Browse the oral and visual presentations from day 3 of the 2022 UWill Discover Conference.

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A Different Kind of Birthday

Anika T. Boulineau

A Different Kind of Birthday was one of my school assignments that I had produced last semester in my 3rd-year FILM documentary class with professor Tony Lau. The assignment's goal was to create a short and compact documentary that would narrate a unique, thought-provoking, yet relatable story. Being a Chinese-Canadian-Adoptee, I wanted to make a short film that told my unique story and perspective about being adopted and how my personal experiences may differ from others. When I turned 20 years old last April, I became very emotional and sad, reflecting on how my adoptive family (which I call my real family) did not know me or were not with me on the day I was born in China. Also, simple questions about one’s beginning, such as the exact time one was born or how much they weighed as a newborn, has always been a mystery for me; yet for others, they know this part of themselves very well. Not only did I want my short film to show my unique journey, but also to help connect and relate to others regardless of their age, gender, race, sexual orientation, and religious background to my film project. In other words, I want people to reflect on their own personal stories and how their birth stories are rare and beautiful. A Different Kind of Birthday essentially shows that everyone is unique and has something extraordinary about how they came to be in this world.

An Integrative Review on the Effect of School- Based Nutrition Programs on Obesity Rates in Indigenous Youth

Melissa Stein, University of Windsor
Rachel Raspburg, University of Windsor
Scott Berendsen, University of Windsor
Natalie Gladwish, University of Windsor
Melissa Bonifazi, University of Windsor
Jennifer Sharrow, University of Windsor

An Integrative Review on the Effect of School- Based Nutrition Programs on Obesity Rates in Indigenous Youth

Background

Obesity-related diseases are disproportionately pervasive within Indigenous communities in Canada (King et al., 2009). Obesity is linked to various chronic illnesses which lead to decreases in quality of life, loss of ability to work, increased morbidity and mortality, and a significant burden and financial strain on the healthcare system (MacEwan et al. 2011). Individuals under 15 years of age account for a greater proportion of the population within Indigenous communities; therefore, children are especially demographically significant in this context. School-based nutritional programs show promise in affecting positive change related to healthy eating behaviours amongst Indigenous children. However, there are no well-established guidelines or protocols related to these interventions, hence, the aim of this integrative review is to identify the most effective strategies in reducing obesity rates amongst Indigenous youth in Canada.

Methods

To date, this integrative review has consisted of searches in three peer-reviewed databases and a general web search for grey literature. Eligibility criteria were applied by three reviewers, and data were extracted and charted by six reviewers using components of culturally relevant education, increasing access to nutritious food choices, Indigenous ownership, and implementing physical activity programs.

Results

The literature review is ongoing. Preliminary results indicate school-based nutrition programs improve healthy eating knowledge and behaviours when paired with supplemental education regarding nutritional choices, increasing physical activity, and reducing sedentary behaviours (Valery et al., 2021). Combining immediate and long-term initiatives to combat the obesity crisis is important to decrease health disparities amongst Canadian Indigenous youth.

Conclusion

Through this integrative review, we hope to identify components of the most successful nutritional interventions within Indigenous communities in Canada. This will help guide the planning, development, and implementation of future nutrition programs.

Automating Team Formation Using Machine Learning

Dhwani Patel Ms., University of Windsor
Arman Vagheh Dashti Mr., University of Windsor
Karan Saxena Mr., University of Windsor
Hossein Fani Dr., University of Windsor

Collaborative teams are the primary vehicle for coordinating experts with diverse skills for a particular project in academia, manufacturing, freelancing, and the healthcare sector. Forming a successful team whose members can effectively collaborate and deliver the outcomes within the specified constraints, such as planned budget and timeline, is challenging due to the immense number of candidates with various backgrounds, skills, and personality traits, as well as unknown synergistic balance among them; not all teams with best experts are necessarily successful. Historically, teams have been formed by relying on experience and instinct, resulting in suboptimal team composition due to the incomprehensive knowledge of candidates and hidden cognitive biases, among others.

To automate forming optimum teams, current methods perform an exhaustive search over subgraphs of expert collaboration networks. They are not, however, scalable for large networks. In our research group, we propose machine learning models that learn relationships among experts and their social attributes through neural architectures. We aimed at bringing efficiency while maintaining efficacy by employing inherently iterative and online learning procedures in neural architectures. We also aimed at utilizing unsuccessful teams to convey complementary negative signals to neural models. Based on the closed-world assumption, we assume no currently known team of experts for the required skills is to be unsuccessful. Our experiments on two large-scale benchmark datasets, computer science research publications (DBLP) and movies (IMDB), show that neural models that take unsuccessful teams into account are faster and more accurate in forming collaborative teams.

A Social Media Give and Take: A Study of What Young Adults Would Give up to Stay Connected

Bailey Csabai Ms., University of Windsor
Paige Coyne Ms., University of Windsor
Sarah Woodruff Dr., University of Windsor

Background: Social media presents both opportunities and risks for young adults. Although they may experience increased connectivity and creativity, excessive use can result in neglect of other aspects of life (e.g., physical activity, sleep).

Purpose: Investigate social media usage patterns and addictions among young adults, while exploring what trade-offs they would be willing to make to stay connected on social media.

Methods: Participants (N = 750) completed an online survey containing questions concerning demographics, social media usage patterns, relationships with social media, and trade-offs participants would make to remain on social media. A weighted least squares hierarchical multiple linear regression was performed to examine whether usage patterns/addiction predicted total trade-off scores.

Results: Most participants (n = 727) had 2+ social media accounts, with Instagram (n = 693) being the most popular. Almost half of the sample (n = 342) reported checking social media 9+ times/day and more than three quarters spend at least one hour/day using social media (n = 626). More participants were willing to make food/drink or hobby-related trade-offs than health or life-related trade-offs. The regression was significant, F(6, 733) = 21.941, p <.001, R2 = .390, with the number of social checks/day (p < 0.05), time/day spent on social media (p < 0.01), and social media addiction (p < 0.001) all predicting increases in the number of trade-offs participants were willing to make.

Conclusion: Higher social media usage rates/addiction can increase young adults' willingness to make trade-offs in their personal lives to remain on social media.

