Advisory Board Members

Mazen Saleh

Chairperson for the Department of Biology at Laurentian University

Dr. Saleh received the Ph.D. degree from the University of Toronto in 1997. Working at the Department of medical biophysics his work concerned the interaction of bacterial toxins and membranes. Prior to joining the Department of Biology at Laurentian University, I spent time as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and Colorado State University. Dr. Saleh is currently the Chairperson for the Department of Biology at Laurentian University.

 

Research

The area of my expertise is molecular biophysics. My training in this area has been used in the past 15 years to study various aspects of bacterial physiology and their interactions with their environments. Several research programs were carried out in relation to interaction of bacteria with their environments in both pathogenic and non-pathogenic bacteria. In non-pathogenic bacteria, I used bioinformatics techniques to address certain questions on the process of protein secretion in bacteria. Specifically, how the structural features of signal sequences direct the membrane translocation of signal sequence-containing secretory proteins. I currently have a graduate student looking at the involvement of the mRNA of such secretory proteins in targeting the protein to the membrane for translocation and secretion.

In terms of other aspects of bacterial protein secretion (relevant to pathogenesis), I’m interested in the secretion mechanisms and characterization of bacterial extracellular polypeptides. My group is involved in several projects at the present time to include work with RNA-binding proteins and their role in protein secretion, physiological and immunological comparative studies of Streptomyces and Mycobacteria, and the cloning and characterization of a number of virulence factors of mycobacteria, mycoplasma and streptomyces.