Adjunct Associate Professor
Research and teaching
I spent a large part of my scientific research career using C. elegans models of human disease for both drug mechanism-of-action studies as well as drug discovery purposes. Most of my work centered around cancer, neuromuscular and neurological indications. A fairly large and important part of this work focused on mechanism-of-action studies of widely used antidepressants to identify novel pre-validated targets and compounds for the treatment of depression. Chemical and genetic approaches uncovered a pathway that is affected by antidepressants and regulates survival of early neuronal cells under conditions of increased cellular stress (as is likely encountered in specific brain regions of depressed patients). Chemical screening was also used to identify drugs that modulate a specific growth factor signalling pathway involved in the molecular pathology of depression.
One particularly interesting area at the time included the development of high-throughput chemical suppression/enhancement technology (analogous to genetic suppression/enhancement). While large parts of this work were not published it did result in two summary presentations that were given in the Faculty of Medicine (Dept. Biochemstry & Molecular Biology) at the University of Calgary in late 2009.
Managing Partner at FUEL Biomedical Inc. in Calgary.
Affiliations: O’Brien Institute for Public Health