My research team strives to develop new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to detect and treat children suffering from cancer earlier, better and with reduced impact on their life.
The fundamental question is how cancer cells are different from healthy, normal cells? If we understand this we will be able to better detect and kill cancer while leaving the rest of the body untouched.
Our research focuses on proteins, the structural and functional building blocks of a cell. To do this we combine genomics and proteomics, a technology that enables us to monitor all of the proteins in our body and detect how they are changed in childhood cancer. We then use computational approaches to further analyze and integrate our findings and to make them accessible to clinicians and fellow scientists around the world.
Tumor Variant Identification That Accounts for the Unique Molecular Landscape of Pediatric Malignancies
JNCI Cancer Spectrum
Amanda Lorentzian and Jaclyn A Biegel and D Gigi Ostrow and Nina Rolf and Chi-Chao Liu and S Rod Rassekh and Rebecca J Deyell and Timothy Triche and Kirk R Schultz and Jacob Rozmus and Gregor S D Reid and C James Lim and Philipp F Lange and Christopher A Maxwell
HMMR acts in the PLK1-dependent spindle positioning pathway and supports neural development
Marisa Connell and Helen Chen and Jihong Jiang and Chia-Wei Kuan and Abbas Fotovati and Tony LH Chu and Zhengcheng He and Tess C Lengyell and Huaibiao Li and Torsten Kroll and Amanda M Li and Daniel Goldowitz and Lucien Frappart and Aspasia Ploubidou and Millan S Patel and Linda M Pilarski and Elizabeth M Simpson and Philipp F Lange and Douglas W Allan and Christopher A Maxwell
Active site specificity profiling of the matrix metalloproteinase family: Proteomic identification of 4300 cleavage sites by nine MMPs explored with structural and synthetic peptide cleavage analyses
Proteome TopFIND 3.0 with TopFINDer and PathFINDer: database and analysis tools for the association of protein termini to pre- and post-translational events
Nucleic Acids Research
Active Site Specificity Profiling of the Matrix Metalloproteinase Family: Proteomic Identification of 4,300 Cleavage Sites by MMPs 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, and 14.
LysargiNase mirrors trypsin for protein C-terminal and methylation-site identification
Pitter F Huesgen and Philipp F Lange and Lindsay D Rogers and Nestor Solis and Ulrich Eckhard and Oded Kleifeld and Theodoros Goulas and F Xavier Gomis-Rüth and Christopher M Overall
Annotating N Termini for the Human Proteome Project: N Termini and N alpha-Acetylation Status Differentiate Stable Cleaved Protein Species from Degradation Remnants in the Human Erythrocyte Proteome
Journal of Proteome Research
Characterization of LysargiNase for use in phosphoproteomics experiments, partII
LysargiNase and tryptic digest of MDA-MB 231 cell lysates
Proteomic amino-termini profiling reveals targeting information for protein import into complex plastids.
Huesgen PF and Alami M and Lange PF and Foster LJ and Schröder WP and Overall CM and Green BR
TopFIND 2.0-linking protein termini with proteolytic processing and modifications altering protein function
Novel Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitor [(18)F]Marimastat-Aryltrifluoroborate as a Probe for In vivo Positron Emission Tomography Imaging in Cancer
The overall objective of my team's research is to monitor and detect aberrant protein presence and function in cancer and exploit this difference to diagnose and treat cancer and improve the wellbeing of cancer survivors.
We are particularly interested in how the post-translational modification of proteins affects cancer progression and secondary disease, which can hit childhood cancer survivors years after successful treatment. After translation proteins can be modified by, for example, proteolytic processing or phosphorylation. This creates a repertoire of "proteoforms", which are all the variant and modified protein products of a single gene. They often differ in their localization, function and interaction with other proteins.
Our research program follows four main axes that inform each other:
I: We use proteo-genomics to study differences in tissue specimen from children suffering from select cancers and healthy individuals, and translate these findings into a new diagnostic and treatment approach.
II: We integrate cell biology, biochemistry, genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics to study the role of post-translational modification in the regulation of select cell signaling networks. By investigating patient-derived cells and mouse models we strive to identify new ways of altering these signaling networks to improve drug efficacy and reduce side effects.
III: Computational biology plays an integral role in our research. Our main focus is the development of algorithms for multi-scale data integraction, protein function analysis, pattern recognition and de-convolution of network effects in complex systems. Building on these we develop new biological knowledgebases and applications to improve the functional analysis of genomics and proteomics data and to guide personalized treatment decisions.
IV: We continuously strive to improve existing- and develop new technologies for the mass spectrometric analysis of complex biological specimen enabling a more comprehensive, specific and sensitive investigation of smaller biopsies.
My research team is embedded in the Michael Cuccione Childhood Cancer Research Program and affiliated with the BC Cancer Research Centre and BC Children’s Hospital. This creates a stimulating environment in which we work closely with world-class experts in clinical oncology, cancer biology, genomics and computer sciences.Grants
"Proteolytic protein termini as a new strategy for cancer cell-specific therapy," Innovation Grant, Canadian Cancer Society, 2016-2018
"Bioinformatics resources for genomewide assessment of protein function at the proteoform level," NSERC Discovery Grant, $28,000/ year, 2018-2023Honours & Awards
Michael Smith Health Foundation Research Scholar Award (2016)
Canada Research Chair Tier 2 Award in Translational Proteomics of Childhood Malignancies (2015-2020)
Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship for Postdoctoral Research (Alexander von Humboldt Foundation) (2009-2011)
Joint Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research & Breast Cancer Society of Canada Research Award (2011-2012)Research Group Members
Enes Kemal Ergin, Graduate Student
Amanda Lorentzian, Graduate student
Lorenz Nierves, Graduate Student
Theodore Smith, Masters Student
Divya Subburij, Clinical Fellow
Brenda Tse, Research Coordinator
Janice Tsui, Research Technician
Anuli Uzozie, Postdoctoral Fellow
Samuel Weng, Graduate Student