Michel Leroux

Molecular Biology & Biochemistry

Areas of interest

The focus of our studies is to identify and characterise proteins found within the cilium, an evolutionarily ancient microtubule-based organelle found on virtually all human cells. Using the nematode C. elegans, we study intraflagellar transport, a kinesin- and dynein-dependent transport process necessary to form and maintain the complex ciliary structure. We also aim to understand the makeup and function of the transition zone, a ‘gate’ that controls ciliary composition and thus function. Importantly, our biomedical research probes the molecular basis of several human disorders arising from ciliary dysfunction, including Bardet-Biedl Syndrome and Meckel syndrome. Such ‘ciliopathies’ are characterised by a wide range of ailments, such as obesity, kidney and heart anomalies, blindness, skeletal malformations, and neurosensory impairment.


  • B.Sc. in Biochemistry, McGill University
  • Ph.D. in Biochemistry, University of British Columbia

Seletected Publications

  • Reiter JF, Leroux MR. Genes and molecular pathways underpinning ciliopathies. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol, 2017
  • Canning P, Park K, Gonçalves J, Li C, Howard CJ, Sharpe TD, Holt LJ, Pelletier L, Bullock AN, Leroux MR. CDKL Family Kinases Have Evolved Distinct Structural Features and Ciliary Function. Cell Rep, 2018
  • Li C, Jensen VL, Park K, Kennedy J, Garcia-Gonzalo FR, Romani M, De Mori R, Bruel AL, Gaillard D, Doray B, Lopez E, Rivière JB, Faivre L, Thauvin-Robinet C, Reiter JF, Blacque OE, Valente EM, Leroux MR. MKS5 and CEP290 Dependent Assembly Pathway of the Ciliary Transition Zone. PLoS Biol, 2016
  • Jensen VL, Carter S, Sanders AA, Li C, Kennedy J, Timbers TA, Cai J, Scheidel N, Kennedy BN, Morin RD, Leroux MR, Blacque OE. Whole-Organism Developmental Expression Profiling Identifies RAB-28 as a Novel Ciliary GTPase Associated with the BBSome and Intraflagellar Transport. PLoS Genet, 2016
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