November 21, 2012
Lynne-Marie Postovit is a cell biologist who studies how cells communicate with their immediate environments, and how communication gone awry can lead to disease. In addition to conducting cancer research, Dr. Postovit is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Western Ontario.
During her doctoral training with Dr. Charles Graham at Queen’s University, Dr. Postovit discovered that supplying nitric oxide (NO) to cancer cells could block hypoxia-induced phenomena such as metastasis. These findings led to an ongoing clinical trial that is testing NO-releasing medications as a possible prostate cancer treatment. While completing her postdoctoral training with Dr. Mary Hendrix at Northwestern University, Dr. Postovit found that aggressive tumour cells secrete a stem cell protein called Nodal. Research demonstrated that exposing tumour cells to human embryonic stem cell microenvironments blocks the formation of melanoma and breast cancer tumours.
Dr. Postovit is the recent recipient of Canada’s Premier Young Researcher Award, a career development prize given to Canada’s brightest young researchers at the beginning of their careers. Additional honours include doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (2001 to 2003; 2005 to 2007) and the Arthur W. Ham Graduate Student Award (2003) awarded to the top Canadian graduate student at the Canadian Association for Anatomy, Neuroscience and Cell Biology.