Braden Millan & Heekuk Park

  1. What does the Translational Research Fellowship Award mean to you?
    • I am ecstatic to be the recipient of the Translational Research Fellowship. Recognition of our research groups’ hard work is extremely appreciated. I hope that this award can help us enhance people’s knowledge and understanding of role basic science plays in all health research and how it can translate into health solutions for the future.
  2. Tell us a little about your research project (in 100 words or less).
    • Fecal microbial transplantation (FMT) is a highly effective treatment for patients with recurring Clostridium difficile infection. Using a custom designed oligonucleotide-based DNA microarray and metagenomic sequencing we demonstrated that RCDI patients harbored large numbers of pathogenic microbes that carried a greater number and diversity of antibiotic resistance genes compared with FMT donors and healthy controls. FMT resulted in a resolution of symptoms, the elimination of pathogenic microbes and antibiotic resistance genes. Therefore, we provided evidence that FMT may be a viable treatment option to eradicate multi-drug resistance bacteria from patients, thus expanding the use of FMT into other therapeutic realms.
  3. What are the plans for the duration of your studies?
    • For the remainder of my studies at the University of Alberta, I plan to complete another translational research project looking at the therapeutic potential of Fecal Microbial Transplantation, and whether pre-treatment with antibiotics can enhance its effect in an IBD model.
  4. What are your career goals?
    • My career goals are focused on becoming a clinician scientist working at a large academic center such as the University of Alberta. As a clinician scientist, I hope to focus on translation research.