Dr. Alexander Wyatt is a Senior Research Scientist at the Vancouver Prostate Centre and Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia. His research uses genomics and bioinformatics to understand lethal prostate and bladder cancer and identify potential new targets for therapy. In this latest instalment of our series highlighting early-career researchers in biology, Dr. Wyatt tells us about research…
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Background Acute chorioamnionitis (aCA), inflammation of the placenta and fetal membranes, is a frequently reported lesion in preterm deliveries. Genetic variants in innate immune system genes such as Interleukin-6 (IL6) may contribute to the placenta’s inflammatory response, thus predisposing some pregnancies to aCA. These genetic variants may modulate molecular processes such as DNA methylation and gene expression, and in turn…
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When I was an undergrad science student at the University of Toronto in the mid-eighties, I grew bacteria on petri dishes, marvelling at how quickly they multiplied to form multicoloured colonies that resembled art. My fellow students and I wore lab coats and gloves, but no other gear was required because most bacteria were considered relatively harmless. I never imagined…
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Just like the human gut and skin, plant roots and leaves are covered with microbes. Some microbes are harmless or even beneficial, while others are pathogens with the potential to cause disease. In a recent publication in the ISME Journal, Dr. Ryan Melnyk, a former Postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Cara Haney’s laboratory, provides evidence that bacterial strains in the plant-associated bacterial species, Pseudomonas fluorescens, can…
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The blood-brain barrier (BBB) separates the brain from circulating blood and it is essential for maintaining healthy brain function. Expression of podocalyxin on the inner “tube” of blood vessels (vascular endothelia) has been known for a long time. When the authors delete this protein from blood vessels in mice they develop normally and appeared to be perfectly healthy. However, they found that podocalyxin has an important role in maintaining BBB integrity during inflammation.
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Forward Thinking: How To Tell The Story Of A Health Research Funder

For generations, stories have played a key role in human cultural development, helping us share cultural norms, warn of potential danger, and make sense of the world around us. In this blog, Lori Last, MSFHR’s Director of Marketing & Communications, and Amy Noise, MSFHR’s Manager of Marketing & Communications, introduce the science of storytelling, and outline how to apply those principles to…
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AbCellera today announced an expanded collaboration with Denali Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: DNLI) to discover antibodies as therapies for neurological indications. AbCellera will generate panels of antibodies for up to eight drug targets nominated by Denali using AbCellera’s high-throughput, ultra-deep single-cell immune profiling capabilities. This multi-target deal expands the scope of the initial collaboration, announced in June 2018, that successfully produced potent lead candidates now…
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Uncovering Antibiotics and Cancer Drugs in Bullfrog DNA

Using cutting-edge DNA computational techniques, Dr. Inanc Birol from BC Cancer’s Genome Sciences Centre has helped uncover a new tool that can help in the battle against antibiotic resistance and for cancer drug discovery. Armed with bullfrog DNA and cutting-edge computational tools, B.C. researchers have invented a new method for rapidly identifying new antibiotics and cancer drugs.
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Stem Cell Therapies: Made in Canada

If you didn’t know any better, you might think every plant or life sciences project in Canada is being driven by cannabis legalization. But a glance at recent projects across western Canada shows significant projects in these sectors that have nothing to do with CBD or THC, including J.R. Simplot’s C$460-million potato-plant expansion in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, and German…
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