About the membrane protein research group

The Membrane Protein Disease Research Group (MPDRG) within the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry of the University of Alberta was formed in 2001 when the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Molecular Biology of Membrane Proteins Research Group (established in 1991) merged with the Faculty’s Membrane Transport Research Group (established in 1992).

There are thirteen faculty members in the Group (Drs. Todd Alexander, Joseph Casey, Carol Cass, Chris Cheeseman, Xing-Zhen Chen, Emmanuelle Cordat,
Larry Fliegel, Joanne Lemieux, Elaine Leslie, Nicolas Touret, Joel Weiner, Howard Young and James Young) with appointments in the Departments of Biochemistry, Pediatrics, Oncology and Physiology.

The role of our Group is to investigate membrane transporters of different molecules and ions, protein targeting and translocation across biological membrane, protein folding, and the role of membrane-associated proteins in control of cell growth and cellular communication.

The Group has developed a strong trainee program in the area of structure and function of membrane proteins.

Our Mission

Our mission is to generate fundamental information about the structure, function and bio-genesis of biological membranes and subcellular compartments under normal and pathological conditions. Dysfunction in membrane structure/function and protein compartmentalization processes have serious consequences for the normal functioning of cells and organisms and have been implicated in diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cystic fibrosis, congenital hypercholesterolemia, cancer, muscular dystrophy, cardiovascular diseases, arteriosclerosis and cerebrohepatorenal syndrome, just to name a few.

Our research will impact the diagnosis and treatment of different membrane associated disorders. The research will enable us to develop novel approaches to therapeutical intervention in human diseases.

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 as well, 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.