Cembrowski Lab Merges Mathematical Thinking with Basic Neuroscience

A neuroscientist, mathematician, and expert on the hippocampus, Dr. Mark Cembrowski has a rare combination of skills. Now, at the start of a new year, he begins his career at the University of British Columbia with a newly established lab located in the Life Sciences Centre. Dr. Cembrowski recently arrived on campus following a postdoctoral fellowship at the Janelia Research Campus at the…
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Restoring a signaling pathway that is prevalent in fetal stem cells but dormant in adult ones may hold potential as an alterative treatment for T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL), an often-deadly type of blood cancer. In a study published in Cell Stem Cell (November 2018), a TFRI-funded team led by Vancouver clinician-scientist Dr. Andrew Weng (BC Cancer) describes how they set about…
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Cryptococcus neoformans is a major human pathogenic fungus that is responsible for 15% of all AIDS-related deaths worldwide. It is particularly harmful to people with weakened immune systems as it can result in serious lung infections. In the most severe cases, C. neoformans can disseminate from the lungs to the brain, causing life-threatening meningitis. Dr. Francois Mayer, a postdoctoral fellow under Dr. Jim Kronstad’s…
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Phoenix Molecular Designs (PhoenixMD), a privately-held biotechnology company designing precise cancer therapeutics by targeting essential kinases, announced that it has entered into a collaboration with Roche to develop a diagnostic (CDx) in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC).  The Roche CDx identifies RSK2 activation in human tumors. In cancer, the PDK-1 and MAPK pathways converge on RSK2 to activate it, moving it…
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Scientists have managed to grow perfect human blood vessels as organoids in a petri dish for the first time. The breakthrough engineering technology, outlined in a new study published today in Nature, dramatically advances research of vascular diseases like diabetes, identifying a key pathway to potentially prevent changes to blood vessels—a major cause of death and morbidity among those with…
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Controlling Blood Pressure Protects Cognitive Health after Spinal Cord Injury

When people think of spinal cord injury (SCI) they tend to focus on paralysis and body movement. But post-injury, the biggest health risk is actually cardiovascular disease— it’s the number one cause of disability and death in people with SCI. Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute scientists at ICORD (The International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries) are focusing on cardiovascular problems in…
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On behalf of Dr. Francois Bénard, Vice President Research, and Dr. Pamela Hoodless, Director, Terry Fox Laboratory, please join us in welcoming Dr. Kevin Hay, a newly appointed Clinician-Scientist, to the Terry Fox Laboratory and the Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program of BC. Kevin received his Master of Science in Immunology at the University of Manitoba (2008), followed by an MD…
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Thrombosis, the formation of a potentially deadly blood clot, remains one of the leading causes of death and disability worldwide. Once formed, clots can slow or obstruct normal blood flow, leading to damage to surrounding tissue. In deep vein thrombosis, a blood clot forms in the veins deep inside the body between large muscle groups, most commonly in the leg…
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On long-term disability leave, 54-year-old flight attendant Janet Uribe jokingly says she now volunteers as a ‘brain model’ at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health, where she regularly takes part in clinical trials and studies. Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) 25 years ago, Uribe enjoys participating in research. “As a patient, who has lived with a chronic illness for…
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