Marko Kryworuchko is a Senior Scientist at BCCDC and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering at UBC.
Dr. Kryworuchko is an immunologist whose research aims to better understand host-pathogen interactions at the cellular and molecular levels with the goal of developing new and more effective infectious disease therapeutics and vaccines.
His work currently focuses on the autophagy or “self-eating” pathway of the cell (reviews accessible here
). When nutrients are scarce, autophagy helps the cell survive by engulfing and breaking down portions of its contents for use as an energy source. Interestingly however, autophagy contributes to a unique form of programmed cell death, referred to as autosis
, thus positioning this pathway as a key tipping point between the cell’s survival and its ultimate elimination. The autophagy machinery also permits immune cells such as monocytes/macrophages to respond and attempt to eliminate intracellular pathogens such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis and HIV. Autophagy signals the presence of pathogen to the immune system, and mobilizes innate and adaptive immune cells including monocytes/macrophages, helper and killer T cells, as well as antibody-producing B lymphocytes.
Dr. Kryworuchko’s projects at BCCDC and UBC are currently evaluating how to use parts of the autophagy pathway for the design of better therapeutics and vaccines to combat pathogens of major public health importance, and to distinguish the molecular mechanisms by which autophagy can exert both cytocidal vs cytoprotective effects in human monocytes.
Dr. Kryworuchko joined BCCDC and UBC at the end of 2017. Before this, he worked extensively in the areas of viral immunopathogenesis, programmed cell death and vaccine research and development at the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Ottawa and the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario.
He obtained his PhD in microbiology and immunology at the University of Ottawa. His thesis described molecular mechanisms regulating the expression and function of the cellular adhesion molecule CD44 in normal as well as Epstein-Barr virus–infected and immortalized B lymphocytes. Subsequently, as a postdoctoral fellow at Institut Pasteur in Paris, he pursued interests in HIV immunopathogenesis, elucidating virus-induced defects in the responses of immune cells, including CD4 helper and CD8 cytotoxic T lymphocytes.
- For a list of selected papers and presentations, see Dr. Kryworuchko’s UBC profile.
- For a list of publications and citations, see Google Scholar.