Theses

2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008

2017


2016

Doctoral

The effects of RYR2 gene deletion on cardiac function and metabolism

Analysis of transcriptional targets of Sox9 during embryonic heart valve development reveals a critical network of transcription factors

Caveolin-1 and membrane domain regulation of focal adhesions and tumor cell migration
Molecular mechanism of cyclic nucleotide action on HCN pacemaker channels
Bi-directional gap junction-mediated soma-germline communication during Drosophila spermatogenesis
Effects of insulin gene dosage on murine obesity and lifespan
Examining the role of Myt3 in beta-cell function and survival
Class 5 semaphorins mediate synapse elimination and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity in hippocampal neurons
Xu, Eric Eryue
The roles of SOX4 and MED15 in the development and maintenance of pancreatic β-cells

Masters

Development of methodology for genome editing in Xenopus laevis using CRISPR/Cas9, targeting the rhodopsin gene
Elucidating the role of cell to extracellular matrix adhesion in regulating tissue mechanics during development
Maintenance of transcription factor networks in mature neurons
Elucidating how protein turnover in cell-ECM adhesion stabilizes tissue structure during development
Elucidating the role of integrin-mediated adhesion during animal morphogenesis
Expression and function of APELA : a potential regulator of cell growth in human cancers


2015

Doctoral

The role of the gap junction protein connexin43 in glioma migration and invasion
Modulation of insulin signalling and calcium homeostasis by endosomes in pancreatic beta-cells
Cis-regulatory integration of intrinsic and target-dependent regulators is required for terminal differentiation of Drosophila neurons
Unraveling the role of Gp78/AMFR : an E3 ubiquitin ligase and cell surface receptor, in cancer progression
Mapping structural rearrangements in single cells by template strand sequencing to explore inversions in the human genome
The Na/K ATPase pump, a signaling switch between life and death

Masters

Behavioural investigation of normal and mutant human presenilin functions in caenorhabditis elegans

 

Intracellular trafficking of a model polytopic membrane protein in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

 

Caloric restriction in the context of reduced insulin

 

ANALYSIS OF THE ROLE OF TALIN AS A MECHANOSENSOR AT THE CELL ADHESIONS TO THE EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX IN DROSOPHILA MELANOGASTER

 

The identification of new mediators of soma-germline interactions in the Drosophila melanogaster testis

 

THE ROLE OF THE TYROSINES IN THE CARBOXYL TAIL OF CONNEXIN43 IN REGULATING CYTOSKELETAL REARRANGEMENTS IN B-LYMPHOCYTES

 

Bcl-xL protects pancreatic beta-cells from high glucose-induced failure by dampening mitochondrial metabolism

 

Brain lipid binding protein expression in remyelinating Schwann cells of the spinal cord in multiple sclerosis

 

Pre-malignant transformation of normal mammary epithelial cells comprises tensional homeostasis at cell-cell junctions

 

Identification of cytokine induced changes to the pancreatic islet epigenome

 

Role and regulation of Gp78 E3 ubiquitin ligase and its ligand autocrine motility factor in mitochondrial dynamics and mitochondria-endoplasmic reticulum association

 

2014

Doctoral

Modulation of insulin signalling and calcium homeostasis by endosomes in pancreatic beta-cells
Dr. Albrecht’s research addressed the mechanisms behind the development of Diabetes. He showed that endosomes of the beta-cell can direct insulin signaling and contribute to the regulation of cellular calcium content. Understanding these processes helps to develop therapeutics directed towards the treatment of Diabetes.
The role of the gap junction protein connexin43 in glioma migration and invasion
Dr. Aftab studied ways in which a protein that mediates cell-to-cell communication influences the migration of brain cancer cells. She showed that reducing cell-to-cell communication increases the rate and pattern of brain cancer cell migration. Since migration of these cells created a barrier to treatment, her finding may lead to improved therapies.
Unraveling the role of Gp78/AMFR, an E3 ubiquitin ligase and cell surface receptor, in cancer progression
Dr. Li identified a novel phosphorylation site on a protein, Gp78, that , in response to cellular stress signaling, regulates its ability to degrade various proteins, including itself and a cancer suppressor. These studies further our understanding of Gp78’s function in cancer progression and metastasis.
Effects of insulin gene dosage on body weight and glucose homeostasis
Dr. Mehran was able to show for the first time and conclusively that high fat diet induced hyperinsulimenia is required for diet induced obesity. Dr. Mehran was also able to irrefutably show that mammalian neurons do express insulin. Before this work, these phenomena were highly debated topics but never proven.
Dynamic distribution of ryanodine receptors in cardiac muscles
Dr. Asghari examined the distribution and function of Ryanodine Receptors, which are calcium channels in heart muscles. Her work provided a new mechanism by which the contraction of heart may be regulated. These findings might open up new avenues to heart disease therapies.
Dimorphic differentiation of female-specific neuronal populations and behavior in Drosophila
Dr. Castellanos studied how differences in the brains of females and males are generated. By studying Drosophila, she found that making a female versus a male brain requires distinct sex-specific genetic mechanisms. Her studies unveil unexpected complexity in the genetic mechanisms that generate sex differences in the brain.
The metabolic effects of leptin therapy in a mouse model of type 1 diabetes
Dr. Denroche studied the hormone Leptin as a treatment to lower blood sugar in a mouse model of Type 1 diabetes. Her work revealed some of the potential benefits and limitations of Leptin as an alternate or adjunct therapy to insulin for Type 1 diabetes. This research helped to uncover the molecular mechanism behind the anti-diabetic actions of Leptin.
A transcription factor guided approach to the generation of pancreatic endocrine-like cells from stem cells
Dr. Gage examined how human stem cells can be coaxed to form pancreatic cells that make hormones such as insulin. His studies describe how simple and complex cues influence which hormone a pancreatic cell chooses to take. This work helps build a roadmap of human stem cell development which may lead to new stem cell-based therapies for Diabetes.

