Dr Derek Bowie
Dr Derek Bowie is the Director of the FRQS-funded research group, GEPROM, and has been a Professor at McGill University since 2002. He is the recipient of the Canada Research Chair award in Receptor Pharmacology and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Physiology, Current neuropharmacology and Channels. Dr Bowie earned his PhD at the University of London after completing his undergraduate degree at Strathclyde University in Scotland. He then carried out postdoctoral training in France (Université Louis Pasteur), Switzerland (University of Zurich) and the USA (National Institutes of Health) before holding a faculty position at Emory University in Atlanta. The Bowie lab focuses on the structure-function properties of ionotropic glutamate receptors, GABA-A receptors and sodium channels as well as examining their role in neuronal circuit behaviour.
Professor Diane Lipscombe
Diane Lipscombe is Director of the Brown Institute for Brain Science and Professor of Neuroscience. Diane Lipscombe has studied voltage-gated calcium ion channels — their function, pharmacology and modulation — for over 30 years. The lab has shown how cell-specific control of ion channel composition through RNA splicing impacts animal behavior and drug sensitivity. Lipscombe has also demonstrated the impact on channel function of rare mutations in calcium ion channel genes associated with disease in humans and, is involved in a collaborative effort to identify gene suppressors of animal models of familial Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.
Dr. Andrew R. Marks
Andrew R. Marks, MD received his undergraduate degree from Amherst College where he was the first student in the history of the college to graduate with honors in two subjects (Biology and English), and his MD from Harvard Medical School. Following an internship and residency in internal medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), he was a post-doctoral fellow in molecular genetics at Harvard Medical School, and then a clinical cardiology fellow at the MGH. He is board certified in internal medicine and in cardiology. Dr. Marks is Chair and Professor of the Physiology and Cellular Biophysics Department at Columbia University. From 2002-2007 Dr. Marks was Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Clinical Investigation. His honors include: ASCI, AAP, the National Academy of Medicine (2004), American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2005) and the National Academy of Sciences (2005). Doctor of Science Honoris Causa from Amherst College (2009), Docteur Honoris causa, de l’Université de Montpellier (2016), the ASCI Stanley J. Korsmeyer Award (2010), the Pasarow Foundation Award for Cardiovascular Research (2011) and the Ellison Medical Foundation Senior Scholar in Aging Award (2011), Glorney-Raisbeck Award from NY Academy of Medicine (2016). In 2015 Dr. Marks was chosen to present the Ulf von Euler lecture at the Karolinska Institute. Dr. Marks’ identification of the mechanism of action of rapamycin’s inhibition of vascular smooth muscle proliferation and migration lead to the development of the first drug-eluting stent (coated with rapamycin) for treatment of coronary artery disease. This substantially reduced the incidence of in-stent restenosis. In 2014 Dr. Marks reported the high-resolution structure of the mammalian type 1 ryanodine receptor/calcium release channel (required for excitation-contraction coupling in skeletal muscle) which he had cloned and worked on since 1989. His research has contributed new understandings of fundamental mechanisms that control muscle contraction, heart function, lymphocyte activation, and cognitive function. He discovered that “leaky” intracellular calcium release channels (ryanodine receptors) contribute to heart failure, fatal cardiac arrhythmias, impaired exercise capacity in muscular dystrophy, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and Alzheimer’s Disease. Dr. Marks discovered a new class of small molecules (Rycals), developed in his laboratory, that target leaky ryanodine receptor channels and effectively treat cardiac arrhythmias, heart failure, muscular dystrophy and prevent stress-induced cognitive dysfunction and symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease in pre-clinical studies. Rycals are now in clinical trials for the treatment of heart failure and cardiac arrhythmias and entering clinical trials for the treatment of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
John joined Amgen in September 2016 and leads the neuroscience research program responsible for therapeutic discovery activities in neurodegenerative diseases, pain and migraine. Prior to Amgen he was leading neuroscience discovery and early development at AstraZeneca and previously held executive leadership roles in the neuroscience therapeutic area at Wyeth and Pfizer. Trained as a neuropharmacologist, John’s research interests include the role of protein quality control mechanisms, innate immunity and mitochondrial dysfunction in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and ALS. John was recently appointed to the HEAL (Helping End Addiction Long term) Partnership Committee, an NIH advisory committee established to support NIH initiatives launched to address the nation’s opioid crisis. He is a board member of Target-ALS, a non-profit enterprise dedicated to accelerating drug discovery and development in ALS and a board observer of SiteOne Therapeutics, a biotech company focused on developing novel non-opioid pain therapeutics.