Discovery Horizons Grant: Oxylipins and Peptide Hormones

Dr. Dajana Vuckovic, one of the node leaders at TMIC, and two other collaborators from Concordia and McGill University have been awarded $500,000 over five years by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) under the Discovery Horizons grants. Discovery Horizons grants support investigator-initiated individual and team projects that broadly integrate or transcend disciplines to advance knowledge in the natural sciences and engineering (NSE). In partnership with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), NSERC is piloting this interdisciplinary peer review mechanism.

This grant will be used to design and test new sampling devices that can more accurately measure two categories of compounds in the human body: oxylipins and peptide hormones, as well as to expedite the translation of the devices toward clinical implementation

In 2019, the Vuckovic’s group published an article describing a novel method for sampling and measuring oxylipins from tissue or blood. Oxylipins are naturally occurring substances in the human body that are involved in inflammation, blood clotting, temperature regulation, and even tissue regeneration. They also have been associated with numerous cardiovascular diseases and Alzheimer’s Disease.

On the other hand, peptide hormones are composed of short amino acid chains and function as mediators to regulate a variety of processes within the body, including growth, metabolism, and reproduction (e.g. somatotropin, oxytocin, insulin, etc.)

The development of two novel simple blood sample instruments will aid in the stabilization and precise measurement of oxylipins and peptide hormones.

Dajana also received the 2023 Fred Beamish Award from the Chemical Institute of Canada Analytical Chemistry Division. The Fred Beamish Award is presented to an individual who demonstrates innovation in research in the field of analytical chemistry, where the research is anticipated to have significant potential for practical applications.

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