Research Areas


Research areas include cancer genomics, personalized medicine, comparative analyses, model organism, and microbial genomics and bioinformatics. Integrated genomics, bioinformatics, and systems biology approaches are developed and used. Several MBB faculty have joint appointments at the renowned Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre.

Cell and Development Biology

Molecular genetic approaches are applied to the cell and developmental biology of model systems. Our interests cover a broad range of topics, including signal transduction, cilia, morphogenesis, cell death and autophagy, cytoskeleton, gene expression, cell division and polarity.

Structural Biology

 X-ray crystallography, electron cryomicroscopy, computational modeling and proteomics tools are used to investigate bacterial secretion and pilus assembly systems, viral proteases and eukaryotic proteins involved in programmed cell death.

Nucleic Acid Function

Biochemical, spectroscopic, and electrochemical methods are used to investigate the fundamental properties of DNA and RNA. Catalytic RNAs and DNAs are a major interest, as is the biology of newly discovered non-coding RNAs; DNA- and RNA- based biochemical switches and probes; biosensors for disease marker detection, and the use of DNA in electronic nano-circuitry.


Research mainly focuses on understanding how the immune system responds to infection by human immunodeficiency virus and selected bacterial pathogens, and how it causes the rejection of transplanted organs. Studies routinely utilize molecular, biochemical, cell culture, and animal models.