Dr. Mary-Ellen Harper

Dr. Mary-Ellen Harper
Dr. Mary-Ellen Harper
Professor | University Research Chair in Mitochondrial Bionergetics | Director, Ottawa Institute of Systems Biology and Director of MATRIX (NSERC-Create) (See biography below)

BSc, University of Guelph
PhD, University of Ottawa
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Cambridge University, UK

Roger Guindon Hall, Room 3510B (office), 3522 (lab)
613-562-5800 ext. 8458 (Office)
613-562-5800 ext. 8459 (Lab)


Dr. Mary-Ellen Harper is a University Research Chair in Mitochondrial Bionergetics. She is also Director, Metabolomics Advanced Training and International Exchange (Matrix), an NSERC-CREATE program; as well as, Director, Ottawa Institute of Systems Biology.

Research Interests

Mammalian Bioenergetics: Metabolic Significance and Control of Uncoupling Proteins

Energy conversion processes in mammalian cells are far from perfect. The research conducted in Dr Harper's laboratory focuses specifically on the metabolic pathways that affect efficiency of energy transduction processes within different cells of the body. The cellular organelle 'charged' with the responsibility of energy conversion is the mitochondrion. It is there that the oxidation of various energy substrates converges for the production of the universal energy currency of cells, ATP. The efficiency of mitochondrial ATP synthesis, or oxidative phosphorylation, varies between different tissues of the body; between different metabolic states; and between different disease states (e.g., thyroid disorders).

The overall aim of the research projects conducted in the Harper lab is to better understand the control of cellular energy transduction processes in health and disease.

In particular, Dr. Harper's laboratory investigates the metabolic significance and control of the uncoupling of oxidation (‘fuel burning’) from ATP production and energy storage. This process is also called mitochondrial proton leak. Proton leak is controlled by the uncoupling proteins (UCPs), especially by UCP1 in brown adipose tissue, and is controlled by the adenine nucleotide translocator (ANT). UCPs and ANTs are subfamilies of the mitochondrial carrier protein family and are located in the mitochondrial inner membrane. During proton leak states, fuel is oxidized, and the energy is released (or "wasted") as heat, instead of being converted to ATP. The molecular control and functions of such seemingly wasteful processes are major interests of the lab. Recent work also focuses on the formation of mitochondrial supercomplexes, which also affect efficiency of cellular energy transduction. The research has important implications for  metabolic diseases including obesity and diabetes, as well as cardiovascular diseases, and other diseases in which mitochondrial dysfunction is of importance.

Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Fellow Supervisions


18 MSc.: Shadi MONEMDJOU, 1998; Manon GAGNÉ, 1999; Andreas ANTONIOU, 2001; Darcy MacLELLAN 2007; Sean CRAWFORD, 2009; Carmen ESTEY 2009; Adrienne GOWING, 2010; Cynthia MOFFAT, 2010; Rui ZHANG, 2012; Cyril ADJEITEY, 2013, Skye McBRIDE, 2014; Lucien NADEAU, 2017(co-supervised with Dr. Céline Aguer); Awa LIAGHATI, 2017; Nina HADZIMUSTAFIC, 2020; Gaganvir Singh PARMAR, 2021; Ziyad EL HANKOURI, 2022; Breana HOOKS, 2022, Mitali UPPAL (2023).

9 PhD.: Shadi MONEMDJOU, 2002; Tia MOFFAT, 2007 (co-supervised with Steffany Bennett); Lisa BEVILACQUA, 2007, Sheila COSTFORD, 2008; Brittany BEAUCHAMP, 2015; Ghadi ANTOUN, 2017 (MD-PhD); Abi RAJKUMAR, 2018 (co-supervised with Dr. Frédérique Tesson); Georges KANAAN, 2018; Rajaa SEBAA, 2020.

11 PDF.: Dr. Céline AGUER; Dr. Véronic BEZAIRE; Dr. Martin GERRITS; Dr. Ryan MAILLOUX; Dr. Fiona McMURRAY; Dr. Erin SEIFERT; Dr. Brianne THRUSH; Dr. Neoma BOARDMAN; Dr. Denis BLONDIN; Dr. David PATTEN; Dr. Jens Frey HALLING.

