Katherine L.B. Borden, Ph.D.

Awards & Honours

  • Distinguished Scientist, Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation, 2011
  • Canada Research Chair in the Molecular Biology of the Cell Nucleus, 2004–
  • Stohlman Scholar, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, 2005
  • Scholar, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, 2000-2005
  • Research Fellow, Imperial Cancer Research Fund, 1994-1996
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Medical Research Council, 1990-1994
  • Predoctoral Fellow, National Institutes of Health, 1986-1990


  • Postdoctoral training, Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now Cancer Research UK), London, U.K., 1994-1996
  • Postdoctoral training, National Institute for Medical Research, London, U.K., 1990-1994
  • Ph.D. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry with Fred Richards, Yale University, Connecticut, 1990
  • B.Sc. (Honors) in Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Michigan, Michigan, 1986

Research Support

  • National Institutes of Health
  • Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (USA)

Katherine Borden’s interest in using biophysical and structural biology to study biological problems started when she was a graduate student at Yale University, working under the guidance of Fred Richards. She continued combining NMR and cancer biology in the U.K. over the course of two postdoctoral fellowships, with Andrew Lane and Paul Freemont respectively.

Katherine Borden and her team focus on understanding the molecular basis of cancer. They are interested in how the dysregulation of different aspects of RNA metabolism contributes to cells becoming cancerous. They have a particular interest in leukemia and use molecular biology, structural biology and biophysics in their research. Their work has led to the development of a novel therapy. More specifically, they have discovered that inhibition of a specific factor, eIF4E, by a well known anti-viral drug, ribavirin impedes eIF4E’s ability to make cells cancerous without significantly affecting normal cells.

Katherine Borden is currently leading a Canada-wide clinical trial supported by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (USA), to monitor the efficacy of ribavirin combination therapies in M4/M5 acute myeloid leukemia patients.

Her initial studies on eIF4E began in Halifax, at Dalhousie University, where she had her first faculty appointment. She has pursued and developed these interests throughout her career at both Mount Sinai School of Medicine in Manhattan (NY) and now, at IRIC in Montreal.

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