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Health Sciences; Medical Sciences; Engineering; Fundamental Sciences

Chaire de recherche du Canada en biologie computationnelle des systèmes

Chaire de recherche du Canada
Département de biochimie et médecine moléculaire
Secondary numbers: 514 343-6720 (Information) 514 343-2210 (Télécopieur)
Secondary email: (Personne contact)


About us

Research involves

Using computational biology, systems engineering and genomics to improve our understanding of the molecular and cellular bases of neurodegeneration. 

Research relevance

This research will improve our understanding of the underlying causes of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and may lead to new treatments. 


Location on the University campus

Roger-Gaudry, room H307-21



At Université de Montreal


Expertise description

A System-Level View of Protein Homeostasis

Treating Alzheimer’s disease and dementia is expected to cost the Canadian health care system about $16 billion annually by 2031 unless we can identify better treatments. Alzheimer’s is an example of a so-called “protein-misfolding disease,” since its onset is linked to failure of protein homeostasis (the cell’s ability to keep proteins in their correct shape and prevent their harmful aggregation). But why this failure occurs as organisms age, and how it leads to disease, is still poorly understood.

Our limited understanding of protein homeostasis largely stems from the sheer complexity of this cellular regulatory network, which functions throug complex feedback control mechanisms that coordinate protein synthesis, folding, trafficking and degradation.

As Canada Research Chair in Computational Systems Biology, Dr. Sebastian Pechmann is trying to develop a more integrated, systems-level understanding of the protein homeostasis network through the use of computational systems. Computational models that integrate detailed biochemical knowledge with systems-wide genomics data provide unique opportunities to capture the complexity of biological systems. Pechmann and his research team are using computational biology, systems engineering and genomics to improve our understanding of the molecular and cellular basis of neurodegeneration.

The innovative approaches that Pechmann’s team are developing will reveal new principles related to the function and organization of cellular protein homeostasis. This will help us understand how and why protein homeostasis fails in disease. It will also aid in the development of novel biomarkers for earlier detection, and will help identify drug targets to treat neurodegenerative diseases.

Projects and funding

Publications and presentations


  • Bioinformatics
  • Cell Biology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Genomics
  • Computer Engineering and Software Engineering
  • Computer Science

Areas of expertise

  • Bioinformatics
  • Proteins
  • Bioprocesses and Biomedical systems
  • Genomics
  • Computer Databases
  • Molecular Genetics
  • Organic Molecules and Biomolecules
  • Cellular Degeneration
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Dementia