Currently accepting graduate students & postdoctoral fellows
1. Molecular control of lung epithelial cell fate: I am currently studying the role of cytokine-inducible signaling pathways, including tyrosine and lipid kinases, in activation of transcriptional programs that regulate lung epithelial cell fate. Specifically, we study the role of known and novel transcription factors, as well as putative promoter binding sequences, in human iNOS and Fas transcriptional activation. One major focus in our laboratory is the regulation of ‘signal transducer and activator of transcription-1’ (STAT1), a transcription factor that is required for the control of many apoptosis genes.
We recently discovered that a protein kinase, mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), forms a complex with STAT1 in response to lipopolysaccharide and interferon. Using state-of-the-art techniques to study protein-protein interactions, such as the yeast 2-hybrid system, the protein fragment complementation assay, and affinity purification, I am currently studying the molecular determinants of the mTOR/STAT1 interactions, in addition to defining other proteins in this novel regulatory complex.
2. Abnormal cellular proliferation in lung disease: Lung epithelial or smooth muscle cell apoptosis and proliferation play an important role in the airway injury and remodeling observed in asthma, cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, acute lung injury, and pneumonitides.
We have established mouse models of airways inflammation and translational clinical protocols to study the role of apoptosis, interferon-gamma, mTOR, and STAT1 in vivo and ex vivo. These are especially relevant to tuberous sclerosis complex and lymphangioleiomyomatosis, diseases of excessive mTOR activity and smooth muscle cell proliferation. We also believe similar processes might be important during airways inflammation or lung injury. Pharmacological agents that target these signaling pathways have been characterized, and represent powerful tools to study their contribution to the pathophysiology of lung disease.
RI-MUHC, Block E
1001 Decarie Blvd.
Montreal QC H4A 3J1
Tel: 514-934-1934 Ext. 36015 (lab)
Tel: 514-934-1934 Ext. 35251(office)
Tel: 514-934-1934 Ext. 76172 (admin)
Education & Training
BSc (Physiol hon), McGill, 1988
MDCM, McGill, 1992