Centre for Heart Lung Innovation
Room 166, 1081 Burrard Street
St. Paul's Hospital
Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6
Dr. Bernatchez’s research program studies and elaborates new therapeutic avenues for human pathologies caused by blood vessel disorders, such as endothelial dysfunction, atherosclerosis, vascular inflammation, hypertension, Marfan syndrome and rare types of muscular dystrophies characterized by tissue oedema. Additionally, his team studies the dynamic interplay between solid cancer tumors and their vascular blood supply through angiogenesis, and how this can be used for therapies. Many of his publications rely on the use of genetically-engineered models of disease, while cell biology experiments often focus on studying proteins localized in caveole, small membrane invaginations of the plasma membrane, such as endothelial Nitric Oxide synthase (eNOS), caveolin, Dysferlin, Myoferlin and Fibrillin.
Dr. Pascal Bernatchez has a long track-record of studying blood vessels. He earned his B.Sc. in Biochemistry from the University of Montreal (1997). His graduate training was done in Dr. Martin G. Sirois’ laboratory at the Montreal Heart Institute where he obtained his M.Sc. (1999) and Ph.D. (2003) degrees in collaboration with the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Montreal, where he was recipient of 7 studentships and 12 academic awards. He then trained as a post-doctoral fellow in Dr. William C. Sessa laboratory at Yale University (2003-2007), where he studied novel molecular approaches to increase the synthesis of atheroprotective Nitric Oxide.
Since his relocation to the University of British Columbia in 2007, Dr. Bernatchez has received major research grants and awards. He is currently a Scholar from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR). His laboratory receives operations funding from CIHR, MSFHR, HSFC and NSERC. The current and past MSc and PhD students (UBC Pharmacology; 6 total) have received salary awards / graduate studentships from CIHR, NSERC, the BC Proteomics Network and the Governor General of Canada.
Education and Training
- Post-doctoral fellow - Pharmacology Supervisor: William C. Sessa, Ph.D. Yale University New Haven (CT) U.S.A, 2003-2007
- Ph.D. Pharmacology Montréal Heart Institute / University of Montréal Montréal (Qué) Canada, 1999- 2002
- M.Sc. Pharmacology Montréal Heart Institute / University of Montréal Montréal (Qué) Canada, 1997-1999
- B.Sc. Biochemistry University of Montréal Montréal (Qué) Canada, 1994-1997
Area of Interest
Dr. Bernatchez’s research program is aimed at exploring novel pharmacological approaches to treat and prevent endothelial dysfunction, as well as some of its consequences, such as hypertension and atherosclerosis.
His latest works shows that this protein is essential to angiogenesis - the formation of new blood vessels- in settings of cancer. His long-terms plans include exploiting the molecular aspects of the eNOS-Caveolin-1 interaction and Myoferlin for the development of future therapeutic avenues.