 

Analysis of WNT5A function in development and disease using the chicken model
A hallmark of diabetes is the loss of insulin producing beta-cells in the pancreas. Dr. Yang discovered and characterized novel factors that promote the survival of beta-cells under conditions found in diabetic patients. Her studies have important implications for the development of novel therapies for the treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

 

Identification and characterization of pancreatic beta-cell survival factors
Dr. Hosseini-Farahabadi discovered the important roles of a secreted protein called Wint5a [WINT-5-A] during normal beak development in chickens. She showed how changes in the amount of the protein in chickens can cause facial defects, such as loss o skeletal tissues. The findings of this study can benefit biological science and clinical studies.

 

Cytoskeletal control of B cell receptor dynamics and signaling
Dr. Freeman collaborated on projects with the University of Calgary and the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto to understand how cells interact and interpret their surroundings. His work uncovered mechanisms that control thresholds for cellular responses in normal and cancer cells. These findings will inform vaccine design and cancer therapies.

 

The role of talin, a master regulator of integrin-dependent morphogenesis, in the Drosophila embryo.
Dr. Ellis studied how cells interact with their environment to form tissues and organs during animal development. Her work characterized molecular mechanisms that ensure each cell is in the right place at the right time. Her findings have implications for our understanding of how tissues form, and how these processes may be altered during disease.

Master’s

Intracellular trafficking of a model polytopic membrane protein in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

 

The role of the tyrosines in the carboxyl tail of connexin43 in regulating cytoskeletal rearrangements in B-Lymphocytes

 

Bcl-xL protects pancreatic beta-cells from high glucose-induced failure by dampening mitochondrial metabolism

 

Caloric restriction in the context of reduced insulin

 

The identification of new mediators of soma-germline interactions in the Drosophila melanogaster testis

 

Analysis of the role of talin as a mechanosensor at the cell adhesions to the extracellular matrix in Drosophila melanogaster

 

Analysis of Hic1-expressing cells in the murine pancreas and their role in tissue regulation and regeneration

 

The Role of the p75 neurotrophin receptor in regulating oligodendrocyte progenitor cell differentiation

 

The role of interactions between 4N1K and CD47 on integrin activation and integrin-mediated cell adhesion

 

In vivo activation of the endoplasmic reticulum unfolded protein response without disturbed proteostasis

 

Factors contributing to altered insulin levels of PWD/PhJ and WSB/EiJ wild-derived inbred mice

2013

Doctoral

Lipids as pH biosensors
Dr. Shin uncovered a new mechanism of lipid-mediated signal transduction where certain signaling lipids are capable of sensing changes in intracellular pH. These findings increase our fundamental understanding of how cells regulate their many cellular processes.

 

Characterization of embryonic muscle migration in Caenorhabditis elegans and of the role of unc-54 and mem-1 in inhibiting ectopic muscle membrane extensions.
Dr. Viveiros used Caenorhabditis elegans as a model to study how muscle cells migrate and organize during embryogenesis. His studies identified a number of well-conserved components involved in regulating these processes. His work may aid further research into mammalian muscle morphogenesis and regeneration.

 

The endoplasmic reticulum diffusion barrier and inter-organelle contact sites
Dr. Chao studied cell biology in budding yeast. His research discovered how the cell orchestrates the events in cell division by restricting the diffusion of membrane proteins between the mother and daughter cells. His research contributes to understanding the spatial regulation of proteins and their diverse activities in eukaryotic cells.

 

Endoplasmic reticulum membrane contact sites : roles in phospholipid synthesis and cell polarity

 

ECM-receptor interactions regulate the distribution of Kir4.1 and AQP4 channels in renal tubules and at the blood-brain barrier
Dr. Tham’s research identified the processes involved in establishing certain aspects of the structure of the kidney and of the brain. His findings may lead to the discovery of novel treatments for some diseases, including the abormal accumulations of water in the brain tissue that may occur following a stroke.

 

ECM-receptor interactions regulate the distribution of Kir4.1 and AQP4 channels in renal tubules and at the blood-brain barrier
Dr. Young investigated reproductive processes at the cellular level. Her work involved the development of a technique that prevents sperm cells from reaching maturation. This research contributes to our understanding of cell to cell interactions in general and may provide insight into certain types of male infertility.

