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About Christopher Pin

Dr. Christopher Pin is a cell and molecular biologist researching the molecular mechanisms underlying pancreatic development and disease including pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer.

Asset Map Keywords: Cancer, Epigenetics, and Gene Regulation --> (see more)
Children's Health Collaborators: Gabriel DiMattia, Rommel Tirona, and Rennian Wang


Dr. Christopher Pin received his Bachelor of Science degree in Genetics at the University of Western Ontario in 1990. He then pursued his doctorate in Dr. Peter Merrifield¹s laboratory in the Department of Anatomy at The University of Western Ontario, where he was a NSERC scholar and received the Arthur Minden Predoctoral Fellowship from the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada. He then trained in Dr. Stephen Konieczny¹s laboratory at Purdue University in Indiana as a Muscular Dystrophy Association and an MRC Research Fellow.

Dr. Pin became an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Paediatrics and Physiology and Pharmacology in 2000. He was awarded a CFI/OIT New Investigator grant in 2002 and received a CIHR New Investigator Award in 2005. From 2008-2015, he served as the Scientific Director of the London Regional Transgenic and Gene Targeting Facility. In 2011, he received the Joseph Gilbert Award for outstanding research contribution in the Lawson Health Research Institute. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Paediatrics, Oncology, and Physiology and Pharmacology and a Scientist and Chair of the Genetics and Development division within the Children’s Health Research Institute. He research is focused on the molecular and cellular events involved in pancreatic and gastrointestinal development, and the underlying causes of pancreatic diseases such as pancreatitis. His research has been funded by CIHR, NSERC, and the Cancer Research Society.


The transcriptional networks for designating endocrine pancreatic tissue are well established. However, the transcriptional regulation within the exocrine pancreas still remains largely unknown. To understand the regulation of genes within this compartment of the pancreas, we have been studying Mist1, an exocrine-specific basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor. Targeted ablation of the Mist1 gene in mice (Mist1KO) indicates that Mist1 is necessary for exocrine cell maturation and stability as Mist1KO acinar cells exhibit significant disorganization and deficits in secretagogue signalling. Deletion of Mist1 also results in an increased susceptibility to pancreatic disease, most notably acute and chronic pancreatitis. The gene expression profile of Mist1KO mice was assessed by microarray analysis before and after initiation of acute pancreatitis, and compared to response observed in normal wild type mice. This analysis has allowed us to identify novel molecular markers for pancreatitis and, at the same time, gain an understanding on the relationship between the endocrine and exocrine compartment during tissue damage.


Research Interest Area: Chronic diseases
Research Overview: The molecular mechanisms underlying pancreatic development and disease including pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer and diabetes; Genetically modified mouse lines that model human disease

Positions

Present Associate Professor, Western University Department of Oncology
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Present Associate Professor, Western University Department of Physiology and Pharmacology
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Present Associate Professor, Western University Department of Paediatrics
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Present Associate Scientist, Lawson Health Research Institute ‐ Children's Health Research Institute (CHRI)
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Recent Works (4)