CHUM Research Centre
Department of medicine, Université de Montréal
Molecular biology program, Université de Montréal
514 890-8000, ext. 26615
The patient who needs immediate assistance should not communicate directly with the researcher. Instead, they should call the doctor’s office or take other appropriate measures, such as going to the nearest emergency service.
Cellular and molecular responses to chemotherapy; molecular control of programmed cell death (apoptosis); cell cycle control-point regulation; mechanisms of stabilization of cellular senescence; effect of circadian cycles on the response to chemotherapy; development of new therapeutic strategies.
The cellular and molecular responses to genotoxic drugs used in anticancer chemotherapy are extremely varied and complex. Genotoxic drugs activate a series of responses involving gene activation, post-translational protein modifications and intracellular signalling pathways that mediate cell cycle arrest, cellular senescence and/or cell death.
Research in the laboratory is focused on the control and function of genes, proteins and signalling pathways that regulate cell death by apoptosis, particularly on genes/proteins of the Bcl-2 family, and on activation of a proteolytic cascade involving a class of specific proteases, the caspases. The importance of cellular organelles, including mitochondria and lysosome, in the regulation of apoptosis is also investigated. The influence of Bcl-2 family members on cell-cycle checkpoints is also being investigated in the laboratory, particularly Bcl-xL regulation in the G2/M and spindle-assembly checkpoints.
Research projects on the epigenetic changes associated with stabilization of cellular senescence, and on the influence of circadian rhythms on tumour responses to chemotherapy are also planned. Finally, new experimental anticancer therapeutic strategies are under investigation in the laboratory, in collaboration with other research groups.
Richard Bertrand obtained a PhD in Molecular Biology from the Université de Montréal in 1989. He did his post-doctoral training at the Laboratory of Molecular Pharmacology, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda (USA). Upon his return to Montreal, he opened a new research laboratory in 1993 at the Montreal Cancer Institute - Hospital Notre-Dame, now part of the CHUM Research Centre.