About us

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the second most common cause of death for people with spinal cord injury (SCI). People with SCI are prescribed unnecessary antibiotics at a higher rate compared to the general population, and this raises the risk of antibiotic resistance and mortality due to antibiotic-resistant infections. Our team identified that existing urine tests are highly unreliable and prone to false-positive UTI indications, which contributes to UTI misdiagnosis and unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions.

Jessica Jenkins and Siobhan Wilson at the 2023 LMPRC

Capstone defense video

Watch the capstone defense.


Our team founded Specifix Dx, a start-up with a vision to create a rapid UTI test that is more accurate compared to current market offerings. In our capstone, we are building the foundation for Specifix Dx, by raising funding, building an intellectual property and go-to-market strategy, and initiating the first stage of technology development through a proof-of-principle clinical study.

Team members

Jessica Jenkins

Jessica Jenkins

Jessica developed a passion for scientific research during my undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto. She pursued this passion by working and volunteering in a number of laboratories and conducting independent research projects in the field of behavioural neuroscience. Here at TRP, her primary objective is to learn how patient wellbeing can be incorporated and prioritized in the world of science.

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Siobhan Wilson

Siobhan Wilson

Siobhan holds an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Biopsychology and a minor in Life Sciences from Queen's University. Throughout her academic career and post-graduation, she has held multiple positions in healthcare that have broadened her understanding of the strengths and limitations of Canada's healthcare system.

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Project Advisory Committee

Arrani Senthinatha

Dr. Arrani Senthinatha

Postdoctoral Researcher

James Hektner

Community Liason, Praxis Institute

James Hektner is the BC Interior Regional Community Liaison at the Praxis Spinal Cord Institute. After a motor vehicle accident in 1997, James has nearly 25 years of lived experience with a T-6, AIS-A injury. At Praxis, James works to strengthen partnerships between the community, research, and healthcare systems by engaging the peers and networking with Patient Partner Health initiatives and researchers. These are vital in achieving improved health outcomes and quality of life for persons living with spinal cord injury (SCI).

Dr. Ben Chew

Director of Clinical Research Stone Centre, Associate Professor, Department of Urologic Sciences, UBC Active Staff, Vancouver General Hospital Stone Centre, UBC, Vancouver General Hospital

Dr. Ben Chew specializes in the surgical and medical treatment of kidney stone disease. Dr. Chew’s research focuses on how kidney stones form and in particular how we absorb certain compounds and minerals through the intestinal tract. By altering how we absorb compounds, his research hopes to be able to change a patient’s risk factors for developing more stones. Dr. Chew’s other area of research is in the area of biomaterials as they pertain to urinary devices. He is investigating new coatings and special drug-eluting materials for urinary catheters and ureteral stents in an attempt to make them more biocompatible and reduce device-related infection, encrustation, and patient discomfort.

TRP Supervisors

Edyta Marcon, Advisor, Capstone Committee, Instructor, Supervisor, TRP Team

Dr. Edyta Marcon

Concept Translator Senior Research Associate, Donnelly Centre, University of Toronto

Edyta loves to encounter new questions, apply new knowledge, and meet new people. As a Senior Research Associate at the U of T Donnelly Centre, she currently studies how RNA modifications regulate gene expression and how they relate to human health and disease. Her interests extend beyond the laboratory into the application of scientific research using human centric design thinking.

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