Current (In progress):


5 MSc.: Nidhi KUKSAL, Charbel KARAM; Ella McILROY; Stephanie MYERS; Valeria VASILYEVA (Co-supervised with Dr. Michele Ardolino).

1 PDF.: Dr. Chantal PILEGGI

Technician: Jian Ying Xuan

Undergraduate Research Thesis Student Supervision:

2023-2024:  Lillian ABEBE, Gurrose GAHLA; 2022-2023: Stephanie MYERS, Charbel KARAM; Ella McIlroy;  2020-21: Hussein ELKHATIB; 2019-20: Breana HOOKS; 2018-19: Gaganvir PARMAR; Nina HADZIMUSTAFIC; Ziyad EL HANKOURI; Baher MIGALLY 2017-18: Daniella FEBBRARO; 2016-17: Megan MacFarlane; Karan Gandhi; 2015-2016: Bianca ICHIM; Kijoo KIM; Cecile LE; 2014-15: Kris KOMM; Alyssa PEIXOTO; Jessica QUIZI; 2013-14: Olivier CHARETTE; 2012-13: Dhiya HASSAN, William CHEN, 2011-12: Melissa PASQUA, Aline PFEFFERLE; 2010-11: Naveen VENAYAK; 2009-10: Mark BASTIENELLI; Cyril ADJEITEY; Daniela GAMBAROTTA; 2008-9: Marisa ROSSI; Brittany BEAUCHAMP; 2007-8:Sean CRAWFORD, Samantha PREVOST, Benny HILL, Neha SARNA; 2006-7: Carmen ESTEY, Anastasia TOUR; 2005-6: Mitra ABAIEAN, Dimitre RANEV; 2004-5: Basil HUBBARD, Shehla CHAUDHRY; 2003-4: Matthew NIEDZWIECKI, Julie BEAULIEU; 2002-3: Nausheen SIDDIQUI, Marianne McGEE; 2001-2: Audrey NUK, Lorenne DOUCET; 2000-1: Lisa BEVILACQUA; 1999-2000: Veronic BEZAIRE; 1998-9: Andreas ANTONIOU, 1997-8: Shirin LAL; 1996-7: Manon GAGNE, 1995-6: Shadi MONEMDJOU

Current Research Funding

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR); Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC); Heart and Stroke Foundation; Canadian Nuclear Laboratories; National Research Council of Canada.


  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Diabetes Canada; 2021
  • University Research Chair in Mitochondrial Bioenergetics. 2016-2021; 2021-2026
  • College of Reviewers, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) 2014 -
  • Visiting Research Scholar, Joslin Diabetes Research Center, Harvard Medical School. Boston, MA. Jan. – Dec. 2014
  • Elected as the Canadian Representative on the (North American) Obesity Society Council. 2012-2015
  • Elected to the Board of Governors, Canadian Obesity Network, 2012-
  • Canadian Society for Nutritional Sciences Centrum Award, 2003
  • Laura and Arthur Colwin Endowed Summer Research Fellowship, and HB Steinbach Fellowship in Physiology, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts. 2002.
  • Premier's Research Excellence Award, 2000.
  • Canadian Foundation for Innovation Researcher, New Opportunities Award, 1998.
  • John Charles Polanyi Prize - Physiology and Medicine. 1995.
  • Research Associateship, Girton College, University of Cambridge. 1992.
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship, 1991-3.

Selected Publications

(Dr. Harper has published 210 peer-reviewed papers that have been cited over 19,500 times, with and H index of 70 and an i10 index of 177.)

  • Gaganvir Parmar*, Claire Fong-McMaster*, Chantal A Pileggi*, David A Patten*, Alexanne Cuillerier, Stephanie Myers*, Ying Wang, Siegfried Hekimi, Miroslava Cuperlovic-Culf* and Mary-Ellen Harper*. (2024) Accessory subunit NDUFB4 participates in mitochondrial complex I supercomplex formation. Journal of Biological Chemistry9 January 2024, 105626. PMID: 38211818 DOI: 10.1016/j.jbc.2024.105626. In press.
  • Chantal Pileggi*, Hussein Elkhatib*, Corrine M Stewart, Irena Alecu, Marceline Côté, Steffany AL Bennett, Jagdeep K Sandhu, Miroslava Cuperlovic-Culf** and Mary-Ellen Harper** (2023) The SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein interacts with MAO-B and impairs mitochondrial energetics. Current Res Neurobiol. 5:100112. doi: 10.1016/j.crneur.2023.100112. ** Co-Senior and Co-corresponding authors.
  • Luke Kennedy*, Jagdeep K Sandhu, Mary-Ellen Harper**, and Miroslava Cuperlovic-Culf ** Mapping relationships between glutathione and SLC25 transporters in cancers using hybrid machine learning models. BioRxiv. Preprint posted Sept 21, 2023. doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2023.09.20.558442 ** Co-Senior and Co-corresponding authors.
  • Dongdong Wang, Logan K. Townsend, Geneviève J. DesOrmeaux, Sara M. Frangos, Battsetseg Batchuluun, Lauralyne Dumont, Rune Ehrenreich Kuhre, Elham Ahmadi, Sumei Hu, Irena A Rebalka, Jaya Gautam, Maria Joy Therese Jabile, Chantal A Pileggi*, Sonia Rehal, Eric M. Desjardins, Evangelia E. Tsakiridis, James S.V. Lally, Emma Juracic, Russell Tupling, Hertzel C. Gerstein, Guillaume Paré, Theodoros Tsakiridis, Mary-Ellen Harper, Thomas J. Hawke, John R. Speakman, Denis P. Blondin, Graham P. Holloway, Sebastian Beck Jørgensen, Gregory R. Steinberg. (2023) GDF15-GFRAL signaling axis maintains energy expenditure 1 in muscle during caloric restriction. Nature. 619(7968):143-150. doi: 10.1038/s41586-023-06249-4. 
  • Jennifer L Miles-Chan and Mary-Ellen Harper (2023) Deconstructing interindividual variability in energy metabolism: Implications for metabolic health. Am. J. Physiol.: Endocrinol and Metab. 325(2):E107-E112. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00060.2023.
  • Abrar Ul Haq Khan, Alaa Kassim Ali, Bryan Marr, Donghyeon Jo, Simin Ahmadvand, Claire Fong-McMaster*, Saeedah Musaed Almutairi, Lisheng Wang, Subash Sad, Mary-Ellen Harper and Seung-Hwan Lee. (2023) The TNFα/TNFR2 axis mediates natural killer cell proliferation by promoting aerobic glycolysis. Cellular & Molecular Immunology. 20(10):1140-1155. doi: 10.1038/s41423-023-01071-4. 
  • Katie Whytock, Maria Pino, Yifei Sun, Gongxin Yu, Flavia De Carvalho, Reichelle Yeo, Rick Vega, Parmar Gaganvir, Adeline Divoux, Nidhi Kapoor, Fanchao Yi, Heather Cornnell, David Patten, Mary-Ellen Harper, Stephen Gardell, Steven Smith, Martin Walsh, and Lauren Sparks (2023) Comprehensive interrogation of human skeletal muscle reveals a dissociation between insulin resistance and mitochondrial capacity. Am. J. Physiol.: Endocrrinol and Metab. 325(4):E291-E302. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00143.2023. 
  • Nusrah Rajabalee, Stephania Berton, Breana Hooks*, Michele Geoffrion, Dabo Yang, Mary-Ellen Harper, Katey Rayner, Alexander Blais, and Jim Sun (2023) ATF2 orchestrates macrophage differentiation and activation to promote antibacterial responses. J Leukocyte Biol. 114(3):280-298. doi: 10.1093/jleuko/qiad076.
