Christopher Overall: CNPN Distinguished Researcher

April 2014

The Canadian National Proteomics Network (CNPN) selected Dr. Christopher Overall, professor and Canada Research Chair in Metalloproteinase Proteomics and Systems Biology, for its 2014 distinguished researcher award, the CNPN—Tony Pawson Proteomics Award.

The award—for outstanding contribution and leadership to the Canadian proteomics community—recognizes his remarkable achievement on the fundamental understanding and practice of proteomics in biological sciences.

Leonard Foster, Anne-Claude Gingras, Chris Overall - 2014 Tony Pawson Award

Dr. Leonard Foster (L) and Dr. Anne-Claude Gingras (R) with Dr. Chris Overall (C) who received the 2014 Tony Pawson Award for outstanding contribution and leadership to the Canadian proteomics community.


Overall is an international leader in proteomics recognized for his seminal contributions to the field of degradomics, the systems level investigation of protein turnover by proteolysis, the term he coined, and in developing ‘polymers for proteomics’. His focus has been on understanding the role of matrix metalloproteinases in various diseases and pathologies, most particularly in cancer, infection and inflammation.

He has developed a series of ground breaking techniques, most published in Nature Journal, that now enable protease cleavage products to be specifically isolated and identified from normal and diseased tissues. This has revolutionized the protease field and enabled Overall to become an active member of the Human Proteome Project, organised by the Human Proteome Organization. Overall has also trained 38 students and postdoctoral scientists, 32 remain in science and 10 of whom hold professorships including two who are departmental chairs.

A prolific researcher with over 200 publications (including 19 papers in Nature Review, Nature Journal, Science and Science Signaling) that have been cited more than 12,600 times, he also has numerous patents at various stages. Overall holds the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Metalloproteinase Proteomics and Systems Biology, and has won several national and international awards, including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Researcher of the Year award for 2002, and lifetime achievement awards from the International Proteolysis Society and the Matrix Biology Society of Australia and New Zealand, and in 2013 by the International Association of Dental Research Distinguished Scientist Award for Research in Oral Biology.

The CNPN award ceremony took place on April 15, 2014, during the its annual meeting in Montreal. To highlight his contributions to the field, Overall delivered “Protein TAILS Tell Remarkable Tales”, a lecture detailing, through his lab’s analysis of pathological tissue, the mapping of proteolytic pathways and their irreversible actions on signalling and cytokine pathways in cancer, inflammation, and infection uncovering the remarkable role for proteases inside, outside, and outside-to-inside the cell.

Read the Centre for Blood Research’s announcement on their website >>

Visit the Overall Lab website >>