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


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


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


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


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


Non-Invasive Diagnostic Test Using Electroretinography for Profiling Patients with Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorders

Challenge: Psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression affect 25 million of individuals in North America. Early identification of risk factors for people with genetic predispositions remains the most promising avenue for improving the treatments for these diseases. However, there are multiple subgroups of patients within a specific disease whose condition is mediated by different molecular pathologies, … Read More


Innovative Optical Imaging and Bio-Simulation Platforms to Accelerate Central Nervous System Drug Discovery

Challenge: The development of efficient drugs targeting central nervous system (CNS) diseases remains a challenge, especially because of a lack of effective methods for studying processes occurring at the synaptic level. Protein interactions at the synapse are known to be modified under pathological conditions and to induce important changes in cellular function. Despite great advances in imaging, it remains difficult … Read More


Cyto-iGluSnFR: A glutamate biosensor platform for brain diseases

  Competition: Focus on Brain 2014 Funding: $1,416,375 / 3 years Beginning: May 2015 Challenge: In the human brain and retina, the chemical glutamate is a very important messenger that carries information from one neuron to another. The levels of glutamate transmitted between neurons must be tightly controlled: too high and neurons die, too low and information is not communicated … Read More


A Blood-Brain Barrier Carrier Platform for Delivery of Multiple Classes of Therapeutics for Treating CNS Diseases

  Competition: Focus on Brain 2014 Funding: $2,573,875 / 3 years Beginning: May 2015 Challenge: The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a tightly woven layer of vascular cells in the brain that prevents harmful molecules from the circulation, viruses and toxins, from entering the brain. To allow entry of nutrients into the brain, the BBB employs molecular transporters that shuttle nutrients … Read More


Alzheimer’s Disease Mouse Model Characterization: Correlation Between MRI and ex vivo Immunohistochemistry

Challenge: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder affecting elderly people. There is currently no early diagnostic method available and there is no effective treatment. Better characterization of new animal models is therefore essential to enable the discovery of new therapeutics for AD. Solution: To maximize the information obtained from MRI and PET imaging studies of animal models for … Read More