Targeting the epigenome to modulate gene expression programs driving cancer development has emerged as an exciting avenue for therapeutic intervention. Pharmacological inhibition of the bromodomain and extraterminal (BET) family of chromatin adapter proteins has proven effective in this regard, suppressing growth of diverse cancer types mainly through downregulation of the c-MYC oncogene, and its downstream transcriptional program. While initially effective,…
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Regulated Cell Death Pathways in Doxorubicin-Induced Cardiotoxicity

Doxorubicin is a chemotherapeutic drug used for the treatment of various malignancies; however, patients can experience cardiotoxic effects and this has limited the use of this potent drug. The mechanisms by which doxorubicin kills cardiomyocytes has been elusive and despite extensive research the exact mechanisms remain unknown. This review focuses on recent advances in our understanding of doxorubicin induced regulated…
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Microchip RT-PCR Detection of Nasopharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 Samples

Fast, accurate and reliable diagnostic tests are critical for controlling the spread of the 2019 Coronavirus disease associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. The current gold standard for testing is real time PCR (RT-PCR), however, during the current pandemic, supplies of testing kits and reagents have been limited. We report the validation of a rapid (30 min), user-friendly and accurate microchip RT-PCR…
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Androgen receptor (AR) is a major driver of prostate cancer and AR pathway inhibition (ARPI) is a standard first-line therapy for advanced prostate cancer, however, cancer cells inevitably develop resistance to this therapy. The major focus of our research has been on exploring the adaptive survival mechanisms in response to acute treatment stress which assist in the development of treatment-resistant prostate cancer and then further develop co-targeting strategies to re-sensitize them.
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This article is the latest in a series of publications on the role of synaptic plasticity (both long-term potentiation-LTD and long-term-depression LTD) in learning and memory. In collaboration with Yu Tian Wang the authors have focused on the role of LTD in a range of tests of learning and memory. This body of work has implicated LTD in behavioural and cognitive flexibility as well as natural forgetting.
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COVID-19 Highlights the Model Dilemma in Biomedical Research

Scientists worldwide struggle to identify suitable animal models to study SARS-CoV-2 infections. Interspecies-related differences, such as host specificity, divergent immune responses, or the unavailability of species-specific reagents hamper the research. Human-based models, such as micro-engineered multi-organs-on-chip, may hold the solution. Animal models are imperative in preclinical research; however, most animal models are poorly predictive of human conditions. The lack of…
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This week we profile a recent publication in Communications Biology from the laboratory of Dr. Calvin Yip (pictured, second from right) at UBC. One of his lab’s current research focuses is to delineate the molecular mechanism of an evolutionarily conserved pathway called autophagy. As the major pathway for the removal and recycling of intracellular materials and organelles, autophagy plays a central role in the maintenance of cellular homeostasis.
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This week we profile a recent publication in Autophagy from Yasir Mohamud (pictured, right), Hui Tang (left), and Dr. Honglin Luo at UBC. The Luo Laboratory studies mechanisms of viral pathogenesis with a particular focus on heart disease and neurodegeneration while also investigating strategies to leverage oncolytic virus for cancer therapy. As common human pathogens, enteroviruses (EVs) are responsible for ~1 billion global infections annually, with severe health outcomes manifesting in vulnerable populations...
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Primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma (PMBL) is a type of aggressive B-cell lymphoma that typically affects young adults, characterized by presence of a bulky anterior mediastinal mass. Lymphomas with gene expression features of PMBL have been described in non-mediastinal sites, raising questions about how these tumors should be classified. Here, we investigated whether these “non-mediastinal PMBLs” are indeed PMBLs or…
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Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) has emerged as a promising fluid biomarker for several neurological indications including traumatic brain injury (TBI), a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. In humans, serum or plasma GFAP levels can predict brain abnormalities including hemorrhage on computed tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). However, assays to quantify plasma or serum GFAP…
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