchers have designed unique molecular methods that can detect both Ng and its AMR determinants to 5 classes of antibiotic. This study will evaluate the method in a clinical context to diagnose Ng from 200 specimens collected at the Saskatchewan Disease Control laboratory (SDCL); apply and evaluate the methods for specific AMR detection on 100 cultured Ng specimens from the SDCL with known AMR profiles; determine the burden of AMR in Ng non-cultured specimens in Saskatchewan using our DNA-based diagnostics and to compare this burden with results from culture-based testing; and test the predictive values of the DNA-based diagnostics for the development of a commercial POCT for Ng and its AMR. This project, the first of its kind in Saskatchewan and Canada, promises to significantly impact the health care approaches provided to provincially, provincial health policy and diagnostic capacity and international health care.
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The Built Environment and First Nations Health: Addressing & Redressing the Issues. Establishing a Blueprint for Canada
Principal Investigator
Dr. James Dosman
Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture (CCHSA)
Medicine
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Tracey Carr
Co-Investigator(s)
Shelley Kirychuk
2014-2015 Research Connections Grants
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$7,000SHRF
Description
“The Built Environment and First Nations Health: Addressing & Redressing the Issues. Establishing a Blueprint for Canada” is a one-day Symposium focused on knowledge exchange and development of future directions for community-level and policy-level action on First Nations health as it relates to housing and environments. Participants will engage in round-table discussions on various topics based on presentations from the CIHR-funded, Saskatchewan-based “First Nations Lung Health Project” and other projects being done in Canada. With input and insights from health care practitioners, community partners, elders, policy makers, researchers, students, local First Nations governing bodies, national government representatives, First Nations housing corporations, and other interested individuals, our aim is to develop a blueprint for action in the area of First Nations housing and health. The Symposium will be held on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at the Sheraton Cavalier Hotel in Saskatoon, SK. Please email lynette.epp@usask.ca for more information or to register.
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Nutrition Inequity in the Inner City: Using Smartphones to Study Diet and Food Access
Principal Investigator
Dr. Rachel Engler-Stringer
Community Health and Epidemiology
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Kevin Stanley
Co-Investigator(s)
Hassanali Vatanparast
Nathaniel Osgood
Nazeem Muhajarine
2014-2015 Collaborative Innovation Development Grant
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$40,000SHRF
Description
We have seen major advances in the last two decades in the field of community and public health nutrition. In spite of these advances, nutritional health inequalities continue to grow, and non-communicable disease rates continue to climb, which is threatening the health, economic, and social wellbeing of Canadians. Over a four-month period, this research will examine detailed eating and food procurement practices of 40 individuals from diverse household composition types living in the lowest-income neighbourhoods in Saskatoon. The study will use quantitative smartphone-based surveys, location, activity and proximity data collection. The researchers will employ the iEpi system, which has been successfully demonstrated to provide insight into contagious and non-contagious diseases by providing minute-level telemetry on when and where individuals might be exposed to pathogens. Also, iEpi will be used to understand where, when, how, and with whom individuals in lower income neighbourhoods access food and make food choices. This innovative and comprehensive study will make a significant contribution to advancing knowledge in population health interventions in the area of nutrition inequities.
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Food Environments in Canada: Symposium and Workshop
Principal Investigator
Dr. Rachel Engler-Stringer
Community Health and Epidemiology
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Kevin Stanley
Co-Investigator(s)
Nazeem Muhajarine
2014-2015 Research Connections Grants
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$10,000SHRF
Description
The Food Environments in Canada: Symposium and Workshop will be held in Saskatoon from May 21 -23, 2015. The goal of this symposium and methodological workshop is to bring together researchers, students and practitioners to discuss completed and on-going studies along with the distinct strengths and challenges of Canadian food environments research, and to strategize for how to move this research forward in the future. Many researchers have voiced the need for more Canadian-specific discussions of food environments. This symposium and workshop will provide the time and place for these discussions to happen, leading to new collaborations and initiatives. Registration information will be available on the smartcitieshealthykids.com website.
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Changing Inner City Food Environments: Interventions to Address Nutritional Health Inequities
Principal Investigator
Dr. Rachel Engler-Stringer
Community Health and Epidemiology
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Kevin Stanley
Co-Investigator(s)
Sylvia Abonyi
Sylvia Barton
2014-2015 Population Health Intervention Research
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$200,000SHRF
Description
We know that food choice is influenced by social and physical environments, and that these environments vary, contributing to growing differences in nutritional health across population groups. It is time for research to go beyond describing these differences to providing insight into programs and policies that improve nutritional health. We propose to examine household food practices in a series of low-income inner city neighbourhoods, in the context of numerous community-based food interventions geographically located in the area that aim to address both the social and physical environments. We have chosen an innovative research design that uses interviews, observations, photos and videography to collect in-depth information on the food practices of participating families. We will build on our on-going research on food environments and a grocery store intervention in the inner city. This study will allow us to understand how families access the food they need in urban environments where healthy food access is limited. This project will be conducted by a group of researchers in close partnership with community groups in a way that achieves a positive impact for the people in the neighbourhood. The project has strong support from community agencies and the Saskatoon Health Region.
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Dog Days 2: Furthering Sharing of Sustainable Animal Management Ideas for Healthy First Nations Communities
Principal Investigator
Dr. Tasha Epp
Western College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Kevin Stanley
Co-Investigator(s)
Sylvia Abonyi
Sylvia Barton
2014-2015 Research Connections Grants
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$3,000SHRF
Description
In May 2012, the “Dog Days: Sharing Sustainable Animal Management Ideas for Health First Nations Communities” event was held. It was open to all Saskatchewan First Nations communities for discussions on dog issues and solutions from their own perspectives. "Dog Days 2" hopes to further promote discussions between the stakeholders (communities, academia, public health, and the veterinary profession) on sustainable animal management options. With continued dialogue, research collaborations or solution-based partnerships can be developed with long-lasting impacts on the health of animal and human individuals in these communities, or the overall health of the whole community. Based on the success of the first event, we expect up to 60 participants to attend the 2 day event at Wanuskewin Heritage Park on May 20-21, 2014.
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The role of the PLC delta1 isoform in the osmotic regulation of vasopressin release from supraoptic neurons
Principal Investigator
Dr. Thomas Fisher
Physiology
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Kevin Stanley
Co-Investigator(s)
Sean Mulligan
Kiyoko Fukami
2014-2015 Collaborative Innovation Development
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$40,000SHRF
Description
The body regulates body fluid balance by mechanisms that we are aware of (e.g., thirst) and not aware of (e.g., regulation of the volume and saltiness of our urine). The regulation of urine production is central to the control of body fluid balance, and is controlled primarily by the release of the hormone vasopressin from special neurons in the brain called MNCs, to act on the kidneys to decrease urine production. The release of vasopressin depends on the electrical activity of these MNCs, which increases as the saltiness of the blood increases. We do not fully understand how the MNCs sense changes in blood saltiness. In addition, when we have increases in blood saltiness that last a long time, MNCs grow in size dramatically. This is thought to be important in allowing the MNCs to release high levels of vasopressin for long periods of time. We have discovered a molecular switch, an enzyme called phospholipase C, that is turned on by saltiness and that might be important for both making the MNCs more active and for triggering the increase in MNC size. The objective of this project is to understand how this molecular switch acts on the MNCs and to determine how important the switch is for body fluid balance when animals are prevented from getting sufficient water. This is an important clinical problem in the elderly, in the chronically ill, and in patients taking certain types of drugs, and the researchers hope that their work will eventually contribute to better ways to manage this problem in patients in Saskatchewan and elsewhere.
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The impact of chronic inflammation and its treatment on determinants of health in women with inflammatory bowel disease and their offspring
Principal Investigator
Dr. Sharyle Fowler
Gastroenterology
Medicine
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Kevin Stanley
Co-Investigator(s)
Jennifer Jones
Janet Hill
Jane Alcorn
2014-2015 Establishment Grants
Three year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$120,000SHRF
Description
Very little information exists concerning the effects of chronic inflammatory conditions and the medications used to treat them during pregnancy and lactation on maternal and fetal/infant outcomes. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a disease that can affect patients during childbearing years. Poorly controlled IBD can have a negative impact on fertility and, should pregnancy be achieved, the unborn child. Therefore, appropriate management of IBD during pregnancy has important consequences for the mother, but can also have both immediate and long-term consequences for her offspring. Dr. Fowler will conduct her research within the established infrastructure of the Saskatchewan Multidisciplinary IBD Clinic to establish a patient registry housing both clinical data and biological specimens from pregnant and lactating women with IBD and their offspring. This patient registry will help answer the multitude of outstanding issues regarding the care of IBD patients during pregnancy and lactation to determine how IBD and IBD treatments affect determinants of health status. Our study objectives are to: 1) Improve the accessibility, quality, and safety of health services for IBD patients in Saskatchewan; 2) Characterize the vaginal microbiome in pregnancy and IBD and assess correlations with outcomes; and 3) Assess the effect of IBD/IBD therapies on breast milk micronutrients.
