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Gary Bader, PhD
Associate Professor  

The Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research
Department of Molecular Genetics
Department of Computer Science

Hospital Affiliations: Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute,
Mount Sinai Hospital

Where I Am From: Toronto, born in South Africa

Where I Studied:
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York
PDF in Computational Biology, 2002 to 2006

University of Toronto
PhD in Biochemistry (Bioinformatics), 2002

McGill University, Montreal
BSc in Biochemistry, 1997


My Story:

Could you tell by looking at a pile of hundreds of tiny metal gears, springs and screws that you could assemble a watch from it? Now imagine that you are given a list of parts for a person and want to know how an estimated 50 trillion cells in the human body function over a lifetime. The human parts list includes biomolecules such as DNA, RNA, proteins, vitamins, fats and sugars. The human genome project has provided us with a large number of parts, but we don’t know how these biomolecules fit together. Finding and understanding this information is important, as biomolecules interact inside us and arrange themselves into intricate networks and pathways that control all aspects of a cell’s function. Diseases arise if this network is broken in specific ways.

The Bader lab collects information about how the parts of the cell fit together and organizes it into a cellular map that can be used to predict gene function, molecular interactions and the effects of mutations that cause disease. By computationally modeling processes at the molecular and physiological level, we will be able to better understand how they work under normal conditions and how they fail in disease, including complex diseases such as cancer. We are working with teams of scientists internationally to collect the world’s largest resource of known molecular interaction and cellular pathway information in various organisms, including human, so that we may better understand how biological processes in our cells are active under different regulatory contexts. Our research promises to improve diagnosis, prognosis and therapy and reduce the cost of medical care in Canada and the world.

The Donnelly Centre environment enables us to work with world leading experimental biologists who can help us test the accuracy of our computational predictions. The unique constellation of labs and disciplines at the Donnelly Centre helps speed the cycle of prediction, testing and refinement so that our research can progress faster than would be possible at other research centres. Our collaborators within the Donnelly Centre include the Boone and Andrews labs to help map biological processes in the yeast model organism that will translate to understanding of human cells, the Emili and Zandstra labs to identify differentially active pathways in experimental data useful for studying human disease, the Morris lab to help define gene function, and the Kim, Sidhu, Stagljar and Moffat labs to map molecular interactions at binding site resolution.For more information on my work, please e-mail me at gary.bader@utoronto.ca


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