Battery Parameter Estimation using EIectrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy

Rohit Sengar, University of Windsor
Marzia Abaspour Ghadi, University of Windsor
Balakumar Balasingam

Lithium based rechargeable battery packs have been widely adopted in electric vehicles (EVs). A battery management system (BMS) ensures the safety, efficiency, and reliability of the electric vehicle. It continuously monitors the battery packs. The main component of BMS is the battery fuel gauge which estimated the crucial parameters of the battery, such as state of charge (SOC), state of health (SOH), time to shut down (TTS) and remaining useful life (RUL). To estimate these parameters, battery electrical equivalent circuit model (ECM) is to be identified and ECM parameters needs to be estimated. These parameters can be estimated either in time domain or frequency domain. Parameter estimation in time domain is used widely in real time scenarios. However, parameter estimation in frequency domain is more accurate. Electrical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) is a widely used technique to know the battery response in frequency domain. Therefore, this response is used to estimate the parameters of the battery ECM. A little has been done in the literature to extract battery ECM parameters using EIS and their validation using real data. A systematic approach is presented to extract the ECM model parameters of a battery in frequency domain and time domain. Real world EIS and time-domain data is collected to compare the ECM parameters estimated based on both frequency domain and time-domain approaches. The experiment is repeated at six different state of charge (SOC) levels of the battery to understand the behaviour of ECM parameters with SOC.

Cancer Screening Barriers in Transgender Persons: An Integrative Review

Julie Nauta, University of Windsor
Alyssa Desjardins, University of Windsor
Lindsay Tippin, University of Windsor
Maria Quiring, University of Windsor
Natalie Rodzinka, University of Windsor
Noor Zahwe, University of Windsor

Introduction: In Ontario, cancer screenings can detect early signs of breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer and therefore reduce mortality. Transgender persons (TGP) are individuals whose gender assigned at birth differs from their gender identity. TGP face barriers and discrimination with accessing health care. The purpose of this paper is to identify the rate of cancer screening among TGP, compared to cisgender individuals, and identify barriers leading to screening non-adherence.

Methods: An integrative review of quantitative studies was conducted to explore and summarize current research, the quality of the statistical methods used, and the barriers contributing to decreased cancer screening adherence rates among TGP. To our knowledge, this is the first academic review of quantitative studies examining statistical methods to identify what is known about cancer screening rates of TGP, compared to cisgender individuals.

Results: Our preliminary results show that although cancer risk is similar among TGP and cisgender individuals, TGP consistently have lower adherence to cancer screening guidelines than cisgender individuals. Discrimination and inadequate provider education on TGP health needs are identified barriers to screening adherence.

Conclusion: Cancer screening can identify the early onset of breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer and reduce mortality. There is decreased cancer screening in TGP compared to cisgender individuals. Providers need to be better educated on the health needs of TGP to close the gap that currently exists in their care. Improving cancer screening adherence among TGP will lessen inequalities in this vulnerable population.

Characterization of riparian vegetation in agriculture drains impacted by Phragmites australis: A SW Ontario case study

Ryan Mackenzie Graham, University of Windsor

Drainage systems in agricultural landscapes are a key component for the surrounding natural environment. They provide important services such as nutrient mitigation, flood and erosion control, and other environmental services such as sources of food for animals and areas for biodiversity. Unfortunately for these drain systems, these services are often reduced because of the reed grass Phragmites australis. This invasive plant grows in dense stands within drains, impacting water flow which can cause flooding. The knowledge base surrounding this issue is massive, because the problems with Phragmites have existed for decades. We have efficient ways of removing Phragmites but there are still many variables within this environmental issue that has yet to be studied. There are few research projects looking into the vegetational communities with the systems and what else grows within these aquatic systems alongside Phragmites. We can manage this plant, but what else can grow there? To answer this knowledge gap, researchers from the Healthy Headwaters Lab conducted surveys of multiple drains across Windsor-Essex County in the Spring/Summer (May-June) and Fall (September-October) of 2021. At each site they recorded water quality, sampled benthic macroinvertebrates, and conducted vegetational surveys across the entire drain. This data is currently being explored using statistical software R Studio and initial analysis are set to be run in the coming weeks. The goal of this research was to address the lack of knowledge behind the vegetational communities within drainage systems, and to hopefully contribute to the science behind Phragmites management.

Combining natural health products with standard chemotherapies as a novel therapeutic for Glioblastoma and Neuroblastoma

Ibrahim Alsalkhadi, University of Windsor
Karolina Konior, University of Windsor
Darcy Wear, University of Windsor
Micheal Okoko, University of Windsor
Victoria Iannetta, University of Windsor
Anumita Jain, University of Windsor
Caleb Vegh, University of Windsor
Siyaram Pandey, University of Windsor

Glioblastoma is the most common form of brain cancer with a 5-year survival rate under 10%, while neuroblastoma is the most diagnosed cancer in infants. In addition to the limited effectiveness of current treatments, standard chemotherapies are non-specific targeting both healthy and cancerous cells. As a result, these conventional chemotherapies, including temozolomide (TMZ) and cisplatin, cause severe adverse side effects following prolonged use. Alternatively, natural health products (NHPs) are safe for consumption and may contain many therapeutic properties, including anti-cancer activity. Specifically, Long Pepper Extract (LPE) and Synthite Green Tea Extract (STE) are NHPs with great therapeutic potential as previous work has indicated efficacy against various forms of cancer. We have analyzed the effect of these NHPs in U-87 Mg glioblastoma and SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells both alone and in conjunction with standard chemotherapies. Our results indicate the ability of LPE and STE to selectively induce apoptosis in these cancer cells while enhancing the anti-cancer activity of both TMZ and cisplatin in-vitro. Mechanistically, LPE is both inducing oxidative stress and inhibiting autophagy as a means of targeting these cancer cells, while STE is functioning as a mitochondrial destabilizer. Furthermore, these NHPs may provide protection to healthy cells when used in conjunction with standard chemotherapies due to selective abilities including DNA protection and antioxidant capabilities. Currently, this research is progressing to in-vivo trials on nude mice with subcutaneous xenografts of human glioblastoma cells. If our exciting in-vitro results are confirmed in-vivo, LPE and STE could provide safe alternatives to standard treatments allowing for reductions in chemotherapy dosing and associated adverse effects.

Consumption and Treatment Sites: A Strategy to Overcome the Opioid Crisis in Windsor-Essex County

Aleksandra Ilievska, ilievska@uwindsor.ca

Background
Canadians are currently facing a national opioid overdose crisis which has been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic (Government of Canada, 2021d). A total of 22,828 opioid overdose deaths occurred in Canada between January 2016 and March 2021 (Government of Canada, 2021d). In Windsor-Essex County, there were 403 opioid overdose emergency department visits in 2021 (Windsor Essex Health Unit, 2021). Consumption and Treatment Sites (CTS) have been proposed to help overcome this crisis locally.

Purpose
The purpose of this infograph is to create a visual representation that describes the opioid crisis, identify CTS as an evidence-informed harm reduction strategy, as well as offer critical resources to those affected by opioid use.

