Live blogging at MT2011 Life Science Institute Heat

There’s no coffee provided.  Normally there is and I was counting on it. Decent food and juice though! They must have read that study about judicial decisions being affected by how hungry the judge was. Each contestant has 3 minutes and one slide to present their thesis project

“Natural Killer Cell Targeting of Leukemic Stem Calls in an AML Mouse Model”
Laura Guillon
Interdiscplinary Oncology

The most common acute leukemia among adults. Rapid growth of abnormal WBC. Chemotherapy and radiation are treatments but disease remergence is common, the best treatment is stem cell transplant aka bone marrow transplant. Graft vs host disease is a serious concern. Interestingly people who get a transplant from close relatives who are half identical have less problems than patients who get identical matches from donors. She’s doing something with mice and times up. Was getting interesting, very teasing and unfulfilling, like watching 80% of a murder mystery.

“Drug Combinations against Tuberculosis”
Leah Lim
M&I

Synergy: 2+2 can =5

vodka + valium = bad. Worse than either by them selves!

1/3 are infected by tuberculusis. chemotherapies are outdated, no new treatments in decades and resistant strains are emerging, no treatment options. Need better treatments. Looking for the vodka and valium to give the bact. Found an interesting combination. A current tuberculosis drug and an anti worm drug. Anti worm drug only works against tuberculosis. Only tuber is affected by anti worm drug. There must be something special about tuberculosis that makes it affected by anti worm drug. But what?
“Sub-inhibitory Levels of Antibiotics Increase Gene Transfer in Rhodobacter capsulatus”
Rachel Bernelot Moens
M&I

HGT can be any types of genes. Transduction is virus or phage mediated. gene transfer agent is like a virus but packages random DNA in her bact. Rhodobacter can grow in anerobic condition but they have mutant strains that can’t. Classes of antibiotics can increase the rate of gene transfer, up to a 60 fold increase! This affects the spread of antibiotic resistant genes. Similar to what we do yay! 😀 first place for sure
“Enzymes in Tuberculosis”
Jenna Capyk
Biochem

Tuberculus is the number one killer among infectious bacterial diseases. Lives inside human macrophage, can survive indefinetly. Cholestral is 10-20% of our membranes. MTB breaks down cholestral, in lab can use it as a source of energy. Maybe manipulate host pathway to make it less hospitable?

Understanding the pathway is good and awesome, but manipulating something as basal as host cholesteral as potential treatment? seems like a very difficult approach. Good science though
“Sponge Library Screens for Incretin Receptor Modulators”
Cathy Merchant
Cell&Dev Bio

Sponges can be used to treat type two diabetes. Insulin. Diabetes is the fourth leading cause of death in the developing world, and is on the rise. 80% of diabetics are fatties, and current insulin drugs can cause weight gain. Incretin receptor modulars already work. Sponges are small molecule screens, lots of cool drugs in sponges. Found some good candidates. Going to give this to mice to test in vivo. never really explained why sponges as opposed to anything else

“Bacterial metabolism-targeted antibiotic therapy for treatment of Tuberculosis”
Carol Ng
M&I

Hey it Carol! Antibiotics and the immune system work best on actively growing bacteria, growing exposes them to treatments.  Bacteria find a balance between growth and hiding. Key metabolic pathways are altered by antibiotic treatment. Carols trying to find a vitamin or supplement that can upset the bacterial metabolism and make them more vulnerable to treatment.
“Why Fungus”
Jennifer Geddes
M&I

Challenging, and it tends to grow on you. Everyone laughed. There was an outbreak on vancouver island of her fungi. Once in the longs replicates and survives and move to the brain, causing menigitis. 3 key aspects making it virulent, a halo capsul, production of melanin, able to grow at 37 degrees. Protein kinase A, proteomic approach. Does pKA regulate virulence? Didn’t catch the name of her fungus
“Fighting Cancer with Yeast”
John Shin
CPS

Likes beer. Yeast is a good model for cancer. cells have a lipid that detect intracellular pH, binds to a protein at neutral pH. At Acidic pHs the protein detaches and cell growth stops, basic ph causes increased growth . Tumour cells have a very basic pH.

“Mending Broken Hearts:
A novel approach to designing heart rate controlling drugs”
Sarah S. Chow
CPS

Chest pain can be caused by angina, indicating that your heart is beating to slowly. Pacemaker protein , andrelin causes camp to be made which binds tot he pacemaker protein. The reaction of camp binding to pacemaker causes heat. Sarah found how to measure this heat, and uses this to devolp a roadmap to find alternatives to pacemaker(the mechanical machine) surgery.
How immune cells remeber
Zinaida Tebaykina
M&I

Hey my skiing buddy. Immune cells remember anyone whoever did us wrong. Like the mafia or Rome they never forget, they never forgive, they are legion. Prestoring(?) mRNA is important. Granules of mRNA and proteins important to storing them are called tbodies. immune cells have large t bodies. Zina thinks that tbodies are important to immune memory.

Results:

3rd: John Shin

2nd: Sarah Chow

1st: Leah Lim

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