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 >70 journal papers, 4 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. Dr. Dufour was named as one of Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2020, was awarded the 2021 Young Investigator Award from the Canadian Society for Mass Spectrometry and the Groll Calpain award in 2022.
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.
Victoria has been a research assistant with the Dufour Lab since January, 2023. She is a recent graduate from the University of Calgary with a Master of Science in Medical Sciences through the Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute. Her specialization was in Cancer Biology, wherein her project examined tumor-mediated tissue wasting (cachexia) in patients with colorectal adenocarcinoma. Specifically, her project aimed to delineate complex wasting mechanisms related to solid tumors through various methods such as computed tomography image analysis of body composition as well as through sera/tumor proteomics. This project was completed with the ultimate goal of providing novel information to the field of cachexia which may aid in improving future patient outcomes. Currently, she is working with the Dufour Lab to assist collaborating laboratories with proteomic data analysis and figure generation as well as to further develop her skillset in the field of proteomics.
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 PhD student
I obtained my M.Sc. in Medical Immunology from the Birjand University of Medical Sciences, Birjand, Iran. After graduation in 2019, I joined as a junior research assistant at Immunology Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran. I had this chance to work there for about two years to learn, improve my academic resume, and mentor the master students, which gave me a deep insight for my future career while working on basic immunology, systems biology, and cancer. Then, I was encouraged to move to I.R.C.C.S. Cancer Institute "John Paul II" of Bari, Italy as a research assistant to characterize the immune landscape in peripheral blood of Pancreatic Cancer patients using single-cell RNA sequencing and flow cytometry. Currently, I am a Ph.D. student in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology under the supervision of Dr. Dufour, and I will apply multi-algorithm machine learning approaches, systems biology, and wet-lab techniques to determine biomarkers and novel aspects of macrophages in Cancer and Autoimmune Diseases.
Graduate MSc Student
I completed my bachelor’s degree and honours thesis in biomedical science at Murdoch University in association with the Western Australian Centre for Thrombosis and Haemostasis (WACTH). My research involved aspects of haemotology, molecular biology and assay development in an investigation of dysfunctional haemostatic mechanisms in autoimmune disease. I am currently pursuing my master’s degree with the Dufour lab and developing skills in cell biology, proteomics, and metabolomics. My current primary research project is investigating the roles of calpain-1 and -2 proteases in HCT116 colon cancer cells. I will identify novel substrates, and cellular localization of biochemical interactions within the cell to elude a new understanding of how calpain-1 and -2 function in colon cancer.
Graduate MSc Student (Co-supervised with Dr. Pina Colarusso)
Anjali obtained her Bachelor of Science (Hons) Degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, with minors in religious studies and bioethics, at Dalhousie University. Her honors research project focused on how the ablation of the mitochondrial calcium uniporter exacerbated calpain activity in mice subjected to an experimental model of multiple sclerosis. She has also conducted research with both Environment and Climate Change Canada, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Her Masters project will focus on discovering the role mitochondrial amidoxime reducing component 1 (MTARC1) plays on the body, through the analysis of proteomics and imaging of mitochondrial - ER contact sites. Through her research, she is hopeful to discover the role of this protein, and then move on to discovering the similarities and differences between MTARC1 and mitochondrial amidoxime reducing component 2 (MTARC2). She is an avid community volunteer and enjoys skiing and playing the fiddle in her free time.
Graduate MSc Student (Co-supervised with Dr. Laura Sycuro)
Ana completed her Bachelor of Science in Immunology and Infection (Honors) at the University of Alberta with a certificate in Biomedical Research. Her honor’s thesis focused on the analysis of clinical samples from patients with the rare autoimmune disease Scleroderma for differences in glycan profiles associated with sex and disease severity. Her master’s project aims to understand the impacts of complement-targeting proteases (interpains) from vaginal bacteria on pregnancy outcomes, namely preterm birth. Supported by the P3 Cohort Study (https://p3cohort.ca/about/), she will use N-terminomics to investigate interpain activity and microbial signatures in high-risk pregnancies to uncover new biological targets for diagnostics and interventions that reduce the burden of preterm birth on families and healthcare systems. In her free time, Ana enjoys reading sci-fi and historical fiction, hiking and painting.
Graduate MSc Student
Sonali completed her Bachelor of Science in Microbiology with minor in agricultural sciences, at Lovely Professional University, Punjab, India. Her bachelor’s project focused on isolation and characterization of cellulase producing bacteria to produce bioethanol from rice straw. She is currently a master’s student in Dufour lab and Slater lab where she is dedicated to unravel the mysteries of pregnancy complications leading to preterm birth. Her project, led by Dr. Antoine Dufour and Dr. Donna Slater focuses on the fascinating field of proteomics and metabolomics profiling of first trimester maternal serum to bridge the gap in understanding between normal and adverse birth outcomes. Using the cutting-edge technology, mass spectrometry with both Data-Dependent Acquisition (DDA) and Data-Independent Acquisition (DIA) modes, she will be conducting in-depth analysis of serum samples to get a holistic view of the molecular landscape associated with preterm birth outcomes.
Nicole is an undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Animal Health majoring in Companion and Performance Animals at the University of Alberta. Her work involves proteomic analysis to understand the role of mitochondrial amidoxime reducing component 1 (MTARC1) in vivo, which will eventually be applied to fatty liver disease. She is focusing on the animal work and genotyping for the mouse model used in this study. She is also participating in understanding the mechanism of osteoarthritis and stem cell biology in horses. In her free time, Nicole enjoys playing volleyball, hiking, skiing, and spending time with her family and friends.
Isabella Orchard is an undergraduate student studying Biomedical Science at the University of Calgary. Her research surrounds finding biomarkers in participants’ plasma which correspond to changes in cognitive function after an aerobic exercise intervention. Outside of academics Isabella enjoys ultimate frisbee, painting, and volunteering.
Kaia is an undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor of Science with a concentration in Neurobiology from the University of Victoria. Her current research involves the identification of biomarkers in Alzheimer’s disease, and how exercise, sex, and sleep quality may influence the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. She is also interested in pre-eclampsia and gestational hypertension, and how biomarkers in the early gestational period may be indicative of premature birth. Kaia enjoys hiking and biking with friends and family outside of school and the lab. She also loves spending time with her dog, Oscar.
Colton is an undergraduate Co-op student at the University of British Columbia currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science with a specialization in Behavioural Neuroscience. He is passionate about researching neurodegenerative diseases and the ways that proteolytic events contribute to neuronal death. Currently, he is expanding on his laboratory skills and hopes to use N-terminomics to further research the role calpain-3 has on limb-girdle muscular dystrophies. Outside of school, Colton enjoys playing and watching sports as well as spending time with friends and family.