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Dr. David Granville

Principal Investigator

B.Sc. [Biological Sciences] (Simon Fraser University)
Ph.D. [Experimental Pathology] (University of British Columbia)
Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UBC

Scholar of the Royal Society of Canada
Associate Director, BC Professional Firefighters’ Burn and Wound Healing Research Laboratory, Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, UBC
Investigator, UBC Centre for Heart Lung Innovation, St. Paul’s Hospital
Co-Director, CIHR IMPACT Program
Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, viDA Therapeutics Inc.
Associate Member, Department of Surgery, UBC
Adjunct Professor, Institute of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Simon Fraser University

Research Interests

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Dr. Granville’s research program over the past 20 years has been focused on mechanisms by which tissues are injured and identifying therapeutic targets that can be exploited to reduce injury and/or promote healing. His research is presently focused on how aging, immobility and diabetes affect tissue injury, inflammation and repair in different types of tissues. Dr. Granville has identified a family of serine proteases, known as Granzymes (Granule-secreted enzymes) that are elevated and contribute to the pathogenesis of conditions associated with impaired healing and inflammation, including autoimmune diseases (eg. multiple sclerosis, discoid lupus erythematosus), pressure/diabetic ulcers, spinal cord injury, cardiovascular, pulmonary and skin injury. In order to study granzymes in such a diverse set of indications, Dr. Granville has established an extensive network of clinical and scientific collaborators. He is currently taking this research to the next level with respect to translating his discoveries into the development and commercialization of novel, first-in-class therapeutics with the goal of entering the clinic by the end of 2017. Since arriving at UBC, his research has resulted in the filing of 30 patents, of which, all are owned by UBC and licensed to industry, and all include his UBC trainees as co-inventors. He is also the Scientific Founder and serves as the Chief Scientific Officer of the UBC spin-off company, viDA Therapeutics, Inc.

Dr. Granville is a Professor in the Pathology Laboratory of Medicine and a Principal Investigator in ICORD at UBC. He is the Associate Director of the BC Professional Firefighters’ Burn and Wound Healing Research Laboratory. He obtained his Ph.D. in Experimental Pathology at UBC.

At ICORD, Dr. Granville’s team is expanding on the work they have done on pressure ulcers with the Rick Hansen Institute and will be applying their expertise in Granzymes to areas related to spinal cord injury and multiple sclerosis, such as the role of Granzymes in neuronal damage and demyelination. He also has an established program investigating the role of granzymes in dermatological disorders and cardiovascular diseases.

Major Findings:

In his early career (1994-2001), he worked at QLT Inc., where his research supported the development and approval of Visudyne® as the first treatment for age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the elderly. In 1999 Visudyne® was approved by the FDA resulting in the largest ophthalmic product release in history. Dr. Granville’s research is referred to on the drug label for Visudyne® and he is listed as a primary inventor on patents pertaining to his work at QLT. In 2001, Dr. Granville relocated to the Scripps Research Institute (La Jolla, CA), where his research identified a novel therapeutic approach for attenuating cardiac ischemia and reperfusion injury. Dr. Granville is a primary inventor on patents pertaining to the latter discoveries that led to the formation of Radical Therapeutix Inc (San Diego, CA). Dr. Granville was recruited back to UBC in 2003 as a Canada Research Chair and Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar.

More recently, Dr. Granville’s research has focused on a family of immune cell-secreted proteases known as granzymes (granule-secreted enzymes) and their role in Aging and chronic inflammation. This work has led to the formation of viDA Therapeutics. Together with viDA, the UBC Centre for Drug Research and Development, and other clinical specialists, Dr. Granville is developing and testing novel treatments for both autoimmune and chronic inflammatory conditions affecting the cardiovascular, pulmonary, dermatological and neurological systems.

Notable Publications:

Techniques Employed and Fields of Study in the Lab:

  • Vascular function
  • Wound healing assays
  • Migration assays
  • Apoptosis
  • Extracellular matrix remodeling
  • Inflammation
  • Primary cell culture
  • Disease modelling (aneurysm, atherosclerosis, ischemia/reperfusion, acute/chronic wound healing, burn, frostbite, fibrosis, scarring, vascular leakage)
  • Drug discovery
  • Preclinical validation
  • Molecular biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Histology
  • Microscopy
  • Epithelial barrier function
  • Endothelial permeability

Affiliations with Organizations:

  • BC Professional Firefighters’ Burn and Wound Healing Research Laboratory
  • Centre for Drug Research and Development UBC Centre for Heart Lung
  • Innovation UBC Department of Pathology UBC Department of Surgery
  • viDA Therapeutics, Inc.

