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Developing New Alzheimer’s Therapeutics Using a Novel Carrier That Can Cross the Blood-Brain Barrier

Challenge: Of the top 10 most fatal illnesses in the world, Alzheimer’s disease is the only one for which there is currently no disease-modifying therapy available. Abnormal clusters of toxic amyloid protein fragments build up between nerve cells in the brain leading to impaired memory. The current therapies in development are biologics, antibodies and peptides that neutralize toxic amyloid. However, … Read More

Friday April 10th, 2020


Inducible human pluripotent stem cells to better understand and treat Parkinson’s disease and ALS

Challenge: Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) are two of the most common and devastating neurodegenerative diseases, affecting one in 50 Canadians over 65 years old. A major roadblock to new drug development in neuroscience is the limited access to human neurons from affected patients. This limitation is now being addressed through the use of induced pluripotent stem … Read More

Wednesday September 25th, 2019


In-vivo Solid Phase Microextraction Integrated with Mass Spectrometry Platform for Untargeted and Targeted Investigation of the Brain

Challenge: One of the major challenges currently faced by the pharmaceutical industry is the development of alternative approaches that allow the gathering of maximum information using a minimum number of animals. With regard to analytical instruments, mass spectrometers offer increasingly sensitive and quantitative determination of biological molecules. However, collected biological samples, especially tissues, require efficient sample preparation prior to mass … Read More

Monday September 10th, 2018


Cyto-iGluSnFR: A glutamate biosensor platform for brain diseases

Challenge: Glutamate is the principal excitatory neurotransmitter of the human central nervous system (CNS). Disruption of glutamate homeostasis is a central feature of many neurological diseases, including stroke, glaucoma and Alzheimer’s disease. Glutamate levels in CNS are controlled by glial cells which facilitate its recycling and uptake through Excitatory Amino Acid Transporters (EAATs). Consequently, the EAAT proteins are attractive targets … Read More


The eye: a window to the brain – Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease in the Prodromal Stage from Non-Invasive Hyperspectral Retinal Images

Challenge: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) affects millions of people worldwide, causing an irreversible and debilitating loss of neuro-cognitive functions, with no cure currently available. At the moment, AD diagnosis can be confirmed post-mortem or through complex in vivo imaging approaches (Positron Emission Tomography or PET scanner) by observing two AD hallmarks in the brain, the deposition of β-amyloid (Aβ) plaques and … Read More


Targeting the Right Cells: Human MiniPromoters for Restricted Gene Expression in Specific Cells of the Eyes

Challenge: Diseases of the eye, sometimes leading to blindness represent an enormous burden in terms of human suffering and economic cost. New gene therapies where promoters act as switches to modulate gene expression could offer cures, but such expression is difficult to target to the appropriate diseased cells. Due to their size, complexity and regulation, endogenous promoters can rarely be … Read More


ShARP: Screenable Assays for RNA-Binding Proteins Involved in Brain Disorders

Challenge: Brain disorders such as autism, major depressive disorder and Alzheimer’s disease are among the greatest medical challenges of our era. Many drugs targeting the central nervous system (CNS) have been developed to modulate G-protein coupled receptors, ion channels or transporters, with mitigated success. There remains a shortage of disease-relevant targets that can be harnessed for drug discovery to treat the … Read More

Friday September 7th, 2018

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