Christopher Overall

About Christopher Overall:

Professor Christopher Overall was appointed a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Protease Proteomics and Systems Biology (2001) and an Honorary Professor Albert-Ludwigs Universität Freiburg, Germany (2014–) after being a Senior Fellow of the Freiburg Institute of Advanced Studies, Albert-Ludwigs Universität Freiburg, Germany (2010–2013). He was inducted as a fellow into the Royal Society of Canada, Academy of Science in 2018. He is best known for his development of proteomic methodology for the discovery of protease substrates in vivo, thereby establishing the field of degradomics. He has used these techniques to reveal new biological roles for proteases in immunity and disease, most recently in the COVID-19 pandemic by SARS-CoV-2 proteases, as well as to invent new treatments to correct protease deficiency in an immunodeficiency disease. By generating clinically relevant insights into how proteases dampen disease-fighting defense systems involved in inflammation and immunodeficiency, degradomics has revealed an unexplored layer of complexity in the hierarchy of cell and immune regulation, greatly adding to our understanding of protease function and drug targeting.

Dr. Overall completed his B.D.S., Honours Science and Master’s degrees at the University of Adelaide, South Australia; his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the University of Toronto, Canada; and was an MRC Centennial Fellow in his postdoctoral training with Dr. Michael Smith, Nobel Laureate, Biotechnology Laboratory, UBC. He launched his lab at UBC in 1993, where he is happily entrenched. On sabbatical in 1997 – 1998 he was a Senior Scientist at British Biotech Pharmaceuticals, Oxford, UK, and in 2004 and 2008 a Senior Scientist at the Expert Protease Platform, Centre for Proteomic Drug Discovery, Novartis Pharma, Basel, Switzerland and is now a Creative Destruction Lab Scientist, UBC Sauder School of Business, and a consultant for Genentech, Novartis and several Biotechnology companies. He is a highly cited scientist (h-index of 98) with >34,500 citations—including 11 >500 – 999, 4 >1,000 and 1>1,500, from 288 refereed papers, including 30 high-impact Nature (1), Science (2), Cell and daughter journal (27) papers, most as senior PI. He has trained 40 postdoctoral fellows and graduated 13 Ph.D. and 6 M.Sc. students with 18 now holding academic appointments: 7 now Full Professors (including 2 Department Chairs), 2 are Associate Professors, and 9 are Assistant Professors.

He was elected by his peers to organize and Chair the 2003 Matrix Metalloproteinase (MMP) and 2010 Protease Gordon Research Conferences, and in 2017 he was Co-Chair of the International Proteolysis Society Biannual Meeting, the premier conferences of his fields. He holds influential roles on the executive of > 10 international committees, the most prominent of which was being elected to the Human Proteome Organization (HUPO) Executive Council and to Chair the HUPO Chromosome-centric Human Proteome Project (C-HPP). He is the recipient of numerous awards e.g. 2006 Killam Faculty Research Prize, Senior Science UBC; 2002 CIHR Researcher of the Year Award; Helmholtz Award (2008); International Proteolysis Society Lifetime Achievement Award (2011); Matrix Biology Society of Australia and New Zealand Barry Preston Award (2012); and the International Association for Dental Research Distinguished Scientist Award (2013). His advances in proteomics have been recognized by the Canadian National Proteomics Network Tony Pawson Award (2014); the Proteomass Scientific Society Award (2017); and the highly prestigious 2018 international HUPO Discovery Award in Proteomics Sciences. He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Proteome Research.

Read the SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro substrate degradome release and atlas: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109892

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