Minna Woo

Minna Woo, MD, FRCPC, PhD

The major research focus in the Woo laboratory is to elucidate molecular mechanisms that determine pathogenesis of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, which are well known to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Our research interests include explaining mechanisms of islet apoptosis and survival in physiological and diabetic states. We are investigating many of the fundamental genes that are involved in cell survival and apoptosis, such as caspases, tumour suppressors and oncogenes. Many of these fundamental genes have essential physiological roles in metabolic tissues such as liver, muscle, adipose tissue, and the pancreatic islets. The roles of many of the fundamental genes are highly context dependent and are specific for the tissue in which they function. Using genetically engineered mice, we examine the whole body physiology as well as take biological, biochemical and molecular approaches to define physiological roles in specific tissues, in addition to defining its potential pathogenic role in diabetes. We also study the role of insulin resistance in cancer and cardiovascular diseases. These approaches to clarify tissue-specific molecular mechanisms have wide implications for better understanding and treatment of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes as well as its relationships to cancer and cardiovascular development.
Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2017 Nov 27;:
Dodington DW, Desai HR, Woo M
Biomaterials. 2017 Sep 04;146:49-59
An M, Kwon K, Park J, Ryu DR, Shin JA, Lee Kang J, Choi JH, Park EM, Lee KE, Woo M, Kim M
Sci Rep. 2017 Aug 09;7(1):7653
Desai HR, Sivasubramaniyam T, Revelo XS, Schroer SA, Luk CT, Rikkala PR, Metherel AH, Dodington DW, Park YJ, Kim MJ, Rapps JA, Besla R, Robbins CS, Wagner KU, Bazinet RP, Winer DA, Woo M
JCI Insight. 2017 Jul 20;2(14):
Sivasubramaniyam T, Schroer SA, Li A, Luk CT, Shi SY, Besla R, Dodington DW, Metherel AH, Kitson AP, Brunt JJ, Lopes J, Wagner KU, Bazinet RP, Bendeck MP, Robbins CS, Woo M
Sci Immunol. 2017 Apr 21;2(10):
Ghazarian M, Revelo XS, Nøhr MK, Luck H, Zeng K, Lei H, Tsai S, Schroer SA, Park YJ, Chng MHY, Shen L, D'Angelo JA, Horton P, Chapman WC, Brockmeier D, Woo M, Engleman EG, Adeyi O, Hirano N, Jin T, Gehring AJ, Winer S, Winer DA
Cardiovasc Res. 2017 Apr 17;:
An M, Ryu DR, Won Park J, Ha Choi J, Park EM, Eun Lee K, Woo M, Kim M
J Am Soc Nephrol. 2017 Apr 19;:
Alghamdi TA, Majumder S, Thieme K, Batchu SN, White KE, Liu Y, Brijmohan AS, Bowskill BB, Advani SL, Woo M, Advani A
Nat Commun. 2017 Feb 06;8:14360
Luk CT, Shi SY, Cai EP, Sivasubramaniyam T, Krishnamurthy M, Brunt JJ, Schroer SA, Winer DA, Woo M
J Biol Chem. 2017 Jan 18;:
Shi SY, Schroer SA, Luk CT, Kim MJ, Dodington DW, Lin L, Sivasubramaniyam T, Cai EP, Lu SY, Wagner KU, Bazinet RP, Woo M
Elife. 2015;4
Chang YJ, Pownall S, Jensen TE, Mouaaz S, Foltz W, Zhou L, Liadis N, Woo M, Hao Z, Dutt P, Bilan PJ, Klip A, Mak T, Stambolic V


Professor, Departments of Medicine and Immunology and Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto
Head, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism
Canada Research Chair in Signal Transduction in Diabetes Pathogenesis