Methods
A systematic review of the literature was performed to identify harm reduction strategies to address the opioid overdose crisis between 2016-2021. CINHAL, Ovid Medline, Google Scholar, and ProQuest were searched using a combination of the following keywords “harm reduction”, “overdose prevention”, “people who use drugs”, “drug use”, “overdose”, “overdose death”, “opioids”, “mortality”, and “substance use or abuse”, “safe OR supervised injection site OR consumption site OR facility”. A total of 1041 articles were found. Titles and abstracts were reviewed for each article. Articles addressing opioid abuse, harm reduction strategies, and safe consumption sites were included. All duplicate studies, and studies that did not meet the purpose of this infograph were removed. A total of 20 articles were included in this review.

Results
Current evidence supports the use of CTS as a vital harm reduction strategy. CTS can decrease opioid related overdoses and deaths (Behrends et al., 2019; Hayashi et al., 2021; Irvine et al., 2019), reduce the need for hospital and EMS services thereby leading to a cost reduction (Government of Canada, 2021c; Madah-Amiri et al., 2019), decrease rushed or lone injecting (Government of Canada, 2021c; Hayashi et al., 2021), and decrease the reusing and sharing of needles (Bayoumi & Zaric, 2018; Enns et al., 2016; Irwin et al., 2017).

Diabetes-Related Complications Among Indigenous People

Felicia Varacalli, University of Windsor
Becky Goens, University of Windsor
Priya Madaan, University of Windsor
Hannah Sweilem, University of Windsor
Francisco Velasquez, University of Windsor

Background: Type II diabetes is a chronic health condition that requires proper management of blood glucose levels. Poor glucose management can lead to many diabetic-related complications throughout the course of one’s lifetime. Indigenous communities face many barriers in receiving health care, which can lead to poorer diabetes management.

Purpose: The purpose of this integrative review is to investigate if Indigenous adults who have type II diabetes are at greater risk for developing diabetic-related complications over their lifespan compared to non-Indigenous adults with type II diabetes.

Methods: A thorough literature review was completed through electronic sources including CINAHL, PubMed, Google Scholar and ProQuest Nursing and Allied Health. Inclusion criteria involved studies with participants over 18 years of age, had two groups of participants that identify either Indigenous or non-Indigenous, have been diagnosed with type II diabetes, and experience at least one diabetic-related complication.

Results: Results are not yet completed as analysis is ongoing. However, preliminary results suggest that Indigenous people with type II diabetes suffer more extreme diabetic-related complications compared to non-Indigenous people. Early identification and proper management can decrease diabetic related complications. Prevention strategies, such as building culturally sensitive therapeutic relationships with Indigenous peoples and targeted screening clinics will be discussed.

Conclusion: The results of this review will help identify the diabetic-related complications that Indigenous peoples with type II diabetes experience as well as associated barriers. This knowledge can direct community-based programs to manage the complications of diabetes in Indigenous peoples which aid in “Building Viable, Healthy and Safe Communities.”

Drug Discovery: Towards the Synthesis of Novel CDK2-Spy1 Inhibitors

Aiyireti (Dina) Dilinaer
Dr. John J. Hayward, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Windsor
Daniel Meister, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Windsor
Samra Khan
Lavleen Mader, University of Windsor
Dr. John F. Trant, University of Windsor

As vital regulatory proteins in the cell cycle, cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) and cyclins ensure normal cell division and growth by monitoring check points in the cell cycle. CDKs are inactive on its own, but when a cyclin binds to CDK the activated CDK-Cyclin complexes then carry out their role as cell cycle regulators. Unregulated CDK-Cyclin complexes cause cells to grow and divide at a premature stage, and that can lead to uncontrolled cell growth. Existing treatments such as CKI (cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor) therapy have cytotoxicity issues because of their inability to differentiate cancer cells from healthy cells, resulting in unwanted side effects.

Our collaborators in the Porter Lab have identified a new target: CDK2-Spy1 complex. Spy proteins are alternative activators to CDKs in cancer cells, but not in healthy cells, making them an ideal therapeutic target. Notably, the Spy1 gene is among the top 50 genes associated with carcinoma, yet the CDK2-Spy1 complex has never been selectively targeted before in terms of CKI therapy. We therefore aim to synthesize molecules that selectively target CDK2-Spy1 complexes to develop a chemotherapy that has minimal cytotoxicity issues.

In this presentation I will discuss our current progress towards small molecule inhibitors that show promising selectivity for CDK2-Spy1 complexes based on computational studies. Our synthetic routes and the analytical techniques employed to characterise these compounds will be described.

East Asian Women’s Domestic Violence and Help-Seeking Experiences at the Intersection of Gender, Ethnic, and Migratory Disadvantages in Canada

Diwen Shi, University of Windsor

This paper is motivated by the harm of domestic violence to East Asian women. Considering the multiple identities of this group, intersectionality is adopted as the theoretical framework. Based on an extensive literature review, the first part of the paper articulates three particular challenges associated with East Asian women’s ethnic, migratory, and gender identities, including myths of the model minority and “perpetual foreigners,” racialized sexism/sexualized racism, and Confucian patriarchy.

The second part explores how those unique challenges intersect to constitute disadvantages for East Asian women, rendering them vulnerable to domestic violence. First, unemployment and underemployment due to unrecognized foreign credentials, and discrimination based on the assumed problematic communication styles, leading to their financial insecurity. This makes it difficult for these women to leave their violent partners. Another barrier is to use the practices of the home country to deal with the current experience. This is because, on the one hand, the police and judiciary in where they come from may not regard domestic violence as serious, creating their mindset that it is useless to call the police; on the other hand, out of the concern for collective honor, the ethnic community may persuade them to make compromises, and those who refuse to cooperate may even be stigmatized. This emotional and social pressure makes East Asian women hesitant to leave their abusive partners in many cases. Finally, the paper ends with a summary of all the arguments, and also provides a prospect for future scholarship on related topics.

Efficient Fake News Detection Method using Feature Reduction

Ehsan Ur Rahman Mohammed, University of Windsor
Rayhaan Pirani, University of Windsor

Historically, fake news was mainly propaganda. Now it's used to modify people's beliefs and perceptions about specific phenomena, resulting in their change of behaviors. Identifying fake news articles can be difficult for many people.
Algorithms to identify if a news article is fake can be used to help people avoid potential misinformation and lead to a reduction in the spread of such false news and discourage the creation of such articles.
The research project aims to make fake news detection more efficient computationally and storage-wise by combining two methods. The first method performs feature reduction, which means reducing the number of parameters in a dataset (in this case, a news article) to compress it. The feature reduction method we use is called singular-valued decomposition (SVD). The compressed data is passed into a neural network model. Building a neural network model refers to constructing a model in a computer that is similar to how the neurons in our brain pass information. In this study, we use a natural language processing (NLP) architecture of long short-term memory (LSTM) based on neural networks.
For example, an article "Trump has won the 2020 US elections", with a label 1 i.e. fake news. When the article is passed through the proposed work, using SVD the article is reduced to a representation like [1.238, 4.56, 0.87]. This representation has a length of 3, instead of the length of the article. This reduced representation is used to train the LSTM to learn the label of the article.

Exploring leadership styles and behaviours in the medical field

Jonathan Phillip Graniero Mr., University of Windsor

Defining leadership has proven to be quite difficult, as no universal definition currently exists (Northouse, 2021). Leadership is a complex concept described by many theories, each taking a different viewpoint on what makes a leader successful (Northouse, 2021). As an aspiring medical student and pediatric physician with a passion for leadership, I sought to understand which leadership theory, if any, has resulted in more success over others when used in a variety of medical settings.

To answer this question, I completed an Individual Study course during the Fall 2021 semester. For this course, I conducted research on various leadership topics within a medical context and wrote four papers that summarized my findings and critically reflected on how they could inform my personal leadership style. Research topics included determining if leader-member exchange theory or transformational leadership is more effective; how a leader can employ servant leadership behaviours to improve the confidence of others; and why a leader being friends with their colleagues can make it very difficult for them to fulfill their leadership duties. Results were then interpreted in terms of personal, team, organizational, and patient outcomes. Finally, an informational interview with a prominent Canadian leader in a medical profession was conducted to understand how my research findings apply to real-world scenarios.

It became clear from my research that the most effective leadership incorporates concepts from multiple theories to develop one’s own leadership style. In doing so, a leader should understand and develop their personal core values and lead by them daily.

References:

Northouse, P. G. (2021). Leadership: Theory and practice (9th ed.). SAGE Publications, Inc.

Exploring leadership styles and behaviours in the medical field

Jonathan Phillip Graniero Mr.

Defining leadership has proven to be quite difficult, as no universal definition currently exists. Leadership is a complex concept described by many theories, each taking a different viewpoint on what makes a leader successful. As an aspiring medical student and pediatric physician with a passion for leadership, I sought to understand which leadership theory, if any, has resulted in more success over others when used in a variety of medical settings.

To answer this question, I completed an Individual Study course during the Fall 2021 semester. For this course, I conducted research on various leadership topics within a medical context and wrote four papers that summarized my findings and critically reflected on how they could inform my personal leadership style. Research topics included determining if leader-member exchange theory or transformational leadership is more effective; how a leader can employ servant leadership behaviours to improve the confidence of others; and why a leader being friends with their colleagues can make it very difficult for them to fulfill their leadership duties. Results were then interpreted in terms of personal, team, organizational, and patient outcomes. Finally, an informational interview with a prominent Canadian leader in a medical profession was conducted to understand how my research findings apply to real-world scenarios.

It became clear from my research that the most effective leadership incorporates concepts from multiple theories to develop one’s own leadership style. In doing so, a leader should understand and develop their personal core values and lead by them daily.

Going Viral? Investigating anti-vaccination arguments from social-media

Nicholas Kinnish

Should we distrust the COVID-19 vaccine? It should go without saying that scientific consensus supports mass vaccination in the interest of public health. In contrast, public trust in immunization has fallen by over ten percent since 2001, from 89% to 79% (Reinhart, 2021). Until recently, distrust in vaccination remained mainly within the sentiments of fringe groups, conspiracy theorists, and pseudoscience advocates outside of the mainstream consciousness. However, under the global pandemic's strains, these distrustful voices have found a growing audience on social media. Despite the necessary urgency to vaccinate against COVID-19, there is growing evidence that online antivaccination movements have led to increased vaccine hesitancy (DeVerna et al., 2021).

Considering these developments, this paper examines antivaccination arguments at a system level using David Zarefsky's (2019) concepts for evaluating argumentation, since these approaches offer concrete ways of understanding the disagreement between public health’s position, and that of the vaccine hesitant population. This paper first defines the COVID-19 vaccine controversy, employing several strategies to categorize and assess the claims and resolutions put forward by antivaccination advocates. These strategies then inform a discussion concerning the overall case for antivaccination arguments, finding that the key to solving vaccine hesitancy requires new ways to build trust between health officials and the vaccine hesitant. These findings form the basis of a forthcoming Master’s thesis that attempts to construct a trust-based framework for addressing vaccine hesitancy.

References:

@VI_XIII. (2021, March 19). New quality-control investigation on vaccines [link]. Twitter. https://twitter.com/VI_XIII

@VI_XIII. (2021, March 19). Pfizer to pay $2.3 billion for fraudulent marketing [link]. Twitter. https://twitter.com/VI_XIII

Callaway, E. (2020, November 9). What Pfizer's landmark COVID vaccine results mean for the pandemic. Nature News. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-03166-8.

Code Green [@code_green]. (2020). #BigPharma and elitist dogmatic western allopathic medicine make me sick. Twitter. https://twitter.com/code__green/with_replies?lang=en

Bonnevie, E., Gallegos-Jeffrey, A., Goldbarg, J., Byrd, B., & Smyser, J. (2020). Quantifying the rise of vaccine opposition on Twitter during the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Communication in Healthcare, 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1080/17538068.2020.1858222

DeVerna, M., Pierri, F., Truong, B., Bollenbacher, J., Axelrod, D., Loynes, N., Bryden, J. (2021, January 19). CoVaxxy: A global collection of English Twitter posts about COVID-19 vaccines. arXiv.org. https://arxiv.org/abs/2101.07694v1.

@Figment_Imagine. (2021, February 28). 50+million have been vaccinated and not one person has died. Twitter. https://twitter.com/Figment_Imagine/status/1366070192569155587

Goodwin, J. (2020). Should climate scientists fly? Informal Logic, 40(2), 157-203. https://doi.org/10.22329/il.v40i2.6327

Kelly, Julie [@julie_kelly2]. (2021, March 1). My skepticism about COVID vaccine mostly rooted in Pfizer’s shameful politicization of it. [Tweet; thumbnail link to article]. Twitter. https://twitter.com/julie_kelly2/status/1366487531781574659

Nguyen, C. T. (2018). Echo chambers and epistemic bubbles. Episteme, 17(2), 141–161. https://doi.org/10.1017/epi.2018.32

Reinhart, R. J. (2021, January 14). Fewer in U.S. continue to see vaccines as important. Gallup.com. https://news.gallup.com/poll/276929/fewer-continue-vaccines-important.aspx.

