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Barbara Triggs-Raine PhD

Currently accepting students.

Current Position

Professor and Associate Head, Dept. of Biochemistry & Medical Genetics, Professor, Pediatrics & Child Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba

History

History. I completed my BSc (HONS) in Microbiology in 1983 at the University of Manitoba. I was fascinated by the new tools that were becoming popular for characterizing and manipulating DNA, and therefore I pursued my PhD in microbiology at the University of Manitoba with an emphasis of molecular genetics. After completing my PhD in 1987, I decided to transition into human genetics by undertaking postdoctoral training at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, and subsequently McGill University-Montreal Childrens Hospital Research Institute. In 1991, I returned to the University of Manitoba as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (now Biochemistry and Medical Genetics).

Research Focus:

The Triggs-Raine laboratory investigates the molecular mechanisms underlying human genetic disorders. One of the areas of particular interest is lysosomal storage disorders, a group of disorders that result from the inability to degrade large molecules which then accumulate and cause disease. In addition, her group has determined the molecular basis of genetic disorders found in unique populations.

Mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) IX is a rare genetic disorder resulting from the accumulation of a hyaluronan due to a deficiency of the lysosomal enzyme hyaluronidase 1 (HYAL1). The Triggs-Raine laboratory has used biochemical approaches and animal models to investigate how HYAL1-deficiency causes MPS IX and the other enzymes that function in the absence of HYAL1. This has led them to investigate several hyaluronidases and to explore their functions using mouse as a model.

In collaboration with other investigators they identified the gene responsible for Bowen-Conradi syndrome in the Hutterite population. The identification of this mutation has served as the basis of a collaborative project aimed at developing a diagnostic CHIP for the Hutterite population to allow 30 mutations to be queried as once.