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A Novel Microfluidic Device to Aid in the Search for Red Blood Cell “Super-storers”

A Novel Microfluidic Device to Aid in the Search for Red Blood Cell “Super-storers”

Donated red blood cell units are a vital component of patient care, supporting patients with a wide variety of disorders.

Lay Science Writing Competition Winner: A Story Worth Telling

Lay Science Writing Competition Winner: A Story Worth Telling

On my wedding day, my grandmother was admitted to the hospital for pneumonia. Unfortunately, patients over the age of 50 years old (and especially those over 70 years old), such as my grandmother, have higher needs for support with blood products.

The CBR Outreach Program: Inspiring Generations through Science

The CBR Outreach Program: Inspiring Generations through Science

At the Centre for Blood Research (CBR), a team of dedicated trainees who are passionate about sharing science with others, have the unique opportunity to do just that, through the CBR’s Outreach program.

New Automation Facility (B!) Opens in LSI

New Automation Facility (B!) Opens in LSI

In September 2019, the new Biofactorial (B!) automation and screening facility opened for business in UBC. Located on the second floor of the Life Sciences Institute (LSI), the facility aims to assist UBC researchers in automation and high-throughput biology applications to help reduce experimental costs and enhance the speed of research.

Host Tissue Factor on the Virus Envelope – A New Antiviral Target?

Host Tissue Factor on the Virus Envelope – A New Antiviral Target?

Viruses are small genetic bundles that hijack the metabolic processes of infected cells and can make us sick. One type of virus, called “enveloped viruses”, includes influenza, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1).

Could a spoonful of sugar help the vaccine go down?

Could a spoonful of sugar help the vaccine go down?

We’ve tried shaming them, we’ve tried mocking them and we’ve tried giving them cold hard facts: but it seems like nothing can convince anti-vaxxers to go get their infants vaccinated.

How to promote yourself to Biotech: 1st Annual Career Connect Day, Vancouver BC

How to promote yourself to Biotech: 1st Annual Career Connect Day, Vancouver BC

On Saturday, January 18th, 2020, LifeSciences BC and BioTalent Canada hosted their 1st Annual Career Connect Day with the aim of introducing life sciences companies and organizations from across the province to talented individuals who attended the conference at the Sheraton Wall Centre in Downtown Vancouver.

Figure 1: Vasculature of mice imaged using fluorescence microscopy. Wild-type (PodxlF/F) and Podocalyxin knockout (PodxlTie2DEC) mice were treated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Vasculature was imaged using 649-LEL and permeability was assessed using Texas red (TR) labelled 70-kD dextran (TR-DEX70). The authors describe the permeability as ‘dextran clouds’ in the podocalyxin knockout mice, signifying leakage of dextran outside of the blood vessel. Modified from Figure 4B from Cait et al. (2019).

A new player in blood-brain-barrier integrity

Podocalyxin (Podxl) is a protein primarily expressed on the inner surface of blood vessels and specialized kidney cells called podocytes. Although Podxl plays a critical role in kidney development and function, its purpose in blood vessels has remained cryptic.

Stem cell treatments: Miracle cures or dangerous experiments?

Stem cell treatments: Miracle cures or dangerous experiments?

When I was applying to graduate school in 2012, it felt like stem cells were about to revolutionize medicine. Stem cells have the ability to renew themselves, and mature into specialized cells like heart or brain cells. This allows them to multiply and repair damage.

American Society of Hematology, 61st Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL

American Society of Hematology, 61st Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL

Thanks to the Centre of Blood Research (CBR) for choosing me to be one of the CBR Graduate Student Travel Award recipients! With this award, I attended the 61st American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida.