Anne-Marie Lauzon

Reseach director

Professor, Department of Medicine,

Meakins-Christie Laboratories, McGill University

Project : Smooth muscle biophysical properties in health and disease

The laboratory of Dr. Lauzon explores the fundamental properties of airway smooth muscle as well as their alterations in disease. She established a research program to investigate the structure and function of normal and asthmatic airway smooth muscle. Specifically, the first theme of her research program consists in characterizing contractile protein function directly at the molecular level. To this aim, Dr. Lauzon has set up a molecular mechanics laboratory which includes in vitro motility and laser trap assays. The focus of this work is currently on understanding the latch-state. The second theme of her research program addresses how inflammatory cells and mediators, as encountered in asthmatic airways, alter the biophysical and biochemical properties of airway smooth muscle. To this aim, Dr. Lauzon’s laboratory has set up automated whole muscle mechanics assays. Furthermore, state-of-the-art muscle strips mechanics and cell level microfluidics biophysical assays are currently being developed in her laboratory.

Although the main focus of Dr. Lauzon’s health related work is in the pathogenesis of asthma, her studies are also of direct relevance to other disorders associated with bronchial hyperresponsiveness such as chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and cystic fibrosis, as well as other vascular and intestinal pathologies related to smooth muscle dysfunction.