Dr. Inka Brockhausen
Adjunct Associate professor, Department of Medicine
Cross appointment: Department of Biochemistry
Office Tel: 613 533 2927
Lab Tel: 613 533 6000 ext. 77399
Fax: 613 549 2529



Research interests
There are thousands of different structures of sugar chains found on glycoproteins, however, the role of these glycans in health and disease is largely undefined. The long term goal of our research is to obtain knowledge of the molecular mechanisms controlling the biosynthesis of glycoprotein-bound glycans, and to understand the role of glycans in cell growth, cell death, cell adhesion and inflammation. These studies may help to develop novel therapeutic interventions based on the ability to re-engineer glycoprotein glycans. These inhibitors also have potential as specific inhibitors of the assembly of bacterial polysaccharide coats. A main goal is to define the substrate recognition and action of mammalian and bacterial glycosyltransferase enzymes. Studies in IBD include the elucidation of the mechanisms underlying the aberrant glycoprotein structures and functions in this disease and the development of strategies to reduce inflammation and bacterial colonization.

Current and future studies

1 Structure and function studies of glycosyltransferases that are important in inflammation
2 Development of specific glycosylation inhibitors to reduce inflammation and bacterial adhesion
3 Control of glycoprotein synthesis in inflammatory diseases
4 Role of glycosylation in apoptosis of prostate cancer cells
5 Effect of inflammatory and apoptotic cytokines on cellular glycosylation
6 Role of inflammation and CFTR on bacterial adhesion to cystic fibrosis airway cells
7 Role of glycosylation in bone and cartilage homeostasis
8 Structure and function studies of glycosyltransferases from pathogenic Gram negative bacteria

Publications (PubMed)