Ryan Russell

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Ryan Russell
Associate Professor


Work E-mail: ryan.russell@uottawa.ca

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Biography

Research Theme 1: AUTOPHAGY REGULATION

We are interested in discovering the mechanisms underlying autophagy regulation in normal and pathological tissues. The autophagy pathway is the primary catabolic process in the cell, maintaining the integrity of organelles and the proteome.  Additionally, autophagy promotes survival in response to depletion of cellular nutrients, DNA damage and hypoxia (low oxygen). Using genetic screens and hypothesis-driven for pathway discovery we put particular focus on characterizing how the key autophagy enzymes fine tune cellular catabolism. Dysregulation of autophagy has been observed in several diseases including; cancer, Crohn’s disease and neurodegeneration.

 

Research Theme 2: OXYGEN SENSING IN KIDNEY CANCER

The cellular response to alteration in cellular oxygen is maintained by the carefully coordinated expression of nearly 100 hypoxia-responsive genes.  These genes modulate cellular metabolism, angiogenesis, and cell death.  We are interested in characterizing the novel functions of the von Hippel-Lindau tumour suppressor protein, which is a master regulator of most oxygen-sensitive cellular processes.  These studies have important applications to our understanding of renal clear-cell carcinoma that often harbour mutations or inactivation of the von Hippel-Lindau tumour suppressor.

Research Theme 3: DEVELOPMENT OF NOVEL MOLECULAR BIOLOGY TOOLKITS

Autophagy reagent development.  We partner with industry to develop new tools to monitor enzymes in the autophagy pathway.  These tools have been widely adopted in several fields to further research in the field.  For an example see Tian et al Nature Methods 2020 “An antibody for analysis of autophagy induction”.

Nucleic Acid-Based Assays. Research focused on developing patentable methodologies in discrimination of mixed nucleic acids and DNA assembly methodology is ongoing and of future interest to our research team.

 

Russell Lab

 

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