Say no to the Vaccine [@vaccineDenier69]. (2021, February 22). I just don’t like the thought of unapproved vaccines. Twitter. https://twitter.com/vaccineDenier69/status/1364013894696538114

Stoval, Mark [@MarkStoval]. (2021, February 28). If vaccines are so safe and effective, why is it that big pharma is granted immunity from being sued in a court of law? [Tweet; image]. Twitter. https://twitter.com/markstoval/status/1366008108556894208

Walton, D. N. (2009). Argumentation schemes for presumptive reasoning. New York, N.Y: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.

Zarefsky, D. (2019). The practice of argumentation: Effective reasoning in communication. Cambridge University Press.

Immigrant Woman at Risk for Post-Partum Depression: Integrative Review

Brooke K. Ashton, University of Windsor
Chanthorn Sok, University of Windsor
Melissa Gjetaj, University of Windsor
Amie Hawkins, University of Windsor
Sabreena Mirza, University of Windsor

Immigrant Woman at Risk for Post-Partum Depression: Integrative Review

March 14, 2022

Brooke Ashton, University of Windsor

Melissa Gjetaj, University of Windsor

Amie Hawkins, University of Windsor

Sabreena Mirza, University of Windsor

Chanthorn Sok, University of Windsor

Background and Introduction

Understanding the risk for immigrant mothers developing postpartum depression (PPD) is essential for implementing early intervention. An integrative review (IR) helps to identify methodological gaps and limitations which guide our practice. The purpose of this IR is to collect, analyze and integrate the literature focused on immigrant mothers ages 20-35 years of age in relation to PPD. Quantitative statistics is reviewed that reflect the interventions, study design and interpretation of the use of screening tools to effectively capture risk factors for perinatal depression in marginalized populations (Daoud. et al., 2019).

Methods

An IR conducted by 5 group members, identified and evaluated peer-reviewed research studies exploring risks for immigrant mothers developing PPD. A systematic analytic method of date reduction was used to identify alignment and divergence of the data, gaps in the literature, and limitations.

Results

This IR is being conducted on an ongoing basis. Twenty published research journals from 2006-2020 have been analyzed thus far. Questionnaires and scales are used to determine the level of risk of PPD. Most often used is the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. The preliminary results indicate that early detection of symptomology of PPD creates an environment of support and better health outcomes.

Conclusion

As a result of this review, we hope to utilize screening tools to aid in the early identification of at-risk immigrant women and provide culturally sensitive interventions and follow-up (Dharma. et al., 2019).

Keywords

Immigrant; PPD; intervention; nursing; immigrant women; postpartum depression; screening for postpartum depression; perinatal depression; ethnicity; Canada; intervention; nurse; environment

References

Dharma, C., Lefebvre, D. L., Lu, Z., Lou, W. Y. W., Becker, A. B., Mandhane, P. J., Turvey, S. E., Moraes, T. J., Azad, M. B., Chen, E., Elliott, S. J., Kozyrskyj, A. L., Sears, M. R., & Subbarao, P. (2019). Risk for Maternal Depressive Symptoms and Perceived Stress by Ethnicities in Canada: From Pregnancy Through the Preschool Years: Risque de symptômes dépressifs maternels et stress perçu par les ethnies au Canada : de la grossesse aux années préscolaires. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 64(3), 190–198. https://doi-org.ledproxy2.uwindsor.ca/10.1177/0706743718792190

Daoud, N., O’Brien, K., O’Campo, P., Harney, S., Harney, E., Bebee, K., Bourgeois, C., & Smylie, J. (2019). Postpartum depression prevalence and risk factors among Indigenous, non-Indigenous and immigrant women in Canada. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 110(4), 440–452. https://doi. org.ledproxy2.uwindsor.ca/10.17269/s41997-019-00182-8

Investigating the Maternal Vertical Transmission of the Microbiome in Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

Taha Ismail, University of Windsor

The microbiome of an organism is vital to various life factors including its development, behaviour and physiology. It is defined as the microbial community present and living in, or on the organism and is especially important in aquatic fish species. Studies in fish and other animals have shown that the microbiome is driven by environmental and host factors. Initially, the offspring incorporates its own microbiome before birth and then this is supplemented by various maternal microbes via birth and breastfeeding. However, the establishment of the microbiome at birth and the effects due to maternal origin on it, remain poorly understood, especially in non-human species. In this project, Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) are used to analyze and partition the gut microbiome’s inheritance effects, as due to both genetic and environmental factors. Milt from six sires was mixed and crossed with eggs from various dams, and the offspring were reared in separate, replicated environments providing samples at the fertilized egg, alevin, and first-feeding stage. Extracted DNA from these samples as well as environmental and offspring samples were amplified via primers specific to the microbial community. These primers targeted the 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene specific to bacteria. Using next generation sequencing, the microbiome of parental, environmental and offspring samples will be characterized. By identifying and analyzing operational taxonomic units (OTUs) the role of maternal effects in contributing to an offspring’s microbiome can be partitioned and microbial changes through development can be analyzed via core OTU changes.

Multivariate Relationship between Situational Victim Characteristics and Disclosing Sexual Abuse in Children: Children as Victims

Vanessa Amelia Bumanlag Ms., University of Windsor

The detrimental ramifications of childhood sexual assault and abuse can propose a variety of long-term and short-term psychological defects, however, the implications regarding the victim’s characteristics that predispose them to maladaptive psychological behavior post-trauma is imperative to understanding approaches to disclosure. Victim characteristics such as age, abuse prevalence, the relationship to the perpetrator, and cultural roadblocks are all factors that differentiate the severity of psychological defects within the child during disclosure. These factors are explicitly imperative to comprehending the severity of childhood sexual abuse to develop academic framework to assist with these negative predicaments and advise academically built research to advance the field of victimology. This academic article will argue that the multivariate relationship between childhood sexual assault disclosures and situational attributes ultimately results in varying levels of psychological trauma to the victim. Being able to understand the various trends regarding victim behaviors, attitudes, and characteristics surrounding disclosure is exceptionally crucial to implementing change within society that aims to diminish the occurrence of childhood sexual abuse. Consequently, through this analysis of the multivariate relationship, programs and policies throughout Canada can adapt to these findings when dealing with victims of childhood sexual assault in order to best articulate and assist in understanding each unique or similar circumstance and how these characteristics will evidently affect the psychological psyche of the child. The multidimensional approach in researching sexual assault disclosure will present varying degrees of psychological trauma that is based upon socio-economic factors that will evidently present each case with differing nuances and factors.

