The CenteR for Advancing Neurotechnological Innovation to Application (CRANIA) is hosting its inaugural workshop as part of an Industry Partnership Day Workshop Series.
The half-day workshop is on February 21, 2020; and registration is open to all staff and researchers involved in neuromodulation research (maximum 70 registrants, first-come-first-serve). The workshop will highlight insights into state-of-the-art neural implants—with a focus on Novela Neurotech’s new Open Source Wireless Neuromodulation Research Kit (OpenKit).
The workshop is also a call for collaboration to further develop OpenKit. All research teams that employ electrophysiological techniques/protocols or are interested in learning about the future of neuromodulation therapies are invited to participate.
Ten event registrants will be selected to receive a complimentary OpenKit system, which features a state-of-the-art wireless and flexible neural implant, bluetooth communication module and a software suite with smartphone integration. The kit is open-sourced to promote collaboration and greatly advances multi-channel recording, data processing and sharing capabilities.
Event details are listed below:
● Date and Time: Friday, February 21, 2020 from 12:30 to 4:30 pm
● Venue: Room GB303, Galbraith Building, 35 St. George Street, University of Toronto [map]
The immune system is the body’s defense against infectious invaders like bacteria and viruses. However, in autoimmune diseases, the immune system dysfunctions and attacks the body itself.
In her latest study, Dr. Joan Wither, a Senior Scientist at Krembil Research Institute, examined whether tiredness is a harbinger of disease progression in a family of autoimmune diseases known as systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases (SARDs). SARDs occur when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s joints and connective tissues, and can lead to debilitating inflammation, pain and tiredness.
The first sign of a SARD is the presence of a specific type of antibody, which is a protein produced by the immune system. Doctors have worried that people with these antibodies who are also experiencing profound tiredness are at an increased risk of progressing to a more severe stage of disease.
As part of the study, Dr. Wither and her team analyzed a combination of questionnaires administered to SARD patients, as well as their blood test results and medical records. The researchers found that individuals with the antibodies and tiredness did not have a greater likelihood of progressing to a SARD.
Instead, they found that approximately one third of patients who participated in the study might be affected by a different disease with similar symptoms: fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a condition with heightened sensitivities to pain and tiredness and is thought to stem from a disorder in the nervous system.
“Based on our findings, clinicians can now reassure their patients that fatigue is not necessarily a sign that their condition is progressing,” says Dr. Wither.
These findings will also improve the diagnosis and treatment of people with elevated tiredness.
This work was supported by the Krembil Foundation, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Oscar and Eleanor Markovitz Fund for Scleroderma Research, the Freda Fejer Fund for Scleroderma Research, the Autoimmunity Research Centre of the University Health Network, The Arthritis Centre of Excellence and the Department of Medicine of the University of Toronto, The Arthritis Society of Canada and the Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation.
Hafiz W, Nori R, Bregasi A, Noamani B, Bonilla D, Lisnevskaia L, Silverman E, Bookman AAM, Johnson SR, Landolt-Marticorena C, Wither J. Fatigue severity in anti-nuclear antibody-positive individuals does not correlate with pro-inflammatory cytokine levels or predict imminent progression to symptomatic disease. Arthritis Res Ther. 2019 Nov 4. doi: 10.1186/s13075-019-2013-9.
The UHN Office of Research Trainees (ORT) is proud to announce the release of the latest issue of The ORT Times!
The ORT Times is UHN's monthly trainee-focused newsletter. It highlights news and editorials about trainee life, articles to help developing researchers get the most out of their training experience at UHN, tips on career development, and research training opportunities within and outside of UHN.
Conference Reports: Read conference reports from Conan Chua and Meghan Lambie.
Read and download the full issue now!
To see past issues of The ORT Times, please visit ORT’s website.
Dr. Mansoor Husain will be stepping down from this role as the Director of the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute (TGHRI) effective February 14, 2020.
Dr. Husain has done an outstanding job leading TGHRI and has championed major initiatives to transform the institute during his tenure. He established a new organizational structure to promote collaboration; led the successful recruitment of several world-class scientists and rising stars—including almost doubling the number of appointed Scientists and bringing the total number of appointed researchers to 143; implemented an annual TGHRI Research Day to promote the institute's research advances; established an awards program to recognize the best and brightest postdoctoral fellows; and helped spark countless, highly successful partnerships with peer institutions, donors and the private sector. Mansoor also led the development of TGHRI's 2016–2020 Strategic Research Plan, with a forward-looking vision to guide scientific excellence.
Mansoor's accomplishments as Director are evidenced by the growth of TGHRI over the past decade or so. For example, annual research funding has risen by more than 40% to reach almost $84 million, and the number of research publications published by TGHRI scientists in 2018 was 1,293—almost 70% more than that in 2010. He also helped secure eight new Canada Research Chair positions and another nine chair renewals for TGHRI researchers.
Mansoor is stepping down to dedicate more of his leadership and expertise to other roles at UHN, including his roles as the Executive Director of the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research, a staff cardiologist and a Senior Scientist at TGHRI.
Dr. Myron Cybulsky, Senior Scientist at TGHRI and staff pathologist in the Laboratory Medicine Program, will serve as TGHRI's Interim Director.
Mitochondria are the power plants of the cell. Almost all cells in our body depend on mitochondria to provide the energy they need to live. When its mitochondria malfunction or are damaged, a cell must either fight to stay alive or start planning its demise.
A team of researchers led by Drs. Suneil Kalia and Lorraine Kalia, Scientists at Krembil Research Institute, has found that a protein known as BAG5 is instrumental in determining whether a cell with damaged mitochondria will live or die.
BAG5 is part of a family of six proteins, helpfully named BAG1 to BAG6. Several members of this family are part of a network of interacting proteins recruited to the damaged mitochondria.
“Members of the BAG family play different roles in the process,” explains Dr. Suneil Kalia. “We found that BAG5 delays the decommissioning of severely impaired mitochondria, leading to the acceleration of cell death.”
Parkin, a protein implicated in Parkinson disease, is also recruited to damaged mitochondria. By understanding how BAG5, Parkin and other proteins work together to determine the fate of a cell, the researchers aim to reveal new approaches to treat Parkinson disease, a condition caused by the progressive death of brain cells.
To learn more about the research of Drs. Kalia and Kalia, please visit kalialabs.org.
This work was supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation. L Kalia holds a CIHR Clinician Scientist Award and EA Fon holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Parkinson’s Disease.
De Snoo ML, Friesen EL, Zhang YT, Earnshaw R, Dorval G, Kapadia M, O'Hara DM, Agapova V, Chau H, Pellerito O, Tang MY, Wang X, Schmitt-Ulms G, Durcan TM, Fon EA, Kalia LV, Kalia SK. Bcl-2-associated athanogene 5 (BAG5) regulates Parkin-dependent mitophagy and cell death. Cell Death Dis. 2019 Dec 2. doi:10.1038/s41419-019-2132-x.
Research conducted at UHN's research institutes spans the full spectrum of diseases and disciplines, including cancer, cardiovascular sciences, transplantation, neural and sensory sciences, musculoskeletal health, rehabilitation sciences, and community and population health.
Learn more about our institutes by clicking below: