Organization of sensitive DNA (purple) in young (leftmost) and old nuclei (green).
Organization of sensitive DNA (purple) in young (leftmost) and old nuclei (green).
Courtesy of K. Mekhail

Human Development & Aging

Within this decade, and for the first time in Canada, people under the age of 15 will be outnumbered by people who are 65 and older. In the hopes of discovering interventions that promote health and longevity, our researchers study the molecular and physiological changes that occur during the developmental and aging process. Can we control these processes? Studies conducted in model organisms and in human stem cell models indicate that the answer is yes. Using human, mouse, yeast, and other model systems, investigators study these developmental and aging mechanisms at the molecular/genetic/epigenetic, environmental, and behavioural level. The ultimate goal is to promote healthy longevity and prevent/cure age-related diseases.

Our laboratories investigate:

  • senescence and stem cell aging
  • physiological and premature aging
  • telomeres, telomerase, and related therapeutics
  • Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome and related laminopathies
  • neurodegenerative and cognitive diseases
  • metabolic syndromes
  • musculo-skeletal diseases
  • stroke and cardiovascular disease
  • cancer

Faculty Involved in Human Development & Aging Research

Assistant Professor

Our lab focuses on skin stem cells and using them for skin regeneration studies.  We employ in vitro and in vivo approaches to enlighten the process of wound healing post injury, identify and track the fate of cell(s) that contribute to the healing.  In collaboration with burn surgeon-scientists and chemical engineering scientists, we aim to create a “skin substitute” that can be used for burn patients.

Assistant Professor

Dr. Baltzer is a hand surgeon with a strong interest in hand and wrist arthritis. Specifically she focuses on translational proteomics to investigate systemic and joint-specific biomarkers related to the development and progression of symptomatic osteoarthritis in the hand and wrist.This information has the potential application of understanding disease progression and predicting response to OA treatment based on patient reported outcomes.

Shelley Boyd
Assistant Professor

Our team focuses on the mechanisms and potential treatments of blinding eye disease.  We take a fully integrated translational approach that includes pre-clinical models of disease, biomarker development, and early and late phase clinical trial. 

Professor

Dr. Grynpas laboratory research is focused on: the nature of bone mineral, animal models of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, the effects of drugs and trace elements on bone quality, the determinants of bone fragility and bone fatigue. He is also part of a research group investigating tissue engineering of skeletal tissues.

Assistant Professor

I am a forensic pathologist by training and qualifications.  My primary research area is human body, autopsy of adult and pediatric cases and designing forensic medicine web-based teaching modules.

Professor

Dr. Kandel's clinical expertise is in the diagnosis of soft tissue and bone tumors. Her research interest is in regenerative medicine and the musculoskeletal system and the mechanisms regulating tissue repair.   

Associate Professor

As a perinatal pathologist my research focuses on the placenta and on improving clincopatholgic correlation in diseases of pregnancy. Current and recent studies include correlation of neuropathologic findings with placental pathology in stillbirth, the effect of heparin on the development of the high risk placenta and the clinical and pathologic correlates of distal villous hypoplasia.

Professor

Dr. McGeer primary areas of research interest are the prevention of healthcare associated infection, antimicrobial resistance, the epidemiology of influenza, and adult immunization.

Professor

My research focuses on development of therapeutics to target protein-misfolding disorders, in particular Alzheimer’s disease. Stemming from the basic research of protein-lipid interactions, we identified a family of compounds that inhibit the formation of toxic soluble aggregates in Alzheimer’s disease that has added to our understanding of disease progression and human clinical trials. 

Karim Mekhail
Associate Professor

The ultimate goal of our research group is to chart molecular networks dictating the non-random distribution of DNA in the nucleus and understand how this order maintains genome stability and human health.

Assistant Professor

Dr. Morgen's research focuses on pathologic and laboratory precitors of fetal, obstetrical, and neonatal complications, and as such he collaborates extensively with obstetricians and neonatologists.

Professor

The overarching goal of my research program is to understand the key biological and physiological mechanisms that direct lung development and the impact of preterm birth on this process. The long-term objective is to develop new therapeutic strategies, including lung regeneration, and to improve preventive treatments for very premature infants.

Professor

The major focus of research in my lab is to define mechanisms by which secreted growth factors and their cognate receptors control branching morphogenesis, formation of a contractile ureter, and generation of nephrons. We study these mechanisms using primary kidney cell cultures, tissue explants, transgenic mice and 'knock-out' mice.

Assistant Professor
Assistant Professor

Our laboratory is investigating the molecular pathways directing tissue injury and repair responses in the eye.  Current projects are investigating damage to the inner retina and optic nerve, associated with development of glaucoma, a leading cause of vision loss and blindness.

Professor

Dr. Tenenbaum is interested in the associations between periodontitis and non-oral inflammatory diseases.  He also has an interest in the mechanisms of chronic pain.

Assistant Professor

My lab is interested in understanding novel mechanisms of fibrovascular injury in the kidney, using both cell and animal models of disease, with the goal of using the knowledge gained to develop innovative new therapies for kidney disease.