In The News:
Dr. Michel Tremblay has been awarded the Canadian Cancer Society’s 2012 Robert L. Noble Award. The Robert L. Noble Prize is given for outstanding achievements in cancer research. It honours Dr Noble, an esteemed Canadian investigator whose research in the 1950s led to the discovery of vincristine, a widely-used anti-cancer drug. At the time, vincristine was one of the most effective treatments available for Hodgkin’s disease. Congratulations to Michel, a great achievement for McGill. [2013 Apr 2]
Presentation by Prof. Kalle Gehring - [2013 Jan 15]
From early disease detection to better drug design and more efficient nanoelectronics – three McGill research projects share close to $11 million in awards from the CFI - Investing in the future.
Congratulations to Dr. Bhushan Nagar. Researchers at McGill University and the Research Center for Molecular Medicine (CeMM) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences have discovered the molecular blueprint behind the IFIT protein. This key protein enables the human immune system to detect viruses and prevent infection by acting as foot soldiers guarding the body against infection. They recognize foreign viral ribonucleic acid (RNA) produced by the virus and act as defender molecules by potentially latching onto the genome of the virus and preventing it from making copies of itself, blocking infection. The findings are a promising step towards developing new drugs for combatting a wide range of immune system disorders. The discovery was made by teams led by Bhushan Nagar. McGill Channels; Nature 2013 DOI:doi:10.1038/nature11783 [2013 Jan 13] Foot soldiers of the immune system [The Reporter, 2013 March 4]
|Congratulations to Geneviève Deblois (Dr. Vincent Giguère’s lab) on her excellent article, Oestrogen-related receptors in breast cancer: control of cellular metabolism and beyond, in the very high impact journal, Nature Reviews Cancer: 13, 27-36, 2013 Jan.|
Congratulations to Dr. Imed Gallouzi for having one of his research projects included in The Canadian Cancer Society’s Top 10 Research Stories of 2012. [2012 Dec 21] and Interaction [2013 Société canadienne du cancer]
A team of researchers at the Cystic Fibrosis Translational Research Centre at McGill University and the University of British Columbia (UBC) have uncovered a new molecule for the treatment of cystic fibrosis (CF), one of the most common fatal genetic diseases. The researchers discovered the chemical from a remarkable source, a marine sponge from the South Pacific Ocean. The researchers found that the chemical corrects the localization and restores the function of the defective protein that causes CF. Chemistry & Biology 19: 1288-1299.
The breakthrough is the result of a continuing collaboration between the groups of Prof. Raymond Andersen at UBC, Prof. John Hanrahan, from McGill’s Department of Physiology and Prof. Thomas, McGill’s Department of Biochemistry. Prof. Andersen is a natural products chemist who specializes in isolating novel molecules from marine sponges. His group has identified many biologically active compounds from this unique source. McGill’s Newsroom; Futurity.org [David Y. Thomas, 2012 Oct. 25].
See also Vijay Gupta & William E. Balch Nature Chemical Biology 9: 12-14 (2013) Published online 2012 Dec 13
The report presents the main activities of the Groupe de recherche axé sur la structure des protéines (GRASP), supported by FRQS and directed by Kalle Gehring since its creation in April 2008. The administrative center of GRASP is located in the Bellini building and the group is presently composed of 34 regular members and 15 associate members. The laboratories of 19 regular members are located at McGill University, the other 15 regular members are affiliated with University of Montreal, Concordia University, UQAM, University of Sherbrooke and INRS-Armand-Frappier. These researchers put their expertise in common to better understand the molecular basis of certain diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, cystic fibrosis, long QT syndrome and bacterial infections and to develop new therapies. For more information, please visit the GRASP website: http://grasp.mcgill.ca
Happy reading! [Kalle Gehring, 2012 Dec. 5].
"Dr. Gros' patent describes a simple modification of the formulation of artemisinin, the WHO approved standard of care for malaria, by the addition of this small non-toxic, and inexpensive thiol (cysteamine) that is normally produced by the body. This modification potentiates the anti-malarial activity of artemisinin by 4-6 fold. This work originated several years ago from our mouse studies at McGill that indicated that a mouse mutant susceptible to malaria carries a mutation in the enzyme that produces cysteamine. From there on we spent several years working on a) figuring out why that was, b) if we could give cysteamine to mice and protect them against malaria (which we did), and c) add cysteamine to the standard of care to improve efficacy against malaria (which it does). The nice thing about cysteamine is that it is FDA approved for the treatment of a rare kidney disorder called nephropathic cystinosis, hence few regulatory hurdles. Raptor is the company that produces cysteamine for the use in these children. Artemisinin is the most potent and globally used anti-malarial drug. There is much concern that the malarial parasite will, as it did for all other drugs, become resistant to it. The addition of cysteamine to artemisinin offers the real possibility to delaying the appearance of resistance, and improving treatment of otherwise artemisinin resistant parasites. The work in Dr. Gros' lab on this project was conducted primarily by Drs. Gundula Min-Oo (Ph. D. Biochemistry, McGill 2010; now PDF at UCSF), and Anny Fortin (PhD. Biochemistry, McGill 2002; now Director Research Dafra Pharma, and Adjunct Prof. Biochemistry McGill).The enthusiasm and tireless work of these two individuals was pivotal in these discoveries. As co-inventors, they deserve much credit and they make McGill proud." [Philippe Gros, 2012 June 6].
Dr. Archibald Macallum was the first Chairman of the Department of Biochemistry from 1920-1928. New research on origins of life credits this long-dead Canadian. 2012 Feb. 21.