$10 million boost for research on neuromuscular diseases and virus-based therapies
Ottawa researchers have been awarded nearly $10 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation for new equipment and facilities to support cutting-edge research on neuromuscular diseases and virus-based therapies. “This funding will help us build on recent breakthroughs in our understanding of neuromuscular diseases, design much-needed new therapies and evaluate them in patients,” said Dr. Rashmi Kothary, who leads the $4 million neuromuscular project together with Dr. Bernard Jasmin.
Award-winning tool helps predict course of recovery from spinal cord injury
“Will I ever walk again?” is one of the first questions a person asks after a spinal cord injury. Because each person’s recovery is different, it’s often hard for physicians to predict what an individual will be able to do in the future. Dr. Philippe Phan’s team, including Drs. Eugene Wai, Eve Tsai and Darren Roffey and contributors from across the country, has made answering this question easier by simplifying an existing prediction tool.
Extra maternal care prevents brain inflammation and reduces anxiety in mice
New research led by Dr. Hsiao-Huei Chen reveals that a protein called IRF2BP2 plays an important role in controlling anxiety in mice by influencing microglia, known as the immune system of the brain. Microglial cells can do many things, including fighting infections, promoting inflammation, gobbling up damaged or unwanted brain cells and encouraging healing.
Dr. Johnny Ngsee’s team has created the first worm model of a genetic form of ALS called ALS8 that can be used to learn more about the disease and test possible therapies. ALS, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, is caused by the gradual death of the nerves that control the muscles. There is no prevention or cure, and 80 percent of people with ALS die within two to five years of being diagnosed. Dr. Ngsee’s team created worms with a genetic mutation that mimics the disease.
Members Dr. Ruth Slack and Dr. Ian Graham have been elected by their peers to join the Royal Society of Canada (RSC)
Two of the top researchers in their fields from the University of Ottawa Brain and Mind Research Institute have been announced as recipients of one of the premier accolades in science. Dr. Ruth Slack and Dr. Ian Graham have been elected by their peers to join the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) as Fellows, emblematic of their innovation and renown as the best in their fields. Fellowship includes sitting on panels to advise policy-makers on decisions of great impact such as health care. Already, the two have led advances in patient care in Canada and beyond.
The CNMD is hosting the 4th Ottawa International Conference on Neuromuscular Disease and Biology on September 7-9, 2017. After three previous successful neuromuscular disease conferences in Ottawa, the 2017 conference promises to offer an outstanding program emphasizing recent breakthroughs in basic and translational research and clinical discoveries in neuromuscular disease.