Publications

Publications

Mentors and the butterfly effect: triggers for discovering signalling by proteinases via proteinase-activated receptors (PARs) and more.

By:
Contributors: Morley Hollenberg Research Group
Clin Invest Med. 2012 Feb 1;35(6):E378-91.

Abstract

The essential role of proteinases as regulatory digestive enzymes, recognized since the late 1800s, has been underscored by the discovery that more than 2% of the genome codes for proteinases and their inhibitors. Further, by the early 1970s it was appreciated that in addition to their digestive actions, proteinases can affect cell function: (1) by the generation or degradation of peptide hormones and (2) by the direct regulation of signalling by receptors like the one for insulin. It was the discovery in the 1990s of the novel G-protein-coupled ‘proteinase-activated receptor’ (PAR) family that has caused a paradigm shift in the understanding of the way that proteinases can regulate cell signalling. This overview provides a perspective for the discovery of the PARs and my laboratory’s role in (1) understanding the molecular pharmacology of these fascinating receptors and (2) identifying the potential pathophysiological roles that the PAR family can play in inflammatory disease. In this context, the overview also portrays the essential impact that seemingly minor comments/insights provided by my lifelong mentors have had on kindling my intense interest in proteinase-mediated signalling. The ‘butterfly effect‘ of those comments has led to an unexpectedly large impact on my own research directions. Hopefully my own ‘butterfly comments’ will also be heard by my trainees and other colleagues with whom I am currently working and will promote future discoveries that will be directly relevant to the treatment of inflammatory disease.

 

PubMed

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Dr. John Lewis recognized for a breakthrough innovation with commercial application: ClarityDX Prostate

Alberta’s life sciences industry association; BioAlberta, hosted its 2018 awards gala in Calgary, September 24. BioAlberta honoured Dr. John Lewis, the Frank and Carla Sojonky Chair in Prostate Cancer Research and an Associate Professor at the University of Alberta, with its Scientific Achievement and Innovation Award.

The Scientific Achievement and Innovation award recognizes an individual or a team responsible for a breakthrough innovation with commercial application. John Lewis and his research team based with his spin-off company Nanostics Inc. developed ClarityDX Prostate, a blood test designed to accurately diagnose aggressive prostate cancer. ClarityDX Prostate will give clinicians and physicians another tool to help them and their patients decide to perform a biopsy, or not. When the test becomes commercially available it is expected to reduce the number of prostate biopsies by 50%.

BioAlberta also gave out The Company of the Year award to Circle Cardiovascular Imaging Inc. for significant achievement within the marketplace and Alberta’s business community. It has developed technology to produce an innovative post-processing cardiovascular imaging solution to improve patient outcomes that provides fast, accurate and reproducible images to assist physicians in earlier diagnosis and treatment.

Mel Wong, President and CEO of BioAlberta presented the awards with these comments, “We commend Circle Cardiovascular Imaging and Dr. John Lewis for their exceptional achievements in life sciences, Alberta’s life sciences industry is maturing and these award winners exemplify Alberta’s capacity for global impact.”

More than 200 representatives from industry, the investment community, government and innovation support organizations attended the awards gala that was held in partnership with TEC Edmonton, and with generous event sponsors. Read more in this Financial Post article.

Congratulations to John Lewis on receiving BioAlberta’s Scientific Achievement and Innovation Award!

- Perrin Beatty