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SickKids

John Parkinson

Title: Senior Scientist, Molecular Medicine
Designations: PhD
Phone: 416-813-5746
Email: jparkin@sickkids.ca
U of T Positions: Professor (Status only), Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics

Biography

Dr. John Parkinson graduated from the University of Bath with a bachelor of science in Applied Biology in 1990. After receiving a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Manchester in 1995, Dr. Parkinson completed a NATO fellowship at the University of Manitoba. From 1997 to 2000, Dr. Parkinson was awarded a fellowship at the Edinburgh Centre for Protein Technology, University of Edinburgh and from 2000 to 2003 completed another fellowship at the University of Edinburgh on Nematode genomics. In 2003 Dr. Parkinson joined the SickKids Research Institute, where he combines genomic and computational approaches to study microbes that contribute to health and disease. 

Research

With over 20 years of expertise, the Parkinson Lab combines computational and genomic approaches to study the impact of microbes on human health. These microbes include bacterial pathogens such as Neisseria gonorrhea, the causative agent of gonorrhea, as well as parasites such as Toxoplasma gondii, Plasmodium falciparum, and Brugia malayi the causative agents of toxoplasmosis, malaria and elephantiasis respectively. More recently the Parkinson lab has been studying the role of complex microbial communities (microbiomes) in a host of chronic diseases including obesity, inflammatory bowel disease and malnutrition. Key to these analyses are “systems-based” methods, such as metabolic modelling and network biology, that allow researchers in the Parkinson lab to understand how genes are organized into the biochemical pathways that drive infection. Application of these methods has allowed the identification of novel drug targets, helping drive the development of novel therapeutics that are urgently needed to combat the rise of antimicrobial resistance.

Education and experience

  • 1990: B.Sc. Applied Biology, University of Bath, U.K.
  • 1990–1991: Research Assistant, Glaxo Group Research, London, U.K.
  • 1991–1995: PhD Biochemistry, University of Manchester, U.K.
  • 1995–1996: NATO Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Manitoba, MB
  • 1997–2000: Postdoctoral Fellow in Protein Design, University of Edinburgh, U.K.
  • 2000–2003: Postdoctoral Fellow in Genomics of Parasitic Worms, University of Edinburgh, U.K.
  • 2003–2009: Scientist, Molecular Medicine, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON
  • 2003–2009: Assistant Professor, Depts of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
  • 2009–Present: Senior Scientist, Molecular Medicine, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON
  • 2009–2015: Associate Professor, Depts of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
  • 2015–Present: Professor, Depts of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON

Achievements

  • 1991–1995: Wellcome Trust Mathematical Biology Pre-Doctoral Fellow
  • 1995–1996: NATO Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • 2006–2011: Canadian Institute for Health Research, New Investigator
  • 2007–2012: Early Researcher Award for Research Excellence in Ontario
  • 2012: Best Speaker 2012 Great Lakes Bioinformatics Conference
  • 2012–2017: Chair host-pathogen working group for the Malaria Host-Pathogen Interaction Centre (MaHPIC, Emory, Georgia).
  • 2013: Chair Organising Committee iGEM North America 2013
  • 2015: Chair Great Lakes Bioinformatics Meeting 2015
  • 2016: Chair, 1st Canadian Computational Biology Meeting (Toronto)

Relevant pages

Molecular Medicine

We develop molecular approaches for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of human diseases.

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