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Increasing Early Childhood Educator Self-Efficacy to Promote Physical Literacy and Physical Activity Among Children in Rural Childcare Centres
Principal Investigator
Dr. Amanda Froehlich Chow
Kinesiology
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Kevin Stanley
Co-Investigator(s)
Jennifer Jones
Janet Hill
Jane Alcorn
Supervisor(s)
Dr. Louise Humbert (Lead Supervisor)
2014-2015 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
Two year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$100,000SHRF
Description
The majority of early years children (0-5 years) are not active enough to receive health benefits and are increasingly taking part in sedentary activities. The early years presents a unique window of opportunity to establish physical literacy and positively influence the health of children. Since many young children spend most of their day in childcare centres, early childhood educators can have a large influence on promoting physical literacy and physical activity. The primary goal of Dr. Chow's study is to implement and evaluate an intervention aimed at increasing educator self-efficacy to promote physical literacy in rural childcare centres. Approximately 30-40 educators and 60-80 children from eight rural childcare centres in Saskatchewan will participate in this study. Educators from four centres will receive a 10-month intervention. They will learn how to perform and teach fundamental movement skills like throwing, catching and leaping. Educators and children in both groups will be tested three different times. Measurements will test educator's self-efficacy using a combination of questionnaires and interviews, physical activity levels of educators and children using accelerometers, and children's physical literacy using a test of gross motor development. The childcare centre environment will also be assessed. The findings of this study will provide evidence about the feasibility and effectiveness of a new, educator-focused intervention to promote physical literacy in early years children specifically in rural childcare centres. Its ultimate goals are to support healthy development among early years children in rural communities and to provide a foundation for a lifetime of being active.
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Optimizing dendritic cell immunotherapy for asthma
Principal Investigator
Dr. John Gordon
Division of Respirology, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
Medicine
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Kevin Stanley
Co-Investigator(s)
Sylvia Van den Hurk
Donald Cockcroft
2014-2015 Collaborative Innovation Development
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$20,000SHRF
$20,000The Lung Association of Saskatchewan
$40,000Total
Description
Asthma affects 10-20% of Canadians, and cost us about $600,000,000 per year, but it is disproportionately prevalent in rural Saskatchewan. Our bronchodilator and steroid treatments address the symptoms of asthma, but not its underlying cause, which is aberrant immune responses to otherwise innocuous environmental agents (e.g., pollen). Allergic immune systems attack these as if they were dangerous, while the remaining 80% of the population treat them as innocuous factors that will not harm us. We need therapies that replace allergic responses with healthy or ‘tolerance' responses. The cells responsible for activating allergic responses (dendritic cells; DC) can also sometimes activate tolerance. The researchers have found that different types of DC induce different kinds on tolerance, with some more resistant to inflammation than others. The purpose of this grant is to critically assess the best protocols for generating treatment DC for asthmatic subjects, as determined using DC and allergic cells from asthmatic donors in a living system.
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Shared Decision Making in Early Stage Breast Cancer: The Development of a Culturally Competent Conceptual Framework Applicable for Aboriginal Patients.
Principal Investigator
Dr. Gary Groot
Surgery
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Kevin Stanley
Co-Investigator(s)
Sylvia Abonyi
Linda McMullen
Gary Teare
Mary Hampton
2014-2015 Collaborative Innovation Development
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$40,000SHRF
Description
Shared decision making (SDM), defined as a process by which a healthcare choice is made by practitioners together with a patient, is thought to improve the effectiveness of clinical decisions. The SDM models currently used in clinical practice are based on western concepts and Eurocentric philosophical foundations potentially limiting their relevance and application to aboriginal populations. The goal of this project is to improve the effectiveness of clinical decision making in aboriginal populations and develop a culturally competent shared decision making model for aboriginal patients that is relevant and sensitive to their cultural context. The research aims to understand the underlying philosophical foundations, cultural values and beliefs that inform current SDM theories and models; explore, in collaboration with aboriginal stakeholders, the limitations of current SDM approaches; and identify the differences between western and aboriginal understandings and practices of decision making. Decision making in early stage breast cancer will be used as the clinical issue requiring decision, because it is a common and significant clinical problem for which there are two equally viable treatment options (lumpectomy and radiation versus mastectomy). This pilot project will produce an understanding of how aboriginal persons prefer to make significant decisions and the extent to which these processes are identified in current SDM models.
