*ROB HUTCHISON

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

Challenge: The blood-brain barrier (BBB) plays an essential role in protecting the brain from blood-borne diseases. However, it blocks otherwise effective medicine from reaching the brain. Most drugs developed for treatment of central nervous system diseases fail because they aren’t optimally designed to cross the BBB. There is a need to identify natural transporters acting as ‘shuttles’ that can facilitate the … Read More

*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

BRIAN CHEN

A Drug Screening Platform to Increase Protein Expression Levels for Treatment of Neurological Disorders

Challenge: Neurological and psychiatric diseases and disorders affect more than half the population, causing a huge burden on health care costs, lost productivity, and reductions in quality of life. These disorders of the nervous system can span a range of illnesses, including autism spectrum disorders, manic disorders, Parkinson’s disease, stress, depression, and anxiety. Many of these diseases and disorders are … 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

Automated Zebrafish High Throughput Drug Screening Platform: An Automated Zebrafish High Throughput Technology to Accelerate in vivo Screening of Small Molecules in Disease Models

Challenge: Protein misfolding and aggregation are implicated in diverse neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other chronic diseases such as diabetes. Currently, only cell-based screening assays have been designed and used in the discovery of new therapeutic molecules. However, these assays are limited in representing disease models because they do not consider the … Read More