The toxic metal cadmium induces “ruffling” of actin filaments (red) in areas of a renal mesangial cell where gelsolin (green) colocalizes with the filaments to produce the yellow colour.
The toxic metal cadmium induces “ruffling” of actin filaments (red) in areas of a renal mesangial cell where gelsolin (green) colocalizes with the filaments to produce the yellow colour.
Courtesy of M. Apostolova, T. Christova & D.M. Templeton

Metabolism & Nutrition

Metabolism & Nutrition encompasses the molecular basis of biological processes as they relate to endocrine, reproductive, metabolic and nutritional disorders. Our researchers study the mechanisms in diabetes, endocrine function and dyslipidemias. Others are investigating the role of nutrients and of toxic substances such as metals in our environment. The effects of hormones on tissues such as the thyroid, bone, and reproductive organs are also included in this area of research. Experimental approaches include investigations of gene structure and function, cell signaling, transcriptional regulation, metabolomics, mouse genetics and animal physiology.

Faculty members are involved in innovative clinical and basic research that focuses on:

  • the pathogenesis of obesity and Type II diabetes
  • identification of autoimmune markers and mediators of Type I diabetes
  • pancreatic stem cells and islet transplantation
  • metabolic disorders of blood lipids that lead to hypercholesterolemia and dyslipidemia
  • insight into metabolic factors that contribute to bone loss, osteoporosis and renal failure
  • endocrine derangements that accompany conditions of the thyroid, pituitary and reproductive glands

Faculty Involved in Metabolism & Nutrition Research

Khosrow Adeli
Professor

Molecular and cellular biology of lipoprotein metabolism in insulin-resistant states such as obesity and diabetes, and the link with cardiovascular disease.

Assistant Professor
Assistant Professor

My research interest focuses on pharmacokinetics and therapeutic drug monitoring/toxicology with application towards investigating the expression of drugs into breast milk and the risk these drugs may pose to the nursing infant.  

Professor

Our research interests include a wide range of genetic conditions, but our laboratory has a specific focus on genetic and non-genetic contributions to disordered bone and mineral metabolism. 

Professor

Biomarker investigation in subjects with or at risk for diabetes and renal disease.  Basic mechanisms of the lactonase, paraoxonase 1 in atherosclerosis and inflammation. 

Professor

Research in the Drucker lab is focused on understanding the biology of the glucagon-like peptides. Specific projects include physiological analyses of GLP-1 and GLP-2 action, understanding the biology of glucagon action, and elucidation of the functional control of GLP-1, GIP, and GLP-2 action through studies of their respective receptors.

Assistant Professor

(1) Pharmacogenetics
(2) Vitamin D and its genetic determinants                        

Professor

Using a range of molecular, cell biology, animal and clinical approaches my laboratory conducts research into the pathogenesis of diabetes complications with the overriding aim of developing new therapies to prevent and treat them. 

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.

Professor

Our research interests are in the origin and evolution of new gene function focusing on genes that are involved in Diabetes.

Lecturer

My research focuses on genetic metabolic disorders. Currently,  the emphasis is on understanding the pathobiology of Congenital Disorders of Glycosylation as well as developing new methods for the diagnosis of this group of diseases.

Professor

Our laboratory studies the functional role of glycosphingolipids in cell physiology and disease pathology. Abnormal GSL metabolism is associated with many human diseases and major aspects of their metabolism remain undefined.          

Associate Professor

To investigate the mechanistic role of cellular cholestero and lipidsl in the development of diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and cardiovascular diseases using transgenic mouse models

Professor Emeritus / Emerita
Maria Rozakis
Associate Professor

Our research program focuses on molecular networks implicated in cancer and diabetes. We are investigating signaling pathways contributing to tumor initiation, cancer stem cell maintenance and metastatic dissemination of breast cancers. We are also exploring mechanisms governing insulin resistance and pancreatic β-cell replication important for the design of regenerative therapies for  type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Philip Sherman
Professor

Our research activities focus on discovering novel methods to prevent and treat intestinal injury in humans and enhance the quality-of-life and health of Canadians. 

Assistant Professor

Our group is investigating adipose tissue biology - how does adipose tissue grow (fat expansion) and what is the origin of adipocyte (adipocyte precursor cell) by using multiple transgenic mouse model system.

Associate Professor
Professor

Metallic elements play essential roles in normal cell function as enzyme cofactors, redox sensors, and structural elements.  They also include some of the most potent toxic substances in our environment.  We study the cell biology and toxicology of metals, with a current focus on iron and cadmium.

Assistant Professor

My main interest is in Therapeutic Drug Monitoring (TDM) and Clinical Toxicology.  Also interested in Genetic Metabolic Disease, (small molecule disease).  Interested in detection of drugs in overdose cases by chromatographic and immunoassay methods for clinical applications.  Quantitation of Immunosuppressives in blood for TDM.  Development and evaluation of new methods for drug analysis.

Assistant Professor
Professor

Dr. Wong's research interest is in immunodiagnostics, biomarker discovery and metabolism of immunosuppressants.                                                 

Assistant Professor
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.