Research Area: Cell signaling
Department: Biochemistry
Faculty supervisor: Dr. Morag Park

By Marie Moucarry, Mrs. (GCRC)

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I am a Post-doctoral fellow at the Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Research Centre (GCRC). I did my undergraduate studies in Genetic Engineering, then did my master’s degree in Biology at the Jordan University of Science and Technology. I moved to Canada in 2012 to do my PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Calgary. After seven years in Alberta, I decided to come to Montreal to study cancer signalling and I am now part of Dr. Morag Park’s lab.

Why did you choose the Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Research Centre to do your training?

The Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Research Centre is a state-of-the-art world-class research centre. Dr. Park is also a well-known and exceptional leader in cancer biology. I decided to join her lab for my postdoctoral fellowship training to help me steer my research directions and tackle key clinical challenges in cancer research.

Tell me about your research. What are the core findings of your study?

Our research focuses on the biochemical and cellular aspects that govern the regulation of the receptor tyrosine kinase and proto-oncogene Met. This receptor has been linked to the regulation of several distinct biological processes, including cell scatter, cell invasion, cell survival, and epithelial remodeling. Interactions of Met with different scaffolding and substrate pools have important functional implications regarding its ability to regulate these key intracellular signaling events. Primarily, we are investigating the molecular mechanism of a specific Met variant whereby this mutation contributes to Met dysregulation in human cancers.

What excites you most about doing research?

There is nothing more important than coming to the lab every day and making a step toward the discovery or development of research which can ultimately make a change in the world. It’s exciting to know that we are filling in the gaps in knowledge, finding new directions to explore and expanding our horizons both academically and personally. My career in research has allowed me to move between different institutes and work alongside incredible colleagues.

What is your favorite thing to do outside of the lab?

I love hiking, camping, and exploring new places. I am very lucky that I ended up in Alberta and Quebec as they are both beautiful provinces. I also love to play soccer, it is in my blood! Soccer is a great sport because it naturally creates a team spirit and helps me understand the power of teamwork. My two children also keep me very busy!

What are your future plans?

I would like to stay in academia, and I would like to become a Principal Investigator. My goal is to lead my project thoughtfully and successfully to build a strong research portfolio and help me establish myself as an independent researcher. The most important thing also is to maintain the motivation that I have to enjoy the research as much as I can.

What will you miss the most about the centre?

I will miss my colleagues. I received their full support since I moved to Montreal and they helped me to engage effortlessly without barriers. This dynamic and vibrant nature at Dr. Park’s lab allows everyone to achieve maximal success with highly impactful research outcomes. I will miss Dr. Park because, not only is she an exceptional leader, she is also a truly inspirational, supportive, and understanding supervisor.

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