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Areas of specialization

Disseminating new knowledge

The Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology is a leading centre for research and education through the dissemination of new knowledge gained from research in the fields of biochemistry and molecular biology, and through the education of students in the theory and practice of these disciplines.

Molecular cell biology and molecular genetics

Research ranges from studies on fundamental aspects of nuclear structure, yeast and mammalian genetics, and chromatin and DNA repair, to the biochemistry of disease states. Mechanisms of tumour growth/apoptosis, invasiveness, metastasis and chemotherapy resistance are studied. Research efforts are also directed toward understanding the biochemical mechanisms underlying obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, as well as the role of chronic inflammation in cancer and metabolic disease.

Specific areas of research

Researcher Research topics
Dellaire, G. Nuclear structure and cancer biology; modelling cancer in zebrafish; chromatin and DNA repair; mechanisms of chemotherapy resistance
Dobson, M. J. Yeast and mammalian molecular genetics
Duncan, R. Membrane protein structure-function and cell-cell fusion
Kienesberger, P. C. Understanding molecular mechanisms of metabolic disorders;  role of lipid metabolism and signalling in the development of obesity and diabetes-related comorbidities
Marignani, P. A. Tumour suppressors; cancer metabolism; signal transduction;  animal models of human disease; drug discovery; whole genome manipulation; stem cell biology
McMaster, C. R. Genetics and chemical genetics to identify drug targets and drugs for unmet medical needs
Ro, H.-S. Role of chronic inflammation in cancer and metabolic diseases
Rosen, K. V. Cancer; cell death; cell signalling
Singer, R. A. Yeast chromatin; membrane dynamics
Too, C. K. L. Polypeptide and steroid hormone action; tumor growth/apoptosis
Waisman, D. M. Mechanisms of tumor growth; invasiveness and metastases

Comparative genomics, proteomics and molecular evolution

Research focuses on genome evolution, endosymbiosis and molecular phylogeny.  Of particular interest are the evolution of microbial eukaryotes, organelles and proteins. Metagenomic approaches to the study of complex natural environments are also employed.

Specific areas of research

Researcher Research topics
Archibald, J. M. Genome evolution; endosymbiosis; molecular phylogeny
Blouin, C. Protein evolution and folding
Doolittle, W. F. Genomics; molecular phylogeny; gene transfer
Gray, M. W. Protist genomics; mitochondria; ribosomes
Liu, P. X.-Q. Intein; protein splicing
Roger, A. J. Genome; organelle and protein evolution
Slamovits, C. H. Molecular biology; evolution of microbial eukaryotes

Structure, function & metabolism of biomolecules

Research focuses on the biochemistry and cell biology of lipids, cholesterol and fatty acids.  Studies in chemical biology focus on the structural, functional and physical characterization of proteins and enzymes. Intein-mediated protein splicing also constitutes a major research interest.

Specific areas of research

Researcher Research topics
Bearne, S. L.   Enzyme catalysis; chemical biology
Byers, D. M. Protein structure and function
Ewart, K. V. Natural bioactive compounds; marine biochemistry
Karten, B. Cholesterol metabolism in the brain
McLeod, R. S. Apolipoprotein B; adiponectin; fatty acids: structure, function
Pulinilkunnil, T. Role of amino acid signaling in cardiac metabolism; lysosomal autophagy and proteotoxicity in metabolic heart disease
Rainey, J. K. Structural biology and biophysical characterization of proteins
Ridgeway, N. D. Cell biology of cholesterol and lipids
van der Spoel, A. C. Genetic metabolic diseases; cell biology of lipids
Wallace, C. J. A. Protein engineering: Cytochrome c