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Welcome to the Department
of Pathology and Molecular Medicine

Welcome to the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine of Queen’s University.  Our Department is uniquely placed at the interface between basic biomedical science and clinical medicine.  Our dedicated faculty deliver a broad array of highly integrated programs in fundamental and translational research, diagnostic laboratory services and education. In doing so, our Department has a distinctive role in the School of Medicine in that it serves as both a basic science department, with its attendant academic responsibilities, and a clinical department responsible for the delivery of complex laboratory services in the teaching hospitals.

> continued (Welcome letter from Dr. Lois Shepherd)


Tiny molecules, big data


Posted 2015 June 29

Molecules hold promise for detecting, treating cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.

Neil Renwick spent his early years working as a medical officer in the Australian outback, Thailand and Papua New Guinea. Today, those formative clinical experiences with rare and unusual diseases are guiding his explorations into the genetic mechanisms of disease, and putting him at the forefront of a rapidly emerging molecular frontier.

A certified pathologist and clinician scientist in the Kingston General Hospital Research Institute, Dr. Renwick studies select cancer and neurodegenerative diseases in which ribonucleic acid (RNA) control is disturbed. Neil Renwick is working on new ways to treat cancer. (Photo by Bernard Clark)

Among many functions, RNA is the intermediate molecule between DNA and protein. "It has a lot of information that makes a gene into a protein, so it is a good diagnostic and therapeutic target," he explains.

Long viewed by researchers as "information carriers," RNA regained the spotlight in the early 2000s, following a series of discoveries showing that another class of RNA, named microRNA, plays a key role in controlling messenger RNAs and their protein products.

Dr. Renwick's own interest in RNA was sparked at The Rockefeller University when he worked with Prof. Tom Tuschl, who discovered many microRNAs and developed silencing RNA technology. "He figured out how to switch off any gene," he says. "It works brilliantly in cell lines, now we're trying to figure out ways to use it to cure disease."

Dr. Renwick's research involves examining at microRNAs in tissue samples from neuroendocrine tumors. A second project is looking at mutations in genes that encode RNA-binding proteins and result in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Two different diseases, but they are linked through defective RNA control.

Identifying and studying how RNAs cause or mediate disease is not as straightforward as it sounds. "The work is technically challenging," Dr. Renwick says. "It's hard to work with RNA molecules because they break down easily. You have to know how to handle them."

His Laboratory of Translational RNA Biology is one of a small cohort of labs in Canada that specialize in this field - but his lab is the only one using state-of-the-art tests, or assays, for detecting RNAs that he developed while training with Prof. Tuschl. "We have the most accurate techniques for doing this," he says.

A key to his work is the capability to capture and analyse the huge volumes of data produced by RNA profiling. "There will be a big computational component to this work," he says. "We are lucky; we have pipelines to analyse the data."

A recruit to Queen's and KGH through the Southeastern Academic Medical Organization (SEAMO), Dr. Renwick says his new job fulfils a long-time ambition to have his own lab. "I was looking all over the planet for an opportunity. The SEAMO Clinician Scientist program is the way everyone should be going. It's an innovative program."

The Queen's-KGH environment is another positive. "It's a good opportunity for me to be around other pathologists with extensive experience. And the hospital environment is important because it enables you to see how your work impacts real life. I think Queen's and KGH are going to be very competitive going forward because they have the experience, and the patient base, and the basic science. All the components are here."


[see more News Archive]...

EVENTS 2015 events

Monday July 6
8:30-9:30 Autopsy Conference - NOT scheduled
1:00-2:00 Hematopathology Review - Richardson Lab Rm. 102

Tuesday July 7
8:30-9:30 Neuropathology Conference - Autopsy Conference Rm.
1:45-2:45 GI & Liver Conference - NOT scheduled for the summer

Wednesday July 8
9:00-10:00 Resident Slide Review Session - Multihead Microscope Rm. - Drs. A. Adeyinka & G. Turashvili
10:15-11:15 Micro Rounds - Multihead Microscope Rm. - Dr. D. Hurlbut
11:30-12:30 Resident Led Session - Chapter 2: Richardson Lab Rm. 102 - Cellular responses to stress and toxic insults, adaptation, injury and death - Dr. A. Bocicariu

Thursday July 9
12:30-1:30 Grand Rounds - NOT scheduled for the summer

Friday July 10
9:00-9:30 Gross rounds - Gross Rm. - Dr. A. Adeyinka
1:30-2:30 Hematopathology Morphology Round - Autopsy Conference Rm.

Courses offered in 2015 September: CANC497 * CANC499 * PATH425 * PATH499

Courses offered in 2016 January: CANC440 * PATH310 * PATH430/826 * PATH823

Welcome to Queen's Laboratory for Molecular Pathology
The QLMP is part of the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario. The QLMP provides rapid and economic advanced pathology services to researchers, students, clinicians, and private sector groups. The QLMP promotes productive interactions between scientists, clinicians, pathologists, and others by supporting research projects of common interest.
The QLMP offers a wide array of services including:
  • Histology
  • TMA design and construction
  • Whole slide scanning
  • TMA scanning
  • Customized immunohistochemistry and immunofluoroscence
  • Image analysis tools
  • Secure web database access and storage
  • Plastination
  • Electron Microscopy
  • Page Last Updated: 2015 April 16