Master’s

A kinetic model for the HCN2 ion channel

 

Pro-apoptotic bax and bak control beta-cell death and early endoplasmic reticulum stress signalling

 

In vivo investigation of talin, tensin, and integrin-linked kinase dynamics at stable cell-extracellular matrix adhesions

 

Modulation of habituation kinetics and behavioural shifts by members of the heterotrimeric G-protein signaling pathways

 

A systematic analysis of the role of the cytoskeleton in Drosophila melanogaster muscle maintenance

 

The role of fibroblast phenotype and pericellular matrix in wound healing

 

Tubulobulbar complexes contribute to basal junction remodeling in the rat seminiferous epithelium

2012

Doctoral

Functional analysis of Pannexin 3 during mammalian and avian osteogenesis, and the physiology of Pannexin 1 ohnologs in teleost fish
Dr. Bond studied the evolution, regulation, and function of the cell membrane proteins known as Pannexins. This work advances our basic understanding of the origins of these proteins and what they do at the molecular level. The research identified a relationship between Pannexin 3 and normal fetal bone development.

 

Insight into ER quality control mechanisms : novel characterization of the E3 ubiquitin ligase gp78/autocrine motility factor receptor and the Gs subunit in the ER
Dr. Fairbank studied the ways in which cells protect themselves against stress and death. She investigated the role of a particular protein known as gp78, and examined previously unknown ways in which groups of proteins known as G proteins interact. This research deepens our understanding of the complex biology of cell survival and adaptation.

 

Subsets of developmental transcription networks maintain cellular subtype identity in the mature nervous system
Dr. Eade used the fruit fly as a model in order to develop a method of disrupting the function of genes in the adult brain. He discovered a distinct mechanism that regulates genes and maintains the function and identity of brain cells throughout life. This work has implications for the treatment of age-related degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.

Master’s

A chemical genetics strategy exposes novel modulators of chondrogenesis that act by blocking a potassium channel, Kcnd2, & reveals a potential role for potassium channels in limb development

 

Regulation of primary, immortalized, and metatstatic human pancreatic ductal cells by insulin

 

Characterization of Protocadherin-21 in photoreceptor disk synthesis

 

The role of connexin 43 in B cell receptor signaling and the high throughput screen for novel B cell receptor signaling inhibitors

2011

Doctoral

Coordinating differentiation with behavioral output of the CCAP-neuron network in Drosophila melanogaster.
Dr. Veverytsa studied nerve cell development in the brain. She discovered a novel timing mechanism that is built into some neurons to trigger their functional maturation at a specific time to change the brain circuit in which they operate. This has profound implications for understanding mental disorders such as schizophrenia.

Master’s

The role of caveolin-1 phosphorylation in AQP4 membrane expression in a model of oxidative stress in primary astrocyte cultures

 

The role of endogenous retinoic acid in jaw development

 

Enhancing corticospinal tract neurite outgrowth using histone deacetylase inhibitors

 

Marine invertebrate and bacterial extract library screens for novel modulators of the glucagon-like peptide-1 and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide receptors

2010

Doctoral

The role of pannexins, a novel gap junction family, in glioma oncogenicity and neuronal differentiation
Dr. Lai investigated the roles of a novel protein family responsible for cell-to-cell communication in the central nervous system. His work led to the first description of how this protein family enhances neuronal maturation, as well as how it suppresses tumour growth in brain cancer.

 

The function of connexin43 in neuronal migration and cortical development
Dr. Cina investigated the role of a certain protein isoform of a family of proteins responsible for communication between neighboring cells in brain development. She showed that the protein is required in directing neuronal migration in the mouse brain. This research has implications for understanding the spectrum of human neuronal migration disorders.

Master’s

Analysis of integrin turnover in Drosophila myotendinous junctions

 

Understanding the spatial and functional relationship between cadherins and neuroligins at synapses

 

Molecular and cellular characterization of the CYP26b1-null limb phenotype

2009

Master’s

The role of tyrosine phosphorylated caveolin-1 in regulating focal adhesion dynamics and cancer cell migration

 

CIS-regulatory integration of intrinsic transcription factors with target-derived signals in neuronal differentiation

 

Role of endoplasmic reticulum calcium stores in beta-cell ER stress and lipotoxicity

2008

Doctoral

Modeling mammary epithelial cell polarization and the role of podocalyxin in breast tumor progression
Dr. Graves studied how normal and cancerous cells in the breast are organized. She showed that high levels of the molecule podocalyxin, which correlates with poor outcome in cancer patients, alters breast tumor cell shape, and aids their growth and motility. Thus, podocalyxin may act at a critical stage when breast tumors become metastatic.

Master’s

The Na⁺/H⁺ exchanger NHE1 plays a permissive role in regulating early neurite morphogenesis

 

The putative role of matrix metalloproteinase 13 and oncostatin M in the establishment of bone metastases