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In vivo and in vitro evaluation of patient-derived breast cancer cells for early detection and treatment of drug resistant tumors
Principal Investigator
Dr. Troy Harkness
Anatomy and Cell Biology
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Terra Arnason
Co-Investigator(s)
Gary Groot
John Gordon
2014-2015 Collaborative Innovation Development
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$40,000SHRF
Description
Breast cancer is a global problem for women. Approximately one in eight women will face breast cancer, and approximately 25% of women receiving antihormone therapy will return to the clinic within 15 years with a recurrent, untreatable multiple drug resistant (MDR) form of the disease. Unfortunately, diagnosis of MDR cancer can only occur upon clinical presentation. The researchers hypothesize that early detection of MDR cancer prior to clinical presentation, and the reversal of MDR protein markers will provide novel and viable treatment options for women suffering recurrent tumors. The researcher's lab has recently discovered that the widely prescribed anti-diabetic drug metformin (MET) renders MDR cancer cells sensitive to chemotherapy by reversing the expression of critical protein markers of MDR. A dramatic recent development in preclinical cancer research will allow the researchers, for the first time, to test whether MET can reverse MDR markers in patient breast tumor samples. The purpose of the study is to generate the preliminary data required for successful applications to CIHR, with a long-term goal to provide hope to women suffering from MDR breast cancer.
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Spotlight on Research: Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementia
Principal Investigator
Mrs. Marni Hatcher
Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Terra Arnason
Co-Investigator(s)
Gary Groot
John Gordon
2014-2015 Research Connections Grants
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$5,000SHRF
Description
The Spotlight on Research event is an opportunity for health care professionals, Alzheimer Society clients and the general public to learn more about Alzheimer's disease and related dementias and to hear about leading innovative Alzheimer's disease and related dementia research taking place in Saskatchewan. The event, being broadcast from City Hospital in Saskatoon on January 27, 2015, with anticipated delivery to over 30 sites province-wide using Telehealth technology.The presenter for the evening will be Dr. Darrell Mousseau, Research Chair in Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias. Dr. Mousseau will provide a brief description and update of his five-year project to study the link between Alzheimer's disease and depression.
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Nesfatin-1 Integration of Reproduction and Metabolism
Principal Investigator
Dr. Azadeh Hatef
Veterinary Biomedical Sciences
Veterinary Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Terra Arnason
Co-Investigator(s)
Gary Groot
John Gordon
Supervisor(s)
Dr. Suraj Unniappan (Supervisor)
2014-2015 Research Fellowship Top-up Incentive Award
Two year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$20,000SHRF
Description
Reproduction requires energy. Therefore energy intake, metabolism and reproduction are very closely linked. Several hormones are involved in the regulation of metabolism and reproduction, and defects in the production of some hormones and/or there actions can result in reproductive and metabolic dysfunctions. Recent research has found nesfation-1 to be a novel hormone that regulates various aspects of metabolism and some pituitary hormones that regulate reproduction. The understanding of nesfatin-1's role on reproduction, however, is in its infancy. Dr. Hatef's research aims to explain the role of nesfatin-1 in regulating reproductive functions. Dr. Hatef's research has three aims: 1) study nesfatin-1 in the brain, pituitary, and gonads (testis and ovary) of normal, diabetic and obese mice; 2) test the effects of nesfatin-1 in regulating hormone synthesis and secretion in those brain, pituitary and gonads of mice, and; 3) compare results against mice that lacks nesfatin-1 (due to deletion of the gene encoding nesfatin-1). The outcomes of the research will provide significant new information on the role of nesfatin-1 in diabetes and obesity.
