Institut de recherche du Centre universitaire de santé McGill
Domaine : cancer
Programme chercheurs-boursiers - Senior
The etiology of many human diseases is the breakdown of normal cellular functions. The research program in my lab comprises projects studying two essential cellular functions, signal transduction and vesicular trafficking. Signal transduction is the process by which the cell senses its environment and relays these signals from the cell surface to the cell interior. These signals can direct many cellular processes such as cell division or migration. Inappropriate regulation of signal transduction is often the cause of many types of cancer. Vesicular trafficking is integral to many aspects of cellular function including turning off signal transduction pathways. Beyond signal transduction, defects in vesicular trafficking can result in neurodegenerative diseases, lipid storage diseases and diabetes to name a few.
My lab uses the nematode worm, Caenorhabditis elegans, as a model organism to study signal transduction and vesicular trafficking. Many of the signal transduction and vesicular trafficking pathways that are important for human health are also important for normal development and cellular physiology in C. elegans. Therefore we can use the simple genetics available in C. elegans to identify and characterize genes important for signal transduction and vesicular trafficking in the context of the whole organism. Findings made in C. elegans can then be translated to humans for the development of pharmaceuticals to treat disease and improve human health.