Cell Biology and Membranes

Beauchemin, Nicole

Beauchemin, Nicole, Professor (Please note: No longer accepting graduate students or post-doctoral fellows)
nicole.beauchemin [at] mcgill.ca
Studies on the functions of the mouse CEACAM1 proteins in various tissues, their association with intracytoplasmic proteins and their connection with signaling cascades using transgenic and knockout mouse models. Role of the CEACAM1 proteins in colon tumor development, progression and metastasis in genetic models. Role of the CEACAM1 proteins in angiogenesis in transgenic mice.

Chang, Natasha

Natasha Chang, Assistant Professor
natasha.chang [at] mcgill.ca
The focus of the Chang lab is to elucidate the molecular pathways that regulate stem cell function. We employ muscle stem cells as a model to study stem cell biology and tissue regeneration. Dysregulation of the pathways that control muscle stem cell function contribute to muscle degeneration and disease. We investigate how stem cell function is impaired in muscle degenerative disease and cancer in order to gain insight into mechanisms of disease and develop novel regenerative medicine strategies.

Gehring, Kalle

Gehring, Kalle, Professor
kalle.gehring [at] mcgill.ca
Structural biology and biophysics of proteins and nucleic acids. The laboratory’s main research interests are poly(A) binding protein, ubiquitin-associated proteins, proteins involved in membrane trafficking, and ER protein folding. The methods used are nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography and small-angle X-ray scattering in combination with the techniques of molecular biology.

Giguère, Vincent

Giguère, Vincent, Professor
vincent.giguere [at] mcgill.ca
Studies on the functions and roles of members of the estrogen receptor subfamily in breast cancer. Identification of genes regulated by these receptors using functional genomics; analysis of the roles of these receptors and their natural and synthetic ligands using transgenic and knock-out mice.

Kazak, Lawrence

Kazak, Lawrence, Assistant Professor
lawrence.kazak [at] mcgill.ca
The Kazak lab combines mouse genetics, mass spectrometry, molecular and cell biology, biochemistry and bioenergetics to study the molecular control of mammalian energy metabolism. Our efforts are concentrated on the molecules and metabolic pathways that control mitochondrial energetics in adipocytes and cancer cells. We have generated novel genetically-engineered mouse models to accurately study cellular metabolism, in vivo. In the case of adipose tissue, we systematically examine mechanisms supporting adipocyte energy expenditure, which has tremendous promise for combating obesity. In the case of cancer, we are leveraging our expertise of mitochondrial biology and cellular energetics to explore novel metabolic pathways that are critical for tumorigenesis.

McInnes, Roderick

McInnes, Roderick, Professor
roderick.mcinnes [at] mcgill.ca
Our lab is interested in two major questions in biology and medicine. First, in inherited neurodegenerations, we wish to understand what is happening in the mutant neurons, in the years to decades between their birth and their death years to decades later. After decades of normal function, why do the neurons suddenly die? To address this question, we are identifying molecular mechanisms that contribute to, or protect against the death of mutant photoreceptors (PRs) in inherited photoreceptor degenerations (IPDs) using mouse models of these diseases. Understanding of these mechanisms is likely to suggest therapeutic opportunities that will slow or arrest PR death. Second, we wish to understand the roles of “accessory” proteins in the regulation of ion channels in neurons, particularly at synapses. Our focus is on two such proteins that we discovered, Neto1 and Neto2. The Neto proteins are multifunctional, as indicated by their loss-of-function phenotypes, which include defects in axon guidance, seizures in some genetic backgrounds, defects in memory and learning, and abnormal regulation of neuronal excitability. To date, we have identified at least 5 ion channels or other neuronal proteins whose activity is or appears to be regulated by a Neto. Elucidation of the role of the Netos in the brain is increasing our understanding of a surprisingly broad range of fundamental neuronal processes.

Muller, William

Muller, William, Professor
william.muller [at] mcgill.ca
The progression of the primary mammary epithelial cell to malignant phenotype involves multiple genetic events including the activation of dominant activating oncogenes and inactivation of specific tumor suppressor genes. Our laboratory has focused on the role of a class of receptor tyrosine kinases known as the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) family in the induction of breast cancer .Elevated expression of the various EGFR family members has been observed in a large proportion of sporadic breast cancers and their derived cell lines. For example, amplification and overexpression of erbB-2/neu proto-oncogene is observed in 20-30% human breast cancer and is inversely correlated with the survival of the patient. The major focus of our laboratory is to determine the relative contribution of the various EGFR family members and their coupled signaling pathways in ErbB-2 induced mammary tumor progression. Given the fact that germline inactivation of these signaling pathways results in either embryonic or perinatal lethality, we have used use Cre/Lox recombination system to specifically inactivate each of these signaling molecules members in the mammary epithelium of mice expressing activated erbB-2. The results of these biochemical and genetic analyses will provide important insight in molecular basis for erbB-2 induced tumorigenesis and metastasis.

Park, Morag

Park, Morag, Professor
morag.park [at] mcgill.ca

Deregulation of receptor tyrosine kinases is a common event in the development and progression of human cancers. We propose to examine the signals regulated by receptor tyrosine kinases that promote cell transformation, tumor formation and metastatic spread of tumors with a focus on breast cancer.

Pause, Arnim

Pause, Arnim, Professor
arnim.pause [at] mcgill.ca
(1) Molecular characterization of the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) tumor suppressor gene pathway, identification of new targets of the VHL ubiquitin ligase, mechanism of tumorigenesis in VHL tumors (renal cell carcinoma) and C.elegans, development of animal models of kidney cancer (mice and C.elegans). (2) Functional characterization of the Birt-Hogge-Dube (BHD) tumor suppressor protein in kidney cancer and in cellular and whole animal metabolism (mice and C.elegans). (3) Functional characterization of a tyrosine phosphatase involved in tumor suppression, studies in cellular and animal models.

Watson, Ian

Watson, Ian, Associate Professor
ian.watson2 [at] mcgill.ca

My lab is interested in understanding the biological function and therapeutic relevance of novel significantly mutated genes discovered in our melanoma genome- and exome-sequencing studies by employing computational approaches, in vivo models and biochemical techniques studying patient samples, cell lines and genetically engineered mice.

Young, Jason C

Young, Jason C., Associate Professor
jason.young2 [at] mcgill.ca

In cells, the folding of polypeptides into mature proteins depends on a specialized class of proteins termed ‘molecular chaperones’, which also protect against potentially toxic polypeptide aggregation. Two of the most important cytosolic chaperones, Hsp70 and Hsp90, are themselves controlled by regulatory ‘co-chaperone’ proteins. My research investigates the biochemical mechanisms of these regulated chaperone systems, how they function in protein folding and in the biogenesis of organelles such as mitochondria.

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