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GEN’s editorial staff interviews life science academic and biotech industry leaders on important research, technology, and trends. These podcasts will keep you informed with all the important details you need.

A Queen's University study sheds new light on the way one of our cell enzymes, implicated in causing tissue damage after heart attacks and strokes, is normally kept under control. The research team published their findings in the November 20 issue of Nature and believes their discovery will be useful in developing new drug treatments that can aid recovery in stroke and heart disease, as well as to potentially lessen the effects of Alzheimer's and other neurologically degenerative diseases.

During this week's podcast, Dr. Davies, research team leader, talks about what his group's study revealed about the enzyme of interest, calpain, and calpastatin, which binds and blocks calpain's activity. He describes the normal role of calpain in the body and what happens when its activity greatly increases. Dr. Davies also discusses what his team does experimentally to learn how calpastatin binds and blocks calpain once it has been activated by calcium.

Dr. Davies then goes over the ways his research team plans to proceed to exploit their new discovery.
Dr. Peter Davies (Ph.D.: University of British Columbia, Biochemistry, 1973, B.Sc.: University of Wales, Biochemistry & Soil Science, 1968) joined Queen's University as an Assistant Professor and Medical Research Council Scholar in 1977. He is currently a full professor in the Department of Biochemistry and holds a Tier I Canada Research Chair in Protein Engineering (2003-2010). He has a cross-appointment in the Department of Biology. His current research focus is the study of proteins and the relationship between their structure and function, especially with reference to antifreeze proteins and proteases.

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