Motivated Grad students interested in pursuing an MSc or PhD degree, starting in the Spring 2021
If you are interested in one of these positions, please contact me by email; make sure to include a brief cover letter and CV, as well as transcripts for the PhD position.
our research interests
Our lab, situated in the department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (MBB) at Simon Fraser University (SFU), seeks to understand how sensory cilia are formed, function, and contribute to human health.
A focus of our studies involves identifying and characterising proteins found within the cilium, an evolutionarily ancient microtubule-based organelle. Using the nematode C. elegans, we study intraflagellar transport, a kinesin- and dynein-dependent transport process necessary for the formation and maintenance of the complex ciliary structure. We also seek to shed light on how the transition zone, a 'ciliary gate' at the base of cilia, regulates the composition and function of the sensory organelle.
Cilia are found in a large proportion of unicellular organisms, and in humans, motile and non-motile (primary) cilia play important roles in moving fluids or sensing the extracellular environment. In multicellular animals, including humans, they perform key roles in physiology and development. As part of our studies, we probe the molecular basis of human disorders that arise from ciliary dysfunction (ciliopathies), including Bardet-Biedl Syndrome and Meckel syndrome. Ciliopathies are characterised by a wide range of ailments, such as blindness, cystic kidney disease, obesity, heart defects, as well as brain and skeletal anomalies.
To learn more, visit the research section.
recent research highlights
Am. J. Hum. Genet. 2020
Discovery of UBR7 as a novel Notch signaling gene associated with a human neurodevelopmental syndrome
Current Biology 2020
Ciliary Tip Signaling Compartment Is Formed and Maintained by Intraflagellar Transport
EFHC1, implicated in juvenile myoclonic epilepsy, functions at the cilium and synapse to modulate dopamine signaling
Cell Reports 2018
Structural and functional characterisation of CDKL family kinases
Nature Review Mol. Cell Biol. 2017
Genes and molecular pathways underpinning ciliopathies
PLoS Biol. 2016
MKS5 and CEP290-directed assembly pathway of the ciliary transition zone
For the full list and abstracts, browse through our publications.
Our lab is home to a multitalented and dynamic group of people with a wide variety of research interests. Information on everyone in the lab and pictures can be found in the team section.
Our research has been generously funded by a variety of Provincial, National and International biomedical and basic science research agencies:
- Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR)
- Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada (HSFC)
- March of Dimes (MOD)
- Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR)
- National Cancer Institute of Canada (NCIC)
- Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)
- Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)
- BC Knowledge Development Fund (BCKDF)
Contact info, directions can be found here
[ page updated Jan. 9, 2021 ]