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Brain Channelopathies -Target Validation and Novel Therapeutic Strategies
Principal Investigator
Dr. John Howland
Physiology
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Terra Arnason
Co-Investigator(s)
Gary Groot
John Gordon
2014-2015 W. Garfield Weston Foundation - Brain Canada Multi-Investigator Research Grant
Three year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$75,000SHRF
$165,000Brain Canada
$75,000U of S
$315,000Total
Description
The entry of calcium ions into cells is mediated by a class of protein (called calciumchannels) that responds to electrical signals by opening of a calcium-selective pore.Calcium channels are involved in a large number of physiological processes includingmuscle contraction, hormone secretion and nerve cell communication in the nervoussystem. These physiological processes each require optimal amounts of calcium andalteration of the precise amounts can be highly detrimental. In this proposal we willstudy brain disorders that result from small genetic alterations in calcium channel genesexpressed in the nervous system. One of these alterations causes a severe form ofmigraine headache, another underlies a common type of epilepsy and a third results ina multi-system disorder that includes autism. Further, we will examine a particularcalcium channel genetic change that is found in population studies to be stronglycorrelated with schizophrenia and bipolar disorders.While drugs have been developed to regulate a certain type of calcium channel in thecardiovascular system and are widely used to treat hypertension and heart failure, asyet there have not been specific treatments developed to target calcium channelsinvolved in diseases of the nervous system. To both address this important therapeuticissue and to help determine how the different genetic alterations in calcium channelgenes affect brain functioning, we will test a number of newly developed technicalstrategies aimed at regulating calcium channel activity.The research team has expertise across a broad area of the neurosciences andtogether with utilizing animal models of the calcium channel disorders, we aim toprovide new insights into how particular genetic alterations affect calcium channelproperties resulting in the disruption of normal brain functions and causing seriousdiseases of the nervous system.
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Cannabidiol in Children with Refractory Epileptic Encephalopathy: A Phase 1 Open Label Dose Escalation Study.
Principal Investigator
Dr. Richard Huntsman
Pediatric Neurology
Pediatrics
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Terra Arnason
Co-Investigator(s)
Jose Tellez-Zenteno
Richard Tang-Wai
2014-2015 Collaborative Innovation Development
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$28,600SHRF
Description
The Epileptic Encephalopathies are a group of epilepsies with onset in childhood, characterized by frequent and difficult to control seizures as well as cognitive and neurological impairment. In many patients with these Epileptic Encephalopathy Syndromes, seizures are very difficult to control, despite patients being placed on multiple anti-seizure medications. Since the existing available treatments are of limited benefit, and often cause significant side effects, there is a need to find therapies that are effective and better tolerated for children with epileptic encephalopathies. Recent reports in medical and social media have turned attention to medical marijuana products for the treatment of seizures in children with Epileptic Encephalopathies. The study will assess the safety and tolerability of a Health Canada approved high CBD: low THC product in children with difficult to control Epileptic Encephalopathy. Children enrolled in the study will be given increasing doses of the high CBD: low THC product while being closely monitored for potential side effects and interactions with their current anti-seizure medications. In addition, the study will monitor the effect of this compound on the child's quality of life and seizure frequency.
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History of Exposure to Traumatic Stress and Health Care Experiences
Principal Investigator
Dr. Bridget Klest
Psychology
Arts
University of Regina
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Terra Arnason
Co-Investigator(s)
Jose Tellez-Zenteno
Richard Tang-Wai
2014-2015 Establishment Grants
Three year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$119,891SHRF
Description
People with a history of being exposed to trauma, particularly interpersonal trauma perpetrated by someone known to them, often deal with many negative health outcomes. Trauma exposure can impact how we function in our interpersonal relationships and impact our trust in individuals and institutions. Trust in physicians, for example, has been associated with better adherence by patients to their recommended care. Health behaviour can be one of several mechanisms that explain the association between trauma exposure and poor health. However, a direct relationship between trauma exposure and mistrust of health care providers and systems has never been established.Dr. Klest's research project aims to determine whether a history of trauma exposure is associated with more negative views of health care providers and systems. Included in the project is the development of a questionnaire that will assess health care experiences of trauma-exposed individuals.Gaining a better understanding of this link could be a necessary step in developing interventions that target individuals with trauma histories, their healthcare providers/systems, or both. The research will consist of three related studies. The first will be an online survey that uses currently available questionnaires to assess associations between the history of trauma exposure and the perceptions of medical providers and medical systems. The second will involve contacting a sample of participants from the first study for in-depth interviews about health care experiences. The third study will use information from the first two studies to develop a questionnaire that assesses trauma-relevant aspects of health care experiences.
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4th Western Canadian Medicinal Chemistry Workshop (WCMCW)
Principal Investigator
Dr. Edward Krol
Pharmacy
Pharmacy & Nutrition
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Terra Arnason
Co-Investigator(s)
David Palmer
2014-2015 Research Connections Grants
Three year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$5,000SHRF
Description
The Western Canadian Medicinal Chemistry Workshop was developed to facilitate research in the pharmaceutical sciences, primarily between researchers in Western Canada with the goal of improving biomedical research in Saskatchewan and Western Canada, and to provide training and career development opportunities for postdoctoral, graduate and undergraduate researchers in the pharmaceutical sciences. The WCMCW has been held every 2 years since 2008, the 4th WCMCW will be held September 26-28, 2014 at the University of Saskatchewan. Attendees at previous WCMCW have come from Western Canadian universities including, Calgary, Alberta, Lethbridge, Manitoba, Brandon, Winnipeg, British Columbia and Saskatchewan.
