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Scientists in Surgery

Approximately 15% of our surgical faculty are individuals who are non-MDs and work as full time scientists. These individuals are significant contributors to the research effort of our Department. This section will endeavour to profile excellence in research among the scientists in our Department.

Paulo Koeberle
Paulo Koeberle
Paulo Koeberle joined the Anatomy Division as an Assistant Professor in the tenure stream in September 2006. He completed undergraduate studies at McMaster University in 1997 and then began doctoral studies in Neuroscience under the supervision of Dr. Alexander Ball. His early research work established the neuroprotective effects of several growth factors following axotomy of retinal ganglion cells. This experience fostered his interest in the mechanisms of neuronal degeneration and regeneration in the injured adult CNS. He followed his PhD program with postdoctoral studies, first with Mathias Bahr at the University of Goettingen, Germany, then with Lyanne Schlichter at the Toronto Western Research Institute. While at Goettingen, Paulo investigated the mechanisms of the neuroprotection provided by GDNF and Neurturin, demonstrating their role in reducing glutamate-mediated excitotoxicity in injured neurons by upregulating expression of certain glutamate transporters. While working with Lyanne Schlichter, Paulo uncovered the role of Kv1 family potassium channels in promoting apoptosis in injured retinal ganglion cells.

Since joining the Anatomy Division Paulo has set up his lab with funding from the Glaucoma Society of Canada, The Glaucoma Foundation (TGF, U.S.), the Connaught Foundation, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation Leadership Opportunity Fund (with a matching grant from the Ontario Research Matching Fund) and the CIHR. His research is currently focused on identifying novel proteins that are involved in neuronal apoptosis as well as the role of extracellular matrix interactions in determining the survival of neurons. Paulo has also established very active collaborations with Cindi Morshead in the Anatomy Division and Michael Fehlings in the Division of Neurosurgery. His work with Cindi Morshead is directed at understanding the factors that control the differentiation of retinal stem cells with a view to promoting the development of new retinal ganglion cells. With Michael Fehling's research group he is investigating the neuroprotective effects of VEGF and its ability to promote neovasularization in the CNS. By exploring ways to up-regulate VEGF expression Paulo hopes to contribute to improving the clinical outcomes for stroke patients.

Paulo currently teaches students in both the Faculties of Arts and Science and in Medicine. Next year he will take over as the Course Director for Neuroanatomy in the PT program. Paulo has a bright future and is an outstanding addition to the Division of Anatomy.

Michael Wiley
University Division Chair, Anatomy

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