Novel Cell Cycle Therapeutic Strategy Against Type 2 Medulloblastoma

Sahar Mouawad, University of Windsor
Dorota Lubanska, University of Windsor
Lisa Porter, University of Windsor

Nurse Practitioner Opioid Prescribing and Educational Requirements in Canada and the Unites States: A Narrative Review

Sylwia Borawski, University of Windsor
Gina Pittman PhD, NP, University of Windsor
Jody Ralph PhD, RN, University of Windsor

Introduction/Background: Canada and the U.S had the highest level of opioid consumption per capita worldwide in 2015 (Pasricha et al., 2018). Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are authorized to prescribe opioids in both Canada and the U.S.Purpose: This narrative review aims to examine the differences in NP opioid-related educational requirements and prescribing patterns between the U.S. and Canada. Methods: A narrative review was used to synthesize findings from literature obtained through computerized databases, authoritative texts, and hand searches. Discussion: As of 2010, NPs in Canada and the U.S. must hold a master's degree. American NPs must obtain a Drug Enforcement Administration(DEA) license to prescribe opioids; the Canadian government authorized NPs to prescribe opioids in 2012, with varying provincial licensure requirements. New American national guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain were released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention in 2016; McMaster University in Canada followed and published ‘The 2017 Canadian Guideline for Opioids for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain.’. In contrast to Canada, NP opioid prescribing in the U.S. is monitored though the DEA drug monitoring program, and NPs complete a national survey every 5 years regarding all prescribing practices. Canada lacks emergency department (ED) specific opioid prescribing guidelines whereas 24 American states have implemented them. Implications for Future Research: Canadian NP opioid prescribing is under-researched. Further research is needed to provide a more adequate comparison with American data. Additionally, research regarding ED specific guidelines could provide valuable information to guide prescribers in this rapidly changing, high-stress environment.

Optimizing the Optoelectronic Properties of Conjugated Polymers Through Metal-Ligand Coordination

Anita Hu, University of Windsor
P. Blake J. St. Onge, University of Windsor
Simon Rondeau-Gagné Dr., University of Windsor

From the phones at our fingertips to the solar panels on our roofs, humans are becoming increasingly dependent on electronics for information, entertainment, and to power their daily lives. Further advancements are paving the way for a new age of high-performance, flexible devices. Organic electronics made from conjugated semiconducting polymers are showing great potential as a softer and more processable material than brittle silicon used in today’s devices, while exhibiting comparable charge transport to silicon.

However, one key challenge with these organic polymers is the difficulty to control their optical properties and charge transport in devices. Electronics must interact with and alter their lighting while efficiently conducting electricity. Therefore, the desired material must be tuneable to precisely control these important properties. In this research, a novel organic diketopyrrolopyrrole-based conjugated polymer is presented as a leading candidate for optoelectronics. This polymer uses noncovalent metal-ligand interactions, enabled by using specific terpyridine ligands, to fine-tune its ability to emit light and transport electrons.

Various transition metal ions, including Fe2+, Co2+, Zn2+, and Mn2+, were introduced into the polymer to determine which species would coordinate most efficiently with the ligand, altering its optical nature. Results from fluorescence and absorption spectroscopies showed that the manganese ion coordinated the weakest to the ligand, while iron and cobalt ions bound the most efficiently and optimally altered emission intensity. Thus, iron and cobalt were identified as great candidates for metal-ligand coordination within the polymer for optimal optoelectronic capabilities. These findings contribute to the continued pursuit of creating efficient organic optoelectronics through the promising technique of metal-ligand interactions.

Keywords: organic electronics, conjugated polymer, optoelectronics, metal-ligand interactions

Oral Health Integration Into Primary Health Care

Sheri Ogbebor, University of Windsor

Oral health is integral to overall health and quality of life. The oral healthcare delivery system fails to reach high-priority populations, resulting in large disparities for marginalized groups (Prasad et al., 2019). The Harrow Family Health Team suspects there is a gap in access to oral care in the Harrow community, prompting the development of a preventative oral health program at Harrow Health Centre. I conducted a literature review to support the development of the program and to review best practices for implementation. Primarily, literature from 2010 to present were accessed and reviewed through Google Scholar, ESCBOhost, PubMed Central, and Scholars Portal. The search terms used were oral health, oral health care, oral care, integration, primary health care, and primary care. The literature review revealed that primary health care teams spanning urban and rural centres report an association between the oral health needs of priority populations and their professional roles (Harnagea et al., 2018). Primary care providers are the initial contacts in the healthcare system for many; therefore, they’re key figures in making oral preventative care more accessible (Hummel et al., 2015). These findings suggest that the integration of oral health into primary care supports positive patient outcomes and should be considered to increase accessibility.

In my proposed oral presentation, I will discuss the integration of oral health care into primary care as a strategy to improve health outcomes and best practices for development and implementation.

Retrospective stable isotope analysis reveals ontogenetic population subdivision among white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) from Australia.

Teah G. Burke, University of Windsor
Charlie Huveneers Dr, Flinders University
Lauren Meyer Dr, Flinders University
Lisa Loseto Dr, Freshwater Institute - Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Nigel E. Hussey Dr, University of Windsor

For marine top predators which are undergoing systematic population declines, identifying intraspecific population variation in diet and movement of a species has important implications for understanding their ecological effects on community structure. White sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) are an apex predator found throughout temperate to tropical ocean regions. At the global scale, geographically isolated white shark populations have been shown to demonstrate unique behaviours from intra individual variation to distinct subpopulation movements whereby two groups of individuals reside in separate coastal regions. In Australia two discrete subpopulations of white sharks have been proposed based on satellite/acoustic tagging and population genetics, but given tagging studies are generally short term, data are limited to characterize the extent of ontogenetic divergence. To quantify subpopulation diet-habitat behaviour of white sharks, stable isotope profiles (δ15N and δ13C) conserved in vertebrae (n=82) were used to create retrospective ontogenetic trophic-habitat fingerprints for individuals sampled east and west of the Bass Strait. Preliminary results demonstrate distinct isotopic separation between sharks sampled in eastern (13.99+/- 0.78 δ15N, n=42) and western (12.47 +/- 1.17 δ15N, n=27) regions, but both populations showed strong oscillatory trends equating to similar niche variation. Data further indicate mature females could be occupying the same habitat during gestation, juvenile phases occupy distinct coastal regions and as animals mature, habitat occupied by the two sub populations converges. Elucidating lifelong feeding and movement patterns will allow informed decisions for regional management plans.

