Science Research

Glucose homeostasis and growth essentially depend on the hormone insulin engaging its receptor. Despite biochemical and structural advances, a fundamental contradiction has persisted in the current understanding of insulin ligand–receptor interactions. While biochemistry predicts two distinct insulin binding sites, 1 and 2, recent structural analyses have resolved only site 1. Using a combined approach of cryo-EM and atomistic molecular dynamics simulation, we present the structure of the entire dimeric insulin receptor ectodomain saturated with four insulin molecules.

Classified as: department anatomy cell biology
Published on: 17 Feb 2020

By Cynthia Feng and Kira Smith

Office of Science Education team members Cynthia Feng and Kira Smith are working with members of the Science Undergraduate Society (SUS) on planning the next edition of the SUS’s highly anticipated Academia Week.

Published on: 9 Jan 2020

Reinhardt lab receives funding from the prestigious Marfan Foundation (USA) to explore the connection between diet and disease development in Marfan syndrome. Congratulations!

Published on: 8 Oct 2019

TITLE: Augmentation of cell numbers and function in the immune system by in vivo administration of North American (NA) ginseng (Panax Quinquefolium): Assessment in normal and cancer-bearing infant, juvenile, adult and elderly mice

Published on: 7 Oct 2019

Amal Seffouh, a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Ortega lab, publishes her most recent work about the role of RbgA in the maturation of the 50S ribosomal subunit.


Click here to read the paper.


Published on: 9 Sep 2019

Aida Razi’s last PhD thesis chapter now published online in the Nucleic Acids Research journal. This publication features the first cryo-EM structures obtained by the Ortega lab in the Titan Krios microscope at FEMR-McGill.


Read the paper at

Published on: 4 Jul 2019

The telomerase holoenzyme responsible for maintaining telomeres in vertebrates requires many components in vivo, including dyskerin. Dyskerin binds and regulates the accumulation of the human telomerase RNA, hTR, as well as other non-coding RNAs that share the conserved H/ACA box motif. The precise mechanism by which dyskerin controls hTR levels is unknown, but is evidenced by defective hTR accumulation caused by substitutions in dyskerin, that are observed in the X-linked telomere biology disorder dyskeratosis congenita (X-DC).

Published on: 23 Apr 2019

Reinhardt lab receives 5-year CIHR grant to investigate extracellular matrix-mediated regulation of microRNAs in health and disease. Congratulations!

Published on: 24 Jan 2019

One of the tightest bottlenecks in vascular tissue engineering is the lack of strength and elasticity of engineered vascular wall models caused by limited elastic fiber deposition. In this study, collagen gel-based scaffolds were cellularised with vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and supplemented with human plasma fibronectin (FN), a known master organizer of several extracellular matrix (ECM) fiber systems.

Classified as: department anatomy cell biology
Published on: 9 Aug 2018

Fibronectin is a protein that exists in vertebrates in two distinct forms: one present in the blood and the other in blood vessel walls. In mammals, fibronectin is important for the development of blood vessels before birth, but whether it is continuously required for blood vessel homeostasis from birth to adulthood is unknown. We present important results from three genetically modified mouse models, which show that at least one form of fibronectin is required for the proper function and integrity of blood vessels during this period.

Classified as: department anatomy cell biology
Published on: 8 Aug 2018

Congratulations to Assistant Professor Dr. Huy Bui, who has been named a 2017 CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar!

Published on: 9 Mar 2018

Unique collaboration of Dr. Dieter Reinhardt with geneticist Dr. Philippe Campeau at the Sainte-Justine Research Center leads to the identification of a new gene causing scoliosis and bone malformations, published in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

Published on: 9 Mar 2018


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