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Dr. Jim R. Woodgett

Research Institute
Mount Sinai Hospital
Joseph & Wolf Lebovic Health Complex
600 University Avenue
Toronto Ontario
M5G 1X5

Tel.: 416-586-4800 ext.8811

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Dr. Jim R. Woodgett


Dr. Jim Woodgett is interested in the manipulation of cell signalling processes to treat certain cancers, diabetes and neurodegenerative conditions. His research program is based on understanding how protein kinases act in specific pathways and how they might be targeted in disease.

Dr. Woodgett's Lab focusses on the causes and treatment of breast cancer, liver cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease and bipolar disorder. What links this apparently broad range of diseases is their common basis in disruption of the lines of communication within the cells, or the signalling pathways. By studying the ways in which components of these pathways are mutated and transformed by disease, his team can identify new and more effective therapeutic targets. Study of the Wnt pathway, which comprises a number of genes which account for about 90% of human colon cancer, is a particular area of interest.

Wnt signalling depends on a number of proteins that play essential roles in other signalling pathways raising the question of signal selectivity. The laboratory is using proteomics and subcellular visualization in cells to understand how signalling systems are effectively insulated from each other, with implications for enhanced drug targeting specificity.

At a Glance

Previous Director of the LTRI (2005-2021) with ongoing interests in science communication and advocacy

Researches the manipulation of cell processes to treat certain cancers, diabetes and neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease

Focuses on regulatory proteins called kinases — the master switches in cells that control responses to the environment

Investigates mechanisms of cancer spread (metastasis) towards next generation therapeutic interventions

Major Research Activities

Dr. Woodgett's research group studies the molecular mechanisms by which the Wnt and PI3K pathways act to promote normal organ development and are frequently dysregulated in cancers such as breast and liver cancer. His laboratory is also studying the mechanisms by which specificity is achieved in cells responding to hundreds of signals through a limited number of signaling pathways.