Liliana Attisano, PhD
Department of Biochemistry, Donnelly Center at the University of Toronto
Tier I CRC Chair (renewed) in Signalling Networks in Cancer
The primary research focus of Dr. Attisano's laboratory is the investigation of how disruptions in signaling pathways, including TGFbeta, Wnt and Hippo contribute to human disease. She developed and implemented an integrated high-throughput screening approach to uncover novel signaling pathway components that included both physical and functional screens and most recently imaging-based assays to examine alterations in subcellular protein localization. Her work has provided seminal observations on molecular aspects and developmental functions of TGFB, Wnt, and more recently imaging-bases assays to examine alterations in subcellular protein localization. Her work has provided seminal observations on mutations in these pathways contribute to human disease. Most recently, Dr. Attisano's lab has established a highly efficient cerebral organoid production pipeline and is investigating how gene perturbations alter tissue organization and function using live-cell imaging of ex vivo organoids. Her work is published in top scientific journals and includes 96 publications, cited 24513 times (h-index 64).
Jean Martin Beaulieu, PhD
Psychiatry and Neurosciences
Dr. Beaulieu received a PhD in Neurological Sciences from McGill University and completed his post-doctoral training at Duke University. Prior to his recruitment Dr. Beaulieu was an associate professor and Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in the department of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at Laval University.
Dr. Beaulieu's research is aimed at understanding how cellular and molecular mechanisms regulated by psychoactive drugs intersect with genetic risk factors for mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, depression, and bipolar disorder. Dr. Beaulieu has pioneered work establishing a role for Beta-arrestin signaling in the brain in vivo and has established its importance in D2 dopamine receptors (D2R) functions. These receptors belong to the super-family of G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR), the major molecular target for drug development. In particular, D2R are the main pharmacological target of antipsychotic drugs prescribed for schizophrenia and bipolar disorders. Work by the Beaulieu Lab has demonstrated that mood stabilizer drugs (e.g. lithium) used for framework to understand how different drug classes can engage overlapping cellular mechanisms to exert their action. The Beaulieu group is presently investigating how the cell surface express proteins that can act as allosteric modulators of D2R signaling and explores the potential usefulness of beta-arrestins for the development of new pharmaceutical agents.
Jeff Wrana PhD, FRSC
Senior Investigator at the Lunenfeld-Tannenbaum Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital
Professor, Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto
Dr. Wrana's research interests lie in underrstanding cell fate choice in development and cancer with a focus on morphogen signalling networks. his work uncovered the TGFB-Smad signalling pathway and more recently a key network that integrates Hippo, TGFB and WNT during tissue regeneration and cancer initiation. He currently co-directs the Network Biology Cancer Centre at LTRI where he is interested in high throughput interrogation of diverse biological systems of importance to human health and disease. He has won numerous awards for his work including the Gertrude Elion prize from the American Association of Cancer Research, the Paul Marks prize from Memorial Sloan Kettering (NY) and the Ontario Premier Summit award and QEII medal from the Prime Minister of Canada