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Kathleen McCoy

Positions

Professor

Cumming School of Medicine, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology

Scientific Director

International Microbiome Centre

Full Member

The Calvin, Phoebe and Joan Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases

Full Member

Inflammation Research Network

Full Member

Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute

Contact information

Web presence

Phone number

Office: +1.403.210.8192

Location

Office: HSC1883

Background

Educational Background

B.S. Physiology and Biochemistry, Victoria University Wellington, 1992

B.S. Immunology, Victoria University Wellington, 1993

Doctor of Philosophy Immunology, University of Otago, 1997

Biography

Dr. Kathy McCoy is a Professor in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Cumming School of Medicine, member of the Snyder Institute, Scientific Director of the International Microbiome Center, and holds the Killam Memorial Chair at the University of Calgary, Canada. Her research group uses germ-free and gnotobiotic models to investigate the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which the microbiome regulates host immunity and physiology. She is particularly interested in the dynamic interplay between the gut microbiota and the innate and adaptive immune systems. Her research aims to understand how exposure to intestinal microbes, particularly during early life, educates and regulates the mucosal, systemic and neuronal immune systems and how this can affect susceptibility to diseases, such as allergy, autoimmunity, and neurodevelopmental disorders. Her lab also investigates how the microbiome regulates the efficacy of cancer immunotherapy with the aim to identify microbial therapies that can be employed to enhance current therapeutic approaches.

Research

Areas of Research

Our research focuses on the dynamic interplay between the gut microbiota and the innate and adaptive immune systems during homeostasis and inflammation

OUR AIMS

To understand how exposure to intestinal microbes early in life educates and regulates the developing immune system and how this impacts on susceptibility to immune-mediated diseases, such as allergy and autoimmunity, later in life.

To increase our understanding of the cellular and molecular pathways underlying the impact of the microbiome in health and disease to enable innovative approaches to harness the microbiome to treat or prevent disease.

HOW?

Using germ-free and gnotobiotic animal models together with human translational studies. Kathy is the director of a 10,000-square-foot germ-free, gnotobiotic facility. There researchers transplant specific microbiomes into germ-free animals in an environment free from bacterial or viral contaminants. Coupling of animal studies with advanced imaging capacities, such as intravital microscopy, enables researchers to investigate the interplay of the microbiome and the immune system.

Publications

Spencer Abbott
MSc student
spencer.abbott@ucalgary.ca

Kirsty Brown
PhD student
kirsty.brown1@ucalgary.ca

Faith Keister
MSc student
faith.keister1@ucalgary.ca

Pardis Kiani
MSc student
pardis.kiani1@ucalgary.ca

Madeline Mellet
MSc student
madelinemellett@ucalgary.ca

Mahana Sabachvili
Visiting PhD student
mahana.sabachvili1@ucalgary.ca

Marcela Davoli Ferreira, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
marcela.davoliferrei@ucalgary.ca

Aline Ignacio, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
aline.silva@ucalgary.ca

Larisa Kovtonyuk, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
larisa.kovtonyuk@ucalgary.ca

Camille Petitfils, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
camille.petitfils@ucalgary.ca

Ioanna Petta, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
ioanna.petta@ucalgary.ca

Carolyn Thomson, PhD
Research Associate
carolyn.thomson@ucalgary.ca

Michael Dicay  
Lab Manager
mdicay@ucalgary.ca

Christopher Richmond
Lab Technician
christopher.richm1@ucalgary.ca

Christina Ohland, PhD
Research Associate
christina.ohland@ucalgary.ca

Paloma Araujo Cavalcante
Technician
paloma.araujocavalca@ucalgary.ca

Francisca Cavalcante Melo
Technician
francisca.cavalcante@ucalgary.ca

Karen Ratushny
Email: karen.ratushny@ucalgary.ca 
Phone: 403.220.8632