Elizabeth Conibear

Elizabeth Conibear

Every cell in your body has to coordinate thousands of different tasks each second. Cells manage all those tasks with a complex transportation system that moves materials and information to where they are needed. This traffic can get disrupted and persistent disruptions can cause disease.

"Every part of the cell has a special function, if things aren’t in the right place they can’t do their job," explains Dr. Conibear.

Dr. Conibear studies the molecular machinery of our cellular transportation system and the traffic jams that cause disease. Her lab focuses on lipid and protein signaling pathways involved in neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and lysosomal storage diseases that affect childhood development.

Many molecular pathways that are linked to disease in humans are also found in simpler organisms, like yeast. The Conibear lab studies molecular pathways in yeast in order to gain more control over the biological processes involved, since yeast are much easier to work with than humans or mice. In combination with genomic technologies, yeast is a powerful tool for discovery.

"My work uses a lot of genome-wide technologies to uncover pathways and machinery on a very large scale. It’s incredibly efficient and we can get to knowledge really fast."


Canadian Institute for Health Research New Investigator Award – 2007

Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar Award – 2004

Burston HE, Maldonado-Báez L, Montpetit B, Davey M, Schluter C, Wendland B, and Conibear E. (2009) Regulators of Yeast Endocytosis Identified by Systematic Quantitative Analysis. Journal of Cell Biology. 185:1097-1110

Schluter C, Lam KKY, Brumm J, Wu BW, Saunders M, Stevens TH, Bryan J, and Conibear E. (2008) Global analysis of yeast endosomal transport identifies the Vps55/68 sorting complex. Molecular Biology of the Cell. 19:1282-1294.

Lam KKY, Davey M, Sun B, Roth AF, Davis NG, and Conibear E. (2006) Palmitoylation by the DHHC protein Pfa4 regulates the ER exit of Chs3. Journal of Cell Biology. 174:19–25.