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 Home / About Us > Dr. Dusica Maysinger

Scientific Highlights

The research performed by Dr. Maysinger's laboratory has contributed to our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of pancreatic islet cell death and long term complications in diabetes. Therapeutic interventions based on novel self-assembly drug delivery systems originated at a time when non-viral delivery of trophic factors and genetically engineered cells had just begun. In collaboration with Drs. Shaver and Eisenberg from the Chemistry Department at McGill University, Dr. Maysinger has investigated small insulinomimetic agents and block copolymer micelles. Long-term collaboration with Dr Rosenberg provided insight into the molecular mechanisms of cell death in human islets, and they are now investigating the effectiveness of a pentadecapeptide derived from Islet Neogenesis Associated Protein (Ingap). As clinical trials with Ingap peptide are in progress, it is becoming clear that there is a critical need for an improved drug delivery system for this candidate antidiabetic drug. Nonviral, biocompatible drug delivery systems should deliver the peptide at levels and rates known to be effective and associated with minimal adverse reactions. Dr. Maysinger's team is developing novel drug delivery methods that will promote islet cells, or progenitor cells that will transform into islet cells, that allow these cells to survive and function (secrete insulin) normally.

Research Team
Dr. Maysinger has trained many students over the years, including a large number of undergraduate students who sought inspiration and enthusiasm for science. She is a coordinator of the course Research Projects in Pharmacology, and more than 20 students who have taken this course have pursued research careers. Dr. Maysinger creates an exciting research team environment that is both multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary. Her many students are now working at Universities in the US and Europe, and at major pharmaceutical companies.

Postdoc. M.Sc. Ph.D. Tech Other
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Dr. Dusica Maysinger

Dr. Dusica Maysinger was trained at the University of Southern California, USA, where she obtained her M.Sc. in 1973 and Ph.D. in 1976. Her Ph.D. thesis dealt with the development of radiolabeled steroids and structural analogs for diagnostic purposes, and drug design based on structure-function relationships. These studies pointed to the exciting field of degenerative changes in the nervous system. Dr. Maysinger was a research fellow (Alexander von Humoldt fellowship) and worked on neurodegeneration in Germany at the Max Planck Institute (Muchen) and at the University of Heidelberg. She subsequently became a member of Dr. Cuello's team at Oxford (UK) and a postdoctoral fellow at McGill University's Department of Pharmacology where she continues her research on molecular mechanisms underlying degenerative changes in the nervous system. She was appointed Assistant Professor in Pharmacology at McGill in 1987 and then Associate Professor in 1992. Dr. Maysinger has participated in numerous local and international collaborations throughout her scientific career. One productive collaboration, is focused on discovering mechanisms underlying cell death and degeneration in diabetes with Dr. L. Rosenberg (McGill University, Department of Surgery) and Dr. M. Prentki (University of Montreal, Nutrition Department).

The scientific contributions of Dr. Maysinger have been acknowledged by various national and international agencies, including the US Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR), the Canadian National Science Research Council (NSERC) and the PTP (Partnership for Tomorrow) programs.

Dr. Maysinger has received many North American and European career awards and fellowships, including, the Fullbright Fellowship, the Alexander von Humoldt Fellowship, the FRSQ Bourse de Perfectionement, the British Council Award, and the European Training Program Fellowship.

Dr. Maysinger has collaborated with Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg (McGill University, Department of Surgery) for the past six years, and together with Dr. Mark Prentki (Université de Montréal, Department of Nutrition), they have recently formed the new JDF Center for Beta-Cell Replacement in Montreal.

� Montreal Diabetes Research Center 2008
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