Faculty Members

Dr. Joseph R Casey

Adjunct Professor, Professor
Department of Biochemistry
    Contact details are for academic matters only.

About Me

Dr. Casey received a B.Sc. (Honours Biochemistry) from Queen's University and Ph.D. (Biochemistry) from University of Toronto. He carried out three years of postdoctoral research at Stanford University. Dr. Casey joined the faculty at University of Alberta in 1996.

Since becoming a faculty member, Dr. Casey received salary support awards from the Medical Research Council of Canada (Scholar) and Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (Scholar, Senior Scholar, Scientist). Dr. Casey won the Young Investigator awards from the Canadian Physiological Society and Canadian Society for Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology. In 2016, Dr. Casey received the mentoring award from the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry.

Dr. Casey was Director of the Membrane Protein Disease Research Group 2008-2017. Currently he leads the International Research Training Group in Membrane Biology, an NSERC-funded program for graduate students and PDFs, working between U of a and Germany's Technical University Kaiserslautern and Saarland University.

Throughout his career, Dr. Casey's research passion has been membrane transport processes.


Research

Dr. Casey's research passion is membrane transport. How do small molecular machines (membrane transport proteins) control the flow of material into and out of cells.

In particular, Dr. Casey's group has studied SLC4 (Solute Carrier family 4). Most of these proteins are bicarbonate transporters. SLC4A1 (also called Band 3 or AE1) is a chloride/bicarbonate exchanger of the the red blood cell membrane. Dr. Casey's group has studied how this protein functions and what goes wrong in disease.

Over the last several years the focus of his group has been corneal blindness. In 2006 Dr. Casey's lab was part of the group that discovered mutations of the gene encoding SLC4A11 cause congenital hereditary endothelial dystrophy, corneal blindness that arises in children. Subsequently their research revealed that SLC4A11 mutations can also cause a common disease, Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy.

The Casey lab has been working to understand the normal roles of SLC4A11 and what goes wrong to cause disease. This has led them to identify potential new therapies to treat patients with corneal blindness.

The lab's research is funded by a Project grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (2018-2023) and part of a CREATE training grant from NSERC.


Research Keywords

corneal blindness, Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy, congenital hereditary endothelial dystrophy, SLC4A11, membrane transport