More than 3 million Canadians cope with a serious pulmonary disease that can be related to inflammation. Recent reports suggest that with global warming and aging of the population, these numbers are bound to increase further. Inflammation is a central feature of many respiratory diseases. Due to the particular environment of the lung, essential for gas exchange, it is crucial that the immune system is well balanced to respond to the various agents found in the inhaled air without causing damage to the tissues involved in pulmonary functions. If this fine balance is disturbed it can lead on one hand to increase susceptibility to infections like pneumonia or on the other hand to loss of organ functionality as in asthma.

The aim of my research program is to understand the mechanisms of signal transduction regulating inflammation in response to infectious agents, in order to identify key molecules that could be targeted for drug discovery programs to restore a proper balance in the inflammatory response and fight respiratory diseases in children.

Some of the specific research objectives are:

*p38 MAPK, a key marker of inflammation and therapeutic target in asthma
*IL-17-mediated inflammation in severe asthma
*Suppressing oxidative damage in Acute Respiratory Distress Syndromes linked with SARS
-and H5N1 infections
*Pathogen-mediated lung infection in airway epithelial cells
*Preventing inflammation induced by P. aeruginosa biofilms forming on the epithelium of
-Cystic Fibrosis patients.
*Dendritic cells regulation of IL-6 synthesis in response to infections
*Neglected tropical diseases of Latin America: Chagas disease and helminthes infections

Techniques available in the laboratory for the investigations:

Protein biochemistry:
Production and purification of recombinant proteins from bacterial and mammalian cells, Tandem Affinity Purification (TAP) of protein complexes, analysis of protein interactions in vivo and in vitro, Surface Plasmon Resonance, immunoprecipitations, protein kinase assays, SDS-PAGE, 2D-electrophoresis, immunoblotting, ELISA, chromatography (FPLC) and proteomics.

Cellular biology:
Standard cell culture techniques, gene transfer, RNAi, , primary cell culture, air-liquid interface models, cell migration assay, immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy.

Molecular biology:

PCR, RT-PCR, Real time PCR, cloning procedures, DNA/RNA isolation from cells/tissues, , RNA-protein interactions and identification of mRNA bound to targets of proteins (RNA-CHIP).

Click here to see some of the core equipment available in the lab





Meakins-Christie Laboratories and McGill University Health Center - Simon Rousseau's Laboratory Copyright © 2008. All rights reserved.