Root System Response of Three Agricultural Crops to Microplastic Type and Concentrations

Deqa Farow, University of Windsor
Rebecca Chloe Lebel, University of Windsor
Cameron Proctor, University of Windsor

Introduction

Microplastics are introduced to agricultural fields through several pathways such as the addition of biosolids as a source of nutrients. Crops grown in soils with biosolids alter their rooting strategy to uptake these additional nutrients which can alter a number of important traits related to nutrient uptake at the root-system and root segment level. This can be seen in changes in root length density. The attraction of roots to biosolids may increase root exposure to microplastics, especially as smaller microplastics are liable to travel into the rhizosphere and potentially accumulate against the external surface through root water transport and uptake. Surface accumulation may interfere with the resource uptake from soil, or hinder the excretion of extracellular solutes that are elements interactions with soil organisms.

Method

Through a dose-response study, the treatment effects of biosolid microplastics on the root systems of wheat, soybeans, alfalfa were investigated in soil spiked with two plastics at two concentrations (2,000 particles/kg per soil dry weight which reflects approximately 4 biosolid applications and 15,000 particles/kg per soil dry weight which represents biosolid concentration levels. A control and treatment of direct biosolid application were also included for a total of six treatments. Using the rhizobox approach, plants were grown from seed in a controlled greenhouse. To assess root stress responses, rhizoboxes were scanned weekly over 10 weeks to trace the development of individual roots.

Conclusions

Based on the stage of the analysis no conclusions can be drawn.

Safety in Automated Vehicles

Nandini Patel, University of Windsor

Day by day, automated vehicles are becoming complex whether that is their connection to different networks, to the internet of things, or simply in security and safety for users. The more intricate automation becomes, the more safety needs to mature. There is safety in the software of systems however the bigger concern lies in ensuring the safety of the drivers and passengers. Whether a person is a contributor to the automation industry or a user of automated products and services, it is important to ask some critical questions. Does the industry have enough knowledge or has there been enough research and experimentation done to allow such a complex system to make decisions whether that is as simple as heating the car for a few minutes before going in or something big as changing lanes on a highway where cars are speeding? The purpose of this paper is to explore the different ways in which people can trust such systems and for those who can begin to start trusting.

Socio-economic Status as a Predictor for Type 2 Diabetes; An Integrative Review

Ikran Artan, University of Windsor
Avery Ryan DeWagner, University of Windsor
Milijana Radic, University of Windsor
Jasleen Kaur Sanghera, University of Windsor
Sofia Zuzarte, University of Windsor

Introduction: High rates of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) are becoming more prevalent in our society. This poses a challenge to our healthcare system, which is already overwhelmed. Risk factors for T2DM include many that could be prevented if appropriate lifestyle and diet were incorporated. However, some individuals may not have access to nutritious food or lack the knowledge of healthy habits and disease prevention.

Methods: We conducted an integrative review of quantitative studies to determine if low income influences the risk of developing T2DM in adults. We analyzed statistical methods and the quality of the research relating to this problem, as well as the clinical significance for nurses and other health professionals in order to prevent development of T2DM. We are unaware of previous integrative reviews done on this topic.

Results: Preliminary analysis of the literature indicate that factors such as being overweight (high body mass index), low education, low income, experiencing persistent low income and being a new immigrant significantly increase one’s risk of developing T2DM.

Conclusion: This integrative review will be used to provide valuable information for healthcare professionals on factors that increase the risk of developing T2DM. These findings can lead to change in allocating means to those less fortunate and providing them with education about healthier lifestyles and resources available to them in preventing disease.

Synthesizing Multifunctional Benzimidazole-Based Self-Immolative Polymers

Maria Rueda, University of Windsor
Sarah Nasri, University of Windsor
Xiao Fei. Yu, University of Windsor
S. Maryamdokht Taimoory, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Windsor
John F. Trant, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Windsor

Self-immolative polymers (SIPs) are degradable polymers that have the ability to use a specific bond cleavage to initiate a cascade of reactions which ultimately result in complete depolymerization.[1] The cascade occurs from the polymer’s response to certain stimuli that selectively remove a stabilizing endcap of the polymer.[2] When the endcap is detached, elimination reactions of the polymer are initiated, which causes the SIP backbone to break down to smaller units.

There has been an increasing interest in the therapeutic potential of benzimidazole-based compounds in anticancer drugs due to their high effectiveness and target specificity. Cancer cells generally disturb cell signalling pathways in the body, and current anticancer drugs act on these rapidly replicating cells with poor selectivity, which is why benzimidazole-based structures are of great interest in medicinal chemistry.[3]. Benzamidazoles are potentially useful in SIP applications because their multifunctional properties such as pH sensitivity and electron accepting ability would allow degradation under biocompatible conditions selective to targeted cells, potentially used as a drug delivery system.

In this presentation I will discuss the Trant Team’s work on developing a benzimidazole-based SIP[4]. The polymers have been synthesized through the preparation of various starting materials and synthetic intermediates to produce two different benzimidazole derived self-immolative polymers. Along with the synthesis of such intermediates, spectroscopic techniques were applied to characterize and confirm the presence of each compound. This presentation will introduce the first known benzimidazole-backbone SIP created and discuss the synthesis and associated challenges of producing these materials during the COVID-19 pandemic.

References:

  1. Sirianni, Q. E.A., Gillies, E. R. The Architectural Evolution of Self-Immolative Polymers. Polymer. 2020, 202, pp. 122638.
  2. Sagi, A., Weinstain, R., Karton, N., Shabat, D. Self-Immolative Polymers. J. Am. Chem. 2008, 130, pp. 5434-5435.
  3. Goud, N. A., Kumar, P., Bharath, R. D. Recent Developments of Target-Based Benzimidazole Derivatives as Potential Anticancer Agents. IntechOpen. 2022. Benzimidazole [Working Volume], pp. 1-18.
  4. Taimoory, S. Maryamdokht, Xiao Yu, John F. Trant. Highly optically responsive divalent benzimidazolium-based axles with pseudorotaxane potential. 2021.

