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Kevin Larocque

Alisa Piekny's Lab - Concordia University


MSc Candidate


BSc Cell & Molecular Biology, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada

Teaching Courses:

Biol 201 - Introductory Biology

Research Interest:

One hallmark of cancer is sustained proliferation signaling which results in uncontrolled cell division. Cancer drugs have been developed to target mitosis and arrest cancer cells however, many drugs are not selective and can harm the patients. In collaboration with Dr. Forgione, we found several analogues that arrest cancer cells preferably over healthy cells, during mitosis.

To explore the effects of these compounds on cancer cells within a tumor microenvironment, I grew multi-cellular tumor spheroids (MCTS) from various cancer cell lines, and treated them with varying concentrations of C75, one of the active derivatives. I grow MCTS’s from HeLa (cervix adenocarcinoma), A549 (lung carcinoma) and HCT116 (colon colorectal adenocarcinoma) cells. Further, encapsulating C75 in polymeric nanoparticles caused MCTS
disruption or regression in growth at lower concentrations over free drug.

We found that HeLa MCTS’s were completely disrupted within two days of a single treatment with 500 nM C75 in comparison to 1 uM C87, an inert derivative. A549 and HCT116 MCTS’s showed regression in growth in response to a single treatment with 500 nM or 1 uM of C75 in comparison to 1 uM C87. We are in the process of determining the molecular target of C75 and
its effect in vivo.

Principle Investigator

Alisa Piekny

Current Lab Members

Daniel Beaudet (PhD cand)
Dilan Jaunky (PhD cand)
​​Imge Özügergin (MSc cand)
Karina Mastronardi (PhD cand)
Kevin Larocque (MSc cand)

Former Lab Members

​​Alexa Mariotti (MSc)
Chloë van Oostende, PhD (RA)
Denise Wernicke (PhD)
Eric Haines (MSc)
Husni Haji Bik (MSc)
Karina Mastronardi (MSc)
Madhav Soowamber, MSc (RA)
Michael Loloyan (MSc)
Melina Jaramillo Garcia (MSc)
Mena Kinal (MSc)
Neetha Makil (MSc)
Nellie Fotopoulos (MSc)
Paknoosh Pakarian (MSc)
Paul Frenette (MSc)
Tara Akhshi (MSc, RA)
Yun Chen (MSc)