Team

Supervisor

Matthew Pamenter, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biology and Canada Research Chair (NSERC Tier 2) in Comparative Neurophysiology

Matt received his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto (2003-2008), where he studied neural mechanisms of anoxia-tolerance in turtle brain in the Buck lab. He then travelled to California to undertake a postdoctoral fellowship in the Haddad lab at UCSD (2008-2012), where he studied mechanisms of ischemic cell death in mammalian stroke models. In 2012, Matt began a second postdoctoral fellowship, split between the Powell lab at UCSD and the Milsom lab at UBC (2012-2015), studying neural plasticity in the hypoxic ventilatory response of rodents, including the naked mole rat.

Matt is broadly interested in how hypoxia-tolerant animals have evolved to survive in low-oxygen environments. His primary focus is on the underlying neural mechanisms of hypoxia-tolerance, with a specific interest in how brain cells survive with little to no oxygen and how neural networks control physiological responses to hypoxia.

Lab Members

Hang Cheng

Ph.D. Student 

Mo Ojaghi

Ph.D. Student 

Liam Eaton

M.Sc. Student 

Maiah Devereaux

B.Sc. Student (2018-2019); M.Sc. Student 

Publications: Clayson M, Devereaux MEM, and Pamenter ME (2020). Neurokinin-1 receptor activation is sufficient to restore the hypercapnic ventilatory response in the Substance P-deficient naked mole-rat. American Journal of Physiology.

Devereaux MEM and Pamenter ME (2020). Fossorial Giant Zambian mole-rats have blunted ventilatory responses to environmental hypoxia and hypercapnia. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A.

Maria Roy

B.Sc. Student  

Sarah Chiasson

B.Sc. Student

Karen Kadamani

B.Sc. Student  

Lab Alumni

Dan in nature

Daniel Munro, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Daniel completed his doctoral thesis on the mitochondrial determinants of animal longevity using the longest-lived metazoan, the marine clam Arctica islandica, in Dr Pierre Blier’s laboratory in Rimouski, Québec. He then continued to tackle the link between mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) and longevity for two years in the laboratory of Dr Jason Treberg at the University of Manitoba. Daniel is now interested in delineating the mitochondrial adaptations to hypoxia from those related to longevity. His work concentrates at the level of the architecture of the electron transport system and the metabolism of ROS (production and elimination), in a comparative approach using the naked-mole rat and other models.

Publications: Munro D, Baldy C, Pamenter ME, and Treberg JR (2019). The exceptional longevity of the naked mole-rat may be explained by exceptional mitochondrial antioxidant defenses. Aging Cell

Munro D and Pamenter ME (2019). Comparative studies of mitochondrial ROS in animal models: pitfalls and possibilities. Aging Cell.

Pamenter ME and Munro D (2019), Longevity or hypoxia: who’s driving? Aging-US

Chau Nguyen

B.Sc. Student (2016-2019)

Project title: Exploring the contribution of heat shock protein to the hypoxia-tolerance of the naked mole-rat

Publications: Nguyen VC, Deck CA and Pamenter ME (2019). Naked mole-rats reduce the expression of ATP-dependent but not ATP-independent heat shock proteins in acute hypoxia. Journal of Experimental Biology.

Hawkins LJ, Hadj-Moussa H, Nguyen VC, Pamenter ME and Storey KB (2019). Naked mole-rats activate neuroprotective proteins during hypoxia. Journal of Experimental Zoology A.

Al-attar R, Childers CL, Nguyen VC, Pamenter ME and Storey KB (2020). Differential protein phosphorylation is responsible for hypoxia-induced regulation of the Akt/mTOR pathway in naked mole-rats. Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry

Tina Wang

B.Sc. Student (2018-2019)

Salome Cadrin-Aubin

B.Sc. Student (2018-2019)

Lisa Borecky

Lisa Borecky

M.Sc. Student (2015-2018)

Project title: Hypoxia inducible factor and the control of hypoxic ventilatory and metabolic responses in Mus Musculus and heterocephalus glaber.

