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University of Alberta
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Membrane Protein Disease Research Group
Our Goals
Our Goal

Our goal is to undertake a multidisciplinary approach to studies of the expression, assembly, structure and function of prokaryotic and eukaryotic membrane proteins and to provide an outstanding training environment for undergraduates, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the area of membrane biology and related areas.

Scientists from major international and national research centers visit our group to present lectures. Weekly research seminars are held where members of the Group present major developments in their laboratories and share new ideas and techniques.

 

Research opportunities

Graduate student positions are available in the laboratories of Emannuelle Cordat, Larry FliegelTodd Alexander, Elaine Leslie.
Link to the investigators name above or click here.

The International Research Group (IRTG) in Membrane Biology offers a collaborative training program for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada has awarded the group with this training program grant as part of the NSERC CREATE program, which runs 2012-2018. Highlights of the program include collaborative visits to our German partners for three to six months and visits to industrial partners. 

 

Regular meetings and seminars

MPDRG/IRTG Weekly Seminars are held on Thursdays from 9:00-10:15 am in Room F-2J4.02 WMHSC. Please be sure to attend and show your support. See here the 2015-2016 MPDRG/IRTG weekly seminar schedule

Membrane Protein Journal Club (Biochemistry 640)/ IRTG Journal Club is held Wednesdays in Room 4-70 MSB at 4:00pm. The course Biochemistry 640 is a graduate course in the Department of Biochemistry. Presenters usually give a literature review of a paper that focuses on membranes or membrane proteins. Guest speakers sometimes present their own work. Volunteers are needed to fill out the schedule. If you can give a seminar, please contact the coordinator, Dr. Larry Fliegel (lfliegel@ualberta.ca, 492-1848). See here the 2015-2016 Bioch 640 seminar schedule

Monthly Career Skills Development Series are held in Room 4-70, Medical Science Building, 12:00-1:30 PM, unless otherwise announce. Lunch will be served. See the schedule for 2016

 

 
 
News
Upcoming Events
News

December 2015

Holiday Season Celebration

Thursday, December 17, 2015  12:00 - 2:00 PM
4003-4004 KATZ Building
International potluck, photo booth, door prizes and much more.
Check out the pictures

Thesis Defenses
On December 1, John Githaka from Dr. Nicolas Touret's lab successfuly defended his PhD thesis with the title "Plasma Membrane Organization and Endocytosis of CD36 in Human Microvascular Endothelial Cells". 
On December 3, Barbara Roggenbeck from Elaine Leslie's lab had her Thesis Defense 'Arsenic Transport by the Human Multidrug Resistance Proteins (MRPs/ABCCs)'. Congratulations to John and Barbara!

November 2015

Welcome to Dr. Harley Kurata who joined our research group as P.I. member! Read about Harley's research here.
Congratulations to Gareth Armanious who has been elected as the new MPDRG Student Association President.
Brilliance in Biochemistry: The Biochemistry Department and the U of A celebrate Darpan Malhotra (Dr. Casey’s lab) as a winner of the Vanier scholarship, Canada’s most prestigious graduate award. Read the article here.

October 2015 - Invited Speakers and Thesis Defenses

This month, we had the pleasure to hear about Drs. Andras Kapus'and Harley Kurata's research during our weekly meetings. Check out the seminar schedule.
Congratulations to Drs. Devishree Krishnan and Shaima Hussein who succesfully defended their Ph.D. Well done. ladies!
Welcome to Dr. Michael Overduin who joined our research group as P.I. member! Read about Michael's research here.

September 2015 - A new school year is starting

We had our annual meeting with our German partners on September 14-15, 2015, in Bad Durkheim, Germany. Many thanks to German colleagues for their hospitality and the idea to organize the meeting at the same time as the Bad Durkheim Wine festival! Check out pictures of the event here.
This month, the MPDRG seminar series is hosting a number of exciting invited speakers, including Drs. Michael Overduin (Biochemistry, UofA), Peter Hwang (Medicine & Biochemistry, UofA), and Andras Kapus (Biochemistry, U of Toronto).

