Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology Faculty . Dr. Mark Coppolino

Dr. Marc Coppolino

(departmental, undergrad and grad program correspondence)

(research-related correspondence)

Office: SSC 4477
Ext: 53031
Lab: SSC 2203B
Ext: 58181



I was born and raised in Waterloo and received my B.Sc. (Co-op, 1990) from the department of Biology at the University of Waterloo. After graduating, I continued my laboratory training and became interested in biochemical research while working as a junior technician in the Department of Pharmacology at Merck Frosst Canada in Montreal.

I completed my Ph.D. (1998) under the supervision of Dr. Shoukat Dedhar in the Department of Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto. My doctoral work involved the analysis of protein-protein interactions that regulate cell adhesion during the progression of some types of cancers.

Prior to joining the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Guelph, I finished a 3-year MRC Fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Sergio Grinstein at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto. During the course of this fellowship, I studied mammalian host-pathogen interactions, focusing on those involving Salmonella typhimurium. While at the Hospital for Sick Children, I was awarded the 2000 John Charles Polanyi Award for Physiology and Medicine.

My research is currently supported by NSERC.


B.Sc. University of Waterloo
Ph.D. University of Toronto


Cell adhesion and migration are fundamentally important to the existence of multicellular organisms. This is obvious in light of the numerous diseases that can afflict humans when these processes are impaired. Disruption of normal cellular adhesive and migratory activities can lead to developmental disorders and contribute to the progression of arthritis, immunological deficiencies and cancer. Both cell adhesion and migration are complex processes involving numerous biochemical signalling events, reorganization of the cellular cytoskeleton and localized remodelling of the plasma membrane. It is the goal of my laboratory to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that link these activities, allowing them to be coordinated during changes in cell adhesion and motility.

Selected Publications

Williams KC, McNeilly RE, M.G. Coppolino. (2014) SNAP23, Syntaxin4, and Vesicle-associated Membrane Protein 7 (VAMP7) Mediate Trafficking of Membrane Type 1-Matrix Metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) During Invadopodium Formation and Tumor Cell Invasion.  Molecular Biology of the Cell; 25: 2061-2070.

Williams K.C. and M.G. Coppolino. (2014) SNARE-dependent interaction of Src, EGFR and β1 integrin regulates invadopodia formation and tumor cell invasion.  Journal of Cell Science; 127(Pt 8): 1712-25.

Williams K.C. and M.G. Coppolino. (2011) Phosphorylation of Membrane Type 1-Matrix Metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) and Its Vesicle-associated Membrane Protein 7 (VAMP7)-dependent Trafficking Facilitate Cell Invasion and Migration. J. Biol. Chem.;286(50):43405-16.

Skalski M., Sharma N., Williams K.C., Kruspe A. and MG Coppolino.  (2011) SNARE-mediated Membrane Traffic is Required for Focal Adhesion Kinase Signaling and Src-regulated Focal Adhesion Turnover.  Biochem. Biophys. Acta; 1813(1): 148-58.

Skalski, M., Yi, Q., Kean, M.J., Myers, D.W., Burtnik, A., Williams, K.C. and M.G. Coppolino.  (2010) Lamellipodium Extension and Membrane Ruffling Require Different SNARE-Mediated Trafficking Pathways.   BMC–Cell Biology. Vol.11:62.

Kean, M.J., Williams, K,C., Skalski, M., Myers, D., Burtnik, A., Foster, D., Coppolino, M.G. (2009)  VAMP3, syntaxin-13 and SNAP23 are involved in secretion of matrix metalloproteinases, degradation of the extracellular matrix and cell invasion.  Journal of Cell Science 122; 4089-4098.

Yi, Qing and M. G. Coppolino.  (2006) Automated Classification and Quantification of F-actin-containing Ruffles in Confocal Micrographs. BioTechniques  40; 745-756.

Gonon, E., Skalski, M., Kean, M. J. and M.G. Coppolino. (2005) SNARE-mediated membrane traffic modulates RhoA-regulated focal adhesion. FEBS Letters 579; 6169-6178.

Michael Skalski and Marc G. Coppolino.  (2005)  SNARE-mediated trafficking of a 5 b 1 integrin is required for spreading in CHO cells.  Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm. 335: 1199-1210.

Tayeb, M.A., Skalski, M., Cha, M.C., Kean, M.J., Scaife, M. and M.G. Coppolino (2005). Inhibition of SNARE-mediated Membrane Traffic Impairs Cell Migration.Exp. Cell Res. 305:63-73.


BIOC*3560 - Structure and Function in Biochemistry
MCB*4010 - Advanced Cell Biology

Graduate Students

Megan Brasher (M.Sc.)
Olivia Grafinger (M.Sc.)
Connor Randall (M.Sc.)

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