Publications: Dzal, Seow, Borecky, Chung, Gill, Milsom and Pamenter (2019). Glutamatergic receptors modulate normoxic but not hypoxic ventilation and metabolism in naked mole rats. Frontiers in Physiology

Borecky LG and Pamenter ME (2017). Oxygen sensing and transcriptional regulation of adaptive hypoxic responses. In: Chemosensory sensors and systems: evolutionary significance biological effects, and new insights. New York, USA: Nova Science (M. Brandt, ed.).

photo pour labo

Cécile Baldy, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow (2017-2018)

Publications: Munro D, Baldy C, Pamenter ME, and Treberg JR (2019). The exceptional longevity of the naked mole-rat may be explained by exceptional mitochondrial antioxidant defenses. Aging Cell

Pamenter ME and Baldy C. (2017). Chronic intermittent hypoxia contributes to sleep-disordered breathing in infants and adults. Berlin, GER: Avid Science. (S. Ravini, ed.).

Amanda Zhu-Pawlowsky

B.Sc. Student (Summer 2018)

Project title: Exploring the role of a moisture-mediated body temperature cooling strategy in hypoxic naked mole rats

Publications: Vandewint A, Zhu-Palowsky A, Kirby A, Tattersall GJ and Pamenter ME. (2019). Evaporative cooling and vasodilation mediate thermoregulation in naked mole rats during normoxia but not hypoxia. Journal of Thermal Biology.

Travis Branigan

B.Sc. Student (2017-2018)

Project title: Behavioural Responses to Environmental Hypercapnia in Damaraland Mole Rats (Fukomys damarensis)

Publication: Branigan, Elkhalifa, and Pamenter. (2018). Behavioral responses to environmental hypercapnia in two eusocial species of African mole rats. Journal of Comparative Physiology A

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Nikita Malholtra

B.Sc. Student (2017-2018)

Project title: Thermal adaptations to acute hypoxia in naked mole rats

Amanda Vandewint

B.Sc. Student (2017-2018)

Project title: Exploring the role of a moisture-mediated body temperature cooling strategy in hypoxic naked mole rats

Publications: Vandewint A, Zhu-Palowsky A, Kirby A, Tattersall GJ and Pamenter ME. (2019). Evaporative cooling and vasodilation mediate thermoregulation in naked mole rats during normoxia but not hypoxia. Journal of Thermal Biology.

Lewis Han

UROP Student (2017-2018)

Max Clayson

B.Sc. Student (2016-2017)

Project title: The role of carbonic anhydrase in modulating metabolic and ventilatory responses to hypercapnia in naked mole-rats

Publications: Clayson M, Devereaux MEM, and Pamenter ME (2020). Neurokinin-1 receptor activation is sufficient to restore the hypercapnic ventilatory response in the Substance P-deficient naked mole-rat. American Journal of Physiology.

Sulaf Elkhalifa

B.Sc. Student (2016-2017)

Project title: Behavioural and thermal responses to hypercapnia in naked mole-rats

Publication: Branigan, Elkhalifa, and Pamenter. (2018). Behavioral responses to environmental hypercapnia in two eusocial species of African mole rats. Journal of Comparative Physiology A

Aaron Ilacqua

B.Sc. Student (2015-2016)

Project title: Behavioural and thermal responses of individual naked mole rats to environmental hypoxia within their thermoneutral zone

Publication: Ilacqua, Kirby, and Pamenter (2017). Behavioural responses of naked mole rats to acute hypoxia and anoxia. Biology Letters

Sharn Gill

B.Sc. Student (2015-2016)

Project title: Exploring the role of glutamatergic receptors in the control of ventilatory responses to acute and chronic hypoxia in naked mole rats

Publication: Dzal, Seow, Borecky, Chung, Gill, Milsom and Pamenter (2019). Glutamatergic receptors modulate normoxic but not hypoxic ventilation and metabolism in naked mole rats. Frontiers in Physiology.

Active Collaborators

Nigel Bennet, University of Pretoria

John Denu, University of Madison – Wisconsin

Mary-Ellen Harper, University of Ottawa

Bill Milsom, University of British Columbia

Jeff Richards, University of British Columbia

Ken Storey, Carleton University

Glenn Tattersall, Brock University

Jason Treberg, University of Manitoba

Martin Tresguerres, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, UCSD