- BSc (Hons) in Physiology and Biochemistry, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
- PhD in Cell Physiology, Wellington School of Medicine, University of Otago, New Zealand
- Overseas Research Fellow, Wellcome Trust/Health Research Council of New Zealand, University College London, UK (1992-1997)
- Parker B. Francis Fellow in Pulmonary Research, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB (1998-2001)
- CIHR New Investigator Award, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB (2001-2006)
- AHFMR Visiting Scientist Award, Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB), University of Queenland, Brisbane, Australia (2009-2010)
- Professor, Division of Pulmonary Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB (2000-present)
- Adjunct Professor, Department of Medical Microbiology & Immunology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB (2011-present)
- Director, Pulmonary Research Group, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB (2013-2017)
- Alberta Respiratory Centre Research Director, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB (2017-present)
- 2019 Michelle Harkness Mentorship for Investigator Awardee, AllerGen NCE (January 2019)
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 15 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.
Cytokine trafficking in innate immune cells
We are 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, known as cytokines, are released by innate immune cells including eosinophils, neutrophils, macrophages, mast cells, and epithelial cells. This study is supported by a Discovery Grant from NSERC (2015-2021) and Investigator-Initiated Externally Sponsored Grants from AstraZeneca (2020-2026).
Exposure to hazardous respirable materials in the workplace
In collaboration with Dr. Lyle Melenka, Synergy Respiratory and Cardiac Care and Associate Clinical Professor at the University of Alberta, we are determining the risks of exposure of insulators to potentially hazardous respirable materials such as silica, asbestos, and other substances in the work environment. Our analysis will reveal if there is an increased risk of occupational asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and cardiac disease in these individuals. This study is supported by Wellness of Workers (WoW), Local 110 Heat & Frost Insulators, and Synergy Respiratory and Cardiac Care.
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 (2016-2021) to Dr. Nair.
Acute lung injury, Airway epithelial cells, Airway hyperresponsiveness, Airway inflammation, Allergy, Asthma, Biomarkers, Cell lines, Cell secretion, Cytokines, Degranulation, Eosinophils, Innate Immune Cells, Leukocytes, Lung diseases, Macrophages, Neutrophils, Occupational exposure, Respiration, Signalling pathways, Superresolution microscopy, Vesicular trafficking, Wildfire exposure
- Ali Farshchi Tabrizi
- Luke Gerla
- Marc Duchesne
- Nawell Fayad
- Sarah Almas
- Ojas Srivastava
- Mujtaba Siddique
My early research background is in understanding the biology and activation mechanisms of eosinophils and neutrophils, which are key effector cells in many diseases including allergy. For this reason I have been actively involved in organizations that support studies into their functions and how they contribute to disease, such as the International Eosinophil Society and the Collegium Internationale Allergologicum. I serve on the Editorial Board of Frontiers in Immunology and BMC Immunology, and am past editor for the Journal of Immunology. I am also a member of the American Association of Immunologists and the Canadian Society for Immunology, as well as the Canadian Lung Association/Canadian Thoracic Society. I serve as a revewer for CIHR, Canadian Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Foundation (CAAIF), and the Canadian Lung Association, and locally I have reviewed for the Women and Children's Health Research Institute (WCHRI) as well as for The Lung Association of Alberta and NWT for graduate studentship awards.