Cancer and Genetic Diseases

Cell Division and Centrosome Biology

Under the direction of William Tsang

Research Unit

Cell division is a process by which a parent cell divides into two daughter cells. It happens in all living organisms and is essential for growth, reproduction, and repair. As cell division is highly orchestrated and involves the coordination of many proteins, errors in cell division in humans can lead to cancer and many genetic diseases.

The research interest of William Tsang focuses on the biology of a sub-cellular structure called the centrosome. The centrosome organizes microtubules and plays a pivotal role in cell division. Despite being small in size, it is a highly complex structure consisting of hundreds of proteins. The team is particularly interested in studying the roles of a number of novel centrosomal proteins in organelle function, cell division, health, and disease. Ongoing studies include the characterization of:

  1. NPHP5, a protein required for the formation of cilia (cellular antennae) and mutated in genetic diseases affecting the eyes and kidneys ;
  2. Cep76, a protein that prevents centrosome amplification, a hallmark of cancer;
  3. Cep78, a protein that controls the activity of an ubiquitin enzyme and is deregulated in cancer and genetic disease.

William Y. Tsang

Research Unit Director

  • Director, Cell Division and Centrosome Biology Research Unit, IRCM
  • Assistant IRCM Research Professor
  • Assistant Research Professor, Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, Université de Montréal
  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Medicine (Division of Experimental Medicine), McGill University
  • New Investigator Award, Canadian Institutes of Health Research
  • Research Scholar - Junior 2, Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé

Awards and honours

  • Faculty of Science Dean's Honor Roll, University of Alberta
  • Dean's Silver Medal in Science, University of Alberta
  • University of Alberta PhD Scholarship
  • NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
  • AHFMR Graduate Studentship, Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research
  • NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
  • AHFMR Postdoctoral Fellowship, Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research

Degrees and relevant experience

  • B.Sc. Honours in biochemistry, University of Alberta
  • PhD in biochemistry, University of Alberta
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Department of Pathology, NYU School of Medicine and Cancer Institute, New York, USA
William Y. Tsang
Research Unit Director
Mohammad Delowar Hossain
Postdoctoral Fellow
Suganthini Wijayaratnam
Administrative Assistant

Publications

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Contact information

Montreal Clinical Research Institute (IRCM)
110, des Pins Avenue West
Montréal, Québec  H2W 1R7

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Cancer and Genetic Diseases