Schulich school of Medicine and Dentistry logo Department of Biochemistry Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry

Faculty Research

banner showing research areas of Biochemistry faculty

Our scientists perform high-quality, collaborative research to advance scientific discoveries in cancer biology, vascular biology, neurobiology, stem cells, maternal and fetal health, aging, infection, and development. Our outstanding research environment serves as an excellent training milieu for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as post-doctoral researchers.

See below to explore our research by i) Research Areas or ii) Alphabetical List of Faculty and Their Research.

i) Research Areas

Genome Dynamics, Epigenetics, and Gene Expression

DNA Replication and Repair; Transcription; Mobile DNA

This group focuses on understanding the underlying cellular mechanisms that regulate chromosome structure and function, as well as gene expression, in normal and diseased states. Techniques used include bioinformatics, proteomics, genomics, molecular biology, structural biology, epigenetics, and genetics of model organisms.

Faculty Researcher Research Area
Nathalie Berube ATRX protein
Christopher Brandl Transcriptional regulation in eukaryotic cells
Fred Dick Retinoblastoma protein (pRB)
Gabriel DiMattia Growth factor signalling in ovarian cancer
David Edgell Mobile genetic elements
Gregory Gloor Protein coevolution
Victor Han Fetal, placental, newborn growth/development
David Haniford DNA transposition
Ilka Heinemann RNA turnover and polymerases
Murray Junop DNA repair
Bogumil Karas Synthetic biology, designer microbes, DNA replacement strategies
Hong Ling DNA damage response and regulation
Geoffrey Pickering Smooth muscle cells in vascular disease
Peter Rogan Inherited genetic diseases and cancer
Caroline Schild-Poulter Cellular response to DNA damage
Joseph Torchia

Eukaryotic gene regulation in oncogenesis

Human Genetics and Clinical Biochemistry

Disease-Based Research; Clinical Studies

Scientists in the Human Genetics and Clinical Biochemistry group perform basic research of the molecular causes behind specific human diseases and/or clinical studies involving specific human diseases. This research integrates state-of-the-art molecular technologies and bioinformatics with clinical work, so that basic research discoveries can be translated into effective treatments and cures for patients.

Faculty Researcher Research Area
Nathalie Berube ATRX protein
Fred Dick Retinoblastoma protein (pRB)
Gabriel DiMattia Growth factor signalling in ovarian cancer
Madhulika Gupta Perinatal diseases
Victor Han Fetal, placental, newborn growth/development
Robert Hegele Genetic basis of specific human diseases
Murray Huff Lipoprotein metabolism and atherosclerosis
David O'Gorman Wound healing and Dupuytren's contracture
Geoffrey Pickering Smooth muscle cells in vascular disease
Peter Rogan Inherited genetic diseases and cancer
Anthony Rupar Therapies for metachromatic leukodystrophy
Caroline Schild-Poulter Cellular response to DNA damage
Walter Siqueira Salivary components and biomarkers
Joseph Torchia Eukaryotic gene regulation in oncogenesis
Eva Turley Signalling paths of cell motility and tumour invasion

Signal Transduction and Intracellular Communication

Signalling Pathways

Researchers in the field of Signal Transduction and Intracellular Communication investigate the mechanisms and role of cellular signalling pathways in the regulation of fundamental biological processes. These events include cell proliferation, cell survival, differentiation, and development. This research exploits such techniques as bioinformatics, genomics, proteomics, cellular and molecular biology, structural biology, and transgenic and knockout technologies.

Faculty Researcher Research Area
Fred Dick Retinoblastoma protein (pRB)
Harvey Goldberg Bone proteins
Murray Huff Lipoprotein metabolism and atherosclerosis
Marlys Koschinsky Lipoprotein(a) structure and regulation
Shawn Li Structure, function, connectivity of cellular proteins
Hong Ling DNA damage response and regulation
David Litchfield Signalling events in cell proliferation and survival
Patrick O'Donoghue Synthesis of proteins containing atypical amino acids
David O'Gorman Wound healing and Dupuytren's contracture
Geoffrey Pickering Smooth muscle cells in vascular disease
Gary Shaw Calcium signalling proteins; protein degradation
Eva Turley Signalling paths of cell motility and tumour invasion

Macromolecular Structure and Dynamics

Protein Biochemistry; Structural Biology

Members of the Macromolecular Structure and Dynamics Group study the role that specific proteins and protein systems play in certain diseases, with a focus on understanding protein function at the atomic and molecular levels. This group frequently uses biophysical techniques and conventional molecular biology to determine the 3-D structure, dynamics, and interactions of biomolecules. Methods include NMR spectroscopy, crystallography, proteomics, and mass spectrometry.

Faculty Researcher Research Area
Michael Boffa  Proteolysis in fibrinolysis and cancer
James Choy Intrinsically disordered proteins
Stanley Dunn ATP synthase
Christopher Garnham management of agricultural crop pests
Harvey Goldberg Bone proteins
Robert Hudson Bioorganic chemistry of nucleic acids and peptides
Murray Junop DNA repair
Lars Konermann Protein folding, dynamics, function; biocomputing
Marlys Koschinsky Lipoprotein(a) structure and regulation
Gilles Lajoie Mass spectrometry/proteomics: biomolecules
Shawn Li Structure, function, connectivity of cellular proteins
Hong Ling DNA damage response and regulation
David Litchfield Signalling events in cell proliferation and survival
Patrick O'Donoghue Synthesis of proteins containing atypical amino acids
David O'Gorman Wound healing and Dupuytren's contracture
Gary Shaw Calcium signalling proteins; protein degradation
Brian Shilton Enzyme structure, mechanism, and biological function
Walter Siqueira Salivary components and biomarkers
Ken Yeung Microscale protein analysis

Proteomics

Biomolecular Characterization; Disease-Based Research

This group uses proteomic techniques to understand normal cellular processes and alterations in these processes in diseases such as cancer, fetal disorders, and oral diseases. Through biomolecular identification and characterization, this group aims to develop prognostics, diagnostics, and therapeutics for these diseases.

Faculty Researcher Research Area
Madhulika Gupta Perinatal diseases
Victor Han Fetal, placental, newborn growth/development
Lars Konermann Protein folding, dynamics, function; biocomputing
Gilles Lajoie Mass spectrometry/proteomics: biomolecules
Shawn Li Structure, function, connectivity of cellular proteins
David Litchfield Signalling events in cell proliferation and survival
Walter Siqueira Salivary components and biomarkers
Ken Yeung Microscale protein analysis

Bioinformatics

Disease Prediction; Protein Coevolution; Biocomputing

This group applies bioinformatic approaches to further understanding of biological processes. In addition to computational and information technologies, this group uses genomics, molecular biology, and high-throughput sequencing.

Faculty Researcher Research Area
James Choy Intrinsically disordered proteins
Stanley Dunn ATP synthase
David Edgell Mobile genetic elements
Gregory Gloor Protein coevolution
Bogumil Karas Synthetic biology, designer microbes, DNA replacement strategies
Gilles Lajoie Mass spectrometry/proteomics: biomolecules
Shawn Li Structure, function, connectivity of cellular proteins
Patrick O'Donoghue Synthesis of proteins containing atypical amino acids
Peter Rogan Inherited genetic diseases and cancer

ii) Alphabetical List of Faculty and Their Research

Nathalie Berube
   - ATRX protein
Michael Boffa
   - proteolysis in fibrinolysis and cancer
Christopher Brandl
   - transcriptional regulation in eukaryotic cells
James Choy
   - intrinsically disordered proteins
Fred Dick
  - retinoblastoma protein (pRB)
Gabriel DiMattia
   - growth factor signalling in ovarian cancer
Stanley Dunn
   - ATP synthase
David Edgell
   - mobile genetic elements
Christopher Garnham
   - management of agricultural crop pests
Gregory Gloor
   - protein coevolution
Harvey Goldberg
   - bone proteins
Madhulika Gupta
   - perinatal diseases
Victor Han
   - fetal, placental, newborn growth/development
David Haniford
   - DNA transposition
Robert Hegele
   - genetic basis of specific human diseases
Ilka Heinemann
   - RNA turnover and polymerases
Robert Hudson
   - bioorganic chemistry of nucleic acids & peptides
Murray Huff
   - lipoprotein metabolism and atherosclerosis
Murray Junop
   - DNA repair
Bogumil Karas
- Synthetic biology, designer microbes, DNA replacement strategies

Lars Konermann
   - protein folding, dynamics, function; biocomputing
Marlys Koschinsky
   -
Lipoprotein(a) structure and regulation
Gilles Lajoie
   - mass spectrometry/proteomics: biomolecules
Shawn Li
   - structure, function, connectivity of cellular proteins
Hong Ling
   - DNA damage response and regulation 
David Litchfield
   - signalling events in cell proliferation and survival
Patrick O'Donoghue
   - synthesis of proteins with atypical amino acids
David O'Gorman
   - wound healing and Dupuytren's contracture
Geoffrey Pickering
   - smooth muscle cells in vascular disease 
Peter Rogan
   - inherited genetic diseases and cancer
Anthony Rupar
   - therapies for metachromatic leukodystrophy
Caroline Schild-Poulter
   - cellular response to DNA damage
Gary Shaw
   - calcium signalling proteins; protein degradation
Brian Shilton
   - enzyme structure, mechanism, biological function 
Walter Siqueira
   - salivary components and biomarkers
Joseph Torchia
   - eukaryotic gene regulation in oncogenesis
Eva Turley
   - signalling paths of cell motility and tumour invasion
Ken Yeung
   - microscale protein analysis