  • Alexandria Béland-Millar, Alexia Kirby, Yen Truong, Julie Ouellette, Sozerko Yandiev, Khalil Bouyakdan, Chantal Pileggi*, Shama Naz, Melissa Yin, Micaël Carrier, Pavel Kotchetkov, Marie-Kim St-Pierre, Marie-Ève Tremblay, Julien Courchet, Mary-Ellen Harper, Thierry Alquier, Claude Messier, Adam J. Shuhendler, and Baptiste Lacoste (2023) Altered brain metabolism in adult 16p11.2 haplodeficient male mice. Cell Reports. 42(5):112485. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2023.112485. 
  • Ian C Smith, Chantal A Pileggi*, Ying Wang, Kristin Kernohan, Taila Hartley, Hugh J. McMillan, Marcos Loreto Sampaio, Gerd Melkus, John Woulfe, Gaganvir Parmar, Pierre R. Bourque, Ari Breiner, Jocelyn Zwicker, C. Elizabeth Pringle, Olga Jarinova, Hanns Lochmüller, David A Dyment, Bernard Brais, Kym M Boycott, Siegfried Hekimi, Mary-Ellen Harper, and Jodi Warman-Chardon. (2023) Novel homozygous variant in COQ7 in siblings with hereditary motor neuropathy. Neurology: Genetics. 9(1):e200048. doi: 10.1212/NXG.0000000000200048.
  • Daniel N. El Kodsi; Jacqueline M. Tokarew; Rajib Sengupta; Nathalie A. Lengacher; Ajanta Chatterji; Angela P. Nguyen; Heather Boston; Qiubo Jiang; Carina Palmberg; Chantal Pileggi*; Chet E. Holterman; Bojan Shutinoski; Juan Li; Travis K. Fehr; Matthew J. LaVoie; Rajiv R. Ratan; Gary S. Shaw; Masashi Takanashi; Nobutaka Hattori; Christopher R. Kennedy; Mary-Ellen Harper; Arne Holmgren; Julianna J. Tomlinson,  Michael Schlossmacher. (2023) Parkin Coregulates Glutathione Metabolism in Adult Mammalian Brain. Acta Neuropathologica Communications. 11(1):19 doi: 10.1186/s40478-022-01488-4.
  • Chantal A. Pileggi*, Denis P. Blondin, Breana G. Hooks*, Gaganvir Parmar*, Irina Alecu, David A. Patten*, Alexanne Cuillerier, Conor O’Dwyer, A Brianne Thrush*, Morgan D. Fullerton, Steffany A.L. Bennett, Éric Doucet, François Haman, Miroslava Cuperlovic-Culf, Ruth McPherson, Robert R.M. Dent, and Mary-Ellen Harper. (2022) Exercise training enhances muscle mitochondrial metabolism in diet-resistant obesity. eBiomedicine (Lancet). In Press.
  • Chantal A. Pileggi*, Breana G. Hooks*, Ruth McPherson, Robert R.M. Dent and Mary-Ellen Harper. (2022) Targeting skeletal muscle mitochondrial health in obesity. Clinical Science (Portland Press) 136:1081-1110.
  • Alameen Damer*, Sherif El Meniawy, Ruth McPherson, George Wells, Mary-Ellen Harper**, and Robert Dent** (2022) Association of muscle fibre type with measures of obesity: A systematic review.  Obesity Reviews. 23(7):e13444.
  • Harper ME, McPherson R, Dent R (2021) Interindividual variability in weight loss in the treatment of obesity. Am J Clin Nutr. 114(2):824-825.
  • Ava Liaghati*+, Chantal A Pileggi*+, Gaganvir Parmar*, David A. Patten*, Nina Hadzimustafic*, Alexanne Cuillerier, Keir Menzies, Yan Burelle and Mary-Ellen Harper. (2021) Grx2 regulates skeletal muscle mitochondrial structure and autophagy. +Co-first authors. Frontiers in Physiology. 12:604210.
  • Neoma T Boardman*, Baher Migally*, Chantal Pileggi*, Gaganvir S Parmar*, Jian Ying Xuan*, Keir Menzies and Mary-Ellen Harper (2020) Glutaredoxin-2 and Sirtuin-3 deficiencies impair cardiac mitochondrial energetics but their effects are not additive. BBA: Molecular Basis of Disease.1867(1):165982. PMID: 33002579.
  • Robert Dent, Ruth McPherson and Mary-Ellen Harper (2020) Factors Affecting Weight Loss Variability in Obesity. Metabolism Clinical and Experimental. 113:154388. PMID: 33035570.