The Impact of Cyclin B1 on Tuberin Stabilization

Aiden Mitrevski, University of Windsor
Elizabeth Fidalgo da Silva, University of Windsor
Lisa Porter, University of Windsor
Jackie Fong, University of Windsor

Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) is an autosomal dominant disorder caused by various mutations in either TSC1 or TSC2, genes that encode the proteins Hamartin and Tuberin respectively. Hamartomas (benign tumours), skin lesions, neurological symptoms, renal dysfunctions, and retinal malformations are often present in TSC patients with varying severity. Tuberin and Hamartin regulate protein synthesis through mTORC1 inhibition. Tuberin can also delay mitotic onset at the G2/M cell cycle transition by binding to Cyclin B1. Hamartin has been shown to stabilize Tuberin by inhibiting its ubiquitination by HERC1 and subsequent degradation. Preliminary data from our lab suggests that Cyclin B1 may also contribute to the stabilization of Tuberin levels during the G2/M transition. Phosphorylation status of the cytoplasmic retention sequence (CRS) of Cyclin B1 plays an important role in the formation of the Tuberin/Cyclin B1 complex. The unphosphorylated CRS form of Cyclin B1 (Cyclin B1 5xA) binds stronger to Tuberin compared to the phosphorylated form (Cyclin B1 5xE). My thesis investigates the role of Cyclin B1 in Tuberin stabilization and how CRS phosphorylation status impacts Tuberin/Cyclin B1 complex formation. HEK293-TSC1 null cells (IC2) will be transfected with varying concentrations of Cyclin 5xA DNA and the levels of the Tuberin protein will be quantified by Western blot techniques. The importance of each residue in the CRS region for the Tuberin/Cyclin B1 complex formation will also be evaluated using Immunoprecipitation studies. Understanding the role of Cyclin B1 in Tuberin stabilization will shed light on cell proliferation and growth mechanisms that underlie tumorigenic disorders.

The Moderating Effects of Teacher Collaboration on the Association Between Teachers’ Job Satisfaction and Job Performance

ZHENGXI LIU, University of Windsor

Teacher job performance is crucial to learners’ success. Existing research has mostly focused on the association between teachers’ job satisfaction and job performance, but few have investigated how teacher collaboration moderates this association. Using the 2018 TALIS data, a globally representative dataset, teacher collaboration, job satisfaction, and their interaction in relation to teacher job performance were explored with a series of multilevel regression models. After controlling for teacher characteristics, teacher collaboration and job satisfaction presented significant, positive, and direct effects on job performance and the interaction effect between job satisfaction and teacher collaboration was also statistically significant. These findings emphasize the priority of creating a collaborative environment in school to increase teachers’ job satisfaction and job performance.

This is a purely quantitative research based on the dataset from the 2018 Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) conducted by OECD. The participants involved 153,682 lower secondary school teachers nested within 9,059 schools from 48 participating countries/economies.

For the past half century, the relationship between job satisfaction and job performance has been the most “venerable research traditions” (Judge, Thoresen, et al., 2001, p. 376), and the findings revealed mixed results. The relationship between teacher’s job satisfaction and job performance has received little attention in educational sector (Yazdanmehr & Akbari, 2015). Moreover, Given the large variability in satisfaction-performance association across studies, researchers seek to investigate the job satisfaction-job performance relationship involving the use of moderators, such as self-esteem (Judge & Bono, 2001), emotional intelligence (Sy et al., 2006) and leadership (Braun et al., 2013), and generally argued that when moderation factors are added, a significant increase in the initial zero-order satisfaction-performance relationship is identified (Bowling, 2007). However, to the best of our knowledge, few studies have investigated the direct relationship between teachers’ job satisfaction and job performance, and included teacher collaboration as a factor that moderates the relationship with an international survey dataset.

Chinese-English Dictionary Enable Select Search My Words

Chinese-English Dictionary Enable Select Search My Words

Title: Characterization of a Clr-b-KO mouse mammary adenocarcinoma cell line

Rwan Galaleldin Taha Author, University of Windsor
Mary Ibrahim co-author, University of Windsor
Munir Rahim co-author, University of Windsor

Background: E0771 is a mouse mammary adenocarcinoma cell line derived from a spontaneous mammary tumour in C57BL/6J mice. These cells represent an excellent model to study immune responses against mammary tumors. The research in our lab is focused on the role of NKR-P1B receptor in anti-cancer immune responses. NKR-P1B is an inhibitory immune receptor that binds to its ligand Clr-b to regulate immune responses. E0771 cells express Clr-b. Our lab disrupted Clr-b gene in E0771 cells using CRISPR-Cas9 gene targeting system. The E0771 Clr-b knockout (KO) cells will be used to study the role of NKR-P1B:Clr-b interactions in immune responses against mammary tumors in mice.

Purpose: The objective of my work is to characterize the mutations introduced by CRISPR-Cas9 system in the Clr-b gene in the E0771 Clr-b KO cell line.

Methods: Using RT-PCR technique, Clr-b cDNA is amplified from E0771 and E0771 Clr-b-KO cell lines, cloned into a plasmid vector, and sequenced.

Results: Clr-b mRNA was detected in eleven single-cell clones of E0771 Clr-b KO cells by RT-PCR. Clr-b cDNA was cloned into pCR2.1 vector and transformed into E. coli bacteria. After selection and growth of transformed bacteria, plasmids were purified. Sequences of the mutant Clr-b cDNAs will be determined and compared to wild type Clr-b sequences to identify mutations that have disrupted Clr-b gene expression in the KO cells.

Conclusion: This work will aid in the selection of clones of the KO cell line that can be used to study NKR-P1B:Clr-b interactions in anti-tumor immune responses.

Toward the synthesis of an acetal-free Tn antigen anti-cancer vaccine candidate

Chelsea D. Ymana, University of Windsor
Michael R. Reynolds, University of Windsor
John J. Hayward, University of Windsor
John F. Trant, University of Windsor

Cancer vaccines are a promising approach to cancer treatment by activating the immune system towards cancer cells. The challenge, however, comes with the identification of biomarkers correlated with cancer. Unfortunately, many oncotargets are simply upregulated in cancer; these are inappropriate vaccine targets as they are also present on healthy cells and therefore would ultimately initiate a very dangerous systemic immune response. In contrast, Tumor-Associated Carbohydrate Antigens (TACAs) are not found in healthy adult tissue but are found on over 90% of biopsied carcinomas. When incorporated into glycopeptides or other immunogenic scaffolds, these carbohydrate antigens have formed the basis of the development of anti-tumor immunotherapies through the induction of a specific immune response against cancer cells. However, despite promising preliminary data, none of these candidates have reached the clinic. Our hypothesis is that the carbohydrates on the vaccines may not survive antigen processing, and so more stable versions of these materials are required to create viable vaccines.

Our approach is to incorporate TACAs lacking the labile glycosidic bond: acetal-free carbohydrates (AFCs). This project aims to remove the unstable acetal functional group to yield a more robust carbohydrate structure that can then be incorporated into a vaccine candidate. In this presentation, two synthetic pathways will be described: conversion of a carbohydrate to a carbasugar through a rearrangement, and de novo synthesis from noncarbohydrate materials.

2022
Thursday, March 31st
12:00 AM

The ADHDe Project

Nadia Gill, University of Windsor

12:00 AM - 12:00 AM