Professor, Division of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, UBC
Dr. Pelech received his B.Sc. (1979, Honours) and Ph.D. (1982) degrees in Biochemistry from the University of British Columbia (UBC). He undertook five years of postdoctoral training with Sir Philip Cohen at the University of Dundee in Scotland and Nobel laureate Dr. Edwin Krebs at the Howard Hughes Medical Center at the University of Washington in Seattle. In 1987, he was one of the founding scientists of the Biomedical Research Centre at UBC, and he joined the UBC faculty as an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine in 1988. He has been a full professor at UBC since 1997. Dr. Pelech was the principal founder of Kinetek Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Kinexus Bioinformatics Corporation, which were spin-out companies from his UBC research program. He has been an active member of the UBC Experimental Medicine Graduate Program Committee, a course instructor in graduate courses in this program (including MEDI-501, MEDI-502 and MEDI-590), and a direct research supervisor for over 21 graduate students and over 173 undergraduate coop–education trainees. He has also been Vancouver Senate representative for the Faculty of Graduate and Post-doctoral Studies since October 2020.
Dr. Pelech’s research is focused on mapping and tracking protein kinase-based cell signalling systems to identify diagnostic biomarkers and therapeutic targets for drug development for neurological disorders, cancer and diabetes. Experimental disease model systems under analyses in his lab relate to Alzheimer’s disease, Friedreich’s Ataxia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, and diabetes. Other systems under study pertain to the regulation of meiotic maturation of oocytes, mitotic cell cycle progression in human tumour cells, and insulin signalling for metabolic control. Dr. Pelech’s lab has developed and utilized novel proteomics strategies involving the production of antibodies, multi-immunoblotting and protein microarrays, including microarrays printed with over 2000 antibodies in quadruplicate. Since early 2020, he has also been involved in the development and application of serological blood tests for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, and investigating the role of phosphorylation in the reproduction of the virus in infected host cells.
Dr. Pelech has authored over 240 scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals, over 280 blog commentaries on the GenomeWeb website and created the SigNET KnowledgeBank with 11 open-access websites containing over 3 million webpages of scientific information about genes, proteins and drugs.Publications