Pierre A Coulombe, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore
"Keratin intermediate filaments: A unique perspective on epithelial biology in health and disease."
Pierre is a leading epithelial cell biologist who has very sucessfully used biochemistry, human genetics, transgenics and structural biology methodologies to define the structural and importantly, non-structural, physiological functions of intermediate filaments.
Dr. Pierre A. Coulombe, a native of Montréal, Québec, Canada, serves as the E.V. McCollum Professor and Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Bloomberg School of Public Health of the Johns Hopkins University. He began this appointment in 2008.
Pierre received a B.Sc. degree in the field of experimental biology from the Université du Québec a Montréal (Canada) in 1982, and obtained a Ph.D. degree in Pharmacology from the Université de Montréal (Canada) in 1987. He pursued postdoctoral training between 1988 and 1992 under the tutelage of Dr. Elaine Fuchs, then at the University of Chicago. Dr. Coulombe was recruited to the faculty at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1992, in the Departments of Biological Chemistry and Dermatology, where he remained primarily affiliated until 2008. As a postdoctoral fellow Dr. Coulombe became involved in research aimed at defining the properties, regulation and function of keratin intermediate filament proteins, an interest that he has maintained to this day. He played key roles in the identification of the first intermediate filament-based disease, in defining the structural support function of keratin filaments in epithelial cells, and the discovery and characterization of novel, non-mechanical functions for keratin proteins. Dr. Coulombe has been very active in graduate education, and held several leadership positions in that area, throughout his tenure Johns Hopkins University. His contributions have been recognized through many awards for research and teaching.