Award Recipient 
Canderel Postdoctoral Fellowship

The impact of the PGC-1 transcriptional coactivators in advanced breast cancers

November 2015

My research project explores an understudied aspect of breast cancer, namely its metabolism.

The cancer research community recognizes that research on cancer metabolism holds great promise for breast cancer patients. Indeed, research on cancer metabolism has already benefitted cancer patients. The discovery that many cancer cells display a strong dependence on glucose for their growth is currently exploited in the clinic to image tumors using an analog of glucose (fluorodeoxyglucose) when performing FGD-PET scan.

However, recent work on cancer metabolism is revealing that the metabolism of cancer cells is quite complex and that not all cancer types display a strong dependence on glucose. Furthermore, we know very little on the metabolic processes that fuel cancer progression, and early work indicates that the metabolic dependence of metastatic and therapeutic resistant cells differ from that of primary tumors cells. Centered on the likely possibility that metabolic vulnerabilities of tumors can be clinically exploited, my application seeks to identify regulators of metabolic functions as well as the molecular mechanisms underlying their dysregulation in cancer cells.

This knowledge will reveal potential novel targets for cancer treatment that could be used alone, or in combination with classic treatments, or for diagnostic purposes.


Joseph Pogson, PhD
Department of Biochemistry, McGill University
Laboratory of Dr. Julie St-Pierre