Montreal Neurological Institute
I am a molecular biologist at McGill University. My laboratory is located in theMontreal Neurological Institute, adjacent to the main McGill campus. Within the Montreal Neurological Institute my lab is part of the Neuromuscular Group, which includes five independent adjacent labs having common interests in the biology and pathology of muscle and nerve. I am affiliated with the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery in McGill's Medical School, and with theBiology Department. Graduate students in my lab are registered either with the Biology Department's Graduate Studies Program, or with theNeurological Sciences Graduate Studies Program.
Immunofluorescence visualization of beta-galactosidase expressed from a TnIfast promoter/enhancer transgene construct (red) and slow myosin (green) in fetal mouse limb skeletal muscle. The TnIfast transgene drives high-level expression specifically in secondary muscle fibers, most of which will mature into adult fast skeletal muscle fibers, but not in primary fibers expressing slow myosin.
I am interested in the development and evolution of the different types of sarcomeric muscle cells in vertebrates, and in the evolution and developmental regulation of the muscle gene families. I have focused most of my attention the troponin I (TnI) gene family as a particularly appropriate molecular subject for these studies.
TnI is a component of the troponin/tropomyosin mechanism that regulates sarcomere contraction in response to changing intracellular Ca++ levels. Higher vertebrates have three TnI genes, one for each of the major specialized striated muscle cell subtypes, i.e., cardiac, fast skeletal muscle, and slow skeletal muscle. The long range goals of my TnI research are to understand 1) the regulatory mechanisms that drive the differential expression of the TnI gene family in higher vertebrates, and 2) the evolutionary history of the TnI gene family within the chordates, including the evolution of the mechanisms that now drive differential expression among living higher vertebrates.
More about my research on TnI gene regulation
More about my research on TnI gene family evolution