Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology
University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine
United States of America
Dr. Lorimer completed a Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the University of Western Ontario and did postdoctoral training at the University of British Columbia and the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, USA. Currently he is a senior scientist at the Ottawa Health Research Institute and an associate professor in the Departments of Medicine and Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Ottawa.
The phosphoinositide 3-kinase pathway in cancer: A very common event in cancer is the aberrant activation of a signalling pathway known as the phosphoinositide 3-kinase pathway. We are studying this pathway with the goal of identifying and evaluating novel targets for cancer therapy. Our recent work has focused on the role of a protein kinase known as atypical protein kinase C. This kinase is best known for its role in cell polarity, but our work has shown that it also has important roles in promoting proliferation, invasion and resistance to chemotherapy in cancer cells. Currently a major focus of our lab is to characterize the role of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase pathway in tumour-initiating cells that we have isolated from brain tumour patients at the Ottawa Hospital. These tumour-initiating cells represent a clinically relevant model to assess the potential of atypical protein kinase C and other signalling molecules as drug targets. We make use of inducible lentiviral vector technology to modify signalling pathways in these cells and then determine the effects on cancer cell behaviour. In addition we are using tumour-initiating cells from patients to screen for and test novel therapeutic strategies ranging from small molecule inhibitors to oncolytic viruses. Keywords: cancer; PI-3kinase; atypical protein kinase C; glioblastoma; experimental therapeutics