  • Chantal Pileggi*, Gaganvir Parmar*, and Mary-Ellen Harper (2020) The Lifecycle of Skeletal Muscle Mitochondria in Obesity. Obesity Reviews. 22(5):e13164. PMID: 33442950.
  • David A Patten*, Shawn McGuirk, Ujval Anilkumar, Ghadi Antoun*, Karan Gandhi*, Gaganvir Parmar*, Mohamed Ariff Iqbal, Jacob Wong, Richard B Richardson, Julie St-Pierre, Ruth S Slack, Mary-Ellen Harper. (2020). Altered mitochondrial fusion drives defensive glutathione synthesis in cells able to switch to glycolytic ATP production. BBA - Molecular Cell Research. 1868(1):118854; PMID: 32926942.
  • Luke Kennedy, Jagdeep Sanhu, Mary-Ellen Harper and Miroslava Cuperlovic-Culf. (2020) Role of Glutathione in Cancer: From Mechanisms to Therapies  Biomolecules. 10(10):1429. PMID: 33050144.
  • Mary-Ellen Harper and Mary Elizabeth Patti. (2020) Metabolic Terminology: What’s in a name? Nature Metabolism. 2(6):476-477.
  • Majid Nikpay, Paulina Lau, Sebastien Soubeyrand, Katey Whytlock, Kaitlyn Beecher, Chantal Pileggi*, Sujoy Ghosh, Mary-Ellen Harper, Robert Dent, and Ruth McPherson (2020) SGCG rs679482 associates with weight loss success in response to an intensively supervised outpatient program.  Diabetes. 69(9):2017-2026.
  • David A. Patten*, Mary-Ellen Harper and Neoma Boardman* (2020) Harnessing the protective role of OPA1 in diabetic cardiomyopathy. Acta Physiologica (Oxford). 229(1):e13466.
  • Zeina Salloum, Eric Lehoux, Mary-Ellen Harper and Isabelle Catelas. (2020) Effects of Cobalt and Chromium Ions on Glycolytic Flux and the Stabilization of Hypoxia-Inducible factor-1α in Macrophages in Vitro. J Orthop Res. In Press.
  • Fiona McMurray*, Megan MacFarlane*, Kijoo Kim*, David A. Patten*, Lan Wei-LaPierre, Morgan D. Fullerton, and Mary-Ellen Harper (2019). Maternal diet induced obesity alters muscle mitochondrial function in offspring without changing insulin sensitivity. FASEB J. 33 (12), 13515-13526.
  • Dmitry Grapov, Oliver Fiehn, Caitlin Campbell, Carol Chandler, Dustin Burnett, Elaine Souza, Gretchen Casazza, Nancy Keim, John Newman, Gary Hunter, Jose Fernandez, W.Timothy Garvey, Charles Hoppel, Mary-Ellen Harper, and Sean H. Adams. (2019) Exercise plasma metabolomics and xenometabolomics in obese, sedentary, insulin-resistant women: impact of a fitness and weight loss intervention. Am J Physiol: Endo Met. 317 (6), E999-E1014.          
  • David A. Patten*, Mathieu Ouelet, David S. Allan, Marc Germain, Stephen Baird, Mary-Ellen Harper+ and Richard B. Richardson+(2019). Mitochondrial adaptation in human mesenchymal stem cells following ionizing radiation.  FASEB J. 33 (8), 9263-9278 +Co-senior authors.
  • Rajaa Sebaa*, Jeff Johnson, Chantal Pileggi*, Michaela Norgren*, Jian Xuan*, Yuka Sai, Qiang Tong, Irena Krystkowiak, Emma Bondy-Chorney, Norman Davey, Nevan Krogan, Michael Downey+ and Mary-Ellen Harper+ (2019). SIRT3 controls brown fat thermogenesis by deacetylation regulation of pathways upstream of UCP1. Molecular Metabolism. 25:35-49 + Co-senior authors.
  • Melanie Villanueva, Connor Michie, Georges N Kanaan*, Ghazaleh Rafatian, Pushpinder Kanda, Bin Ye, Wenbin Liang, Mary-Ellen Harper and Darryl R Davis (2019). Glyoxalase 1 Prevents Chronic Hyperglycemia Induced Heart-Explant Derived Cell DysfunctionTheranostics. 9(19):5720-5730.
  • Skye McBride*, Lan Wei-LaPierre, Fiona McMurray*, Megan MacFarlane*, Xing Qiu, David A. Patten, Robert T. Dirksen RT, Mary-Ellen Harper (2019). Skeletal muscle mitoflashes, pH, and the role of uncoupling protein-3. Arch Biochem Biophys. 663:239-248.
