Division of Hematology & Thromboembolism

Geoffrey Werstuck


Professor, Hematology & Thromboembolism, Department of Medicine, and Department of Biochemistry & Biomedical Sciences

Education and Professional Standing

Ph.D., Biochemistry, McMaster, 1993
B.Sc. (Honours), Biochemistry, McMaster, 1987

Research Interests

Investigation of the mechanism(s) by which diabetes promotes the development and progression of atherosclerosis. Geoffrey is the Principal Investigator in a number of related studies funded by Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation, and Canadian Institutes of Health Research. He is the recipient of several awards including the Margaret Becklake Thematic Symposium Award, and is very involved in teaching, training, and supervising both graduate and undergraduate students.

Patents and Copyrights (2):

  1. Austin RC and Werstuck GH (2000) Methods and compositions for inhibiting ER-stress-induced cholesterol biosynthesis. This patent provides novels strategies for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of numerous disorders and conditions associated with cholesterol accumulation in cells. Filing date (US patent office): 16/10/99; Application #19874-000300US
  2. Green MR and Werstuck GH (1999) Controlling gene expression in living cells. In this patent we describe methods to control gene expression in vivo using genetically engineered binding sites for small molecule drugs that can be inserted into coding regions of genes of interest. Filing date (US patent office): 02/04/01; Application #09/824,358

Selected Publications

  1. Hexosamine biosynthesis pathway (HBP) flux promotes endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, lipid accumulation, and inflammatory gene expression in hepatic cells. Sage AT, Walter LA, Shi YY, Khan MI, Kaneto H, Capretta A, Werstuck GH (2009) Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab (Epub ahead of print)
  2. Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress plays a Causal Role in the Development of Atherosclerosis in a Hyperglycemic Mouse Model Khan MI, Pichna B, Shi YY, Bowes AJ, Werstuck GH (2009). Antioxid Redox Signal 11, 2289-2298.
  3. A role for glycogen synthase kinase–3 in endoplasmic reticulum stress-associated lipid accumulation and accelerated atherogenesis in hyperglycemic ApoE-deficient mice.Bowes AJ, Khan MI, Shi YY, Robertson L, Werstuck GH (2009) Am J Pathol 174, 330-342.
  4. The Effect of Leptin on Vascular Calcification in Apolipoprotein E-Deficient Mice. Zeadin M,  Butcher M, Werstuck GH, Khan M, Yee CK, Shaughnessy S (2009) Arterioloscler Thromb Vasc Biol 29, 2069-2075.
  5. An ESI-MS/MS method for screening of small molecule mixtures against GSK-3b.Partserniak I, Werstuck GH, Capretta A, Brennan JD (2008) ChemBioChem 9, 1065-1073.
  6. Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease: Explaining the Relationship. Punthakee Z, Werstuck GH, Gerstein HC (2007) Reviews in Cardiovascular Medicine 8, 145-153.
  7. Induction of GRP78 by valproate is dependent upon histone deactylase inhibition. Shi Y, Gerritsma D, Bowes AJ, Capretta A, Werstuck GH (2007) Bioorg Med Chem Lett 17, 4491-4494.
  8. Glucosamine-induced endoplasmic reticulum stress is associated with accelerated atherosclerosis in a hyperglycemic mouse model. Werstuck GH, Khan MI, Femia G, Kim AJ, Tedesco V, Trigatti B and Shi YY (2006) Diabetes 55, 93-101.
  9. Mechanisms linking hyperglycemia to accelerated atherosclerosis.  Robertson L, Kim AJ and Werstuck GH (2006) Can J Physiol Pharmacol 84,39-48.
  10. Valproate protects cells from endoplasmic reticulum stress-induced lipid accumulation and apoptosis by inhibiting glycogen synthase kinase 3.Kim AJ, Shi YY, Austin RC and Werstuck GH (2005) J Cell Sci. 118, 89-99.
  11. Examining the correlations between GSK-3 inhibitory properties and anticonvulsant efficacy of valproate and valproate-derived compounds.Werstuck GH, Kim AJ, Brenstrum T, Ohnmacht SA, Panna E and Capretta A (2004)  Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 14, 5465-5467.
  12. Homocysteine causes dysregulation of the cholesterol and fatty acid biosynthesis pathways. Werstuck GH, Lentz SR, Dayal S., Shi Y, Hossain GS, Sood SK, Krisans SK and Austin RC (2001) J. Clin. Invest. 107, 1263-1273.
  13. Controlling gene expression in living cells through small molecule-RNA interactions. Werstuck GH and Green MR (1998) Science 282, 296-298.