Professor

Julie Brill

Molecular Genetics

PhD

Location
Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning
Address
686 Bay Street, 15-9716, Toronto, Ontario Canada M5G 0A4
Research Interests
Cell biology, Cell morphogenesis, Drosophila, Membrane trafficking, Microscopy, Molecular biology, Molecular genetics, Phosphatidylinositol phosphates, PIPs, Post-transcriptional regulation, Sperm development

Phosphatidylinositol phosphates (PIPs) are membrane lipids with roles in cell growth, signaling and morphogenesis. Alterations in the levels of PIPs are associated with human developmental disorders and diseases such as cancers, yet little is known about the normal roles of PIPs during animal development.

My lab investigates the roles of PIPs using powerful molecular genetic approaches available in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. For example, we have recently uncovered novel roles for PIPs and PIP pathway enzymes in sperm development, secretory granule maturation and tissue integrity. Our current research seeks to determine how PIPs and PIP pathway enzymes control these processes and to identify upstream regulators and downstream targets of PIP signalling.

In the second area of research, we have recently begun to study mechanisms of post-transcriptional regulation and roles of long noncoding RNAs in sperm development. Because PIPs and RNA regulation play crucial roles in all eukaryotes, we anticipate that our results will reveal conserved cellular mechanisms that are fundamental to human development and disease.

Courses taught

  • MGY340, Molecular Genetic Analysis

Awards

  • 2017 Recipient, Excellence in Undergraduate Laboratory Teaching in Life Sciences Award, Faculty of Medicine, U of T
  • 2015 Elected AAAS Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science

Cross-affiliations

  • Cell Biology Program, The Hospital for Sick Children