Research

Areas of Research

 

The investigators in the Department of Pathology have continued to maintain and grow their respective research programs. The Department has made major inroads in its plans to enhance our research capacity, capability, productivity and impact. To that effect, the Department has been able to build an enhanced faculty complement (both basic and clinical), a significantly larger and more comprehensive graduate program and a small but very productive research faculty. At a recent retreat, Department members made a commitment to foster growth in research.

The Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry has identified several areas of research excellence including: Cancer; Heart Disease; Vascular Biology and Respiration; Maternal/Fetal, Child and Family Health; Neuroscience and Mental Health; Musculoskeletal Health; and Transplantation, Immunology, Infectious Diseases and Diabetes.  Researchers from the Department of Pathology are active participants in a majority of these areas.

Research in Pathology includes both investigator-driven research, initiated by the core members of the department, and collaborative research with members of other departments. Members of the Department of Pathology are involved with, and key players in almost every signature program of the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. Listed below are a few specific research programs in which the Department of Pathology is playing a major role.

Transplant research
 Research in transplantation (clinical and experimental) is one of our Department’s focus areas, and has demonstrated strong growth during the last year.  Dr. Bertha Garcia is the Director of the core laboratory of the Multi-Organ Transplant Program’s (MOTP) research arm which resides in Pathology. This group of researchers is funded from CIHR, HSFO, MOTP, NIH, and other national and international organizations. Research in this field has been very productive with a large number of publications in high impact journals.

Cancer research
The Department of Pathology has a strong presence in the field of cancer research in both the experimental and clinical areas.  The researchers in this area have received their funding from CIHR, CBCF, ORF and other national and international organizations. Several pathologists are also heavily involved in clinical trials. Department members have produced many high quality publications in basic, clinical and translational aspects of cancer research.

Vascular biology research
 Vascular biology researchers have focused their attention on chronic complications of diabetes, cardiovascular and stem cell research  This research has continued to receive funding from CIHR, CDA and HSFO. Within this research program a close interaction has been established research in signal transduction.

Environmental pathology research
It is now obvious that oxidative stress and its closely related cousin, nitrosative stress, play significant roles in the initiation and/or the progression of many chronic diseases. Pathology has a large number of researchers who are involved in environmental pathology research and has established a graduate program in ecosystem health. The research efforts have received funding from Assembly of First Nations-Health Canada Environmental Contaminants Program Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, UWO international curriculum funds and most recently, the IDRC.

Genetics research
The department has been successful in recruiting and repatriating a highly qualified and seasoned researcher in molecular pathology and cytogenetics from the USA. This will further increase our research activity in this area.

Research in Education
Education research is also a large part of our faculty commitment. Our faculty members continue to play key roles in the development of innovative research methodologies and implement them at all levels of education.

Faculty research interests:

Adams*: hemochromatosis, liver diseases
Ang: neurodegenerative and neurotoxic diseases, CNS tumours
Bend: mechanisms of toxicity of endogenous and exogenous chemicals, oxidative stress, attenuation of adverse drug reactions; environmental toxicology in First Nations
Chakrabarti : chronic diabetic complications, diabetic retinopathy, diabetic cardiomyopathy, extracellular matrix proteins, epigenetics, natural products
Chakraborty: intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR), preeclampsia, tumour progression, cell migration/invasion
Chambers*: molecular oncology - mechanisms of tumour progression and metastasis
Daley: oral pathology-salivary gland research, clinical research
Darling: oral pathology-salivary gland research, clinical research, salivary gland neoplasia, mucocutaneous diseases
Driman: gastrointestinal, hepatic and pancreaticobiliary pathology
Garcia: transplantation, animal models, research in education
Gibson: neurochemical pathology, CNS aging & neurodegeneration transmitter release; research in communications and education
Hammond: cerebrovascular disease, brain development, high field MRI/neuropathology correlates, neuroinflammation, neuromuscular disease, brain tumour biology
Karlik*: multiple sclerosis, experimental allergic encephalomyelitis, apoptosis, chemokine signalling, integrin-mediated neuroinflammation, spinal cord trauma
Khan: vascular stem cells, vasculogenesis, angiogenesis, endothelial cells, perivascular cells, diabetes, cancer, extracellular matrix
Knoll: molecular cytogenetics, medical genetics, molecular and cancer genetics, genomics, bioinformatics
Koropatnick*:  Metallothionein and resistance to radiation and chemotherapeutic drug treatment
McLachlin: Cervical cancer screening, HPV
Min*: immunomudulation, transplant tolerance, gene silencing, siRNA therapy
Peng*: Cardiovascular disease, Heart failure
Strong*: Motor Neuron Disease, Neurofilament Metabolism, Aluminum Neurotoxicity
Tuck: Breast cancer, metastasis, progression, cell and molecular biology, translational research
Wang*: Immunomodulation, Transplant rejection, Xenotransplantation
Zheng*:  Immunomodulation, Transplant rejection,

(*= indicates cross appointees)

Western provides the best student experience among Canada's leading research-intensive universities.