V Wee yong lab calgary
     

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Neuroimmunology is the study of inflammation in the nervous system. Virtually all neurological disorders
have inflammatory components, and these include diseases traditionally associated with overt inflammation,
such as multiple sclerosis (MS), and those previously thought to be purely degenerative, including Alzheimer's
disease. Neuroinflammation originates from the trafficking of several leukocyte subsets into the nervous system
and through the production of immune molecules by neural cells themselves. The interaction between leukocytes
and neural cells further promotes neuroinflammation and injury. In recent years, reparative properties of
neuroinflammation have been appreciated, so that the balance between beneficial and detrimental neuroinflammation
is a crucial determinant of outcome. My research projects have been guided by 3 diseases of the central nervous
system (CNS): MS, spinal cord injury (SCI) and brain tumors (malignant gliomas). MS and SCI provide my research
program with diseases of chronic and acute neuroinflammation, respectively. In contrast, malignant gliomas present
a disease of immunosuppression, whereby the cancer cells neutralize the activity of leukocytes that infiltrate into these
tumors. Collectively, my studies of these 3 diseases are aimed at understanding, controlling and tipping the balance of
neuroinflammation towards one of neuroprotection and regeneration from CNS insults.

CURRENT ACTIVE RESEARCH OPERATING GRANTS

1.     Canadian Institutes for Health Research, Regulation of neuroinflammation and neuropathology in multiple sclerosis by the MMP inducer, EMMPRIN, 2009 - 2014,  $163,317 per annum

2.     Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) as inhibitors of remyelination in MS, 2013 - 2016,  $100,000 per annum

 3.     Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada Foundation Grant, on: A phase III double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of minocycline in clinically isolated syndromes (CIS), July 2007- ongoing (PI: L. Metz, involving 15 MS centers across Canada).  $4.1 million total.  Due to budget cut, the biomedical research team that I lead for this trial decided not to accept any funds in favor of clinical outcomes.  I remain as the scientific leader for this trial as the basic science work had originated from my lab.

 4.     Heart and Stroke Foundation, on: Understanding and manipulating microglia/macrophage activity following intracerebral hemorrhage to confer neuroprotection, $57,000 per annum, 2011-2013

 5.     Alberta Innovates/Alberta Cancer Foundation, on: Enhancing monocytoid cell activity to curb brain tumor initiating cells, $150,000 per annum, 2011 – 2014

 6.     Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada Foundation Grant, on: Pathobiology of MS: complex interplay between degeneration and inflammation, PI: Peter Stys.  My portion is $175,000 per year, 2011 - 2014

 7.     Industry grants are not listed