Dr. Thomas Duchaine
Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Research Centre
Department of Biochemistry
1. FRSQ Chercheur-Boursier Junior 1, and Junior 2
2. CFI Leader’s Opportunity Award
Dr. Duchaine’s group focuses on the RNA- interference (RNAi) pathways, such as the diverse endogenous RNAi pathways and microRNA-mediated silencing.They examine the impact of these gene silencing mechanisms on the regulation of gene networks and their roles in cancer.
His research program revolves around two main aims:
- To understand the molecular basis and functions of the RNAi phenomena
- To identify small RNAs with critical functions in gene regulation and cancer
Recent progress includes the discovery of several aspects of microRNA-mediated silencing in the early embryo of C. elegans. For example, they unveiled how microRNA families function synergistically on a subset of binding sites in 3’untranslated regions (3’UTRs), to direct potent transcript (mRNA) deadenylation and silencing. They are currently measuring the significance of such findings in cancer by addressing the implications of cooperative interactions between the microRNA complexes on tumor-suppressor and oncogenic 3’UTRs in mammalian cells.
His group exploits a wide array of experimental strategies including:
- biochemistry and proteomics
- forward and reverse genetics
- molecular and cellular biology
- next-generation sequencing
Experimental model systems exploited include the nematode C. elegans, primary and transformed cell lines from human tissue and mouse models.