Dr. Julie St-Pierre
Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Research Centre
Department of Biochemistry
1. FRQS salary award (Junior 1), Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé (FRQS), 2010
2. Maude Abbott Prize for outstanding contribution to research-early career, McGill University, 2014
3. FRQS salary award (Junior2), Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé (FRQS), 2014
Dr. St. Pierre’s research is concentrated primarily on the role of PGC-1 in the metabolism of cancer cells:
1) The function of PGC-1 in the metabolism of Cancer cells - Cancer occurs when cells divide uncontrollably. In order to proliferate, cells need a lot of energy to build all the components necessary for making new cells. It is therefore not surprising that cancer cells display metabolic reorganizations tailored for their high and rapid energy demands. However, this metabolic reorganization of cancer cells is poorly understood. The focus of my laboratory is to reveal the metabolic abnormalities, as well as the molecules driving them, during the development of the tumor state. In order to answer these questions, we are using a combination of unbiased screening approaches, namely genomics and metabolomics.
2) The assessment of PGC-1 alpha in treating cancer - It is known that the expression of PGC-1 is reduced in various forms of cancer. The central aim of my research program is to understand the role of PGC-1 in the overall metabolic reorganization of cancer cells and to determine if elevating PGC-1alpha levels in these cells could limit tumor growth. Finally, we want to assess if PGC-1alpha is a potential target for the treatment of cancer.
3) Reactive oxygen species (ROS) production is an intrinsic part of mitochondrial metabolism- ROS can play an important in normal cellular signaling pathways. However, excessive ROS levels are associated with several pathological conditions. We are interested in better understanding the kinetics and topology of ROS production in physiological and pathological conditions.