Picture of Dr. Brian Eames

Dr. Brian Eames PhD Faculty, Anatomy & Cell Biology

Research Areas

  • Skeletal development and evolution
  • molecular genetics
  • synchrotron imaging
  • 3D bioprinted tissue engineering
  • Comparative transcriptomics

About Dr. Brian Eames

The Eames lab uses molecular genetics and advanced imaging techniques to understand how skeletal tissues develop and evolve.  A general focus of the lab is on skeletal cell differentiation.  What are the external signals that direct undifferentiated cells to turn into bone or cartilage cells?  How are these signals interpreted by cells to activate pathways of differentiation?  On the one hand, the Eames lab is interested in applying answers to these questions to such debilitating diseases as osteoarthritis.  On the other hand (and these hands know each other), the Eames lab is interested to know how these same answers vary among chordate clades.

Since studying HIV during my undergrad, I became fascinated with understanding molecular mechanisms of evolution. In fact, I was accepted into grad school with the presumption that I would be a molecular virologist. But then I discovered the power of using embryonic development to study evolution.

The skeletal system seemed fruitful to analyze. Ironically, my first job in science was getting stem cells to make bone in a dish, so after those intervening 5 years, I really came full circle. I figured that any genomic understanding of evolutionary changes to skeletal anatomy would require knowledge of the genes that drive cells to make skeletal tissues in the first place.

On the practical side, I love the idea that my science can help people to  live more active and healthy lives--my findings can be applied as therapies for bone fractures, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, and many other serious contributors to inactivity in humans today. On the esoteric side, I love the idea that my work can serve as a textbook example of the genomics of trait evolution.

Grants
Total amount to date: $3,114,000

Years

Amount

Agency

Award

Title

2015-2016

100,000

Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR)

Operating Grant; Bridge funding: New Investigator, Musculoskeletal, Skin, and Oral Health - (1 of 2 Co-Applicants)

Zonal articular cartilage tissue engineering

2015

1,259,321

Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)

John R. Evans Leaders Fund—(1 of 2 Co-Applicants)

High-throughput molecular imaging platform

2014

61,736

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)

Research Tools and Instruments (RTI)—(1 of 3 Co-Applicants)

X-ray tube replacement for micro-CT imaging of musculoskeletal development and adaptation

2014-2019

300,000

Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR)—RPP SK

New Investigator Salary Award

Deciphering the functional role of proteoglycans in the etiology of osteoarthritis

2013-2018

205,000

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)

Discovery Grant

Evolution of skeletal cell transciptomes

2013-2014

25,000

Royal UNiversity Hospital Foundation

RUHF Research Grant

Improved imaging for osteoarthritis

2013-2016

750,000

Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF)

Health Research Group (Phase 3)—(1 of 10 Co-Applicants)

Tissue Engineering Research Group

2012-2015

120,000

Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF)

Establishment Grant

Temporal regulation of skeletal cell differentiation by proteoglycan-dependant growth factor signalling

 

Current Research:

Evolutionary Projects:
Chondrichthyan anatomy and histology
Evolution of skeletal cell transcriptomes

Health-relevant projects:
Molecular and cellular approaches to detect and treat osteoarthritis
I. Proteoglycan loss alone causes a broad spectrum of OA pathology
II. Chemical-specific imaging as a readout of proteoglycan function
III. Tissue engineering of articular cartilage

Selected Publications