Cell information systems

Dr. Alvin Shrier - Owen Egan

Led by Dr. Alvin Shrier, the Cell Information Systems facility at the Life Sciences Complex will address a wide range of research issues focusing on more than 1,000 different cell types in the human body. Indeed, how these cells function, divide, communicate and respond to external stimuli is the essence of life itself. A central feature of the facility will be a range of innovative imaging capabilities that will allow investigators to conduct live cell, tissue and animal imaging in projects related to the biomedical, biological and physical sciences. Dr. Shrier, who in 2007 identified a protein important to the understanding of a mysterious and often fatal disorder of the heart's electrical rhythm, said it’s important for the Cell Information Systems group to have a facility that will “work out how these proteins are interacting, whether they're interacting with any other channels, and what implications this has functionally for the cell.”

Cell information systems

Central to Discovery

Led by Department of Physiology Professor and Hosmer Professor in Physiology, Dr. Alvin Shrier, the Cell Information Systems group represents yet another developing field created by revolutionary breakthroughs in the study of genomics. Cell Information Transfer researchers investigate the ways cells pass information from one to another, as in DNA or protein messenger molecules.

This important knowledge is crucial to the understanding of how disease develops, and how we can best control disease. Dr. Shrier’s research includes work with the Groupe d’étude des protéines membranaires, a multidisciplinary research group dedicated to the study of membrane protein functions and their involvement in a variety of physiological systems, where he studies the dynamics of cardiac rhythms using tissue culture models, mathematics and highspeed dye imaging.