I obtained my PhD from the University of Otago, New Zealand in 1992 after completing a BSc (Hons) in Physiology and Biochemistry in Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, in 1986. My first postdoctoral fellowship was awarded by The Wellcome Trust/Health Research Council of New Zealand in 1992 at the University College London in the UK for 2 years, and then the Department of Medicine, Wellington School of Medicine, New Zealand for another 2 years. I was awarded a Parker B. Francis Pulmonary Fellowship in 1998 at the University of Alberta, where I joined as a faculty member in 2000. I also received a CIHR New Investigator award in 2001. In 2009-2010, I was an Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR) visiting speaker at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB), University of Queensland, Australia, for her sabbatical. I am currently the Director of the Pulmonary Research Group in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry.
In my spare time, I enjoy cycling and walking along Edmonton's river valley, golfing when my husband drags me out to the golf course, and occasionally playing squash. I travel frequently to Vancouver to visit colleagues and my daughter and her fiance, as well as New Zealand to visit with colleagues and my family.
I am the course coordinator for Inflammation MMI 436/MED 536, a combined 4th-year and graduate-level course directed towards trainees interested in the underlying mechanisms of inflammatory diseases, that is offered in the Fall semester of each year. I have been a facilitator for Discovery Learning sessions for over 10 years for 1st and 2nd year medical students enrolled at the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry. Along with these I have been a supervisor for numerous laboratory-based courses to train undergraduates in benchtop experimental work. I am currently mentoring graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. I am available to mentor additional students and am accepting applications from appropriate individuals that have Canadian permanent residency or citizenship.
Protein trafficking in immune cells
One of my areas of research interest is focused on molecular and cellular mechanisms that regulate inflammatory responses in allergy, asthma, and lung diseases. Together with my trainees and collaborators, we have helped to advance our understanding of how inflammatory mediators are released by immune cells including eosinophils, neutrophils, macrophages, and mast cells. I have a specific interest in understanding mechanisms of cytokine and chemokine secretion from innate immune cells. This study is supported by a Discovery Grant from NSERC.
Metabolomics of welding fume exposure
Together with my colleague, Dr. Bernadette Quemerais, and our team, we have been engaged in a study for the past 2 years on the feasibility of using metabolomics analysis in determining potential biomarkers of welding fume exposure. This study involves the analysis of urine samples from welding apprentices based at NAIT. My interest in metabolomics grew from the potential to discover markers of inflammation in body samples, and we have determined that metabolomics analysis may discriminate between healthy and pneumonia-infected individuals. We are currently determining if exposure to welding fumes may alter the metabolic profile of urine samples in full-time welders based in or near Edmonton, AB. This study is supported by Research Grants from OHS Futures, Government of Alberta.
Autoimmunity in severe asthma
I collaborate with Dr. Parameswaran Nair, McMaster University, and his postdoctoral fellow Dr. Manali Mukherjee, to understand autoimmunity that is associated with severe asthma. Asthma patients were found to have high levels of autoantibodies against the patients' immune cells (eosinophils, neutrophils) which appear to contribute to disease pathology. This study is supported by a CIHR grant to Dr. Nair.
Acute lung injury, Air samples, Airway hyperresponsiveness, Airway inflammation, Allergy, Anti-inflammatory drugs, Asthma, Autoantibodies, Autoimmunity, Biomarkers, Bleomycin-induced lung injury, Cell lines, Cell secretion, Cytokines, Degranulation, Eosinophils, Health, Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, Infection, Leukocytes, Lung diseases, Lymphocytes, Lymphoid neogenesis, Metabolites, Metabolomics, Metal analysis, Nuclear magnetic resonance, Occupational hygiene, Occupational medicine, Respiration, Severe asthma, Signalling pathways, Sputum, Steroid insensitivity, Superresolution microscopy, Systematic reviews, Transgenic mouse models, Urinary metabolites, Vesicular trafficking
- Marc Cassiede
- Lindsey Felix