Skip to main content Skip to local navigation

Imogen Coe

Imogen Coe

Picture of Imogen Coe
Imogen Coe
Full Professor


Adjunct Professor of Biology


Office Location Farquharson Building, 211-214
Phone Number (416)736-2100 x 30209 (Voicemail)

Research Focus

My research is focused on a family of membrane proteins that are involved in the transport of nucleosides such as adenosine. Not only are these transporters important in the general homeostatis of all cells, they are also of critical clinical importance in the treatment of cancer and systemic viral infection since they are the routes of entry of many therapeutic nucleoside analogue drugs such as AZT and ddC. In addition, one isoform from this family of proteins appears to be involved in the cascade of events leading to cellular tolerance to alcohol. Despite their fundamental biological and clinical importance, very little is known about the structure of these proteins, their mRNAs or genes. My research involves fully characterising this protein family at the molecular level. We have recently cloned one isoform from human normal and tumour tissue and I am now in the process of isolating other forms from other tissues, tumour cell lines and species. I am also investigating the temporal and spatial expression and regulation of these proteins in tissues and cell lines.

The long term goal of my research is to understand how nucleoside transporters are regulated at the cellular level in terms of intracellular signalling pathways. My research involves using both indirect and direct methods to study the role of cAMP-dependent kinase (PKA) and protein kinase C(PKC) in regulating this protein. In particular, I am interested at the possible regulation of expression, subcellular localisation and/or activity of these proteins by hormones and growth factors. Since these transporters are the means of entry of synthetic nucleoside analogues into cells for treatment of a number of conditions, and understanding of their molecular structure, regulation and activity is crucial in maximizing the effectiveness of anti-cancer and anti-viral treatments.


Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Cell Biology

Research Areas

Cell and Molecular Biology