Robin Parks profile picture

Contact Information

Robin Parks, Ph.D.
613-737-8123
rparks@ohri.ca

Heidi Hickey
(Research Administrative Assistant)
Tel: 613-737-8899 x72794
Email: hhickey@ohri.ca

Robin Parks

Senior Scientist, Regenerative Medicine Program
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Professor, Department of Medicine
University of Ottawa
Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology
University of Ottawa
Director of PhD Research, Department of Medicine
The Ottawa Hospital
Co-Director, Centre for Neuromuscular Disease
University of Ottawa

Research Interests

  • Development and characterization of adenoviral vectors deleted of all viral protein coding sequences for use in gene therapy.
  • Characterization of host immune responses to gene therapy vectors and foreign (therapeutic) proteins.
  • Investigating novel therapeutics for the treatment and correction of muscular dystrophies and cancer

Major Research Activities:

Our research interests range from characterizing various aspects of basic adenovirus (Ad) biology to exploring the efficacy of Ad-based vectors for the delivery of therapeutic genes in animal models of genetic or acquired disease. Part of our research is dedicated to improving Ad technology, such as exploring novel methods of producing Ad vectors deleted of all viral protein coding sequences (termed helper-dependent Ad vectors), and investigating methods to achieve cell-type specific infection with Ad.

Brief Biography

Dr. Parks completed a M.Sc. and Ph.D. in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, University of Guelph (Guelph, Ontario), working on biochemical and genetic characterization of poxvirus replication and recombination. In 1996, Dr. Parks began a Postdoctoral Fellowship with Dr. Frank L. Graham, in the Departments of Biology and Pathology, McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario), working on the development of novel adenoviral vectors for use as gene delivery vehicles for gene therapy applications. Dr. Parks joined the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute in January 1999.

Selected Publications

Last 3 Years

2015
85. Chen, V.P., Y. Gao, L. Geng, R.J. Parks, T. Tchkonia, Y.-P. Pang, S. Brimijoin (2015) Plasma butyrylcholinesterase regulates ghrelin to control aggression PNAS 112:2251-6.
86.  Ard, R., K. Mulatz, J.L. Pomoransky, R.J. Parks, L. Trinkle-Mulcahy, J.C. Bell, and S.H. Gee (2015) Regulation of Macropinocytosis by Diacylglycerol Kinase ζ. PLoS ONE 10(12):e0144942. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0144942.  

2016
87.  Wong, C.M., K.L. Poulin, G. Tong, C. Christou, M.A. Kennedy, T. Falls, J.C. Bell and R.J. Parks (2016) Adenovirus-mediated expression of the p14 fusion-associated small transmembrane protein promotes cancer cell fusion and apoptosis in vitro but does not provide therapeutic efficacy in a xenograft mouse model of cancer PLoS ONE 11(3):e0151516. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151516.
88.  Al-Khalaf, M., L. Blake, B. Larsen, S. Brunette, R. Parks, M. Rudnicki, P. McKinnon, F. Dilworth, R. Bell and L. Megeney (2016) Temporal activation of XRCC1 mediated DNA repair is essential for muscle differentiation. Cell Discovery 2:15041 doi:10.1038/celldisc.2015.41.
89. Smethells, J.R., N. Swalve, S. Brimijoin, Y. Gao, R.J. Parks, A. Greer, and M.E. Carroll (2016) Long-term blockade of cocaine self-administration and locomotor activation in rats by an adenoviral vector-delivered cocaine hydrolase. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2016 Mar 11. pii: jpet.116.232504.
90.  Burns, J.K., R. Kothary and R.J. Parks (2016) Opening the window: The case for carrier and perinatal screening for spinal muscular atrophy. Neuromuscular Disorders 26:551-9.
91.  Warman Chardon, J., B.J. Jasmin, R. Kothary and Parks, R.J., (2016) Report on the 3rd Ottawa International Conference on Neuromuscular Biology, Disease and Therapy – September 24-26, 2015, Ottawa, Canada. Journal of Neuromuscular Diseases. 3:431–442.
92.  Wong, C.M., L.A. Nash, J. Del Papa, K.L. Poulin, T. Falls, J.C. Bell, and R.J. Parks (2016) Expression of the fusogenic p14 FAST protein from a replication-defective adenovirus vector does not provide a therapeutic benefit in an immunocompetent mouse model of cancer. Cancer Gene Therapy 23(10):355-364.
93.  Alvarez-Saavedra M., Y. De Repentigny, D. Yang, R.W. O'Meara, K. Yan, L.E. Hashem, L. Racacho, I. Ioshikhes, D.E. Bulman, R.J. Parks, R. Kothary, and D.J. Picketts, (2016) Voluntary Running Triggers VGF-Mediated Oligodendrogenesis to Prolong the Lifespan of Snf2h-Null Ataxic Mice. Cell Rep.11:17(3):862-875.
94.  Nash, L.A., J.K. Burns, J. Warman Chardon, R. Kothary and R.J. Parks (2016) Spinal Muscular Atrophy: More than a disease of motor neurons? Current Molecular Medicine 16(9):779-792.

2017
95. Del Papa, J. and R.J. Parks (2017) Adenoviral Vectors Armed with Cell Fusion-Inducing Proteins as Anti-Cancer Agents. Viruses 19;9(1). pii: E13. doi: 10.3390/v9010013.
96. Saha, B. and R.J. Parks (2017) Human adenovirus type 5 vectors deleted of early region 1 (E1) undergo limited expression of early replicative E2 proteins and DNA replication in non-permissive cells. PLoS One. 2017 Jul 10;12(7):e0181012.
97. Eid, W., K. Dauner, K.C. Courtney, A. Gagnon, R.J. Parks, A. Sorisky, and X. Zha. (2017) mTORC1 activates SREBP-2 by suppressing cholesterol trafficking to lysosomes in mammalian cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Jul 10. pii: 201705304. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1705304114.
98. Sundaram, M., K.R. Curtis, M.A. Alipour, N.D. LeBlond, K.D. Margison, R.A. Yaworski, R.J. Parks, A.D. McIntyre, R.A. Hegele, M.D. Fullerton, and Z. Yao (2017) The apolipoprotein C-III (Gln38Lys) variant associated with human hypertriglyceridemia is a gain-of-function mutation. J Lipid Res. 58(11):2188-2196..
99. Nash, L.A, E.R. McFall, A.M. Perozzo, M. Turner, K.L. Poulin, Y. De Repentigny, J.K. Burns, H.J. McMillan, J. Warman Chardon, D. Burger, R. Kothary, and R.J. Parks (2017) Survival Motor Neuron Protein is Released from Cells in Exosomes: A Potential Biomarker for Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Scientific Reports 7(1):13859.

Diseases, conditions and populations of interest


Brain and neuromuscular disease; Cancer; Common cold; Muscular dystrophy



Research and clinical approaches


Gene therapy; Molecular and cellular biology; Viral therapy