Associate Professor

Leonardo Salmena

Pharmacology and Toxicology


Medical Sciences Building
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology , 1 King's College Circle, Room 4308, Toronto, Ontario Canada M5S 1A8
Research Interests
molecular pharmacology, signal transduction
Appointment Status
TBC - Contact faculty member for details

Our ongoing scientific interests include investigations of signaling perturbations in the oncogenic PI3-kinase pathway, specifically the function and aberrations of the tumor suppressor PTEN in the context of leukemogenesis. We are currently investigating post-translational mechanisms of PTEN regulation and control of PTEN expression by microRNA.

We have recently identified a novel post-transcriptional mechanism of gene regulation of PTEN mediated through competitive interaction of cellular RNA molecules. These finding have opened a new field of study which embraces the notion that all cellular RNA molecules (coding and non-coding) have the ability to compete for microRNA binding and thereby mediate their relative functions, in trans. Future studies include functional analyses of the non-coding transcriptome, its aberrant regulation, and the consequences for human disease and cancer therapy.

Finally, working closely with the Leukemia group at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, we are intensely investigating the genetic alterations and molecular mechanisms that underlie the pathogenesis of human leukemias, with the aim of identifying cellular mechanisms of chemotherapy resistance, new therapeutic targets and novel strategies for disease prevention.