Twelve exceptional BC health professionals have been funded in MSFHR’s second Health Professional-Investigator (HP-I) competition. Each will receive funding to support research focused on answering questions derived from their practical experience and clinical expertise. MSFHR’s HP-I Program is designed to develop BC’s research talent and help decrease the gap between health research and its implementation by supporting health professionals who are…
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Chemically Controlled Aggregation of Pluripotent Stem Cells

This study develops a novel technology to control aggregation of pluriportent stem cells in suspension manufacturing processes. Aggregation is a critical and highly variable property in stem cell bioreactor manufacturing. We discovered a chemical method to control the way stem cells aggregate in a predictable and reproducible manner. This technology will improve the robustness of pluripotent stem cell manufacturing processes and help move these therapies towards efficient clinical production...
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A scientist who developed a lab test to predict whether children with cancer are susceptible to potentially life-threatening side effects from three chemotherapy drugs is now focusing on five other medications so parents and doctors can discuss safer, personalized treatment. Bruce Carleton, director of the Pharmaceutical Outcomes Programme at BC Children’s Hospital, said adverse reactions linked to the five medications…
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Guarding Women Against One of Their Deadliest Cancers

Research into ovarian cancer could lead to potential life-saving measures. Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cancer for women—but one of the most deadly. In 2017, approximately 2,800 Canadian women were diagnosed with ovarian cancer1, and an estimated 1,800 lost their lives to the disease. While survival rates are slowly increasing, early diagnosis and treatment dramatically improves a woman’s…
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The largest technology conference in Western Canada is returning is Vancouver — and one of this year’s displays is straight out of a science fiction novel. Beginning Monday and taking place at the Vancouver Convention Centre, the three-day B.C. Tech Summit will showcase new technology that can change industries. Conference speakers include Premier John Horgan and federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development…
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Cancer treatments can often lead to adverse drug reactions (ADRs) which not only affect the patient’s recovery but can also lead to permanent disabilities and death. For children undergoing cancer treatment, the risk of severe ADRs is even greater. “ADRs in children are three-fold more likely to be life-threatening,” says Martin Ester, a professor in SFU’s School of Computing Science.…
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Crowdfunding campaigns for stem-cell treatments may be duping patients seeking relief and leaving donors out of pocket. These campaigns, which encourage strangers to help fund medical procedures, fail to emphasize risks and often exaggerate efficacy, according to a new study co-authored by Jeremy Snyder, a bio-ethicist professor at Simon Fraser University. “It’s a viral spread of misinformation,” he said. “They’re hyping the…
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Dr Peter Black has been awarded an MSFHR Health Professional-Investigator award in partnership with Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute and VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation.  The project, “Unraveling disparate roles of Notch-1 and Notch-2 signaling in bladder cancer” will further his ongoing work on the Notch signaling pathway in bladder cancer. Loss of the cell surface receptor Notch-1 drives growth of…
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CDRD Appoints Dr. Lana Janes as Entrepreneur-In-Residence

The Centre for Drug Research and Development, Canada’s national drug development and commercialization centre, is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Lana Janes as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence. As a life sciences industry executive for over 20 years, Dr. Janes has extensive pharmaceutical development experience that spans the full life cycle of therapeutic product development from discovery through commercialization. As an…
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The Intestinal Epithelium: Central Coordinator of Mucosal Immunity

The gastrointestinal (GI) tract represents a unique challenge to the mammalian immune system. It must tolerate the presence of the luminal microbiota and thus not respond to their products, but still protect the intestinal mucosa from potentially harmful dietary antigens and invading pathogens. The intestinal epithelium, composed of a single layer of cells, is crucial for preserving gut homeostasis and…
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