  • Majid Nikpay, Kaitlyn Beehler, Armand Valsesia, Jorg Hager, Mary-Ellen Harper, Robert Dent, and Ruth McPherson (2019). Genome-wide identification of circulating-miRNA expression quantitative trait loci reveals the role of several miRNAs in the regulation of cardiometabolic phenotypes. Cardiovascular Research. 115(11):1629-1645.
  • Lucien Nadeau, David Patten*, Audrey Caron, Léa Garneau, Marc Foretz, Pascal Haddad, Barbara G Andersen, Quinn LeBris, Mary-Ellen Harper, and Céline Aguer (2019). IL-15 improves skeletal muscle oxidative metabolism and glucose uptake in association with increased respiratory chain supercomplex formation and AMPK pathway activation. BBA General Subjects. 1863(2):395-407.
  • Georges Kanaan*, David Patten*, Calum Redpath and Mary-Ellen Harper (2019). Atrial fibrillation is associated with impaired atrial mitochondrial energetics and supercomplex formation in type 2 diabetes.  Canadian Journal of Diabetes. 43(1):67-75.
  • Zeina Salloum, Eric Lehoux, Mary-Ellen Harper and Isabelle Catalas (2018). Effects of cobalt and chromium ions on oxidative stress and cellular energetics in macrophages in vitro. Journal of Orthopaedic Research. 36(12):3178-3187.
  • Abi Rajkumar*, Awa Liaghati*, Jessica Chan, Gilles Lamothe, Robert Dent, Éric Doucet, Remi Rabasa-Lhoret, Denis Prud’homme, Mary-Ellen Harper** and Frédérique Tesson** (2018). Influence of ACSL5 genotype on fatty acid oxidation and mitochondrial bioenergetics -an in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo analysis. Metabolism Clinical and Experimental. 83:271-279. **Co-senior authors.
  • A. Brianne Thrush*, Ghadi Antoun*, Majid Nikpay, Jean-François Mauger, David Patten*, Brittany L. Beauchamp*, Paulina Lau, Éric Doucet, Pascal Imbeault, Robert Boushel, Jorg Hager, Armand Valsesia, Ruth Slack, Osama Y. Al-Dirbashi, Robert Dent**, Ruth McPherson** and Mary-Ellen Harper. (2018) Diet-resistant obesity is characterized by a distinct plasma proteomic signature and impaired muscle fiber metabolism, Int J Obesity. 42(3):353-362 (** co-senior authors).
  • Georges N. Kanaan*, Bianca Ichim*, Lara Gharibeh, Wael Maharsy, David Patten*, Jian Ying Xuan*, Arkadiy Reunov, Philip Marshall, John Veinot, Keir Menzies, Mona Nemer and Mary-Ellen Harper (2018). Glutaredoxin-2 Controls Cardiac Mitochondrial Dynamics and Energetics in Mice, and Protects Against Human Cardiac Pathologies. Redox Biol. 14:509-521.
  • Georges N. Kanaan* and Mary-Ellen Harper (2017) Cellular redox dysfunction in the development of cardiovascular diseases. BBA: General Subjects. 1861: 2822-9.
  • Ghadi Antoun*, Majid Nikpay, Ruth McPherson, Mary-Ellen Harper, and Robert Dent. (2018) Is type 2 diabetes associated with impaired capacity for weight loss? Can J Diabetes. 42(3):313-16.
  • Céline Aguer*, Brian Piccolo, Oliver Fiehn, Sean Adams and Mary-Ellen Harper (2017) A novel amino acid and metabolomics signature in mice overexpressing muscle uncoupling protein 3. FASEB J. 31(2):814-27.
  • Sparks LM, Redman LM, Conley KE, Harper ME, Yi F, Hodges A, Eroshkin A, Costford SR, Gabriel ME, Shook C, Cornnell HH, Ravussin E, Smith SR. (2017) Effects of 12 Months of Caloric Restriction on Muscle Mitochondrial Function in Healthy Individuals. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 102(1):111-21
