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Victor Jensen, PhD

Supervisor: Dr. Michel Leroux
Award: KRESCENT Fellowship
Institution: Simon Fraser University
Year: 2013-2016

Dr. Jensen obtained his Ph.D. in medical genetics at the University of Columbia and will complete his post-doctoral fellowship under the supervision of Dr. Michel Leroux at Simon Fraser University, where he will study and identify novel cilia genes associated with multiple disorders.

The cilium is an extension on most cells/tissues that can be compared to a television antenna because it receives signals from its environment. When a mutation disrupts cilia function, cells no longer receive the appropriate environmental input. Mutations in cilia-related genes have been identified in patients with clinical diseases such as cystic kidneys, diabetes, obesity and blindness. Many of the families suffering from such illnesses have unknown mutations, often because the mutated gene has not been identified. The aim of Dr. Jensen’s research is to derive novel insights into the nature and function of disease genes and the link(s) between different genes and disease, as well as additional insight into the function of cilia, eventually leading to improved treatments for – and/or prevention of – common diseases.