Dr. Michelle Letarte, Ph.D., University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
National Advisory Committee Member
Dr. Michelle Letarte is a Professor in the Departments of Immunology, Medical Biophysics, and Obstetrics/Gynaecology/Paediatrics at the University of Toronto, and is a Senior Scientist in the Molecular Structure and Function Research Institute at the Hospital for Sick Children. Her research interests include studying the function of Endoglin and endothelial cell pathways altered in Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT), and in other vascular diseases. She discovered that Endoglin is a co-receptor for both Transforming Growth Factor Beta (TGFβ) and the gene mutated in HHT Type 1 (HHT1). Her laboratory established a research diagnostic test for HHT that is currently employed as a clinical mutation diagnostic test for patients at risk all over the world. She is presently studying TGFβ receptor interacting partners, including Endoglin, and their regulation by androgen signals in ovarian cancer cells. By studying the dysregulation of androgen/ TGFβ signals in ovarian cancer as compared to ovarian epithelial cells, Dr. Letarte hopes to decipher signalling pathways involved in cell transformation and identify novel biomarkers for early diagnosis of ovarian cancer.