Sitka Biopharma Inc., a preclinical biotechnology company focused on developing its breakthrough nanoparticle platform technology to increase absorption of drugs in difficult-to-penetrate tissues, is pleased to announce that Dr. Kristine Swiderek and Dr. Jack Geltosky have joined its Board of Directors. Dr. Kristine Swiderek is the Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of venture-backed OncoResponse, focusing in immuno-oncology. She brings deep…
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What Is the Best Method of Preventing HIV Transmission?

This article’s title sounds elementary but despite decades of research, there are still many questions surrounding HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention that lack their more satisfying partners: the answers. If we are to discover solutions to public health crises, we need to start with a solid foundation of evidence-based scientific research. Here at UBC’s Centre for Blood Research and the School…
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Development Path for Transdermal Aripiprazole

Aequus Pharmaceuticals Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company with a focus on developing, advancing and promoting differentiated products, announced today that it has received positive feedback from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to pursue the abbreviated 505(b)(2) clinical pathway for the company’s once-weekly transdermal aripiprazole patch, AQS1301, in development for the treatment of certain psychotic disorders. Upon review of…
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Genome BC is investing in a cancer research project that aims to speed up genetic tests of tumours through the development of a robotics system. Genomic testing of cancerous tumours enables better, more informed treatment for many of BC’s cancer patients. Analysis of a patient’s tumour, specifically the study of its molecular composition, offers more insight into how it will…
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Translational Immunology: An Interview with Dr. Shirin Kalyan

CHÉOS’ new Scientist Dr. Shirin Kalyan, a translational immunologist, used to sit in her undergraduate immunology courses in suspended disbelief. “When I went to physics and math, there was a pretty clear formula and you sort of get it after a while,” she said. “But when I was listening to this idea of how T cells and B cells with unique receptors are…
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Medical cannabis production is one of the fastest growing agri-biotech industries in BC, a province which is home to over 20% of Canada’s licensed producers of medical cannabis. The federal Cannabis Act, which is currently before parliament, will legalize the non-medical use of cannabis and further expand cannabis production and distribution into a regulated, multibillion-dollar industry. However, a major issue for…
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Approximately 10% of rare genetic diseases are caused by nonsense mutations, in which a stop codon is introduced and the synthesis of the full-length protein is terminated prematurely. Alireza Baradaran-Heravi and colleagues from the Strynadka lab revealed that a minor component of the antibiotic gentamicin has the potent ability to suppress nonsense mutations to promote formation of the full-length protein.…
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New DNA-Based Projects to Boost Fruit Plant Trade

Canadian fruit growers need the best varieties of plants to be successful. In the case of Canadian strawberry growers, they grow the best varieties of plants, which foreign buyers demand. The import and export of fruit plants, however, must go through the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to test for potentially devastating plant viruses. Currently, this testing and quarantine process takes…
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Technology advancements and decreasing costs have made DNA sequencing more accessible than ever before. The use of genomic testing to deliver more precise diagnosis and effective treatments in what is being called precision health care could be accessible to everyone as it is taken up into clinical practice. However, at present, genomic tests may not be equally effective for all…
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VIDEO: Understanding the G-quadruplex

How is the human genome sequence packaged in addition to the double helical structure? And how can we visualize, and learn about these alternate structures in the nucleus of the cell? At the University of British Columbia Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dr. Judy Wong and her team are investigating the formation of one alternate structure, the G-quadruplex (G4). This rare DNA structure…
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