Gregory A. Dekaban
Co-Director
BioTherapeutics Research Group

RESEARCH SUMMARY

Dr. Dekaban's research is focused on two areas:

(1) The development of vaccines for the human retroviruses Human T-cell Lymphotropic virus Type I (HTLV-I) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus( HIV) and most recently for breast cancer.

(2) The development of novel targeted gene therapy and anti-inflammatory treatments for spinal cord injury.

The vaccine research is focused on developing novel vaccine vectors that carry immunomodulatory genes that result in prime boost regimens yielding strong cell mediated responses. The vaccine vectors are based on a hybrid platform containing elements of the herpes simplex virus (HSV) and the Epstein Barr virus that permit the vector to have be used in DNA vaccine regimen or packaged into an HSV particle. Vaccines targeting HIV, SARS and breast cancer using enhanced poxvirus constructs and novel antigen presentation methods are being developed. Research into the molecular epidemiology of HTLV-I infection in Canada is also being conducted.

The spinal cord injury research, in collaboration with Dr. Lynne Weaver, is focused on developing strategies to prevent or treat the maladaptive secondary injury responses to spinal cord injury. This involves developing neuroprotective treatments to reduce the acute inflammatory responses that develop shortly after the spinal cord injury has occurred. Spinal cord injury often leads to surviving neurons developing maladaptive responses that result in abnormal blood pressure control and chronic pain.

Key Research Issues:

The development of vaccines for Human T-cell Lymphotropic Virus, Type I and Human Immunodeficiency Virus -1.
Development of anti-inflammatory treatments for spinal cord injury.



EDUCATION & AWARDS


Education Honours B.Sc. Biochemistry, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontairo
Ph.D. Biochemistry, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario

Training NCI/Frederick Cancer Research and Development Center
Litton Bionettics/Frederick Cancer Research and Development Center

Awards National Cancer Institute of Canada Studentship
Morris Kroll Memorial Scholarship for Cancer Research
International Fogarty Post-Doctoral Fellowship
Medical Research Council of Canada Post-Doctoral Fellowship
Ontario Ministry of Health Career Scientist Award
Ontario Ministry of Health Career Scientist Award (renewed)



SELECTED PUBLICATIONS
:

1 . Holmes, K.H., Mattar, P., Marsh, D., Weaver, L.C. and Dekaban, G.A. The NMDA receptor splice variant NR1-4 C-terminal domain: Deletion analysis and role in subcellular distribution. J. Biol. Chem. 277:1457-1468 (2002).

2 . Mattar, P.A.*, Holmes, K.H.* and Dekaban, G.A. An antisense construct reduces N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor 2A expression and receptor-mediated excitotoxicity as determined by a novel flow cytometric approach. J. Neurosci. Res. 74:782-793 (2003).

3 . Bao, F., Chen, Y., Dekaban, G.A. and Weaver, L.C. Early anti-inflammatory treatment reduces lipid peroxidation and protein nitration after spinal cord injury in rats. J. NeuroChem. 88:1335-1344, 2004.

4 . Gris, D., Marsh, D.R., Oatway, M.A., Chen, Y. Hamilton, E.F., Dekaban, G.A., and Weaver, L.C. Transient blockade of the CD11d/CD18 integrin reduces secondary damage after spinal cord injury, improving sensory autonomic, and motor function. J. Neurosci., 24(16):4043-4051, 2004.



CONTACT INFO

Gregory A. Dekaban
Bio Therapeutics Research Group
Robarts Research Institute
P.O. Box 5015, 100 Perth Drive
London, ON N6A 5K8
Canada
Phone: (519) 931-5777 ext. 24241 Fax: (519) 931-5789
E-mail: dekaban@robarts.ca

Ilda Moniz
Administrative Assistant
E-mail: imoniz@robarts.ca
(519) 931-5718