  • Mary-Ellen Harper (2016) Drugs and bugs: Turning on the heat through UCP1 and UCP3   J. Physiol. 594(24):7151-2.
  • Fiona McMurray*, David A. Patten* and Mary-Ellen Harper (2016) Reactive oxygen species and oxidative stress in obesity – Recent Findings and Empirical Approaches. Obesity. 24(11):2301-10.
  • Denis P. Blondin, Amani Daoud, Taryn Taylor, Hans C. Tingelstad, Véronic Bézaire*, Denis Richard, André C. Carpentier, Albert W. Taylor, Mary-Ellen Harper, Céline Aguer*, François Haman. (2016) Four-week cold acclimation in adult humans shifts uncoupling thermogenesis from skeletal muscles to BAT. J Physiol. 595(6):2099-113.
  • Sparks LM, Redman LM, Conley KE, Harper ME, Hodges A, Eroshkin A, Costford SR, Gabriel ME, Yi F, Shook C, Cornnell HH, Ravussin E, Smith SR. (2016) Differences in mitochondrial coupling reveal a novel signature of mitohormesis in muscle of healthy individuals. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 102(1):111-21.
  • Abi Rajkumar*, Gilles Lamothe, Pierette Bolongo, Mary-Ellen Harper, Kristi Adamo, Eric Doucet, Remi Rabasa-Lhoret, Denis Prud'homme, Frederique Tesson. (2016) Acyl-CoA synthetase long-chain 5 genotype is associated with body composition changes in response to lifestyle interventions in postmenopausal women with overweight and obesity: a genetic association study on cohorts Montréal-Ottawa New Emerging Team, and Complications Associated with Obesity. BMC Med Genet.17(1):56
  • Kyle Scott, Maria Benkhalti Jandu, Nicholas D. Calvert, Mathieu Paquette, Li Zhen, Mary-Ellen Harper, Osama Y. Al-Dirbashi, and Jean-Marc Renaud. (2016) KATP channel deficiency in mouse FDB causes an impairment of energy metabolism during fatigue. Am. J. Physiol: Cell. 311(4):C559-C571.
  • L. Marcadier, Jean Michaud, Osama Y. Al-Dirbashi, Jeremy Schwartzentruber, Chandree L. Beaulieu, Sherri L. Katz, FORGE Canada Consortium, Jacek Majewski, Dennis E. Bulman, Michael T. Geraghty, Mary-Ellen Harper, Pranesh Chakraborty , Matthew A. Lines (2016) Severe Neonatal Presentation of Mitochondrial Citrate Carrier (SLC25A1) Deficiency. J. Inher. Metab. Diseases 30:73-9.
  • Mireille Khacho, Alysen Clark, Devon S. Svoboda, Joelle Azzi, Jason G. MacLaurin, Cynthia Meghaizel, Hiromi Sesaki, Diane C. Lagace, Marc Germain, Mary-Ellen Harper, David S. Park, Ruth S. Slack. (2016) Mitochondrial dynamics impacts stem cell identity and fate decisions by regulating a nuclear transcriptional program. Cell Stem Cell. 19(2):232-47.
  • Richard B Richardson and Mary-Ellen Harper. (2016) Mitochondrial stress controls the radiosensitivity of the oxygen effect: Implications for radiotherapy. Oncotarget. 7(16):21469-83.
  • Brittany Beauchamp* and Mary-Ellen Harper. (2016) In utero undernutrition programs skeletal and cardiac muscle metabolism.  Frontiers in Physiology6:401. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2015.00401. PMID: 26779032
  • Michael A. Kennedy, Tia C. Moffat, Kenneth Gable, Karolina Niewola-Staszkowska, Anne Johnston, Corey Nislow, Linda J. Harris, Robbie Loewith, Mary-Ellen Harper, Teresa Dunn, Steffany Bennett and Kristin Baetz. (2016)  A signaling lipid associated with Alzheimer’s disease causes mitochondrial dysfunction. Scientific Reports. 6:19332. doi: 10.1038/srep19332.
