Daniel J. Drucker

Canada Research Chair in Regulatory Peptides

Tier 1 - 2004-07-01
University of Toronto


Research involves

Elucidating the physiological actions and therapeutic potential of regulatory peptides.

Research relevance

The research may lead to treatments for diseases such as diabetes as well as for obesity and intestinal injury.

Exploring the Possibilities of Regulatory Peptides

Regulatory peptides are hormones produced in the pancreas, gastrointestinal tract, and brain, where they are responsible for some of the body's most important functions. By regulating nutrient ingestion, absorption, and disposal, these hormones control appetite, gastrointestinal movement, nutrient assimilation, and metabolism. Furthermore, they possess properties that have the potential to treat some of the most prevalent diseases today and thus have attracted the interest of Canada Research Chair Dr. Daniel Drucker.

Dr. Drucker researches the biology of peptide hormones, particularly their synthesis, secretion, and methods of action. He is developing pharmaceutical analogues of regulatory peptides, anticipating that these "carbon copies" will have enhanced potential to treat conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and intestinal injury. His research program is defining new actions for regulatory peptides through a multidisciplinary approach, which will provide insights into how regulatory peptides act physiologically and therapeutically.

Graduate students and research fellows working on this program are gaining experience in a first-rate environment. Dr. Drucker's lab is internationally renowned not only for its work in peptide research, but as an environment where the clinical relevance of scientific breakthroughs is pursued. He has a track record for innovative research that impinges on gastrointestinal biology, pancreatic islet hormones, enzymology, central nervous system function, and cardiovascular biology. His research into regulatory peptides may lead to treatments for diseases that afflict millions of people worldwide.