Biology’s Joseph Orgel to Speak at McGill University Faculty of Dentistry Research Seminar

Joseph Orgel, associate professor of biology and biomedical engineering, is an invited guest speaker at McGill University’s Faculty of Dentistry Advanced Research Seminar, “Extracellular Matrix Formation in Health Disease,” on Tuesday, March 13 in Montreal.

At the seminar, Orgel will discuss how the extracellular matrix (ECM) and its interaction with cells hold a central role in the development, differentiation, and maintenance of cells, tissues, and organs. Alterations in ECM genes lead to more than 200 connective tissue disorders, representing an enormous economic, psychosocial, and physically debilitating burden of illness. Many of the extracellular components in connective tissues are organized in hierarchical supramolecular assemblies that define the functions of cells embedded in them. Deficiencies in such fiber systems lead to connective tissue disease with wide clinical variability in bone, teeth, blood vessels, lung, skin, eyes, and other tissues. Examples of this are various forms of skeletal dysplasias, Marfan syndrome, osteogenesis imperfecta, and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

The seminar topic is based around Orgel’s research, “Microfibrillar Structure of Type I Collagen In Situ.” Speakers from McGill University and Sainte-Justine University Hospital Research Center will address disease topics directly and in the context of this work.

In addition to speaking, Orgel will spend the day meeting with faculty, clinicians, and students at McGill University and Shriners Hospitals for Children.