Canadian Stroke Network
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Canadian Stroke Network

Targeting Cell Death

Project Leaders:

David Park, University of Ottawa
Brian MacVicar, University of British Columbia
John MacDonald, University of Toronto

Project Team:

Michael W. Salter, Hospital for Sick Children
Michael Tymianski, Toronto Western Research Institute
Peter K. Stys, University of Calgary
Tim H Murphy, University of British Columbia
Ruth S. Slack, University of Ottawa
Roger Thompson, University of Calgary
Yu-Tian Wang, University of British Columbia
Serge Rivest, Université Laval
Jiming Kong, University of Manitoba
Christian Naus, University of British Columbia
Steffen-Sebastian Bolz, University of Toronto
Michelle Aarts, University of Toronto

Project Summary:

The purpose of this work is to understand how signaling cascades that are initiated and maintained by ion channel proteins lead to the loss of brain cells following ischemic stroke; and, to develop potential therapies to prevent this cell death. Although the loss of blood flow during ischemia results in the inevitable death of many nerve cells in what is called the “ischemic core,” there is an even greater region (“the penumbra”) where the cells do not die until long after the stroke has finished. This resulting loss of cells has a devastating effect on the functioning and quality of life of stroke victims. The objective of this project is to stop the death of cells in the penumbra, minimize the severity of the stroke and to greatly improve the recovery of stroke patients. The approach is to bring together a group of outstanding Canadian fundamental and clinical neuroscientists who have major ideas about how to prevent cell loss. There are also very strong international collaborators, and the project provides promise for the development of effective agents or drugs for the treatment of ischemic stroke. Most importantly, the group will act as a research incubator for the development and implementation of new stroke drugs. Several group members have formed a Canadian biotechnology firm that has taken a discovery into Phase 2 clinical trials.

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