Providing a Clearer View of Cell Biology
Centrosomes—the microscopic organelles inside the nuclei of animal cells—play a key role in cell division. They also control the formation of important cellular structures like cilia, which aid normal cell movement, signalling and function. When things go wrong with centrosomes, or their formation of cilia, it can lead to serious health problems such as cancer and kidney disease as well as genetic and birth defects.
As Canada Research Chair in Centrosome Biogenesis and Function, Dr. Laurence Pelletier is working to improve our understanding of the molecular mechanisms that control cell organization and function.
Applying his expertise in functional genomics, proteomics and high-resolution microscopy and image analysis, Pelletier is shedding light on the structure of centrosomes and cilia at a resolution not possible until now. He is also improving our understanding of the inner workings of the cellular machinery that controls their creation and their role in human biology.
For example, Pelletier’s approach to imaging these structures has already enabled him and his research team to show, for the first time, the role that more than 300 proteins play in key cellular processes. This work is moving genomic research from the single-cell level to a level that can provide a broader picture of how human tissues develop.
Pelletier’s research is laying the groundwork for discovering new ways to diagnosis and treat many human diseases and conditions. It is also developing next-generation imaging tools for advanced genetic research.