About NOSM Education Research Communities

T.C. Tai, Ph.D. 

tai_tc.jpgNorthern Ontario School of Medicine
Laurentian University 
935 Ramsey Lake Road
Sudbury, ON Canada P3E 2C6
Phone:  705-662-7239
Fax:  705-675-4858
Email: tc.tai@nosm.ca

 

 
 

Current Position

Professor, Division of Medical Sciences, Northern Ontario School of Medicine

Professor (Cross-Appointed), Department of Biology, Laurentian University

Professor (Cross-Appointed), Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Laurentian University

Core Faculty, Biomolecular Sciences Ph.D. Program


Education and Training

2002-2004
Instructor
Harvard Medical School, Dept. of Psychiatry
McLean Hospital, Lab. of Mol. & Devel. Neurobiology
Boston, MA, USA

1999-2002
Research Fellow
Harvard Medical School, Dept. of Psychiatry
McLean Hospital, Lab. of Mol. & Devel. Neurobiology
Boston, MA, USA

1998-1999
Research Fellow
Stanford University Medical School
Dept. of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences
Palo Alto, CA, USA

1993-1998
Ph.D. University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine
Institute of Medical Sciences
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

1991-1993
M.Sc. University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine
Dept. of Physiology
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

1987-1991
B.Sc. Honours, University of Toronto, Faculty of Arts and Science Specialist Programme in Physiology Minor Programme in Economics
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Research Investigations

Hypertension is a complex, multifactorial and polygenic disease that afflicts millions of people in North America each year. Seventy percent of the adult population over the age of 60 suffer from hypertension and are at increased risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease. The cause of essential hypertension is not well known, but is believed to involve both genetic and environmental influences. Epidemiological studies show that environmental and lifestyle factors (eg. stress, smoking, diet and alcohol consumption) increases the risk of developing hypertension. In addition, studies now suggest that factors affecting fetal development (eg. stress and undernutrition) can increase the risk of developing hypertension in adulthood. The focus of our laboratory is to understand the mechanisms responsible for the development and maintenance of hypertension and to assess how environmental influences can affect the molecular mechanisms associated with hypertension. The overall goals of our research are:

  1. To identify the basic molecular mechanisms(s) involved in the development and maintenance of hypertension.
  2. To determine the molecular mechanism(s) by which environmental influences increases the risk of developing hypertension.
  3. To determine whether pharmacological and/or molecular targeting of specific genes can be used as potential therapeutic targets.

Currently, our research efforts have focused on understanding the intracellular pathways and molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation of the catecholamine biosynthetic enzyme, phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PNMT), and how dysregulation of this gene may contribute to the pathophysiology of hypertension. Our research employs a cell to systems biology approach. The technical methodologies used in the research program include tissue culture, gene promoter analysis, gel mobility shift assays, western blot analysis, PCR, immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, microarray analysis, and physiological measurements in rodents.

Selected Publications

1. Nguyen  P, Khurna S, Peltsch H, Grandbois J, Eibl J, Crisp J, Ansell D, Tai TC: Prenatal glucocorticoid exposure programs adrenal PNMT gene expression and adult hypertension.  J. Endocrinology 2015, 227(2):117-27.

2. Peltsch H, Khurana S, Byrne C. Nguyen P, Khaper N, Kumar A, Tai TC:.Cardiac Phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase: Localization and Regulation of Gene Expression in the Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat. Canadian Journal of Physiol Pharmacol 2015, Oct 15:1-10.

3. Grandbois J, Khurana S, Graff K, Nguyen P, Meltz L, Tai TC: Phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase gene expression in adrenergic neurons of spontaneously hypertensive rats. Neurosci Lett. 2016 Dec 2;635:103-110.

4. Mercier S, Khurana S, Larivière C, Tai TC and Venkataraman K: Exercise and Antioxidant Intake in Aging Normotensive and Hypertensive Individuals. J Gerontol Geriatric Med 2016, 2:010.

5. Williamson CR, Khurana S, Nguyen P, Byrne CJ, Tai TC: Comparative Analysis of Renin-Angiotensin System (RAS)-Related Gene Expression Between Hypertensive and Normotensive Rats.  Med Sci Monit Basic Res. 2017 Jan 31;23:20-24.

6. Sreetharan S, Thome C, Tharmalingam S, Jones DE, Kulesza, Lees S, Khaper N,  AV, Wilson JW, Boreham DR, and Tai TC: Ionizing Radiation Exposure During Pregnancy: Long-term Effects on Postnatal Life in Rodent Models.  Rad Res 2017 Jun;187(6):647-658.

7. Tharmalingam S, Sreetharan S, JW, Boreham DR, and Tai TC: Low Dose Ionizing Radiation Exposure, Oxidative Stress and Epigenetic Programming of Health and Disease.  Rad Res 2017 Oct;188(4.2):525-538.

8. Khurana S, Peng S, McDonald E, Yates W, Venkataraman K, Tai TC: Phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase gene expression in PC12 cells exposed to intermittent hypoxia. Khurana S, Peng S, McDonald E, Yates W, Venkataraman K, Tai TC. Neurosci Lett. 2017 Dec 27;666:169-174.

 

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