Current People ordered by first name


I am a PhD student in Rama’s lab, and my work focuses on apoptosis signalling and T cell activity in hepatic homeostasis. Currently I am studying models of apoptosis induced by 1) Activation of the Fas pathway in hepatocytes via Jo2, a Fas agonistic antibody, and 2) T cell activation by concanavalin A in vivo, which causes liver injury by lymphocyte infiltration .  


I am interested in the role of bone marrow-derived stromal cells in the suppression of mammary tumorigenesis that we observe in TIMP3 deficient breast cancer models (MMTV-PyMT, MMTV-Neu).  Currently, I am examining the contributions of macrophages, and am testing whether or not there are quantitative and/or qualitative differences between macrophages in wild type and TIMP3 deficient tumors.  The role of endothelial cells in these two models is also of interest. 

Picture of Carlo


My project investigates the role of TIMP3 in mammary gland physiology and tumourigenesis.  Through my studies, I am unraveling the role of TIMP3 deficiency in affecting molecular signals that control β-catenin signaling and mammary gland involution.  As a complement to these studies, I am characterizing the role of TIMP3 in mammary tumourigenesis using the MMTV-PyMT and MMTV-Neu models.


Challenging timp3 deficient mice with LPS revealed an increased sensitivity to inducers of inflammation, suggesting TIMP3 normally plays a role in regulating the inflammatory response.  The liver is involved in the innate immune response at many stages at which TIMP3 may be acting.  Differences in the availability of receptors or co-factors for LPS, the availability of cytokines and their receptors in liver tissue may be causing the different response to LPS found in the timp3 deficient mice.  I am currently looking at signaling pathways relevant in this model, including the LPS receptor TLR4 and the TNF receptors.



People exposed to the same environmental risk factors for cancer do not all go on to develop the disease. Studies using different rodent strains have shown that inherited factors - tumour modifier genes - have a major impact on cancer susceptibility. My work focuses on the role of TIMP3 as a tumour modifier gene in carcinogen-induced and genetic mouse models of mammary, endometrial, prostate and bone cancer. I am also a veterinary pathologist at the Centre for Modeling Human Disease in the Toronto Centre for Phenogenomics. 


As a master’s candidate in the Khokha lab I am investigating the function of MMPs, ADAMs and TIMPs in the mammary gland. Through the use of mouse models of breast cancer and RNAi techniques I am exploring the role of TIMPs in tumor progression. Studying these findings in a humanized murine mammary fat pad will be the next step in their validation as targets for human breast cancer therapy.


Kim Hannon-Kovacsi 

I started working as a Research Technician in Rama’s lab in September 2004.  I am an RLAT and VT with several years of experience working with mice.  In the lab, I do various administrative and housekeeping tasks as well as provide assistance for the students when needed.


I joined Rama’s lab in 2002 as a technician.  Besides making sure all the computers are running smoothly, I undertake the generation of new transgenic mouse lines for the different cancer models.  I am also currently working on the construction of a conditional knockout mouse.   



I have been using microarray expression analysis to determine global gene expression changes that underly tissue repair in Timp3 KO animals. These include liver regeneration, cardiac remodeling after pressure overload and tumor models.  I am following specific leads by looking at the specific signalling pathways involved. 


My research interests are in the areas of mammary gland development and breast cancer, specifically centering on the breast tissue microenvironment. As a PhD candidate, I am studying the role of TIMP-3 in maintaining this microenvironment as well as how it may influence normal mammary stem cells, and tumour initiating cells through regulation of the stem cell niche.


The goal of my research is to investigate the cellular and molecular alterations that occur during primary osteosarcoma tumor development. To this end I am using tumor stem cell isolation methods to analyze and characterize the presence of these cells in tumors and cell cultures. Furthermore, I am employing a comparative oncogenomic approach to study the genetic changes that drive tumor growth and metastasis.


I did my graduate school in India and had previous postdoctoral training in the US.  I am currently pursuing my interest in understanding the role of epithelial to mesenchymal transitions and stromal interactions in tumorigenesis (in different cancer models) and also in heart disease. 
My favorite past time (if I get any at all) is reading and listening to Indian music. 



I finished my PhD in France and have just joined the lab.  Epidemiological studies have long established a link between chronic inflammation and cancer, especially HCC. We will investigate the role of proteolytic cascades, and particularly metalloproteinases and their endogenous inhibitors (Timps), and inflammatory mechanisms in hepatic tumorigenesis. I will use chemical and genetic models of HCC in timp1-/-, timp3-/- andigf2-/- deficient mice towards improving our knowledge and in fine to find new therapeutic strategies against HCC.