Nica Borradaile

Nica Borradaile

Associate Professor, Graduate Program Chair

BSc Western University, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
MSc Western University, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
PhD Western University, Department of Biochemistry
Post-Doctoral Fellowship Washington University St. Louis, School of Medicine, Division of Cardiology

Office:  Dental Sciences Building, Room 2011A 
p. 519.661.2111 x. 82107
f. 519.850.2562


Research Interests and Goals:
Obesity and metabolic syndrome are epidemic in most countries throughout the world, resulting in widespread complications which place significant burdens on our health care systems. Increased blood lipids are characteristic of these metabolic diseases and can lead to excessive lipid accumulation in tissues other than adipose. Through a process termed lipotoxicity, this "ectopic" lipid leads to cell and tissue dysfunction in the liver, heart, blood vessels, skeletal muscle, and pancreas.

The two most common complications of obesity and metabolic syndrome are nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and vascular disease. Research in my lab focuses on understanding the biochemical and molecular pathways involved in liver and vascular responses to excess lipid. We use human hepatocytes, hepatic stellate cells, monocytes and macrophages, and aortic and microvascular endothelial cells grown in monolayer and 3D cultures to study the direct effects of fatty acid exposure on cellular stress responses. We also use these cell culture systems to screen natural compounds for their ability to mitigate lipotoxicity. To study disease processes and potential natural product treatments, we use western style diet-induced mouse models of obesity, NAFLD, and vascular disease.

Undergraduate teaching:
PHARM 3620: Human pharmacology and therapeutic principles (course manager and instructor)
PHYS/PHARM 3000E: Physiology and pharmacology laboratory (instructor)
PHYS/PHARM 4100B: Digestion, metabolism, and metabolic disease (course manager and instructor)
PHYS/PHARM 4980E: Seminar and research project (undergraduate thesis supervisor)

See all my publications on PubMed.

Highlighted Publications
Wilson, R. B., Chen, Y. J., Sutherland, B. G., Sawyez, C. G., Zhang, R., Woolnough, T., Hetherington, A. M., Peters, K. M., Patel, K., Kennelly, J. P., Leonard, K.-A., Schuurman, M., Jacobs, R. L., Wang, R., & Borradaile, N. M. (2020). The marine compound and elongation factor 1A1 inhibitor, didemnin B, provides benefit in western diet-induced non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Pharmacological Research, 161, 105208.

Peters, K. M., Zhang, R., Park, C., Nong, Z., Yin, H., Wilson, R. B., Sutherland, B. G., Sawyez, C. G., Pickering, J. G., & Borradaile, N. M. (2019). Vitamin D intervention does not improve vascular regeneration in diet-induced obese male mice with peripheral ischemia. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 70, 65–74.

Hetherington, A. M., Sawyez, C. G., Zilberman, E., Stoianov, A. M., Robson, D. L., & Borradaile, N. M. (2016). Differential Lipotoxic Effects of Palmitate and Oleate in Activated Human Hepatic Stellate Cells and Epithelial Hepatoma Cells. Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry, 39(4), 1648–1662.

Pang, D. K. T., Nong, Z., Sutherland, B. G., Sawyez, C. G., Robson, D. L., Toma, J., Pickering, J. G., & Borradaile, N. M. (2016). Niacin promotes revascularization and recovery of limb function in diet-induced obese mice with peripheral ischemia. Pharmacology Research & Perspectives, 4(3), e00233.

Stoianov, A. M., Robson, D. L., Hetherington, A. M., Sawyez, C. G., & Borradaile, N. M. (2015). Elongation Factor 1A-1 Is a Mediator of Hepatocyte Lipotoxicity Partly through Its Canonical Function in Protein Synthesis. PLOS ONE, 10(6), e0131269.