Dr. Suzanne Bernier

Associate Professor

In Memorium: May 2007

Ph.D. McGill University
B.Sc. McGill University
DEC - Health Sciences (Marianopolis College)

Visit CIHR Group inSkeletal Development and Remodeling website

Research Interest:

Our research program focuses on understanding the molecular events involved in the response of cartilage to injury and inflammation. In articulating joints, cartilage transfers mechanical forces to minimize damage to underlying bone. An important constituent of cartilage is the extracellular matrix which is produced by chondrocyte in the tissue. A fine balance between production and degradation ensures optimal performance of the tissue. Trauma to cartilage (i.e. sport injury and arthritis) elicits reactionary responses from chondrocytes including disruption of proliferation and matrix gene expression leading to compromise of the integrity of the tissue. Using molecular and cellular biology approaches, we are determining which signal transduction pathways are responsible for mediating the chondrocytic response to inflammation, in particular changes to the phenotypic properties and production of cartilage matrix.


1. Activation of various signalling pathways by inflammatory mediators (cytokines, growth factors, extracellular nucleotide) and the effect of those pathways on cartilage matrix gene expression
2. Regulation of signalling activation in response to cytokines and growth factors by extracellular matrix.
3. Osteoarthritis and Pain - Effect of pain effectors on cartilage

Selected Publications:

• Koleganova, V.A., Bernier, S.M., Dixon, S.J. and Rizkalla, A.S. (2006) Bioactive glass/polymer composite materials with mechanical properties matching those of cortical bone. J. Biomed Mat. Res. A. 77: 572-9.

• Recklies, A.D., Ling, H., White, C. and Bernier, S.M. (2005) Inflammatory cytokines induce production of chitinase 3-like protein 1 by articular chondrocytes. J. Biol. Chem. 280(50): 41213-21.

• Klooster, A.R. and Bernier, S.M. (2005) TNFalpha and EGF act additively to inhibit matrix gene expression by chondrocytes. Arthritis Res. Therap. 7: R127-R138.

• Ozog, M.A., Bernier, S.M. , Bates, D.C., Chatterjee, B., Lo, C.W., and Naus, C.C.G. (2004) The complex of CNTF-CNTFR upregulates connexin43 and intercellular coupling in glia via JAK/STAT. Mol. Biol. Cell 15: 4761-4774.

• Poustie, M., Carran, J., McEleney, K., Dixon, S.J., Anastassiades, T., and Bernier, S.M. (2004) N-butyryl glucosamine: increases matrix gene expression by chondrocytes. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Therap. 311: 610-616.

• Séguin, C.A. and Bernier, S.M. (2003) Differential regulation of link protein and type ll collagen expression in chondrocytes in response to TNFalpha: Vital role for MEK1/2 and NF-kappaB. J. Cell Physiol. 197: 356-369.

• Lui, K., Panchal, A.S., Santhanagopal, A., Dixon, J.S., and Bernier, S.M. (2002) Epidermal growth factor stimulates acid efflux from chondrocytic cells. J. Cell Physiol. 192: 102-112.

university of western ontario department of anatomy and cell biology school of medicine