About the Lab

Dr. Gingras did his first Degree in Biochemistry (1997), and an MSc in Molecular Cell Biology (1998) at the Université Laval, Québec City, Canada.  In 1998, he moved to the University of Leicester, Leicester, UK, to learn protein crystallography in the laboratories of Professor Robert C. Liddington and Professor Peter Moody where he worked for his PhD on the complement system of innate immunity, a collaboration with Professor Wilhelm Schwaeble.  He also received training in NMR from Dr. Igor Barsukov. 

After completion of his Ph.D., He gained further experience in protein crystallography in the laboratory of Dr Jonas Emsley where he was involved in conducting the first structural studies to be carried out on the cytoskeletal protein talin, a large adaptor protein (2541 amino acids) that both activates the integrin family of cell adhesion molecules, and couples them to the actin cytoskeleton.    Dr Gingras subsequently continued the work on talin with Professor Critchley’s group and he played the lead role in the structural biology team.  This has involved developing extensive local, national and international collaborations, for which he has largely been responsible on a day to day basis.  The main focus of his work has been on (i) determining the organization of the 62 α-helices in the talin rod into domains and (ii) in solving the structure of these domains.  The results of these studies have significantly influenced thinking in the field. 

In 2011, Dr Gingras moved to California to join the laboratory of Professor Mark Ginsberg at UCSD as an Assistant Project Scientist.   This allowed him (i) to progress this new project and to begin to develop a career as an independent research scientist, and (ii) to attract independent research funding.  He received funding to study two Rap1 effectors, KRIT1 and Rasip1, which fits well with his overall goal which is to study proteins that are critical to cell adhesive interactions and signaling across the plasma membrane.  In 2013 he was promoted to assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at UCSD.

Dr Gingras has a strong publication record in protein structural biology with; 37 publications in high impact journals such as EMBO J, PNAS and J Cell Biol (JCB) that have been cited more than 2,500 times, and 47 protein structures in the Protein Data Bank (PDB).   He his an expert in structural biology, both NMR and crystallography, has a broad background in protein biochemistry and has used many different approaches to study protein-protein interactions.