September always brings a lot of new trainees to our labs. Dr. Fliegel’s lab is welcoming Ka Yee Wong (Carmen), and Dr. Alexander welcomed Megan Beggs as a PhD student. Welcome also to Isabelle Lang, a German student from Dr. Jutta Engel’s lab visiting Dr. Casey’s lab.

Please join us to welcome our new administrative assistant, Skirmante Tamelyte. Skirmante started on September 8 and you can find her Mondays and Wednesdays at the front desk of the research offices on the fourth floor (4-020), phone number 780-2481196.

August 2015 - A month full of exciting events

Well done to the winners of our Summer Students Presentations: Bradley Rutherford (Dr. Young Lab), Stephania Irwin (Dr. Lemieux Lab), and Ali Quadri (Dr. Casey lab).
Congratulations to Rawad Lashhab (Dr. Cordat lab), Alka Kumari (Dr. Casey lab), Ka Yee Wong (Dr. Fliegel lab) and Ruiqi Cai (Dr. Chen lab) who were awarded IRTG graduate studentships or postdoctoral fellowships for 3 years.
A big thank you to Cameron Smithers for organizing the MPDRG/IRTG summer BBQ on August 14, 2015.

July 2015 - Defenses, new scholarships and grants

On July 15, Mike Chiu (Dr. Casey’s lab) defended his Master’s of Sciences. Congratulations, Mike!
Well done to Darpan Malhotra (Dr. Casey’s lab) who won an AIHS Scholarship and a Vanier scholarship, Canada’s most prestigious graduate award.
Congratulations to Dr. Todd Alexander who was awarded an NSERC Discovery Grant and Dr. Emmanuelle Cordat who received a new CIHR operating grant.

June 2015

Sampath Loganathan (Dr. Casey’s lab) successfully defended his PhD. Well done, Sam! Sam is now a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Daniel Schramek’s laboratory (Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto). Good luck and very best wishes!
Career Skills Development Series - "Marketing Your Research"  Drs. Joe Casey and Marek Michalak, Department of Biochemistry - Monday, August 10, 2015 from 12:00 - 12:00- 1:30 pm in Katz 4003-4004. Visit Http://www.membranetraining.ualberta.ca/ (forms cabinet) to see the assignment.  Lunch will be provided. Mark your calendars!

Visiting Speaker - Dr. Paul Schnetkamp, Professor, Department of Physiology & Pharmacology, University of Calgary

 

 

"The SCL24 Gene Family of Na/Ca-K Exchangers: from Sight and Smell to Memory Consolidation, Skin Pigmentation and Bad Teeth"

 

Thursday, June 25, 2015 at at 9:00 am in Classroom Room F - 2J2.02 WMC. Host:  Dr. Joe Casey

Visiting Speaker - Dr. John Baenziger, Department of Biochemistry Microbiology & Immunology, University of Ottawa.  http://s546183587.onlinehome.us/professor/

"Structure and function of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in its membrane environment"

Thursday, June 11, 2015 at 9:00 am in Classroom F - 2J4.02 WMC. Host: Dr. Joanne Lemieux


Career Skills Development Series - "Grant Writing 101"  Drs. Larry Fliegel and Howard Young, Department of Biochemistry - Monday, June 15, 2015 from 12:00- 1:30 pm in Katz 4003-4004.  Lunch will be provided. Mark your calendars!

The IRTG/CREATE Program has awarded 2 three year awards to Gareth Armanious (Howard Young's Lab) and Swai Mon Khaing (Nicolas Touret's Lab).  Congratulations!

Friday, May 8, 2015
Visiting Speaker Dr. Raymond J. Turner, Department of Biochemistry & Microbiology, University of Calgary was hosted by Dr. Joel Weiner and presented with the title 'Characterization of a system specific chaperone for complex iron-sulfur molybdoenzyme maturation.'

Monday, May 11, 2015
Career Skills Development Series - "The Transition to Working in a Small Biotech Company"
  Dr. Arghya Basu, NanoSpeed Diagnostics, Edmonton.

