Marc D. McKee

Academic title(s): 

Professor, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology

Professor, Faculty of Dental Medicine and Oral Health Sciences

Canada Research Chair in Biomineralization

Marc D. McKee
Contact Information
Email address: 
marc.mckee [at]
514-398-4400 ext. 00041
Anatomy and Cell Biology
Bone Disease
Cell and Molecular Biology

PhD - McGill University, Cell Biology

Postdoctoral Fellowship - Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Harvard University & The Children's Hospital in Boston


Marc McKee is a full professor at McGill University in Montreal with a joint appointment in the Faculty of Dental Medicine and Oral Health Sciences, and in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology).  He holds the Canada Research Chair in Biomineralization.  He received his B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from McGill University in cell biology, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Harvard University and The Children's Hospital in Boston.  He then held academic appointments at the Forsyth Institute in Boston (1989), and at the University of Montreal (1990), after which he moved to McGill University in 1998.

McKee has received the following distinctions: 

  • 2019  Adele L. Boskey AwardEsteemed Award from the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research
  • 2018  CP Leblond Award, Quebec provincial health research funding agency (FRQ-S) Network for Oral and Bone Health Research
  • 2018  Canada Research Chair in Biomineralization (Tier 1)Government of Canada CRC Chair Program
  • 2008  Faculty of Medicine Honour List for Educational ExcellenceMcGill University
  • 2006  James McGill ProfessorMcGill University Internal Chair Program
  • 2005  Faculty of Dentistry Howard S. Katz Award for Excellence in TeachingMcGill University
  • 2003  Basic Research in Biological Mineralization AwardDistinguished Scientist Award from the International Association for Dental Research
  • 2001  William Dawson ScholarMcGill University Internal Chair Program
  • 1996  Young Investigator AwardDistinguished Scientist Award from the International Association for Dental Research
  • 1996  Quebec Science (popular magazine) "Top-Ten" Discoveries of the Year, Role of osteopontin in mineralized tissues
  • 1994  Quebec Science (popular magazine) "Top-Ten" Discoveries of the Year, Bioactive coating for titanium implants
Current research: 

Research in my laboratory is primarily focused on mineralization (calcification) in extracellular matrices of bones and teeth, in mineralization pathologies, and in other biomineralizing systems such as inner-ear otoconia and eggshells.  In particular, we are investigating the role of mineral-binding proteins, peptides, amino acids and other small molecules in crystal growth during normal hard-tissue mineralization, and in rare hypomineralization (osteomalacia) diseases of bones and teeth such as X-linked hypophosphatemia and hypophosphatasia. We also investigate how enzymes modify these factors to influence their mineralization-regulating activities.  Our work also includes investigating pathologic circumstances and the actions of regulatory molecules where unwanted and debilitating mineral is deposited in soft tissues such as in the kidney (urolithiasis, kidney stones) and in blood vessels (vascular calcification).  The proteins/enzymes that we are currently focusing on are osteopontin and PHEX.  We also examine extracellular matrix organization and composition at cell- and matrix-matrix interfaces, and we examine the nanostructure of mineralized tissues.  To study these processes, a variety of morphological, biochemical, immunochemical, cell biological and molecular techniques are used which include among others: electron microscopy and tomography, focused-ion beam milling, atomic force microscopy, confocal microscopy, immunocytochemistry, in vivo experimentation using normal and transgenic mice, in vitro cell culture and crystal growth systems, and standard biochemical and chemical assays.

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