  • Ghadi Antoun*, Skye McBride*, Jason R. Vanstone, Turaya Naas, Jean Michaud, Hugh McMillan, Stephanie Redpath, Dennis Bulman, Jason Brophy, FORGE Canada Consortium, Kym M. Boycott, David Dyment, Martin Holcik, Alex Mackenzie, Mary-Ellen Harper§, and Matthew A. Lines§ (2016)  Detailed Clinical and Bioenergetic Characterization of Mitochondrial Encephalopathy, Cardiomyopathy, and Immunodeficiency due to FBXL4 deficiency. Journal of Inherited Metabolic Diseases. (Co-senior authors). 27:1-9.
  • Mirna Azar, Majid Nikpay, Mary-Ellen Harper, Ruth McPherson, and Robert Dent. (2016) Can response to dietary restriction predict weight loss after Roux-en-Y Gastroplasty?  Obesity.  24(4):805-11.
  • Hussein Daoud, Fiona McMurray*, Andrea Yu, Stephanie Luco, Jason Vanstone, Olga Jarinova, Nancy Carson, Kym M Boycott, Christopher Schofield, Mary-Ellen Harper, David A Dyment, Christine M Armour. (2016) Identification of a Pathogenic FTO Mutation by Next-Generation Sequencing in a Newborn with Growth Retardation and Developmental Delay. Journal of Medical Genetics. 53(3):200-7.
  • Mirna Azar, Majid Nikpay, Mary-Ellen Harper, Ruth McPherson, and Robert Dent. (2015) Adverse Effects of Beta-Blocker Therapy on Weight Loss in Response to a Controlled Dietary Regimen. Can. J. Cardiol. 32(10): 1246.e21–1246.
  • Ghadi Antoun*, Fiona McMurray*, A Brianne Thrush*, David A Patten, Alyssa Christine Peixoto*, Ruth S Slack, Ruth McPherson, Robert Dent, and Mary-Ellen Harper. (2015) Impaired Mitochondrial Oxidative Phosphorylation and Supercomplex Assembly in Rectus Abdominis of Diabetic Obese Individuals. Diabetologia. 58(12):2861-6.
  • Jason Vanstone, Amanda Smith, Skye McBride*, Turaya Naas, Martin Holcik, Ghadi Antoun, Mary-Ellen Harper, Jean Michaud, Erick Sell, Pranesh Chakraborty, Martine Tetreault, Jacek Majewski, Stephen Baird, Kym Boycott, David Dyment, and Alex MacKenzie and Matthew Lines*. (2016) DNM1L-related mitochondrial fission defect presenting as refractory epilepsy.  Eur. J. Human Genetics 24(7): 1084-8
  • Denuja Karunakaran, Laura Richards, Michele Geoffrion, Danyk Barrette, Ryan Gotfrit, Mary-Ellen Harper, and Katey Rayner. (2015) Therapeutic Inhibition of miR-33 Promotes Fatty Acid Oxidation but Does Not Ameliorate Metabolic Dysfunction in Diet-Induced Obesity. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. 35(12):2536-43.
  • Denuja Karunakaran, A. Brianne Thrush*, MA Nguyen, L Richards, Michelle Geoffrion, R Singaravelu, E Ramphos, P Shangari, Michelle Ouimet, John P Pezacki,  Katherine J Moore, L Perisic, L Maegdefessel, U Hedin, Mary-Ellen Harper, Katey J Rayner. (2015) Macrophage Mitochondrial Energy Status Regulates Cholesterol Efflux and is Enhanced by Anti-miR33 in Atherosclerosis. Circ Res. 117(3):266-78.
  • Brittany Beauchamp*, A. Brianne Thrush*, Jessica Quizi*, Ghadi Antoun*, Nathan McIntosh*, Osama Y. Al-Dirbashi, Mary-Elizabeth Patti, and Mary-Ellen Harper. (2015) Undernutrition during pregnancy in mice leads to dysfunctional cardiac muscle respiration in adult offspring. Biosci Rep. Apr 10;35(3). pii: e00200.
  • Céline Aguer*, Colin S. McCoin, Trina A. Knotts, A. Brianne Thrush*, Kikumi Ono-Moore, Ruth McPherson, Robert Dent, Daniel H. Hwang, Sean H. Adams3, and Mary-Ellen Harper. (2015) Acylcarnitines: potential implications for skeletal muscle insulin resistance. FASEB J. 29(1):336-45.

Research interests

  • Mitochondrial energetics
  • Decoupling proteins
  • Reactive oxygen derivatives
  • Oxidation-reduction of glutathione
  • Oxidative stress
  • Metabolic disease
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Biochemistry