Awards:

Some of Dr. Granville’s major awards and accomplishments include:

  • Tier II Canada Research Chair
  • Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar
  • Young Investigator Award, Canadian Society of Transplantation
  • Wilbert J. Keon Award for Basic Science Finalist
  • Canada Top 40 Under 40 Award
  • Outstanding Young Alumnus Award, University of British Columbia
  • American Heart Association – Louis N and Arnold M Katz Basic Science Research Prize Finalist
  • Outstanding Alumni Award for Academic Achievement, Simon Fraser University
  • Canadian Association of Pathologists Junior Scientist Award
  • Business in Vancouver Forty Under 40 Award
  • Fellow of the American Heart Association
  • Scholar of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada

Current Lab Members:

Masters Students Postdoctoral Fellows Technicians
Cameron Oram Dr. Steve Shen  Hongyan Zhao
Stephanie Santacruz Dr. Valerio Russo
Dr. Chris Turner
Dr. Matthew Zeglinski

Trainee Awards:

Year Trainee Award
2016 Valerio Russo IMPACT Award (CIHR)
Steve Shen IMPACT Award (CIHR)

Postdoctoral Fellowship (CIHR)

Stephanie Santacruz Best Poster Award (ICORD AGM)
Chris Turner IMPACT Award (CIHR)
 2015 Yulia Merkolova Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship (CIHR)
Steve Shen  Basic Cardiovascular Sciences Travel Award (American Heart Association)
2014 Paul Hanson Top Poster Award (American Society for Investigative Pathology)
Paul Hiebert Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship (CIHR)
Leigh Parkinson Top Poster Award (American Society for Investigative Pathology)
2013 Alon Hendel Top Poster Award (ImmunoVancouver)
Ivy Hsu Top Poster Prize (UBC Skin Research Day)

Graduate Student Fellowship (UBC Department of Pathology)

2012 Lisa Ang Travel Award (American Society for Matrix Biology)

Oral Presentation Award (American Society for Matrix Biology)

Alon Hendel Top Poster Award (American Society for Matrix Biology)
Paul Hiebert  Top Graduate Student Award (James Hogg Research Centre)
 Ivy Hsu  Skin Research Training Centre Scholar Award (CIHR)
 2010 Lisa Ang Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship (CIHR)

Top Oral Presentation (UBC Pathology Day)

Wendy Boivin  Young Investigator Forum Poster Award (CIHR)Travel Award (American Society for Matrix Biology)
Dawn Cooper Alice Wilson Award of the Royal Society of Canada

Postdoctoral Fellowship (NSERC)

Alon Hendel Jean-Francois Bowden Award (Institute for Heart and Lung Health)

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship

Paul Hiebert  Doctoral Fellowship (NSERC)Skin Research Training Centre Scholar Award (CIHR)

Jean-Francois Bowden Award (Institute for Heart and Lung Health)

Top Poster Award (Providence Heart and Lung FEST)

 2009 Lisa Ang Travel Award (North American Vascular Biology Organization)

Top Poster Prize, Runner-up (UBC Pathology Day)

Alon Hendel Graduate Scholarship (Pacific Century)

Graduate Research Fellowship (UBC)

Have a Heart Bursary Program Award (Canadian Cardiovascular Society)

Top Junior Poster Presentation (Centre for Blood Research, UBC)

Paul Hiebert Skin Research Training Centre Fellowship (CIHR)

Have a Heart Bursary Program Award (Canadian Cardiovascular Society)

Top Poster Presentation (UBC Pathology Day)

Top Senior Poster Presentation (Centre for Blood Research, UBC)

Arwen Hunter  Postdoctoral Fellowship (Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada)
Sarah Williams IMPACT Award (CIHR)

Postdoctoral Fellowship (CIHR)

Current Opportunities in the Lab:

Although his laboratory is quite full at the moment, Dr. Granville is always on the lookout for talented, energetic and bright graduate students and post-doctoral fellows to join his team if funding is available. Please contact Dr. Granville with inquiries.

Recent publications

  • Merkulova, Y et al.. 2016. Granzyme B inhibits keratinocyte migration by disrupting epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-mediated signaling.. Biol. Chem. doi: 10.1515/hsz-2016-0129.
  • Sharma, M et al.. 2016. Extracellular granzyme K mediates endothelial activation through the cleavage of protease-activated receptor-1.. FEBS J. doi: 10.1111/febs.13699.
  • Shen, Y et al.. 2016. Granzyme B Deficiency Protects against Angiotensin II-Induced Cardiac Fibrosis.. Am. J. Pathol. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2015.09.010.
  • Hanson, PJ et al.. 2016. Cleavage of DAP5 by coxsackievirus B3 2A protease facilitates viral replication and enhances apoptosis by altering translation of IRES-containing genes.. Cell Death Differ. doi: 10.1038/cdd.2015.145.
  • Sharma, A et al.. 2015. Direct Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase Activation Provides Atheroprotection in Diabetes-Accelerated Atherosclerosis.. Diabetes. doi: 10.2337/db15-0472.
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