Antoine Dufour, PhD
Assistant Professor, University of Calgary
Department of Physiology & Pharmacology
Dr. Antoine Dufour has joined the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Dufour obtained his BA (Hons.) in Chemistry from the State University of New York at Oswego, his MSc and PhD in Chemical Biology from the Stony Brook University (2010). He completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biochemistry at the University of British Columbia in 2017 under the supervision of Dr. Chris Overall. Antoine’s research is focused on the role of proteases in immunity and novel drug target identification in inflammatory musculoskeletal diseases, with a particular interest in quantitative mass spectrometry and systems biology. He owns two patents for the inhibitory methods of protease-mediated cell migration. His research program aims to understand the key mechanisms of inflammatory and immune responses in musculoskeletal diseases. Antoine has already published >20 journal papers, 3 book chapters and has an outstanding track record of academic awards. Dr. Dufour’s lab and office space is located at the Centre for Mobility and Joint Health on the third floor of the HRIC building.
Daniel joined the Dufour lab in February 2018. He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology from Mount Royal University in 2016. His previous research experience includes exploring the mechanism by which lipids are exported from the epidermal cells to the plant cuticle. He also has some experience working in a diagnostic Poultry lab; specifically he was running assays for various poultry pathogens (Salmonella, Bordetella, Campylobacter), running a vaccine monitoring programs, Well water pH studies, and Biofilm sensitivities to disinfectants. Currently, he is expanding on his lab skills and working on proteomics projects.
Graduate PhD candidate (Supervised with Dr. Roman Krawetz)
I completed my bachelor and masters in Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology from Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Bangladesh. My PhD research involves exploring the inflammatory signaling of Lubricin/PRG4 fragments. Altered expression and function of PRG4 is associated with changes in inflammatory signaling resulting in the joint diseases (e.g. osteoarthritis). However, the mechanism through which this occurs is unknown and deserves further rigorous study. I’ll characterize PRG4 (e.g. fragmentation pattern) in human synovial fluid samples from arthritis patients and healthy controls. Using a mass spectrometry approach, I’ll determine which proteases are cleaving PRG4 (and where) and examine the effects of these cleavages in vitro and in vivo.
Luiz Gustavo Nogueira de Almeida
Graduate PhD student
I obtained my B.Sc. in Biotechnology from the Federal University of Alfenas, Brazil, complemented by one year as an exchange student at the University of California – San Diego, USA. Then I completed an M.Sc. in Basic and Applied Immunology from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Currently, I am a Ph.D. student under the supervision of Dr. Dufour and I will be profiling the protein content from synovial fluid and serum samples of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and juvenile idiopathic arthritis patients (JIA). Bioinformatics will be applied to help us in the identification of biomarkers that can better classify disease progression and predict drug responsiveness. A precision medicine approach to RA and JIA patients is our main goal.
Graduate MSc student
I completed my BSc., major in Biology, minor in Chemistry, from the University of Alberta in 2018. My Masters research focuses on determining the role of Calpains in chronic inflammation in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Calpains are an endogenous family of proteases that initiate cell-signaling pathways when activated by calcium. They have been associated with detrimental tissue degeneration across several disease profiles including Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy, limb girdle muscular dystrophy type 2A (LGMD2A), Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and RA. I hope to identify and characterize novel substrates of Calpain 1 and Calpain 2 within the network of collagen and proteoglycan in arthritic joints, using proteomics and bioinformatics. The elucidation of calpain interactions in prolonged rheumatism can point to new drug targets for more encouraging RA prognosis. I also enjoy volunteering within the Calgary community and I am a certified makeup artist!
Medical School Student
I completed a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry at the University of British Columbia in 2017 and am now pursuing a degree in Medicine at University College Dublin. My research is focused on using proteomics and bioinformatics to identify biomarkers of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). The pathogenesis of IBD is relatively unknown, hence causative treatment is unavailable. By determining key biomarkers of IBD, I’m hoping to elucidate more information on the pathogenesis of these conditions, as well as identify potential therapeutic targets.
I am an undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor of Sciences (BSc) at the University of Calgary. My research is focused on the biological processes of cancer, tumor development and metastasis. Using proteomics, I am investigating spontaneous tumors located within muscle tissues that arise from Kras/Tp53 mutations. I am interested in understanding, on a system-wide level, how cancer cells have a competitive advantage over normal cells and what precise signaling pathways are involved. Through my research, I will be able to better understand the biology of muscle tumors and their effect on the the immune system.
I am an undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor of Health Sciences Honours (BHSc). I am currently investigating the role of macrophages during inflammatory and immune responses in demyelinating disease such as multiple sclerosis (MS). Macrophages are important effector immune cells involved in the pathogenesis of demyelination. Unfortunately, Canada has one of the highest rate of MS in the world, with an estimated 1 in 340 Canadians living with the disease. As an active volunteer with the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, I am currently investigating the protective and pathogenic roles of immune cells in brain diseases with a focus on multiple sclerosis to better understand this autoimmune disease.
I am also the co-founder of helpAkid.org, a crowdsourcing and social connection to provide resources, education, information and support to diminish disparity around the world and heal the future of humanity one kid at a time.
Zoe is an undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor of Sciences Honours (BScH) with a specialization in life sciences. She is currently involved in investigating the role of Calpain-3 in muscular dystrophy type 2A through employing novel techniques including proteomics. Her research interests include finding biomarkers for various diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s and osteoporosis. In her spare time, Zoe enjoys volunteering at senior homes and is an active member of the curling community.