Dr. Pascal Bernatchez, Ph.D.

Associate Professor – Anesthesiology, Pharmacology and Therapeutics

Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology and Therapeutics

Contact Information:

Email: Pascal.bernatchez@ubc.ca
Ph: 604-682-2344 ext.66060

Research Interests:

Dr. Bernatchez’s research program studies and elaborates new therapeutic avenues for human pathologies caused by blood vessel disorders, such as endothelial dysfunction, atherosclerosis, vascular inflammation, hypertension Additionally, the Bernatchez team studies the dynamic interplay between solid cancer tumors and their vascular blood supply through angiogenesis, and how this can be used for therapies. Many of his publications rely on the use of genetically-engineered models of disease, while cell biology experiments often focus on studying proteins localized in caveole, small membrane invaginations of the plasma membrane, such as endothelial Nitric Oxide synthase (eNOS), caveolin, Dysferlin and Myoferlin.
More recently, the Bernatchez laboratory has developed a novel research program on muscular dystrophy in collaboration with Dr. Fabio Rossi’s laboratory at UBC’s Centre for Biomedical Research. This new project is aimed at studying changes in plasma lipoprotein metabolism in muscular dystrophy, and how this could lead to improved management approaches. These experiments involve modulating the dystrophin glycoprotein-associated complex and studying triglycerides and cholesterol metabolism in muscle and liver tissues and cells.
Finally, the Bernatchez laboratory also investigates the pharmacological properties of Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (ARBs) like Losartan, as ARBs have multiple pleiotropic effects. These effects are studied in new settings, such as calcium signaling, Marfan syndrome and chronic lung diseases, such as emphysema and COPD.
Basic and clinical research take place on UBC’s main campus, St. Paul’s Hospital as well as Vancouver’s Children’s Hospital.
Dr. Pascal Bernatchez has a long track-record of studying blood vessels. He earned his B.Sc. in Biochemistry from the University of Montreal (1997). His graduate training was done in Dr. Martin G. Sirois’ laboratory at the Montreal Heart Institute where he obtained his M.Sc. (1999) and Ph.D. (2003) degrees in collaboration with the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Montreal, where he was recipient of 7 studentships and 12 academic awards. He then trained as a post-doctoral fellow in Dr. William C. Sessa laboratory at Yale University (2003-2007), where he studied novel molecular approaches to increase the synthesis of atheroprotective Nitric Oxide.
Since his relocation to the University of British Columbia in 2007, Dr. Bernatchez has received major research grants and awards. He is currently a Scholar from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR). His laboratory receives operations funding from CIHR, MSFHR, HSFC, NSERC, the Rare Disease Foundation, MITACS and the Jain Foundation. The current and past MSc and PhD students (UBC Pharmacology; 6 total) have received salary awards / graduate studentships from CIHR, NSERC, the BC Proteomics Network and the Governor General of Canada.