Cancer metastasis pathways
My research program is investigating paracrine signaling pathways linked to mast cell activation, systemic mastocytosis and cancer metastasis. Of particular interest are discovering the molecular mechanisms controlling cell motility and invasion in mast cells and cancer cells. We employ RNA interference, cell biology, transgenic mouse models, and tumor xenografting in the course of these studies. We have research ongoing to study functions of kinases and adaptor proteins targeted to membranes via their F-BAR domains in mast cells and cancer cell models. These projects will help define how F-BAR proteins contribute to the dynamic control of membranes via regulating actin assembly and other pathways.
Biosketch: My training commenced at Queen's University (B.Sc.Honours Biochemisty, 1993, with distinction), and continued as a graduate student in Dr. Sonenberg’s lab at McGill University where I studied regulation of mRNA translation (Ph.D, 1998, McLaughlin Thesis award). I returned to Queen’s University for a post-doctoral fellowship with Dr. Peter Greer in the Cancer Research Labs ('98-02; CIHR PDF and Senior Research Fellowship), where I helped develop and characterize transgenic mice lacking Fer protein-tyrosine kinase activity. Studies of Fer-deficient mice have provided new insights into the role of Fer kinase in inflammation, growth factor signaling in fibroblasts, and regulation of mast cell activation and migration. I was appointed to a faculty position in Biochemistry at Queen’s in July 2002 (CIHR New Investigator award) and have mentored 13 former trainees(4 PDF, 3 PhD, 6 MSc). The lab currently consists of 1 PDF, 3 PhD students, 2 MSc students, and a research technician.