Barry I. Posner



Barry I. Posner, OC, CQ, MD, FRSC, FRCPC, FACP

Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Cell Biology
Endocrine Division, Department of Medicine
Director, Polypeptide Hormone Laboratory

Research Institute of the McGill University Hospital Centre

1001 Decarie Blvd, Bloc E, E02.7248, Montreal, QC H4A 3J1

Tel: (514) 934-1934 x76138

barry.posner [at]



Biographical Sketch

Dr. Barry I. Posner is Professor Emeritus of Medicine, Anatomy & Cell Biology, and was the Director of the Polypeptide and Protein Hormone Laboratory at McGill University. He joined the McGill Faculty of Medicine in 1970 and became full Professor and Senior Physician by 1979. He was Director of the McGill Endocrine training program and physician-in-chief at the Sir Mortimer B. Davis Jewish General Hospital; and served as the Associate Director of the Montreal Diabetes Research Center. In early research he discovered insulin receptors in newly recognized insulin target tissues including brain and vascular endothelial cells. With Dr. John Bergeron he identified endosomes as a central site for initiating and regulating cell signaling. In discovering the peroxovanadium compounds he described a key role for phosphotyrosine phosphatases in regulating Receptor Tyrosine Kinases. More recently he identified lipid rafts as sites of intense endosomal signaling and participated in identifying genes linked to diabetes. He has published over 290 scientific manuscripts, and his academic contributions have been recognized by election to the Association of American Physicians (1988), receipt of the Distinguished Scientist award of the CSCI (1991), election to Fellowship in the Royal Society of Canada, appointment as Officer of the Order of Canada (1999), and Chevalier of the Order of Quebec (2014), recipient of the Queen’s Golden (2002) and Diamond Jubilee (2012) Medals, recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Diabetes Association (2015) and received the McGill University medal for academic excellence (2020).


Insulin, growth factors, receptors, endosomes, pervandate, phosphatases, diabetes, genes

Research or Clinical Activities

See above

Selected Recent Publications

van Houten, M., Posner, B. I., Kopriwa, B. M. & Brawer, J. R. Insulin binding sites localized to nerve terminals in rat median eminence and arcuate nucleus. Science 207, 1081-1083 (1980).

van Houten, M. & Posner, B. I. Insulin binds to brain blood vessels in vivo. Nature 282, 623-625 (1979).

Bergeron, J. J., Cruz, J., Khan, M. N. & Posner, B. I. Uptake of insulin and other ligands into receptor-rich endocytic components of target cells: the endosomal apparatus. Annu Rev Physiol 47, 383-403 (1985).

Posner, B. I. et al. Peroxovanadium compounds. A new class of potent phosphotyrosine phosphatase inhibitors which are insulin mimetics. The Journal of biological chemistry 269, 4596-4604 (1994).

Sladek, R. et al. A genome-wide association study identifies novel risk loci for type 2 diabetes. Nature 445, 881-885 (2007).

PubMed Publications – B.I. Posner


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