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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Science
November 29, 2014

Canadian Excellence


RTgill-W1 stained w Hoechst

Research Lab


Assessment of fish health through proteomics and in vitro methodologies

The assessment of organismal health, whether humans or other vertebrates and invertebrates, is critical in the overall context of ecosystem health. My main research thrust has been in the development of model systems for the evaluation of health status in aquatic organisms and this includes development of fish and shellfish cell lines as well as evaluation of alternate invertebrate species such as snails and crustaceans. With the aid of proteomics technology, we are in a unique position to scan entire proteomes of model cell systems and observe not only changes in protein expression but also protein-protein interactions and protein modifications such as phosphorylation and glycoslylation events. Histochemical, immunochemical and proteomics methodologies are proving crucial for understanding cellular and organismal function and our work aims to evaluate changes in protein expression, cell structure and function following exposure to contaminants, physical stressors and pathogens.


Click on side bar (Top) for sample Research Publications (past 10 years).

Click on side bar (under Research lab) for selected Past Publications (before 2000).


Current research projects (and personnel):

Use and development of fish and shellfish cell lines as in vitro models for the study of intracellular and extracellular protozoan pathogens.

Model pathogen under current study:microsporidia- obligate intracellular pathogens

Growth of Nosema apis, a bee microsporidium, in fish cells: infectivity and protein profiling. (Alina Reid, Honours BSc thesis- Biochemistry).

Development of cod cell lines and infectivity studies with Loma morhua (Michael MacLeod, MSc candidate)

Culture of model microsporidians and evaluation of chemotheraupetic agents (Richelle Monaghan, PhD, Research Associate & Lab Manager)


Development and characterization of fish cell lines as models for biomedical and biopharmaceutical research.

Fish species under study include rainbow trout, goldfish, seabass, eel, haddock, mummichog, fathead minnow, large mouth bass, atlantic salmon, walleye, perch. (Elisabeth Kell, Amal Aloufi)

Development and characterization of a mummichog cell line (Sarah Gignac, Honours Thesis student)

Validating fish cell line cytotoxicity assays: eel cells and selenium (Sophia Bloch, PhD candidate)

Development and characterization of a perch cell line and effects of chemicals (Katelin Spiteri,MSc candidate)

Development and characterization of fish intestinal cell lines and response to phytonutrients (Robbie Smith, MSc candidate)

Evaluation of phagocytic activity of RTS11-GFP transfected cells (Adam Soares)

Studies of cellular senescence and cell karyotyping (Michael Mikhaeil)

Evaluation of oil sands process affected waters for genotoxic effects in fish cell lines (Alice Chun,MSc candidate)