Hot Student Papers

Phylogeny, environment and sexual communication across the Drosophila genus

30 Jan 2017 - 8:09am
Drosophila head, close up

Are you interested in the secret to love and a healthy relationship? If so then you should stop PhD student Jacob Jezovit (Levine Lab) in the hallway and he can tell you all about it, at least as it relates to Drosophila. Jacob just published his first 1st-authored paper “Phylogeny, environment and sexual communication across the Drosophila genus” in Journal of Experimental Biology. In this paper, Jacob and his coauthors (including PDF Dr. Jon Schneider) provide an overview of how life history and phylogenetic constraints shape visual and chemical signals during courtship in Drosophila.

The structure, kinetics and interactions of the β-carboxysomal β-carbonic anhydrase, CcaA

20 Jan 2017 - 9:31am
diagram of β-carboxysomal β-carbonic anhydrase

Photosynthesis is the secret to all life, a secret discovered and closely guarded for over 3 billions years by an ancient group of tiny organisms. We are of course talking about the CYANOBACTERIA! Amazingly, PhD student Maryam Moazami-Goudarzi (Espie Lab) has uncovered and shared part of the secret ingredients cyanobacteria use to accomplish their amazing feat. Her results were recently published in her first 1st-authored paper, published in Biochemical Journal. Much of cyanobacteria’s success is due to concentrating CO2 within a proteinaceous microcompartment called a carboxysome.

Phylogenetic relatedness, phenotypic similarity and plant-soil feedback

9 Jan 2017 - 7:53am
potted plants in a greenhouse

If you've ever tried gardening, you'll know that soil matters. Soil properties such as nutrient availability, pH, and the resident microbes and invertebrates can affect plant growth. Plants themselves can also alter these soil properties, giving rise to feedbacks between plants and soil. Plant-soil feedbacks influence some of the most fundamental terrestrial processes - productivity, succession, and the maintenance of diversity - though we still lack a basic understanding of their causes. PhD student Connor Fitzpatrick (Johnson Lab) recently investigated how phylogenetic relatedness and phenotypic similarity among co-occurring plant species influence the strength of their soil feedbacks.

Clinical Trial Risk in Hepatitis C: Endpoint Selection and Drug Action

2 Jan 2017 - 8:39am
human body diagram with liver and hepatitis C

While you are sipping a beverage by the fire over the holidays, why not read the latest Hot Student Paper? This week's top honours go to former ROP student Nicole Tillie working with Prof. Jayson Parker, who recently published “Clinical Trial Risk in Hepatitis C: Endpoint Selection and Drug Action" in the Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. In this study Nicole quantified the risk that new drug candidates for this disease fail clinical testing and never reach the market.  She found that only 20% of drugs succeed during clinical testing with small drug viral inhibitors being the most successful. Nicole is now studying at the Canadian College of Naturopathic medicine. Congratulations on your success!

Clinical trial risk in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: the effects of drug class and inclusion criteria

9 Dec 2016 - 7:54am
chest x-ray

Congratulations to MBiotech student Demetri Anastasopulos and MBiotech alum Jeffrey Tam who, under the supervision of Prof. Jayson Parker, recently published their article “Clinical trial risk in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: the effects of drug class and inclusion criteria” in Respiration. Their study examined the risk of clinical trial failure in testing new drugs for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. They found that approximately 87% of all drugs entering clinical testing failed, while combined drug regimens had a better success rate. Certain drug classes, such as muscarinic antagonists, had much better success rates. Their study provides insight into how pulmonary disease can be treated more effectively in future.