Dr. Cowan completed a PhD in cardiovascular research under the supervision of Dr. Marlene Rabinovitch at the Hospital for Sick Children, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto where he studied the pathophysiology of primary arterial hypertension and approaches to its reversal. He then started medical studies at the University of Toronto, which followed by a 5 years of general surgery residency at the University of Western Ontario. During his residency, Dr. Cowan continued his basic science training with the completion of a post-doctoral fellowship in the area of cell communication (connexins and pannexins) and tumor biology in the laboratory of Dr. Dale W. Laird at the University of Western Ontario, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology. After finishing his general surgery residency and postdoctoral fellowship in 2009, Dr. Cowan completed a paediatric surgery fellowship (2009-2011) at CHEO.
Dr. Cowan is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Canadian Institute of Health Research and the Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation joint Resident Research Award, Physician Services Incorporated Foundation Resident Research Award, and the American College of Cardiology Young Investigator’s Award.
Inhibition of PANX1 Channels Reduces the Malignant Properties of Human High-Risk Neuroblastoma
Our findings show that PANX1 is expressed in human NB tumors and that PANX1 levels are similar between the various NB stages. However, we found that high PANX1 expression is associated with a reduced survival probability in high-risk NB patients. In vitro, our findings indicated that PANX1 is expressed and forms active channels in all seven high-risk NB cell lines assessed.
Sex-dependent role of Pannexin 1 in regulating skeletal muscle and satellite cell function
Comparing safety and adequacy between surgical biopsy versus core needle biopsy in diagnosing neuroblastoma
Core needle biopsy is an acceptable modality for diagnosis and risk stratification in the pediatric population. Advantages include decreased length of stay and fewer post-procedure complications.
Quercetin induces pannexin 1 expression via an alternative transcript with a translationally active 5′ leader in rhabdomyosarcoma
We present here a correlation between the levels of 5′ UTRcontaining PANX1 transcripts and PANX1 protein in skeletal muscle and RMS. We show that quercetin increases PANX1 levels in RMS cells by enriching the binding of the transcription factor ETV4 to the PANX1 promoter, which induces the expression of an alternative PANX1 mRNA transcript variant containing a translationally competent 5′ leader. Moreover, we also demonstrate the tumor-suppressive effects of quercetin in RMS and the possibility for future clinical translation
Identification of pannexin 1-regulated genes, interactome, and pathways in rhabdomyosarcoma and its tumor inhibitory interaction with AHNAK.
Using this unbiased genome-wide approach, our transcriptomic analysis identified the genes that are regulated in PANX1-expressing RMS cells together with the key cellular processes in which they may be involved.