MSFHR recently named 20 exceptional BC-based health researchers as 2020 Scholar award recipients in areas ranging from health equity to early dysphagia detection and osteoarthritis prevention. Among them were four UBCO faculty members.
The MSFHR Scholar Program is designed to support early career researchers as they establish independent research careers, form their own research teams and develop research programs that advance cutting-edge health solutions.
Primary Investigator: Thuy Dang
Plant based anticancer drugs – from discovery to final products
Plants are endowed with biological catalysts (enzymes) that make natural drugs used to treat various human illnesses. Among these, the Chinese happy tree (Camptotheca acuminata) produces the anticancer drug camptothecin.
Although camptothecin is readily convertible to the more potent drugs topotecan (Hycamtin) and irinotecan (Camptosar), this requires chemical synthesis steps which rely on toxic chemicals and petroleum-based resources.
Primary Investigator: Jennifer Davis
Adding Quality Years to Later Life via Innovative Health Economics Research Methods
My career goal is to improve the health and quality of life of older Canadians through applying innovative health economic methods to lifestyle interventions among older adults at risk of falls as well as cognitive and functional decline.
I propose a multi-disciplinary research program that advances health economic methods for clinical research studies. Theme 1 of my research program will advance health economic evaluation methodology by answering the question: “Can artificial intelligence combat current methods limitations of economic evaluation?”
Primary Investigator: Isaac Li
Molecular Tools for Monitoring and Controlling the Mechanobiology of Diseases
Cells in our body are constantly engaged in physical interactions. They stick together, squeeze through each other, and each possesses a primitive sense of touch. These physical interactions are crucial in processes that control how we grew from a single cell into a complex organism and how they function. In diseases from cancer to neurodegeneration to chronic inflammation, these mechanical regulatory mechanisms are interrupted or impaired, causing cells to lose control and wreak havoc in our body.
Primary Investigator: Katrina Plamondon
Advancing Health Equity Action
The trajectories of people’s lives are often shaped by things that fall outside of their control, having more to do with unearned disadvantages than with their own behaviours or biology.
Despite solid evidence and practical policy solutions, systematic differences in health and health outcomes persist both within and between countries. Evidence shows the distribution of power, resources, and wealth along social gradients are causes of these inequities.