Monday, April 13, 2015
Career Skills Development Series - "Career Life Balance"

MPDRG/IRTG SUMMER STUDENT 2015

Shuo Chen (Fliegel Lab) funded by AIHS

Stephania Irwin (Lemieux Lab) funded by AIHS
Tim Kong funded by NSERC-CREATE IRTG and an Office of the Provost and VP (Academic)               Summer Research Award.

Tae Young (Tim) Lee (Lemieux Lab) funded by AIHSMeet Patel (Casey Lab) funded by AIHS

Regan Mah (Fliegel Lab) funded by AIHS and NSERC

Bradley Rutherford (Young Lab) funded by AIHS

Qadeem Salehmohamed (Touret Lab) funded by NSERC USRA
Cristiana Stoian (Touret Lab) funded by NSERC-CREATE IRTG

Ali Qadri (Casey Lab) funded by AIHS

April 2015 - Summer Studentship Competition Results

 

IRTG/CREATE program will fund 2 summer studentships this year for:

Cristiana Stoian from Dr. Touret's laboratory

Tim Kong from Dr. Chen's laboratory

AIHS Summer Studentship Competition Results:
Congratulations to Shuo Chen & Regan Mah (Dr. Larry Fliegel), Stephania Irwin & Tim Lee (Dr. Joanne Lemieux), Meet Patel & Ali Qadri (Dr. Joe Casey), Bradley Rutherford (Dr. Howard Young)!

Previous MPDRG news 2015

 

 

 

 


Guest Speaker
Upcoming Events

Upcoming Seminars

Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Membrane Protein Journal Club (Bioch 640)
4:00 pm in room 470 MSB
Presentation by Dr. Alka Kumari with the title 'Dopamine Transporter: Beyond Housekeeping'. See abstract here

Thursday, February 11, 2016
MPDRG/IRTG weekly seminar
9:00-10:15 am, room F-2J4.02 WMHSC
Rawad Lashhab, PhD student and lab member in Dr. Cordat's lab, Department of Physiology, will present with the title: 
'Role of kAE1/Claudin-4 Interaction In Maintaining Acid/Base Balance & Electrolyte Homeostasis'. See poster here.

Friday, February 12, 2016
Career Skills Development Seminar 
3:00-4:30 pm, Room 4-70 Medical Science Building (MSB)
Dr. Jonathan Derry, former Director and Principal Scientist at Immunex Inc. and Amgen, Seattle, U.S.A, will talk about "Life in Biotech". Refreshments will be provided.

Previous Seminars and Guest Speakers

Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Membrane Protein Journal Club (Bioch 640)
4:00 pm in room 470 MSB
Presentation by Dr. Debajyoti Dutta: 'Light driven Na+ pump: a new working flavor of Rhodopsins'
See abstract here
Thursday, February 4, 2016
MPDRG/IRTG weekly seminar
9:00-10:15 am, room F-2J4.02 WMHSC
Dr. Olivier Soueidan, Research Associate and lab member in Chris Cheeseman's lab, Department of Biochemistry, will present with the title: 
‘Stringent Stereochemical Requirement for Recognition and Transport of Hexose Derivatives by GLUT1 and GLUT5' See poster here
Thursday, January 28, 2016
MPDRG/IRTG weekly seminar
9:00-10:15 am, room F-2J4.02 WMHSC
Stephania Irwin, lab member in Dr. Joanne Lemieux' lab in Department of Biochemistry, presented with the title: 
‘Molecular analysis of PINK1 in Parkinson's Disease'See poster here

Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Career Skills Development Seminar 
12:00 - 13:30
Room 4-70 Medical Science Building (MSB)
"B.Y.O. CV: Discussion and Gentle Critique of your CV". This session discussed CV optimization and features gentle commentary of CVs, in small groups, with Drs. Joanne Lemieux and Joe Casey.

