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Lesley T. MacNeil, PhD

 

Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences

Email: macneil@mcmaster.ca
Website: http://www.macneillab.com/

Office: HSC 4H17
Extension: 26523

Lab: HSC 3N11B
Extension: 21256

Research Areas

Using the nematode C. elegans as a model system, we investigate the mechanisms by which diet and microbiota influence health, development, disease susceptibility, and disease progression.  Our research focuses on the identification and characterization of factors introduced through the diet or produced by microbiota that influence cellular metabolic and signal transduction pathways. We are particularly interested in identifying mechanisms through which these factors affect nervous system function and maintenance.

A second focus of our lab is the identification of gene-environment interactions. Environmental factors, such as diet and microbiota, can influence our health both positively and negatively. The impact of environment on disease severity may depend on interactions between genetic and environmental factors. We are employing high-throughput approaches to perform genome-scale mapping of gene-environment interactions to identify gene mutations that increase susceptibility to specific environmental factors. Through this unbiased approach we hope to identify previously unpredicted connections between microbiota, diet, and disease.

  1. Leulier, F, MacNeil, LT, Lee, WJ, Rawls, JF, Cani, PD, Schwarzer, M et al.. Integrative Physiology: At the Crossroads of Nutrition, Microbiota, Animal Physiology, and Human Health. Cell Metab. 2017;25 (3):522-534. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2017.02.001. PubMed PMID:28273475 .
  2. MacNeil, LT, Pons, C, Arda, HE, Giese, GE, Myers, CL, Walhout, AJ et al.. Transcription Factor Activity Mapping of a Tissue-Specific in vivo Gene Regulatory Network. Cell Syst. 2015;1 (2):152-162. doi: 10.1016/j.cels.2015.08.003. PubMed PMID:26430702 PubMed Central PMC4584425.
  3. Conte, D Jr, MacNeil, LT, Walhout, AJ, Mello, CC. RNA Interference in Caenorhabditis elegans. Curr Protoc Mol Biol. 2015;109 :26.3.1-30. doi: 10.1002/0471142727.mb2603s109. PubMed PMID:25559107 .
  4. Bansal, A, Kwon, ES, Conte, D Jr, Liu, H, Gilchrist, MJ, MacNeil, LT et al.. Transcriptional regulation of Caenorhabditis elegans FOXO/DAF-16 modulates lifespan. Longev Healthspan. 2014;3 :5. doi: 10.1186/2046-2395-3-5. PubMed PMID:24834345 PubMed Central PMC4022319.
  5. Macneil, LT, Walhout, AJ. Food, pathogen, signal: The multifaceted nature of a bacterial diet. Worm. 2013;2 (4):e26454. doi: 10.4161/worm.26454. PubMed PMID:24744980 PubMed Central PMC3917966.
  6. Watson, E, MacNeil, LT, Ritter, AD, Yilmaz, LS, Rosebrock, AP, Caudy, AA et al.. Interspecies systems biology uncovers metabolites affecting C. elegans gene expression and life history traits. Cell. 2014;156 (4):759-70. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.01.047. PubMed PMID:24529378 PubMed Central PMC4169190.
  7. Watson, E, MacNeil, LT, Arda, HE, Zhu, LJ, Walhout, AJ. Integration of metabolic and gene regulatory networks modulates the C. elegans dietary response. Cell. 2013;153 (1):253-66. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.02.050. PubMed PMID:23540702 PubMed Central PMC3817025.
  8. MacNeil, LT, Watson, E, Arda, HE, Zhu, LJ, Walhout, AJ. Diet-induced developmental acceleration independent of TOR and insulin in C. elegans. Cell. 2013;153 (1):240-52. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.02.049. PubMed PMID:23540701 PubMed Central PMC3821073.
  9. Macneil, LT, Walhout, AJ. Gene regulatory networks and the role of robustness and stochasticity in the control of gene expression. Genome Res. 2011;21 (5):645-57. doi: 10.1101/gr.097378.109. PubMed PMID:21324878 PubMed Central PMC3083081.
  10. Arda, HE, Taubert, S, MacNeil, LT, Conine, CC, Tsuda, B, Van Gilst, M et al.. Functional modularity of nuclear hormone receptors in a Caenorhabditis elegans metabolic gene regulatory network. Mol. Syst. Biol. 2010;6 :367. doi: 10.1038/msb.2010.23. PubMed PMID:20461074 PubMed Central PMC2890327.
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