Student Research Day November 2014

The Experimental Medicine Program

Department of Medicine

University of British Columbia


Program and Abstracts

November 28, 2014

9 am – 3 pm


Vancouver General Hospital

Main Floor

Vancouver, BC


The Experimental Medicine Program gratefully acknowledges the financial support given by:

Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute

STEMCELL Technologies

Canadian Society for Molecular BioSciences

The UBC Department of Medicine


9:00 Introduction by our Program Director, Dr. Vincent Duronio, Director



SESSION ONE:     10-minute Oral Presentations – Chaired by Eric Pesarchuk

9:00   Sneha Sheth                        (Dr. Chris Shaw)

Aluminum and Autism Spectrum Disorders: A working hypothesis.

9:10   Layla Nabai                         (Dr. Aziz Gharary)

A new strategy for preventing scar formation following surgical procedures.

9:20 Eddie Pokrishevsky            (Dr. Neil Cashman)

Induction of SOD1 misfolding by pathological FUS or TDP43 in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

9:30 Leon Lin                                (Dr.Xioyan Jiang)

Targeting Treatment Naïve CML Stem/Progenitor Cells from Imatinib- Nonresponders by Combination Treatment with JAK2 (BMS-911543) and ABL Inhibitors. 

9:45am to 10:00 am             Coffee break

SESSION TWO:     10 minute Oral Presentations – Chaired by Dominik Sommerfeld

10:00   Renee Fougere                 (Dr. Andrei V. Krassioukov)

Effect of intravesical OnabotulinumtoxinA (Botox) treatment on automonic dysreflexia following spinal cord injury.

10:10   Praveena Manogaran                 (Dr. Anthony Traboulsee)

Cortico-spinal tract integrity measured using magnetic resonance imaging and transcranial magnetic stimulation in neuromyelitis optica and multiple sclerosis.

10:20   Naif Sannan                       (Dr. Cheryl Gregory-Evans)

Identification of novel PAX6 defects in aniridia: correlation with high resolution in vivo retinal imaging of foveal architecture.

10:30   Leah Cooper                      (Dr. Rajavel Elango)

Nonessential amino acid metabolism in healthy adult males determined using the indicator amino acid oxidation technique.

10:45 – 11:00am                    Coffee Break

11:00am    Keynote Address: Dr. Jeremy Hirota

“On a path towards understanding how environmental exposures influence airway health and disease”

Dr. Hirota obtained his BSc in Biology and Pharmacology and PhD in Physiology and Pharmacology from McMaster University. He then completed his first post-doctoral fellowship with Dr. Darryl Knight at the University of British Columbia to study how the lungs respond to allergens and pollution. Dr. Hirota is currently completing a second post-doctoral fellowship with Drs. Chris Carlsten and Don Sin in the Division of Respiratory Medicine, Department of Medicine at UBC, refining his lung research program. Dr. Hirota will be transitioning onto a faculty position at UBC on January 1, 2015, fulfilling his dream of having an independent research lab to study lung research questions with relevance to public health. Dr. Hirota has received numerous awards including a Canadian Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship, a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Fellowship, a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Fellowship, and most recently a Killam Postdoctoral Research Prize for his work on air pollution and lung biology. Dr. Hirota has published 22 research articles, 2 book chapters, given over 30 invited podium presentations, and lectured at undergraduate and graduate levels. Dr. Jeremy Hirota’s research focuses on how environmental exposures influence immune responses in the respiratory mucosa. He uses a translational research approach with mechanistic based in vitro, in vivo, and clinical studies. His studies are designed to understand how exposures including, pollution, viruses, and allergens, can contribute to the development and worsening of airway diseases. The airway diseases that Hirota is interested in include asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, COPD, and cystic fibrosis. Dr. Hirota feels it is an obligation of researchers to communicate their results clearly to both specialist and public audiences to show the value of government-funded research. Dr. Hirota hopes to train the next generation of scientists in both research and communication skills to be able to compete in an ever-increasingly competitive landscape and grow a culture of effective scientific communicators in Canada. When time permits, Dr. Hirota also likes to run, ride bikes and boards, play guitar, and read books on business strategy.

 12:00 – 12:30pm    Career Forum Panel Discussion – “Life in the Academy”

                                      Drs. Jeremy Hirota, Catherine Pallen, Vincent Duronio


12:30 – 2:00pm     Lunch, Poster Viewing/Judging

 2:00   Session Three: 10 minute Oral Presentations – Chaired by Ganive Bhinder

2:00   Paul Toren                            (Dr. Amina Zoubeidi)

Combination AZD5363 with enzalutamide significantly delays enzalutamide resistant prostate cancer through induction of apoptosis and cell cycle arrest.

2:10   Damian Lai                          (Dr. Xiaoyan Jiang)

Targeting Drug-Insensitive CML Stem/progenitor Cells with Combination Treatments of New ABL and PP2A Inhibitors.

