Wnt and Hedgehog (Hh) pathways instruct cells to differentiate into new fates. These pathways depend on proteins encoded by multigene families and their activation is essential sometime during development. Unfortunately, the inadvertent activation leads to a host of diseases.
The 18 mammalian Wnts participate in canonical signaling involving β-catenin, or non-canonical signaling including the Wnt/JNK-planar cell polarity and Wnt/Ca pathways. Mutations in Wnt genes or in those encoding components in the pathway(s) lead to birth defects and diseases. The same occurs for Hh signaling, of which there are 3 genes in mammals. Unlike Wnts, however, each Hh homologue signals through similar downstream components.
While these components differ from those in Wnt pathways, similarities exist to ensure proper signal transduction. How this crosstalk between Wnt and Hh signaling leads to the differentiation of cells in the mouse embryo is the primary focus in the Kelly Lab.
Gregory Kelly received his Ph.D. from the University of Manitoba in 1989, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow, later Lecturer, at the University of Washington.
In 1995 he was recruited as an Assistant Professor to the Department of Zoology (Biology) at the University of Western Ontario, and was promoted to Associate (2001), and then to Full Professor in 2006. He has been a Visiting Professor at several universities and has lectured extensively worldwide.
Professor Kelly serves on several editorial boards, has chaired or participated on numerous national and international granting agencies, is an Associate Scientist at the Child Health Research Institute, an adjunct Professor in Paediatrics in Western’s Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, and was Acting Chair in Biology in 2014-15.