Academic Rank:
Professor, UBC
President & Scientific Director, Terry Fox Research Institute
Affiliation(s):
Short Bio:

Victor Ling is President and Scientific Director of the Canada-wide Terry Fox Research Institute (www.tfri.ca). He is a distinguished scientist at the BC Cancer Agency (BCCA) and Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of British Columbia (UBC). He is also Director of the Interdisciplinary Oncology graduate training program (www.iop.ca), a partnership between BCCA and UBC.

Previously he was Vice-president of Research at the BC Cancer Agency and Assistant Dean at UBC. He has served on a number of boards including: Governing Council of CIHR, Board of NCI Canada, Medical Advisory Committee of the Gairdner Foundation, Board of Scientific Counselors at NCI/NIH, and Scientific Advisory Committee of the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research. He also chairs the Governance and Oversight Committee of CTRNet.

Dr. Ling is best known for his discovery of P-glycoprotein (MDR), a major mechanism of resistance to anticancer drugs. He has been honoured by the General Motors Kettering Prize, the Dr. Josef Steiner Cancer Research Award, the Gairdner Foundation International Award, a Michael Smith Foundation Distinguished Scholar Award and many others. He has received honorary degrees from four different Canadian universities, the Order of British Columbia, the Order of Canada and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Current Appointments

Academic background

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, M.R.C. Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, England, with F. Sanger. 1971
  • PhD, University of British Columbia with G.H.Dixon, Biochemistry. 1969
  • BSc, University of Toronto, Biochemistry. 1966

Publications

  • Renxue Wang, Lin Liu, Jonathan A. Sheps, Dana Forrest, Alan F. Hofmann, Lee R. Hagey and Victor Ling (2013) Defective canalicular transport and toxicity of dietary ursodeoxycholic acid in the abcb11-/- mouse: transport and gene expression studies. American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology Aug; 305(4):G286-94.
  • Eugene Hrycay, Dana Forrest, Lin Liu, Renxue Wang, Jenny Tai, Anand Deo, Victor Ling and Stelvio Bandiera (2014) Hepatic bile acid metabolism and expression of cytochrome P450 and enzymes in Bsep-/- mice. Mol Cell Biochem ( Published online: 08 Jan 2014). 2013
  • Wang R, Sheps JA, Ling V. ABC Transporters, Bile Acids, and Inflammatory Stress in Liver Cancer. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2011 Apr 1;12(4):636-46.
  • Renxue Wang, Jonathan A. Sheps, and Victor Ling (2011) ABC transporters, bile acids, and inflammatory stress in liver cancer. Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology 12: 636-646.
  • Lo M, Ling V, Low C, Wang YZ, Gout PW. Potential use of the anti-inflammatory drug, sulfasalazine, for targeted therapy of pancreatic cancer. Curr Oncol. 2010 Jun;17(3):9-16.
  • Dong X, Guan J, English JC, Flint J, Yee J, Evans K, Murray N, Macaulay C, Ng RT, Gout PW, Lam WL, Laskin J, Ling V, Lam S, Wang Y. Patient-derived first generation xenografts of non-small cell lung cancers: promising tools for predicting drug responses for personalized chemotherapy. Clin Cancer Res. 2010 Mar 1;16(5):1442-51. Epub 2010 Feb 23.
  • Wang R, Chen HL, Liu L, Sheps JA, Phillips MJ, Ling V. Compensatory role of P-glycoproteins in knockout mice lacking the bile salt export pump. Hepatology. 2009 Sep;50(3):948-56.
  • Lo M, Tsao MS, Hedley D, Ling V. Gene expression profiling of adenosine triphosphate-binding cassette transporters in response to K-ras activation and hypoxia in human pancreatic cancer cell cultures. Pancreas. 2009 Jan;38(1):85-93.
  • Chen HL, Wang R, Chen HL, Hwu WL, Jeng YM, Chang MH, Ling V. Bone marrow transplantation results in donor-derived hepatocytes in an animal model of inherited cholestatic liver disease. J Biomed Sci. 2008 Sep;15(5):615-22. Epub 2008 May 29.
  • Lo M, Ling V, Wang YZ, Gout PW. The xc- cystine/glutamate antiporter: a mediator of pancreatic cancer growth with a role in drug resistance. Br J Cancer. 2008 Aug 5;99(3):464-72.

Research Interest

Our laboratory works to understand the mechanism of resistance to anticancer drugs observed in many human cancers. Among other things, we have identified one mechanism of multi-drug resistance (MDR) involving P-glycoprotein (Pgp) which functions as a drug efflux pump of broad specificity. In some cancers the correlation between the presence of Pgp function and non-response to chemotherapy has been established and the use of agents that block Pgp functiton has begun to yield promising results in combination with conventional chemotherapy. Our research in understanding the structure and function of Pgp will provide the fundamental basis for the pharmaceutical industry to design better blockers of Pgp. We and others have also discovered that PgP is a member of a superfamily of related proteins called ABC transporters which may be represented by more than 50 members in the human genome. These transporters are found in all kingdoms of life and appear to be involved in many fundamental biological processes. An inventory of ABC Transporters is currently being generated and we are profiling their expression patterns in different drug-resistant cell lines and some cancers. We are also studying a related liver-specific gene discovered in our lab, the sister of P-glycoprotein (sPgp), and its function in bile formation and cholesterol homeostasis. The mutation of Spgp in humans can cause Progressive Familiar Intrahepatic Cholaestasis -a liver disease, which is often fatal , especially in children. Technologies/expertise in our laboratory include: quantitative RT-PCR, expression profiling, generation of knockout mice, phylogenetic analysis, serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE), Protein biochemistry, Fluorescence labelling, and Transport kinetics.