Étudiant-chercheur étoile May 2013

Brandon Faubert

PhD student in Physiology
McGill University

Award-winning publication: AMPK Is a Negative Regulator of the Warburg Effect and Suppresses Tumor Growth In Vivo

Published in: Cell Metabolism, 17(1):113-24.


"Cancer is a disease of unregulated cell growth. In order for cancer cells to grow quickly, they need both energy and nutrients. In my study, I showed that the adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) acts on the development and progression of cancer. This protein acts as an energy fuel gauge, controlling energetic processes to promote cell survival. I found that mice lacking AMPK develop tumours faster, suggesting that this protein is a key ingredient for keeping tumour development in check for some types of cancer. This information therefore allows us to extrapolate that the activation of AMPK may prove beneficial in slowing cancer growth."

Brandon Faubert's research involves examining how cancer cells use nutrients and resources to support their growth. Better understanding these mechanisms will hopefully help target how cancer cells fuel themselves in an effort to utilize more personalized approaches to the treatment of cancer. Additionally, AMPK is one of the proteins responsible for the effect of Metformin, a widely-prescribed diabetes drug that is now being investigated for its role in cancer treatment. This study, along with others, may explain why Metformin may work as a new cancer treatment.