Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Room 2A10, Health Research Innovation Centre
3330 Hospital Drive, NW
Calgary, AB T2N 4N1
Other Area(s) of Research:
Our research is aimed at understanding how cells grow and multiply. The coordinated regulation of cell growth and proliferation is essential during animal development for controlling organ and organism size, while in cancer deregulated cell growth is often an early event in tumor formation. Our lab uses a combination of molecular, genetic, and proteomic approaches to study cell growth in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. The processes that control cell growth are remarkably similar across different species; for example, in both humans and fruit flies similar genes regulate cell growth and mutations in these genes often lead to cancer. These similarities allow us to use the fruit fly as a simple, yet powerful genetic system to study how these genes control cell growth by affecting ribosome production.
Ribosomes are the cellular organelles that synthesize all of the proteins and enzymes in a cell, including those essential for growth. Abnormal overproduction of ribosomes is often seen in cancer cells, and may contribute to the runaway cell growth that is characteristic of this disease. The broad goal of the our lab is to identify the mechanisms that regulate ribosome synthesis and to determine how this process is targeted by oncogene and tumor supressor signaling pathways. This work should help to determine how the regulation of ribosome production controls cell growth, and may lead to new ways to target cancer cells for therapy.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology