*RICHARD HOGE

QUO2 MRI: Quantitative Measurement of Metabolic and Vascular Anomalies in the Brain of Alzheimer’s Disease Patients

Challenge: The underlying causes of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) remain poorly understood, and only few dynamic biomarkers are available to monitor responses for experimental therapies. Neuroimaging methods such as structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can detect brain atrophy, but slow changes during disease progression cannot be measured during the timeframe of clinical trials, while functional MRI (fMRI) methods are not yet … Read More

*MICKEY BHATIA

Using Patient’s Blood to Develop a Sensory Neuron-Based Platform to Treat Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy

Challenge: The sensory neuron damage referred as “Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy” (CIPN) affects 30-40% of cancer patients in Canada. Sensory neurons transmit information from the brain to every other part of the body allowing movement and awareness of our environment. The deterioration of these cells from chemotherapy causes severe pain often leading to the interruption of chemotherapy treatments. Unfortunately, developing a … Read More

*JACQUES CORBEIL

Computational and machine learning approaches to improve design and screening of peptides in drug discovery

Challenge: Protein-protein interactions (PPI) are well recognized as promising therapeutic targets. Although interfering peptides capable of inhibiting PPIs are receiving increased attention, the identification of those that possess high biological activity is very challenging due to their enormous diversity. There is thus a need to use bioinformatics and machine learning to effectively predict if a compound could be efficacious, which … Read More

EDWARD FON

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

GABRIELLA GOBBI

First-In-Class Melatonin MT2 Receptor Agonist for Neuropathic Pain: Investigational New Drug (IND) – Enabling Studies

Challenge: Neuropathic pain is a chronic pain disorder that can develop as a result of nerve damage caused by various medical conditions. Available treatments are very limited, and patients resort to using opioids to manage their pain, leading to dependence, tolerance and the so-called opioid-induced hyperalgesia, which is characterized by an increased pain after prolonged use of opioids. Research on … Read More

PHILIPPE GROS

Exploitation of a new pharmacological target for the development and validation of new anti-inflammatory drugs

Challenge: Neuroinflammation (NI) is involved in a diverse array of degenerative conditions, ranging from multiple sclerosis (MS) to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Although treatment options are available for MS their effectiveness is not uniform and long-term use has significant side effects. NI-based disorders remain an area of high unmet medical need and new approaches and targets are required to find … Read More

NATHAN YOGANATHAN

Developing new Alzheimer’s therapeutics using novel blood brain barrier carrier technology

  Competition: Focus on Brain 2014 Funding: $2,413,133 / 3 years Beginning: May 2015 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. Alzheimer’s disease becomes progressively more prevalent as people age, rising from over 11% of the population 65 and older to … Read More

*JANUSZ PAWLISZYN

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

*THÉRÈSE DI PAOLO

Catecholamine-Regulated Protein 40 (CRP40) as a New Candidate Biomarker for Early Diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease

Challenge: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative movement disorder afflicting 1 to 2% of the population over 65 years of age and for which there is neither a reliable diagnostic test nor cure. Since catecholamine-regulated protein 40 (CRP40) may be involved in regulation of dopamine in the brain, it represents a potential biomarker for early diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. … Read More

XIAO-YAN WEN

Development of automated zebrafish high throughput screening technology platforms to accelerate screening of small molecules in disease models of protein misfolding and aggregation

  Competition: Québec / Ontario Program 2013 Funding: $910,000 / 3 years Beginning: September 2014 This project is a groundbreaking collaboration between researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital (SMH) and Treventis Corporation (both in Toronto), as well as the University of Montreal. Dr. Xiao-Yan Wen (SMH) and Dr. Pierre Drapeau (University of Montreal) are experts in zebrafish models of disease. The zebrafish is … Read More