Four research projects receive $100,000 in funding: Vitalité Health Network congratulates the participating physicians and researchers
Moncton – May 14, 2019 – Vitalité Health Network wishes to congratulate the physicians and researchers as well as their colleagues at the Université de Moncton having received grants to conduct four separate research projects.
Each project has received $25,000 through the Programme de financement de recherche en santé DUO. Each funding application was evaluated by a committee of three independent evaluators via a process similar to that employed by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The funding for the projects originates from the research development program of the Centre de formation médicale du Nouveau-Brunswick.
The Network congratulates the following recipients for their health research work:
- Dr. Rodney Ouellette, President and Scientific Director of the Atlantic Cancer Research Institute, Gabriel Wajnberg, postdoctoral researcher at the Atlantic Cancer Research Institute, and Prof. Moulay Akhloufi, of the Université de Moncton for the project “Apprentissage multi-omique profond par intelligence artificielle pour la détection et le suivi du cancer.”
- Dr. Nicholas Finn, hemato-oncologist at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont UHC, and Prof. Gilles Robichaud, of the Université de Moncton for the project “Caractérisation des ARNs circulaires de l’oncogène Pax-5 dans les leucémies lymphocytaires chroniques (LLC).”
- Dr. Ludivine Witkowski, neurology specialist at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont UHC, and Prof. Luc Boudreau and Prof. Mohamed Touaibia of the Université de Moncton for the project “Régulation de l’activation plaquettaire chez les gens atteints de la sclérose en plaques.”
- Dr. Gabriel Girouard, microbiologist at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont UHC, Dr. Marc Dorval, nephrologist, Dr. Ihssan Bouhtiauy, Clinical Chief of the Biochemistry Sector of Vitalité Health Network, and Prof. Mathieu Bélanger, of the Université de Moncton for the project “La procalcitonine en insuffisance rénale terminale sous hémodialyse : une exploration de sa valeur comme biomarqueur.”
Here are descriptions of the four research projects:
Apprentissage multi-omique profond par intelligence artificielle pour la détection et le suivi du cancer
The emergence of new artificial intelligence techniques has led to impressive progress in various research fields, including the medical field. This progress is primarily attributable to deep learning and to deep neuron networks.
The objective of the proposed project is to develop deep learning algorithms with multi-omic data for cancer detection and treatment. This collaborative project involving the perception, robotics and machine intelligence research group (PRIME) of the computer science department of the Université de Moncton and the Atlantic Cancer Research Institute will capitalize on complementary artificial intelligence and omic expertise within Vitalité Health Network. The advancements made in the course of this project could help overcome challenges in analyzing large quantities of data originating from multiple biomarker sources. The results could be applied to personalized medicine.
Caractérisation des ARNs circulaires de l’oncogène Pax-5 dans les leucémies lymphocytaires chroniques (LLC)
This project will study the genes (oncogenes) governing cancer development and growth. The Pax-5 oncogene is one of those receiving significant study. A defect in Pax-5 expression results in cell overgrowth and inhibits the death of cancer cells, namely in the case of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Examples of circular RNA (circRNA) were recently identified within the Pax-5 gene, which is unusual since these are usually linear. Research on other circRNA has shown it to be a powerful regulator of gene expression in several diseases, including cancers. This study will test the hypothesis that Pax-5 circRNA is involved in CLL.
The goal of this study is to clarify the roles of Pax-5 circRNA in the processes leading to CLL development and growth. The study will help better understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms of this pathology and support the development of effective diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for this incurable disease.
La procalcitonine en insuffisance rénale terminale sous hémodialyse : une exploration de sa valeur comme biomarqueur
The ProcIRT(HD) research project is intended to validate the extent of serum levels of procalcitonin (PCT) and its determining factors in patients with terminal renal failure requiring hemodialysis. Testing for PCT levels has been a rapid, reliable and very useful diagnosis and prognosis tool for treating bacterial infections in the general population for over 20 years. It appears, however, that renal failure affects the PCT basal level in unknown ways and reduces this test’s usefulness in the population with renal failure.
This project is designed to increase our knowledge of PCT in renal illness and thereby improve quality of care and reduce the significant infectious morbidity/mortality occurring among patients with renal failure. The project is a collaborative effort involving the Nephrology, Microbiology and Biochemistry departments, the Regional Research Support Office of the Dr. Georges-L-Dumont UHC and the Centre de formation médicale du Nouveau-Brunswick.
Régulation de l’activation plaquettaire chez les patients atteints de la sclérose en plaques
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neuro-inflammatory disease affecting approximately 100,000 Canadians, primarily women. Although the exact cause of MS remains unknown, it is clear that the MS pathology involves several types of cells, including platelets. In MS, activated platelets release considerable quantities of small particles dubbed microparticles (PMPs). PMPs may worsen MS symptoms through active involvement in promoting inflammation.
This project will study the possibility of preventing the release of PMPs and thereby reducing their levels in the blood of MS patients. To do so, new molecules will be developed targeting known platelet inflammatory pathways, in particular involving 12-lipoxygenase. Various approaches will be used such as clinical samples of MS patients as well as an MS murine model to verify the new molecules’ therapeutic potential.