Position:
Professor
Division:
Neurology
Vision Statement:

My research involves mapping of the architecture of protein phosphorylation-based cell signaling networks to define phosphoprotein biomarkers for disease diagnosis and protein kinases as therapeutic targets. I am using a combination of high throughput proteomics with protein microarrays and advanced bioinformatics to develop predictive algorithms for quantitative proteomics for studying protein-protein interactions.

Research Interests:

protein kinases, protein phosphorylation, signal transduction; cell signalling, cancer; high throughput proteomics and bioinformatics

Research Sumary:

The human genome appears to encode about 23,000 different proteins that feature over 650,000 phosphosites, which are targeted by about 516 protein kinases. Over 400 human diseases, including cancer, diabetes and a wide range of neurological and immunological disorders, appear to arise from defective protein phosphorylation from gene mutations and environmental toxins. My research is using novel protein microarray and mass spectrometry technologies to track thousands of phosphosites and hundreds of kinases to reconstruct the architecture of complex molecular communication networks in cells that ensure cell survival and proliferation. We are producing novel computer programs that provide quantitative predictions of protein kinase and phosphosite interactions to define critical connections that when defective cause disease. This information is being used to create antibody probes and synthetic peptide to serve as molecular diagnostic tools to facilitate personalized medicine. Kinetek Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Kinexus Bioinformatics Corporation are two biotech companies that have spun-out of my UBC research program that have directly enabled cell communication research in more than 1530 academic and industrial laboratories world-wide.

Personal:

I have a broad range of interests that include the study of molecular, cellular and social intelligence systems, evolution, history, geography, geology and space sciences as well as the arts, including fine art, graphic arts and photography.

Education:
B.Sc. (Hon) (1979) and Ph.D. (1982) from University of British Columbia
PDF training at University of Dundee, Scotland (1982-1983) and University of Washington, Seattle, USA (1984-1987)
Recent Publications:
  • Fardilha, M., Esteves, S.L.C., Korrodi-Gregorio, L., PELECH, S., Cruz e Silva, O.A.B., and Cruz e Silva, E. Protein phosphatase 1 complexes modulate sperm motility and present novel targets for male infertility. Mol Hum Reprod. 17(8):466-77 (2011).
  • Davies, A.H., Barrett, I., Pambid, M.R., Hu, K., Stratford, A.L., Freeman, S., Berquin, I.M., PELECH, S., Hieter, P., Maxwell, C., Dunn, S.E. YB-1 evokes susceptibility to cancer through cytokinesis failure, mitotic dysfunction and HER2 amplification. Oncogene. 30(34):3649-60 (2011).
  • Carter, C.A., Misra, M., PELECH, S. Proteomic analyses of lung lysates from short-term exposure of Fischer 344 rats to cigarette smoke. J Proteome Res. 10(8):3720-31 (2011)
  • Rogers, L.D., Brown, N.F., Fang, Y., PELECH, S. and Foster, L.J. SopB is a master regulator of host signaling cascades during Salmonella infection. Sci Signal. 4(191):rs9 (2011).
  • Safaei, J., Manuch, J., Gupta, A., Stacho, L. and PELECH, S. Prediction of 492 human protein kinase substrate specificities. Proteome Science 9(Suppl 1):S6; 1-13 (2011).

In addition, Dr. Pelech’s laboratory in collaboration with Kinexus Bioinformatics Corporation has recently launched several open-access, on-line databases including KiNET (www.kinet.ca); PhosphoNET (www.phosphonet.ca) and TranscriptoNET (www.transcriptonet.ca), which feature over 1.4 million webpages

Awards & Recognition:
  • 1993 Canadian Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Merck-Frosst Award for Outstanding Research
  • 1993 Martin M. Hoffman Award – University of B.C. Hospital Site for Research in Dept. of Medicine
  • 1996 Business in Vancouver Top Forty Under Forty Award for Business Achievement
  • 2001 Faculty of Medicine 2001 Distinguished Lecturer, University of B.C.