2:20   Chris Dickman                    (Dr. Cathie Garnis)

The Ability of Serum miRNASs to Act as Biomarkers for the Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

2:30   Ali Farrokhi                          (Dr. Aziz Ghahary)

Identifying Keratinocyte Derived Collagen Inhibitory Factors to Treat Hypertrophic Scar and Keloid.

2:40   Amr Ammar                         (Dr. Emma Guns)

The Effect of pomegranate fruit extract on testosterone-induced BPH in rats.

2:50                                 Closing Remarks – Dr. Vince Duronio



Nelly Amenyogbe                (Dr. Toby Kollman)

Human fecal transplantation into germ-free mice as a model to assess the in vivo impact of intestinal mircrobiota on early life immunity.

Farshad Babaeijandaghi   (Dr. Fabio Rossi)

Interleukin-4/ Singnal Transducer and Activators of Transcription 6 (IL-4/STAT6) Signalling Pathway in Muscle Regeneration.

Momamed Ben-Eltriki        (Dr. Emma Guns)

Calcitriol Sensitizes Prostate Cancer cells to PPD Mediated anticancer Activity in Vitro: Pharmacodynamic Based Interaction.

Ganive Bhinder                    (Dr. Bruce Vallance)

Intestinal epithelial MYD88 signalling controls early susceptibility to enteric infection.

Kiran Bhullar                        (Dr. Bruce Vallance)

Citrobacter rodentium uses Pic, a mucinase, to subvert muscosal host defenses in the mammalian GI tract.

Elizabeth Bulaeva               (Dr. Connie Eaves)

Forced Expression of C-Myc Enhances The Growth of Primitive Human Normal CML Hemotopoietic Cells in Single-cell and Bulk Cultures.

Eric Druyts                           (Dr. Bryan Stirling)

Comparative efficacy of direct-acting antivirals for hepatitis C.

Adam Herman                     (Dr. Andrew Krahn)

Ventricular Septal Lead Implantation Should Be the First Option in Patients with Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy.

Romy Hoeppili                     (Dr. Megan Levings)

Evaluation of Thymus as a Novel Source of T Regulatory Cells for Therapy after Transplantation.

Sumin Jo                              (Drs. Gregor Reid & Peter van den Elzen)

Toll-like receptor agonists as therapy for childhood acute leukemia.

Mark Kearns                        (Dr. John H. Boyd)

A Laboratory Model of Organ Donor Circulatory Death with Direct Measurement of Cardiac Graft Function.

Shahram Khosravi             (Dr. Christopher Ong)

eIF4E, an adverse prognostic marker of melanoma patient survival, increases melanoma cell invasion.

Lisa Kozicky                        (Dr. Laura Sly)

IVIG Induced Regulatory Macrophages Reduce Dextran Sodium Sulfate Induced Intestinal Inflammation.

Ulrike Lambertz                  (Dr. Neil Reiner)

Leishmania release exosomes containing short RNA sequences.

Jack Chi-Chao Liu              (Dr. Chinten James Lim)

Calreticulin interaction with the membrane-proximal KXGFFKR motif of a-integrin mediates chemoresistance in T-cell leukemia.

Jeffrey Liu                            (Drs. Peter Pare and Chun Y. Seow)

Myosin filaments in smooth muscle cells do not have a constant length.

Kyla Mckay                           (Dr. Helen Tremlett)

The association between beta-interferon for multiple sclerosis and incidence of depression.

Elham Mohammadi            (Dr. Cheryl Gregory-Evans)

Role of Receptor Interacting Protein Kinases in the Retinal Degeneration of S334ter and P23H Retinal Degeneration Mutant Rat models in Retinitis Pigmentosa.

Mani Moniri                          (Drs. Artem Cherkasov and Paul Rennie)

Functional Characterization of The FB3 Site Present on The Androgen Receptor.

Rouhollah Mousavizadeh             (Drs. Vincent Duronio and Alexander Scott)

Potential roles for HIF-1a and TGF-b in the modulation of angiogenic factors in response to repetitive tensile loading.

Dominika Nackiewicz        (Dr. Jan A. Ehses)

Resident islet macrophages are M2 skewed in models of islet inflammation and type 2 diabetes in an effort to limit inflammation and b cell damage.

Brandon Norris                   (Drs. Peter Pare and Chun Y. Seow)

Calcium independent airway smooth muscle force and stiffness regulated by Rho-kinase.

Yoo Jin Park                        (Dr. Lucy Marzban)

The IL-1 Receptor Antagonist Anakinra Reduces Amyloid formation and Enhances Beta-Cell Survival and Function in Cultured Human Islets: Implications in Clinical Islet Transplantation.

Tim Schmidt                        (Dr. Diane Lacaille)

Quality of Care of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in Rheumatoid Arthritis: Screening for Diabetes and Hyperlipidemia.

Sepideh Vahid                     (Dr. Amina Zoubeidi)

HSP 27 Interacts With The Hippo Pathway to Regulate Cell Survival in Cancer.

Eddy Hsi-Chun Wang         (Dr. Kevin J. McElwee)

Generation of a novel rodent model for autoimmune hair loss disease alopecia areata via cultured cell transfer.