Jonathan Choy

Molecular Biology & Biochemistry

Areas of interest

T Cell Biology
T cells are specialized cells of the immune system that protect host organisms from infection but that also contribute to a wide array of human diseases. Research in my laboratory is focused on understanding the mechanisms by which T cells become inappropriately activated in disease settings and how they cause organ damage. We have provided particular attention to how innate immune signals, such as cytokines secreted by innate immune cells and vascular cells, control the outcome of T cell responses. Within this context, processes that inhibit the activation of T cells are also being studied in order to potentially prevent disease-causing immune responses. Our studies on this topic are applied most directly to inflammatory vascular diseases, such as transplant arteriosclerosis and giant cell arteritis.

Nitric Oxide Signaling and Production
Nitric oxide (NO) is a bioactive gas that controls many cell biological responses. Dysregulation of its production and/or bioactivity is involved in many diseases. My laboratory is interested in understanding how NO effects cell signaling and how its production is controlled by NO synthases. We are specifically interested in how NO-mediated protein S-nitrosylation, a post-translational modification caused by NO, affects cell signaling pathways and cellular functions.


  • B.Sc., Simon Fraser University 
  • Ph.D., University of British Columbia

Selected Publications

  • Manku S, Wong W, Luo Z, Alabdurubalnabi Z, Seidman MA, Rey KEnns W, Avina-Zubieta JA, Shojania K, Choy JC.  (2018) IL-6 expression is correlated with increased T cell proliferation and survival in the arterial wall in giant cell arteritis. Cardiovasc Pathol, 33:55-61
  • Rey KManku SEnns W, Van Rossum T, Bushell K, Morin RD, Brinkman FSL, Choy JC.  (2018) Disruption of the gut microbiota with antibiotics exacerbates acute vascular rejection.  Transplantation, 102(7):1085-1095
  • von Rossum ARey KEnns WManku S, Cheema RMacEwan GEChoy JC.  (2016)  Graft-derived IL-6 amplifies proliferation and survival of effector T cells that drive alloimmune-mediated vascular rejection.  Transplantation, 100(11):2332-2341
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Important Notice

There are openings in the laboratory for motivated PhD students. Interested individuals should contact Dr. Choy with a cover letter outlining their interest in the program, CV, and copy of transcript.


Future courses may be subject to change.