The McNagny Lab, whose current research is focused on stem cells and the underlying workings of immune response and chronic inflammation, has just published a new paper in Scientific Reports that offers exciting new avenues of inquiry for early, non-invasive diagnosis of the kidney disease, Focal Segmental Glomerular Sclerosis (FSGS). In the paper, the team outlines how one bad copy of the PODXL stem cell…
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Bold Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, has expanded its COVID-19 collaborations to include four more academic researchers: François Jean, PhD and Ted Steiner, MD, both researchers from the University of British Columbia; Stephen Barr, PhD, a researcher at Western University; and Len Seymour, PhD, a researcher at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. These new collaborations significantly expand Bold Therapeutics’ COVID-19 consortium. In April, the company announced…
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Getting Rid of the Itch

Approximately 15-20 per cent of Canadians live with some form of atopic dermatitis (AD), also known as eczema. In a bid to find a better treatment to prevent eczema’s debilitating effects, findings by Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute (VCHRI) researchers—recently published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology—have identified a key enzyme that contributes to the condition. Eczema causes the skin’s protective barrier…
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Abeline Watkins hopes the data she is discovering as part of SFU professor Peter Ruben’s Molecular Cardiac Physiology Group may one day make a difference in addressing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Watkins is investigating whether Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive component of cannabis sativa, can help to mitigate the negative side effects of taking Azithromycin, a drug that has been proposed to…
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International borders may be closed, but that’s not stopping a merger between bio-tech firms based in Vancouver and the U.S., respectively. Privately held Chinook Therapeutics Inc. has reached an agreement with Silicon Valley’s Aduro Biotech Inc. (Nasdaq:ADRO) in which the latter will acquire all of the Vancouver company’s outstanding stock. In exchange, Chinook will receive 50% of Aduro’s common stock…
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Cardio- and cerebro-vascular diseases remain the leading causes of death worldwide. These pathologies are strongly linked to a skewed balance between the two physiological mechanisms, clot-formation and dissolution. These processes must be carefully controlled to maintain healthy vessels and blood circulation. When blood clots are formed to stop excess bleeding, they keep us alive! However, when the clot formation process…
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UBC faculty of medicine’s Dr. Robert Brunham and Dr. Natalie Strynadka, together with the faculty of science’s Steven Plotkin—along with a team of commercial and academic collaborators—are one step closer to achieving this thanks to a $1.8 million grant from the Digital Technology Supercluster COVID-19 Program, which aims to find solutions to urgent health care needs across Canada arising from…
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If there has been a silver lining behind the otherwise menacing COVID-19 pandemic clouds for any sector of B.C.’s economy, it has been life sciences. Vancouver biotech and medical device companies have recently received government funding, inked partnerships with big pharmaceutical companies and gained quick regulatory approvals to move their platforms and discoveries to the front of the clinical trial…
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In 2017, University of British Columbia botanist Lacey Samuels applied for her first permit from Health Canada to study cannabis. It was a complex process–even the smallest detail, like the size of frames and type of lock used on her lab doors had to be verified for security. After legalization of cannabis in Canada in 2018, scientists like Samuels expected…
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