Faculty profile - Dr. Sherri Christian

Feb 1st, 2012


Photo of Dr. Sherry Christian
Faculty profile - Dr. Sherri Christian

Dr. Sherri Christian joined the Department of Biochemistry as an assistant professor in May 2010 and is one of our two newest faculty members.  She is also cross-appointed to the Faculty Medicine.

She holds a B.Sc. in Biochemistry from the University of Alberta and a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of British Columbia. Dr. Christian has also held post-doctoral fellowships at the University of Alaska and Memorial University.

‘My research background is varied,” she says. “I have done immunology, hibernation and virology research. But my research has always focused on how cells take signals from the outside environment and translate those into actions.”

Her current research involves trying to figure out how one specific receptor, called CD24, decides if a cell should live or die or change into a different type of cell.

“The receptor does different things to different cells,” she explains. “In cancer cells it tells them to divide, but in immune cells it tells them to die. We don’t know what it does to fat cells yet, but that’s something we’re also interested in. If we can figure out how that receptor works, we may be able to figure out how to control it.”

Dr. Christian is collaborating on these projects with researchers in the Faculty of Medicine and with faculty in the Department or Biochemistry as well as with faculty from the Departments of Biology, and Computer Science.

Dr. Christian has two children and enjoys sharing outdoor activities with them and her husband, Dr. Andrew Lang, a faculty member in the Department of Biology.

(This article has been adapted with small editing changes from one written by Kelly Foss for the Faculty of Science website.)