DNA sequencing is creating a new age of health and medicine that is more personalized and targeted than ever before Sitting in an office cluttered with books and papers, Dr. Terry Snutch, professor at UBC’s Michael Smith Laboratories and Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health, picks up a small rectangular object. Compact and light enough to carry in a pocket,…
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The Government of Canada Announces Biomanufacturing and Life Sciences Strategy

Canada has an impressive history in biomanufacturing and life sciences., from the discovery of insulin one hundred years ago, to the Canadian scientists who were instrumental in developing the polio and Ebola vaccines, to the Canadian veterinarian who discovered the first blood thinner. However, a 40-year decline in the sector left Canada without the large-scale and flexible biomanufacturing capacity necessary…
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Canada is known internationally for the excellence of its medical research, particularly in the field of infectious disease. When the first SARS outbreak struck in 2003, the viral sequence was determined quickly and efficiently in Vancouver. The Ebola vaccine, currently used to limit the spread of this deadly virus, was developed in Winnipeg. Across Canada, many scientists and researchers are…
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As part of the Spring 2021 Project Grant competition launched by CIHR_IRSC, 6 research teams at the LSI were awarded more than $5.5 million in grants. The Project Grant program is designed to capture ideas with the greatest potential to advance health-related fundamental or applied knowledge, health research, health care, health systems, and/or health outcomes. It supports research projects proposed…
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Researchers have uncovered the important role of CD4+ T-cells in characterizing disease severity for people with the common bacterial infection. Clostridioides difficile (C. diff) is the leading cause of gastroenteritis-associated death in North America, and infects around half a million Americans annually. While most people affected will fully recover, new research from Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute (VCHRI) scientist Dr. Theodore Steiner…
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Projects lead by Drs. Dong, Nappi and Wyatt were awarded Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) research grants in the Spring 2021 Project Grant competition, for a total of $1.72 million over five years. The funded projects are: Dr. Xuesen Dong (co-investigators: Dr. Artem Cherkasov, Dr. Nada Lallous, and Dr. Martin Gleave): Design a Double-Bolt Lock to Control Cancer Cell…
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Breast cancer heterogeneity has made it challenging to identify mechanisms critical to the initial stages of their genesis in vivo. Here, we sought to interrogate the role of YB-1 in newly arising human breast cancers as well as in established cell lines. In a first series of experiments, we found that short-hairpin RNA-mediated knockdown of YB-1 in MDA-MB-231 cells blocked…
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Acuitas Therapeutics is pleased to announce that Steve Arns has joined the team as Director of Chemistry. Dr. Arns comes to the newly created position on the Acuitas executive from adMare BioInnovations, where he most recently was a senior scientist in the medicinal chemistry department. Prior to that, Dr. Arns was a scientist with the Centre for Drug Research and…
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Neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPC) is a lethal subtype of prostate cancer. NEPC arises de novo only rarely; the disease predominantly develops from adenocarcinoma in response to drug-induced androgen receptor signalling inhibition, although the mechanisms behind this transdifferentiation are a subject of debate. The survival of patients with NEPC is poor, and few effective treatment options are available. To improve clinical…
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There are two main areas of focus of Dr. Aly Karsan's lab: The first is to understand the mechanisms of resistance and relapse in myeloid cancers, and find ways to target or bypass these resistance mechanisms; the second is to design and validate next-generation sequencing (NGS) assays that can be delivered to the clinic, as demonstrated by the current paper.
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