Mechanism of tissue and tumor fibrosis (MOTIF)


Toronto Fibrosis Conference, 2017

Fibrosis in Cardiac Disease and Cancer



University College (UC), 15 King’s College Circle, Room 161
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON

Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH), 610 University Avenue, 7th Floor, room 7-605,
Toronto, ON


The Toronto Fibrosis Workshop will bring together fundamental and clinical research scientists to consider new approaches for studying the role of fibrosis and underlying regulatory mechanisms of these processes in cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

Chronic inflammatory diseases, cancer, diabetes and heart failure contribute to tissue damage in essential organs.  These tissues do not properly heal with current treatments but instead respond to these diseases by the formation of a fibrotic stroma.  Tissue fibrosis is endemic in Western populations, particularly with growing and aging populations.  Fibrotic diseases affect >6,500,000 Americans, consume >$25 billion in health care expenses and are a major burden for families and society.  These diseases are associated with extensive morbidity, loss of function, greatly increased mortality, pain, and are major clinical management challenges for a health care system that already consumes >11% of Canada’s national gross domestic product (GDP) (>14% in the USA).  There are very few if any current treatment methods for fibrosis.  In particular, the fibroses associated with the cancer stroma and with heart failure are poorly characterized.  There is an important need to define the fundamental mechanisms that drive fibrosis and to look for the critical underlying regulatory mechanisms of fibrosis in cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

Day 1 - Thursday, June 22

8.00-8.30Registration & Breakfast

Session #1 (UC): Mechanisms and Imaging in Fibrotic Processes

8.45-9.25Andrew Leask (Western University)
CCN proteins as anti-fibrotic targets
9.25-10.05Andras Kapus (St. Michael’s Hospital Research Institute)
Nucleocytoplasmic shuttling of transcription factors: the cytoskeleton as a key mediator of fibrosis
10.05-10.20Coffee Break
10.20-11.00Douglas Hamilton (Western University)
Periostin as a modulator of fibrotic processes in disease
11.00-11.40Paul Campagnola (University of Wisconsin)
Second Harmonic Generation Imaging Microscopy of Collagen Alterations in Cancer and Fibrosis
11.40-13.15Lunch & Poster Session (PMH)

Session #2 (UC): Tumor Stroma-Associated Fibrosis
13.30-14.10Raghu Kalluri (University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center)
The functional role of fibroblast and fibrosis in cancer progression and metastais
14.10-14.50Roya Navab (Princess Margaret Cancer Centre)
Lung cancer-associated fibroblasts and stromal reactions
14.50-15.30Laurie Ailles (Princess Margaret Cancer Centre)
Functional heterogeneity of cancer-associated fibroblasts in high-grade serous ovarian cancer
15.30-15.45Coffee Break
15.45-16.25Mike Moran (The Hospital for Sick Children)
Finding molecular signatures and drivers of disease by omics integration
16.25-17.05James Jonkman (STTARR Program, UHN, Toronto)
Texture analysis for quantification of fibrillar collagen
Day 2 - Friday, June 23
08.00-08.45Registration & Breakfast

Session #3 (UC): Cell-Matrix Interaction in Fibrosis
8.45-9.25Boris Hinz (University of Toronto)
Stressed-Out Myofibroblasts
9.25-10.05Donald Gullberg (University of Bergen)
New tools to study alpha11 integrin function
10.05-10.20Coffee Break
10.20-11.00Nuno Coehlo (University of Toronto)
Expression and activation of DDR1 contributes to collagen remodeling and tissue fibrosis
11.00-11.40Sergey Plotnikov (University of Toronto)
Dynamic traction forces mediate cellular response to extracellular matrix stiffness
11.40-12.20Kai Fui-Boon (University of California San Francisco)
A three-dimensional extracellular matrix enhances cell viability by increasing negative membrane curvature to stimulate Arf6/Rac/Pak activity
12.20-13.25Lunch & Poster Session (PMH)

Session #4 (UC): Fibrosis in Cardiac disease
13.40-14.10Paul Janmey (University of Pennsylvania)
Effects of matrix stiffness and composition on cardiac myocytes and glioma cells
14.10-14.50Craig Simmons (Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research)
Mechanobiology of cardiac valve fibrosis
14.50-15.30Kim Connelly (St. Michael’s Hospital Research Institute)
Cardiac fibrosis and heart failure: Sirts, Smads and Cytokines
15.30-15.45Coffee Break
15.45-16.30Panel Discussion
What is in Store for Fibrosis Research?
16.30-17:30Cocktail Hour (PMH)


For information about registration, poster presentations and other questions, please contact:

Christopher McCulloch, Canada Research Chair in Matrix Dynamics
Professor, Matrix Dynamics Group
University of Toronto, Room 244, Fitzgerald Building
150 College Street, Toronto, ON  M5S 3E2  CANADA
Phone: 416-978-1258
FAX: 416-978-5956

e-mail: christopher.mcculloch@utoronto.ca