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Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology

Lorne Tyrrell – 2015 most influential Albertans list

Posted by karin.fodor on June 30, 2015
Posted in News 


Dr. D. Lorne Tyrrell & the 2015 most influential Albertans:

Alberta Venture named Dr. Tyrrell one of the Alberta’s 50 Most Influential People: The Movers, The Shakers & The Difference-Makers for his work on viral hepatitis.

Full story ….

UofA – Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry News

Partnership between UAlberta dream team and funders could be a ‘game-changer’ for cancer patients


 Edmonton—A multimillion dollar research partnership announced today at the University of Alberta is giving a “dream team” of researchers the opportunity to potentially transform cancer treatment and better patient outcomes.


The interdisciplinary team, led by Khaled Barakat, research assistant professor in the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, includes world-renowned leaders in oncology, virology, immunology, chemistry, dentistry and pharmaceutical sciences, and intends to use small molecules aimed at specific targeted binding sites to jumpstart the body’s T cells to fight off cancer.


These small molecules are being developed and tested through computer modelling, which allows the team to “simulate the T cell surface proteins and understand how they interact in humans.”


“Our team is developing small molecules to replace the antibodies. These small molecules will be designed specifically and rationally to target specific binding sites on T cells and reactivate them and allow them to see and clear tumours,” says Barakat. “These small molecules will have a shorter stay in the blood, allowing the immune system to not be over activated while reducing side effects. In addition, the small molecules will be cheaper to make, reducing costs for patients and health-care systems.”


The use of these small molecules is not specific to any type of cancer. “The concept has been proven by antibodies in many cancer types including advanced melanoma, one of the hardest cancers to treat. Think of our small molecules as a ‘magic drug’ that simply can be used against many types of cancer,” says Barakat.


Barakat and his team’s research would not be possible without the generous support of both the Alberta Cancer Foundation and the Li Ka Shing Applied Virology Institute.


The Alberta Cancer Foundation has invested $2.4 million dollars in support of this research. “This partnership with the University of Alberta and Li Ka Shing Institute will allow researchers to look at novel ways of treating cancer, where they target the immune system rather than the tumour itself,” says Myka Osinchuk, CEO of the Alberta Cancer Foundation. “Immunotherapy has been described as a breakthrough for this disease so we are pleased to make this investment on behalf of our donors and are excited about its potential on Albertans facing cancer.”


Based on this partnership, the Li Ka Shing Institute of Applied Virology is also contributing $3 million dollars to further this research. “The Immune Checkpoint program was initiated within the University of Alberta’s Li Ka Shing Applied Virology Institute (LKSAVI ) in 2014 with Dr. Khaled Barakat as the principal investigator,” says Michael Houghton, professor and director of LKSAVI. “Dr. Lorne Tyrrell and myself are very pleased that the Alberta Cancer Foundation has also seen the great potential of this program and has decided to become a co-investor with the LKSAVI to deliver these much needed medicines to the many cancer and chronic viral illness sufferers in Alberta, Canada and globally.”


The team plans to have a “lead structure”, an almost-ready drug that only needs small tweaking and optimization, in place by the end of the second year of the project. At that point, they will be seeking a pharmaceutical partner to develop this lead structure into a drug for human trials by 2020.


 Follow us in the News and Media:


Edmonton Journal – also features a really great video
Edmonton Sun
CTV National Website
CTV Edmonton
Global Edmonton
Other sites based on our news release on Eureka alert
And last but not least the Science News. This story will appear on-line and in print.
University of Alberta
There is a banner story on the home page linking to this story.
The story includes a YouTube clip with mentions of the team





Dr. Deborah Burshtyn

Posted by karin.fodor on June 25, 2015
Posted in Seminars 

Dr. Deborah Burshtyn – Associate Professor, MMI; Lead – Human Immunology @uAlberta
“Why MIGHT my post transplant patient HAVE GOTTEN CMV disease?” or “Polymorphism of the co-inhibtiory receptor LILRB1 targeted by a CMV immune evasion protein and post-transplant susceptibility to CMV reactivation.”

Infectious Diseases, Medical Microbiology and Immunology, and Li Ka Shing Institute
With a clinical case presentation from Transplant Infectious Diseases UAH
11:00AM  CLASSROOM  (2F1.04)

ImmuNet Research Day

Posted by karin.fodor on June 18, 2015
Posted in Seminars 

ImmuNet Research Day
Keynote: Dr. Michael Gold  – University of British Columbia
“Regulation of B cell receptor signaling by the cytoskeleton”
Postdoctoral Fellows, Graduate Students and undergraduate students welcome!
Millwoods Golf Club Edmonton

Dr. Charles M. Rice

Posted by karin.fodor on June 1, 2015
Posted in Seminars 

Dr. Charles M. Rice – Scientific & Executive Director Centre for the Study of Hepatitis C, The Rockefeller University
“Hepatitis C: Where we were, where we are, and what’s next”
10:00 AM – Oborowsky Degner Seminar Hall (1-040 LKS Building)
Reception to follow
10th Annual D. Lorne Tyrrell Lectureship in Infection and Immunity
Sponsored in part by: Tyrrell Endowment Fund