Thursday, January 21, 2016
MPDRG/IRTG weekly seminar
9:00-10:15 am, room F-2J4.02 WMHSC
Anil Kumar, Postdoctoral Fellow in Dr. Tom Hobman's lab in Department of Physiology, presented on Thursday with the title: ‘Identification of novel host factors essential for dengue virus replication’. See poster here
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Membrane Protein Journal Club (Bioch 640)
4:00 pm in room 470 MSB
Presentation by Gareth Armanious 'Don't Flip out: Is Extracellular Loop 3 important for Zinc transport or Immune System Evasion in ZnUD?
See abstract here.
Thursday, January 7, 2016
MPDRG/IRTG weekly seminar
9:00-10:15 am, room F-2J4.02 WMHSC
Wang Zheng, PhD candidate in Dr. Xing-Zhen Chen's lab in Department of Physiology, presented with the title: 'A common mechanism for gating and PIP2 regulation of transient receptor potential (TRP) channels.' See poster here

Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Classroom F – 2J4.02 WMC, Time: 9:30 am 
Justin Fedor
from Joel Weiner's lab defended his PhD thesis with the title: Respiring on fertilizer to charge the cellular battery: Insights into the function of E. coli nitrate reductase.” See abstract here. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015
Special MPDRG/IRTG weekly seminar
9:00-10:15 am, room F-2J4.02 WMHSC

Visiting speaker Dr. Russel Hille,Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry, University of California, Riverside, US, hosted by Dr. Joel Weiner, will present with the title 'A Tale of Two Enzymes: Xanthine Oxidase and CO Dehydrogenase’. See poster here

Thursday, December 10, 2015
MPDRG/IRTG weekly seminar

Dr. Todd Alexander, Professor at Departments of Pediatrics and Physiology, presented with the title: '5 years, 1 mouse and still more questions! The physiological role of claudin-12'. See poster here
Thursday, December 3, 2015
Special MPDRG/IRTG weekly seminar

Visiting speaker Dr. Qingcheng Mao, Associate Professor, Department of Pharmaceutics, University of Washington, Seattle, hosted by Dr. Elaine Leslie, presented with the title 'Breast Cancer Resistance Protein (BCRP/ABCG2): From Structure/Function to Drug Disposition’. See poster here
Trainees met with guest speaker Dr. Mao for lunch and discussion.
This visit was supported the Walter Mckenzie visiting speaker fund.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Membrane Protein Journal Club (Bioch 640)
Presentation by Darpan Malhotra from Joe Casey's lab 'Insight into the cell’s sensing mechanism of Lipid Asymmetry and Ambient-pH'. Abstract.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Membrane Protein Journal Club (Bioch 640)
Joseph Primeau
presented with
the title "GraDeR: A novel approach to membrane protein preparation". Abstract

Monday, November 30, 2015
Career Skills Development Seminar with
Drs Piush Mandhan and Todd Alexander (Departments Departments of Pediatrics & Physiology):
Seminar title: 'Talking to Clinicians'
12:00 - 13:30, room 4003-4004 KATZ Building. Pizza and refreshments provided. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015
Special MPDRG/IRTG weekly seminar
Visiting speaker Dr. Franck Duong, Professor at Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of British Columbia, will present on 'Example application of nanodiscs to help understand membrane protein biology'. See poster here
Trainees meet with guest speaker Dr. Duong for lunch and discussions.
This visit was supported the Walter Mckenzie visiting speaker fund.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Room 4-70 Medical Sciences Building, 4:00 PM
Biomembranes Discussion Group (Bioch 640): Mansoore Esmaili will be presenting with the title "Chaperone-assisted folding of β- barrel outer membrane proteins". Abstract


Thursday, November 19, 2015
Visiting speaker Dr. Leonidas Tsiokas, Professor at Department of Cell Biology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Centre, US, with the title ' Wnt signaling in ADPKD'. See poster here. On November 20, Dr. Tsiokas met with trainees for lunch and conversation.
This seminar was supported the Walter Mckenzie visiting speaker fund.

Thursday, November 12, 2015
MPDRG/IRTG weekly seminar
9:00-10:15 am, room F-2J4.02 WMHSC
Dr. Howard Young, Professor at Biochemistry Department, U of A, will present on 'Membrane protein structures by high resolution Cryo-EM: time to put away the magnets and X-ray generators'. See poster here
Please show your support and attend!
Snacks and refreshments provided by Joe Casey's lab.

Thursday, November 5, 2015
MPDRG/IRTG weekly seminar
9:00-10:15 am, room F-2J4.02 WMHSC
Joseph Primeau, PhD student from Howard Young's lab will talk on "Functional and Structural Studies of SERCA Complexes: A Path to the Understanding and Treatment of Heart Failure." See abstract here.
Please show your support and attend!
Snacks and refreshments provided by Joe Casey's lab.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Membrane Protein Journal Club (Bioch 640)
4:00 pm in room 470 MSB
Katie Badior
will present "Unveiling the SLC26 Architecture”. See abstract here.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Career Skills Development Series
"The Sport of Conversation"
  with Tom Yonge, Department Head of the Leadership Program, Strathcona High School, Edmonton. Refreshments and pizza provided.

Thursday, October 29, 2015
MPDRG/IRTG weekly seminar
9:00-10:15 am, room F-2J4.02 WMHSC
Debajyoti Dutta, PhD student from Larry Fliegel's lab will talk on "Structural and Functional Characterization of Plant and Yeast Na+/H+ Exchanger."
Please show your support and attend!
Snacks and refreshments provided by Emmanuelle Cordat's lab.
Thursday, October 22, 2015
MPDRG/IRTG weekly seminar
9:00-10:15 am, room F-2J4.02 WMHSC
Darpan Malhotra, PhD student from Joe Casey's lab will talk on "Role of SLC4A11 in Endothelial Corneal Dystrophies."
Please show your support and attend!
Snacks and refreshments provided by Emmanuelle Cordat's lab.
Thursday, October 15, 2015
MPDRG/IRTG weekly seminar
9:00-10:15 am, room F-2J4.02 WMHSC
Dr. Harley Kurata from the Department of Pharmacology, U of A, will speak on "Function and pharmacology of voltage-gated ion channels: one atom at a time".
Please show your support and attend!
Snacks and refreshments provided by Emmanuelle Cordat's lab.
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Membrane Protein Journal Club (Bioch 640)
4:00 pm in room 470 MSB
Ruiqi Cai
will present on "L596-W733 bond between the start of the S4-S5 linker and the TRP box stabilizes the closed state of TRPV4 channel”. See abstract here.

Thursday, October 8, 2015
MPDRG/IRTG weekly seminar
9:00-10:15 am, room F-2J4.02 WMHSC
John Githaka will speak on "Ligand-induced compaction and growth of CD36 clusters induces signaling."Please show your support and attend!
Snacks and refreshments provided by Emmanuelle Cordat's lab.

Thursday, October 1, 2015
MPDRG/IRTG weekly seminar
9:00-10:15 am, room F-2J4.02 WMHSC
Dr. Andras Kapus, Professor, Department of Surgery, Keenan Centre for Biomedical Research of the St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, will speak on
"The cytoskeleton as fate-determining device: regulation of nuleocytolasmic traffic of transcription factors and cell plasticity."
Snacks and refreshments provided by Emmanuelle Cordat's lab.

Monday, September 28, 2015:
Special MPDRG seminar
Dr. Jonathan Lytton, 
Professor at the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, University of Calgary, visited Edmonton for Shaimaa Hussein's PhD final exam and gave a special MPDRG seminar with the title
'Regulation of Ca Transport via K-dependent Na/Ca-exchangers'

This seminar was supported the Walter Mckenzie visiting speaker fund.

 

Thursday, September 24, 2015
MPDRG/IRTG weekly seminar
9:00-10:15 am, room F-2J4.02 WMHSC
Dr. Peter Hwang, Assistant Professor, Medicine and Biochemistry, U of A, will give a presentation
"Developing solution NMR methods to obtain high resolution structures of PagP, a Gram-negative bacterial outer membrane enzyme".
Snacks and refreshments provided by Jim Young’s and Joanne Lemieux’ labs.

Previous MPDRG/IRTG weekly seminars in 2015