Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Dr Jean-François Trempe obtained a D.Phil. in Biochemistry at the University of Oxford in 2007. His postdoctoral years were spent at McGill University in the department of Biochemistry (2007-2010) and at the Montreal Neurological Institute (2010-2013). He joined the department of Pharmacology in August 2013.
Research Focus: Parkin's disease and PINK1
My research interests are in the structure and function of proteins implicated in Parkinson’s disease, Parkin and PINK1 in particular. These proteins have been shown to mediate neuroprotection and mitochondrial maintenance through their enzymatic activities and post-translational modifications (PTMs): Parkin is an E3 ubiquitin ligase and PINK1 is a Ser/Thr kinase. My goals are to: 1) elucidate the composition and 3D structure of molecular complexes formed by Parkin and PINK1 on mitochondria, 2) develop novel therapies for PD based on these structures. My group will use the full range of structural biology tools available at McGill, such as X-ray crystallography, NMR spectroscopy, SAXS, electron microscopy and mass spectrometry, in order to obtain the most complete and highest resolution picture of complexes formed by PINK1 and Parkin. These structures will inform us on how these enzymes become active and modify their substrates, and will guide the development of novel pharmacological targets.