2013 CBR Research Day

The 2013 CBR Research Day was a great success, highlighting the accomplishments of the undergraduate and medical students who worked in CBR labs and clinics this summer. These unique opportunities, which provide our future generations of scientists and clinicians with valuable experiences that will guide them into imp_DSC5816ortant career decisions, were made available through educational grants from Alexion, Bayer, CSL-Behring, Canadian Blood Services, Grifols, New England Biolabs, Nikon, Novartis, and Novo Nordisk. In addition to the exciting projects in which they participated, the summer students were also treated to tours of various research and clinical facilities throughout UBC, had the chance to gain insights into career choices, and enjoyed several social events. And hopefully they made some long-lasting friends at the CBR!

2013 Research Day Photo 1 We were fortunate this year to have CBR Research Day opened by Dr. Grady Meneilly, Physician-in-Chief and Head of the Dept of Medicine at UBC. His support reflects the high value that is placed on providing such hands-on experiences for these students.

Following is a list of the projects that were tackled by the summer students. To a capacity audience of over 150 scientists, the students truly impressed everyone with presentations that demonstrated a deep understanding of the complex medical and scientific issues that they addressed in the lab and the clinic –  a credit to their hard work, to all of their supervisors who guided them, and to the sponsors who supported them.

_DSC6160 Daniel Bu investigated the effects of whole blood mirasol irradiation-induced pathogen inactivation on red blood cells. Jessie Cait described how the transmembrane sialomucin, podocalyxin, regulates vascular endothelial barrier function and its potential impact on transfusion related acute lung injury (TRALI). Diana Canals worked on another sialomucin, endoglycan, and examined its role on activated B cells during innate inflammation. Amanda Cunningham worked at St. Pauls Hospital where she evaluated the burden of hepatitis in adults with inherited bleeding disorders in BC, gaining insights into future needs for screening and therapy. Jovy Eramela investigated the differential properties of different sample holders used in devices to evaluate platelet quality prior to transfusion. Kevin Huang performed studies designed to characterize the properties of a human cathepsin K exosite mutant, revealing potential sites f_DSC6147or therapeutic target development. Jaime Kwok determined that there is a high false positive rate of an ELISA screen used for the detection of anti-factor VIII antibodies in patients with congenital hemophilia A. Eunice Kwok performed intriguing studies designed to immunocamouflage RhD mismatched RBCs with mPEG using a monocyte monolayer assay. Jessica Lamb investigated the biochemical mechanisms by which heparin interferes with different steps in the complement system. Frank Lee extended studies to delineate how a modified clotting factor Xa could act as a fibrinolytic “clot-buster”, rather than a procoagulant enzyme. Guinevere Q. Lee utilized different PCR protocols to detect HIV-1 nef population variations, thereby delineating the limitations of each approach. Andrea Marshall performed detailed comparative analyses of the characterization of platelets using ThromboLUX, CD62 expression and thromboelastrography. Nima Mazinani devised a method to quantify how amyloid beta is cross-linked by the coagulation enzyme, factor XIIIa. Shanli Parnia_DSC6252 screened an organic product library to identify antidotes to rivaroxaban, a new oral anticoagulant. James Ross initiated studies to probe the structure of the FliF protein, a component of the bacterial flagellum. Saaranga Sasitharan helped to develop a much-needed universal heparin binding assay. Cam Tough performed genomic and proteomic profiling of macrophage “polarization”, key for functional differentiation of macrophages. Erica Tsang evaluated the pre- and post-treatment serum ferritin levels in_DSC6459 patients with high risk myelodysplastic syndromes receiving azacytidine. Adam Ziada continued his studies on delineating the role of mitochondrial point mutations in aging. Varoon Mathur investigated the relationship between fibrinogen deposition and myelomonocytic cell infiltration in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis. Joshua Foley examined the effect of coagulation factor VIII on complement system activation. The extraordinary efforts of the students were all well-received!_DSC6112

We were fortunate to have a keynote speaker, Dr. Brian Hoffman, a Harvard Professor of Medicine, and recent author, discuss the history of Adrenaline, placing it into the context of the common and persistent challenges faced by scientists then and now. It was stimulating, entertaining and informative, and was a perfect lead-in to the rest of the day of discussions and interactions over posters, food and drink.

Many thanks to all _DSC6527who participated and helped make the CBR Research Day a spectacular event!

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