Alex Palazzo

About Alex Palazzo

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So far Alex Palazzo has created 204 blog entries.

Workshop on RanBP2/Nup358 and Acute Necrotizing Encephalopathy

Professor Alex Palazzo is co-organizing with Jomon Joseph (National Centre For Cell Science, Pune) a Workshop on RanBP2/Nup358 and Acute Necrotizing Encephalopathy, November 10th to 12th (9AM to 12:30PM, EST). The workshop is free and will be held over Zoom. If you would like to attend, please register (see the link below). If you, or your trainees, would like to present your work, we have reserved slots for […]

2 September 2021|

Professor Julie Forman-Kay elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society


The Biochemistry Department is pleased to report that Professor Julie Forman-Kay has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in recognition of her internationally renowned studies of the dynamic structures, interactions and functions of intrinsically disordered proteins. Congratulations!

11 May 2021|

SickKids-led researchers receive numerous grants from the Canada Foundation for Innovation

Professors Julie Forman-Kay, Simon Sharpe, P. Lynne Howell and John Rubinstein were awarded new CFI funds to help bring new technology to SickKids.

Professors Julie Forman-Kay, and Simon Sharpe, received more than $1.6 million to build on the SickKids Structural and Biophysical Core (SBC) facility. These new funds will support critical enhancements to cutting-edge research, knowledge creation, and training across biology and biophysics, including immunogen design for improved […]

27 March 2021|

Latest Platform Support Grant to the Attisano Lab to make advanced brain models

Together with the Krembil Foundation, Brain Canada awarded a Platform Support Grant (PSG) to a team spearheaded by Professor Liliana Attisano. She will be receiving $1,425,000 to support the Applied Organoid Core (ApOC), an organoid production platform for modelling human brain development and disorders.

27 March 2021|

A strong case for increasing federal funding for basic research

Professors Palazzo and Moraes co-authored an OpEd, “Dwindling Funding for Canadian Science”, that appeared in The Future Economy.

They point out that Canada now spends less of its GDP on science than any other G7 country except for Italy. As a result, many scientists do not have funding to conduct the work they were hired to do.

They strongly urge that the Canadian government increase its investment in research, especially […]

20 February 2021|

New Tricks for Phages

In the latest issue of Molecular Cell, the Maxwell, Davidson and Moraes labs identify and characterize Aqs1, a multi-purpose DMS3 phage protein. Aqs1 binds and inhibits LasR, which is required for quorum sensing and the release of several anti-phage defenses in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. But that’s not all. Aqs1 also binds PilB, and thereby blocks pilus assembly. Since the bacterial pilus helps phage to infect, Aqs1 prevents further […]

18 February 2021|

Phase separation of macromolecules in health and disease

It is very hard to understand the effects of disease mutations that are prevalent in intrinsically disordered protein regions (IDRs). In a Perspective published in the December 23, 2020 issue of Cell, a collaborative Toronto team from the groups of Julie Forman-Kay, Alan Moses and Steve Scherer put forward both general and specific hypotheses for how IDR mutations lead to pathology in complex diseases, particularly in autism spectrum […]

28 December 2020|

Message from the Chair

Apologies for the delay – this semester has been pretty hectic and it’s been a while since I’ve had the bandwidth to put one of these notes together.

We’ve come through the semester pretty well all things considered. All reports are that undergraduate and graduate teaching has gone as well as can be expected – thanks to the Alexes, Jen Haughton and Carrie Harber for their hard work keeping those ships […]

18 December 2020|

Oliver P. Ernst Wins the 2020 Konrad Adenauer Research Award

Our congratulations goes out to Professor Oliver Ernst, the recipient of the 2020 Konrad Adenauer Research Award.

The Humboldt Foundation’s Konrad Adenauer Research Award honours researchers from Canada whose fundamental discoveries and findings have helped shape their discipline beyond their immediate research area and whose personality and research have contributed to strengthening academic and cultural relations between Germany and Canada.

8 December 2020|

The Evolution of Biological Complexity from Junk

What if we told you that you have a brain not because of natural selection, but in spite of it?

In the latest issue of Cell, Professor Alex Palazzo and his collaborator, Eugene Koonin from the NIH, have advanced a new theory on how biological complexity evolves. Most scientists assume that novel genes evolve as a direct consequence of natural selection, but Palazzo and Koonin present evidence […]

1 December 2020|

Professor Karen Maxwell wins the John C. Polanyi Award

Congratulations to Professor Karen Maxwell who was awarded the 2020 NSERC John C. Polanyi Award.  She received this award for her pioneering work investigating how bacteria like Streptomyces fight of phages by producing small molecules. This breakthrough not only reveals new biology about bacterial-phage interactions, but it also opens up a new way to screen for drugs that could be useful for the treatment of human cancers and […]

10 November 2020|

Professor Alexio Muise, awarded the Crohn’s and Colitis Canada 2020 Research Leadership Award

Congratulations to Professor Alexio Muise who was awarded the Crohn’s and Colitis Canada 2020 Research Leadership Award. Professor Muise’s lab has been performing groundbreaking work into the genetic causes of Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome and has published several ground breaking studies in the past few years.

8 November 2020|