Photo of Martin Holcik

Martin Holcik

Professor, Departmental Chair

Degrees:MSc (Comenius University), PhD (Carleton University)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 4223
Office:5411 Herzberg Laboratories

Primary field of Specialization:

Protein synthesis in health and disease

Research Interests:

Closely regulated mRNA translation (protein synthesis) plays a central role in many fundamental biological processes. Conversely, dysregulated translation has been implicated in disease pathogenesis, ranging from cancer to diabetes to neurodegeneration to rare genetic disorders. Despite this, the basic mechanistic underpinnings regulating gene expression at the post-transcriptional level are still not completely understood. We study the link between protein synthesis and disease with specific focus on three distinct, but complementary areas:

1) We continue to delineate the mechanism(s) of selective translation through IRES (internal ribosome entry site) and its impact on cell survival.

2) We study the subcellular localization of RNA binding proteins and its effect on viral infection and apoptosis.

3) We study the pathophysiological implications of defects in tRNA metabolism in patient cells, yeast, and mouse models of the disease.

We expect that our work will significantly broaden our understanding of how dysregulated translation contributes to (and how its modulation may modify) human disease states providing a compelling justification to extend our findings into clinical utility.

Select Publications:

View a complete list of publications on PubMed