Elaine Caroline Davis
BSc & MSc (Western Ontario), PhD (McGill)
Role of the extracellular matrix in cell signaling, vascular development and disease, intracellular protein trafficking.
The lab of Dr. Davis is interested how extracellular matrix components direct cell function, cell differentiation and tissue development as it relates to human disease. One of the research thrusts is on the elastic fiber system which is involved in a number of genetic and acquired diseases, including cutis laxa, supravalvular aortic stenosis, William Beuren syndrome, Marfan syndrome and others. The Davis lab seeks to provide fundamental information concerning the role of elastin in vascular development and in smooth muscle cell differentiation. The lab uses a combined approach of genetically modified mouse models, ultrastructural analysis and molecular biology to study the biogenesis and ultrastructure of the elastic fiber system. This knowledge provides the urgently needed basis for an in-depth understanding of the pathogenesis of vascular occlusive diseases and other diseases with involvement of the elastic fiber system. The second research focus in the Davis lab is on the role of the peptidylprolyl cis-trans isomerase FKBP65 in bone development. FKBP65 has been linked to autosomal recessive osteogenesis imperfecta. In vitro and in vivo research focuses on the function of FKBP65 in collagen secretion and assembly.