Targeting MondoA: A Potential New Treatment for Childhood Leukemia

Scientists had previously noted that the presence of a large protein called MondoA was associated with worse outcomes in several pediatric cancers, but they didn’t understand why. That changed after Dr. Poul Sorensen, a distinguished scientist with BC Cancer and an investigator with the Michael Cuccione Childhood Cancer Research Program at BC Children’s Hospital, won an August-Wilhelm Scheer guest professorship award to work at the Technical…
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The Life Sciences Institute congratulates Dr. Shernaz Bamji on becoming President of the Canadian Association for Neuroscience (CAN). Currently Associate Director at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health (DMCBH), Dr. Bamji has served as Vice President/President Elect of CAN, a thousand-member organization dedicated to advancing brain research. She succeeds immediate Past-President Dr. Charles Bourque of McGill University, who led…
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Epistasis and Intramolecular Networks in Protein Evolution

Proteins are molecular machines composed of complex, highly connected amino acid networks. Their functional optimization requires the reorganization of these intramolecular networks by evolution. In this review, we discuss the mechanisms by which epistasis, that is, the dependence of the effect of a mutation on the genetic background, rewires intramolecular interactions to alter protein function. Deciphering the biophysical basis of epistasis…
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Expect U.S. innovation giant Danaher Corp.’s latest acquisition deal to function like an accelerator pedal for B.C.’s biotech ambitions, according to James Taylor. “Together we’ll be able to accomplish in two years what otherwise would take us five years, and in five years what would otherwise take us 20 years,” says the co-founder and CEO Vancouver-based Precision NanoSystems Inc.’s (PNI).…
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There is a lot of curiosity surrounding SFU’s Containment Level 3 (CL3) Lab, the newest addition to SFU’s Core Facilities Program. Over the last 10 years, SFU has invested in core facilities, which are purpose-built to house and provide access to infrastructure shared across the whole SFU research community and beyond. SFU’s CL3 Lab is one of a few biosecure facilities in…
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Dr. Ly Vu is an Assistant Professor of the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at SFU, and a scientist at the BC Cancer Agency’s Terry Fox Laboratory. She is from Vietnam, and moved to Vancouver in 2019 to start her independent research group that studies a molecular mechanism underlying blood cancer. “I’ve always had a curiosity about nature. While…
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Anthracyclines are highly effective chemotherapeutic agents; however, their clinical utility is limited by severe anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity (ACT). Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have uncovered several genetic variants associated with ACT, but the impact of these findings requires further elucidation. We conducted a transcriptome-wide association study (TWAS) using our previous GWAS summary statistics (n = 280 patients) to identify gene expression-related associations with ACT.…
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​A recent discovery in Ewing sarcoma, an aggressive and often fatal childhood cancer, has uncovered the potential to prevent cancer cells from spreading beyond their primary tumour site. The breakthrough provides new insight into what triggers the process that allows cancer cells to survive while traveling throughout the body in the bloodstream. Researchers with BC Cancer and the University of…
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Genome BC has invested $1.2 million into a Vancouver-based startup that is providing innovative, next-generation knee-bracing technology. Stoko Design Inc. is redefining how athletes prevent and recover from injuries with the development of a new retail category they call supportive apparel, incorporating medical-grade bracing into everyday athletic clothing. Stoko’s first-to-market product, the K1, is a beautifully designed compression tight with integrated…
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The New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF) 2020 Exploration competition has awarded funds to support 117 research projects across Canada that bring diverse disciplines together in pursuit of breakthrough ideas and high-reward outcomes. The NFRF program, a federal research funding initiative, mobilizes cutting-edge interdisciplinary, international, and transformative research that strengthens Canadian innovation and benefits Canadians. The fund’s Exploration stream specifically…
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