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An investigation of personal exposure monitoring and environmental exposures in relation to rural areas and asthma among children
Principal Investigator
Dr. Joshua Lawson
Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture (CCHSA)
Medicine
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Terra Arnason
Co-Investigator(s)
George Katselis
Donna Rennie
Shelley Kirychuk
2014-2015 Collaborative Innovation Development
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$20,000SHRF
$20,000The Lung Association of Saskatchewan
$40,000Total
Description
Asthma is one of the most common childhood conditions with a prevalence of approximately 10% globally, and up to 21% in Saskatchewan. Several studies have suggested that farming or rural exposures are protective of asthma, the reasons for which are unknown with one explanation being environmental. However, these same exposures may exacerbate asthma among those with the condition. As part of an ongoing research program investigating childhood in Saskatchewan, the researchers will investigate two new lines of inquiry as they prepare for future grant applications. The first will be the identification of constituents in dust and quantify their relationship with asthma and asthma related outcomes. The second new line of inquiry will be the assessment of personal monitoring as a way of collecting dust samples. The research program is based on a recent cross-sectional survey of approximately 3,400 Grade 1 to 8 children in Saskatchewan who lived along an urban-rural gradient including children living in Regina, Prince Albert, and the rural area around Prince Albert. For the proposed research, the researchers will investigate the associations between the environmental exposures with asthma and related outcomes as well as assess the practicality of personal exposure monitoring of children, the qualitative differences in the dust constituents between the personal and floor samples, and the differences in the associations between the source of monitoring and health outcomes (asthma and asthma morbidity indicators).
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Development of an international research initiative in childhood asthma
Principal Investigator
Dr. Joshua Lawson
Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture (CCHSA)
Medicine and CCHSA
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Dr. Terra Arnason
Co-Investigator(s)
Darryl Adamko
Donna Rennie
2014-2015 Research Connections Grants
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$8,000SHRF
Description
The objectives of this activity are to disseminate progress from an international childhood asthma research and education initiative and to identify future research directions for this program. This will be completed through two days of research team meetings preceding the 7th International Symposium: “Safety and Health in Agricultural and Rural Populations: Global Perspectives” to be held in Saskatoon October 19-22, 2014. Research team members will also participate in the Symposium including a session on childhood asthma. These events will be aimed at scientists, clinicians, community decision makers, and students. Registration for the Symposium can be completed on-line at: http://cchsa-ccssma.usask.ca/sharp2014/registration.php.
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Breast Health Care in Saskatoon and Saskatchewan: Developing a cutting-edge research base infrastructure to assess reach, appropriateness and outcomes
Principal Investigator
Dr. Anne Leis
Community Health & Epidemiology
Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Co-Principal Investigator(s)
Ms. Leanne Smith
Co-Investigator(s)
Gary Groot
Christine Meier
Pamela Meiers
Joan Santoro
2014-2015 Collaborative Innovation Development
One year
FUNDING RECEIVED
$40,000SHRF
Description
The use of health information technology has been lauded as one means to enhance patient care and streamline services, while creating opportunities for ongoing data analysis, thereby permitting frequent evaluation of services. Similarly, a rapid learning organization (RLO) is considered a gold standard in health service provision and entails collecting and learning from data, allowing for continuous improvement of care. In Saskatoon, the Breast Health Centre (BHC) has been operational for two years and brings together a multidisciplinary team of providers (surgeons, physicians, nurses and allied health workers) to deliver a coordinated approach to breast health. Presently, patient intake data is collected via paper and pencil format, placed in the patient chart and not readily available for analysis. However, other centers in Canada are moving to patient-driven electronic data entry, which could also include collection of patient reported outcomes. The purpose of this project is to undertake the initial steps to become a RLO through the evaluation of current data and data collection strategies, and to pilot-test a patient-driven electronic data entry approach. Feedback from patients and interested parties will be solicited throughout the study and from the patient representative on this project. Findings from this pilot-work will establish a solid basis for a grant application to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (application 2015) to study how the BHC becomes a RLO, to strengthen Saskatchewan-based research and make Saskatchewan a leader in breast health.
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