Tyson MacCormack

Associate Professor, Biochemistry

Tyson MacCormack

Contact Information

(506) 364-2371
Barclay 319
Office hours
By Appointment
Other websites


Postdoctoral Fellowship, Toxicology and proteomics, University of Alberta
Ph.D. Comparative physiology and biochemistry, Ocean Sciences Centre, Memorial University of Newfoundland
M.Sc. Comparative physiology, Ocean Sciences Centre, Memorial University of Newfoundland
B.Sc. Biology / Interdisciplinary Studies in Aquatic Resources, St. Francis Xavier University

Research interests

Our research focuses on characterizing interactions between engineered nanomaterials and biological systems and identifying potential mechanisms of nanoparticle bioactivity or toxicity.  The small size and tailored structure of engineered nanoparticles gives them unique properties, making it challenging to predict their bioactivity based on existing data for equivalent bulk materials.  The goal of our research is to define a set of specific physicochemical characteristics that may render a nanoparticle bioactive.  This information can then be used by industry to facilitate the responsible development of this revolutionary technology.
Our lab approaches this problem at a number of biochemical and biological scales, ranging from isolated proteins to whole animals.  Nanoparticles are similar in size to many biological macromolecules and their surface chemistry can facilitate interactions between nanoparticles and these macromolecules.  Such associations can alter the structure and function of proteins, leading to detrimental changes in the physiology of an organism.  We are specifically interested in how such interactions impact energy metabolism and cardiorespiratory physiology in fish.


Book chapters

  •     TJ MacCormack, GG Goss, and RD Handy. Emerging threats: Engineered organic nanomaterials. In: Organic Chemical Toxicology of Fishes, volume 33 in the Fish Physiology series. Edited by K Tierney, AP Farrell, and CJ Brauner.

Peer-reviewed papers

  •     CA Dieni, CJL Stone, ML Armstrong, NI Callaghan, and TJ MacCormack. Spherical gold nanoparticles impede the function of bovine serum albumin in vitro: a new consideration for studies in nanotoxicology. Journal of Nanomaterials and Molecular Nanotechnology in press.
  •     KJ Ong, X Zhao, M Thistle, TJ MacCormack, RJ Clark, G Ma, Y Martinez-Rubi, B Simard, J Loo, JGC Veinot and GG Goss. 2013. Mechanistic insights into the effect of nanoparticles on zebrafish hatch. Nanotoxicology in press. http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/17435390.2013.778345
  •     A Schultz, KJ Ong, TJ MacCormack, G Ma, JGC Veinot, GG Goss. 2012. Silver nanoparticles inhibit sodium uptake in juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Environmental Science & Technology 46: 10295-10301. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es3017717
  •     TJ MacCormack, R Clark, M Dang, J Kelly, JGC Veinot and GG Goss. 2012. Inhibition of enzyme activity by nanomaterials: potential mechanisms and implications for nanotoxicity testing. Nanotoxicology 6: 514-525. http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/17435390.2011.587904
  •     JR Treberg, TJ MacCormack, JM Lewis, VMF Almeida-Val, AL Val and WR Driedzic. 2007. Intracellular glucose and binding of hexokinase and phosphofructokinase to particulate fractions increase under hypoxia in heart of the Amazonian armoured catfish (Liposarcus pardalis). Physiol. Biochem. Zool. 80: 542-550. http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/520129
  •     TJ MacCormack and WR Driedzic. 2007. The impact of hypoxia on in vivo glucose uptake in a hypoglycemic fish, Myoxocephalus scorpius. Am. J. Physiol. 292: R1033-R1042. http://ajpregu.physiology.org/content/292/2/R1033
  •     TJ MacCormack, JM Lewis, VMF Almeida-Val, AL Val and WR Driedzic. 2006. Carbohydrate management, anaerobic metabolism, and adenosine levels in the armoured catfish, Liposarcus pardalis (Castelnau), during hypoxia. J. Exp. Zool. 305A: 363-375.  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jez.a.274/abstract
  •     JR Hall, RC Richards, TJ MacCormack, KV Ewart and WR Driedzic. 2005. Cloning of GLUT3 cDNA from Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) and expression of GLUT1 and GLUT3 in response to hypoxia. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 1730: 245-252. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167478105001855
  •     JR Hall, TJ MacCormack, CJ Barry and WR Driedzic. 2004. Sequence and expression of a constitutive, facilitated glucose transporter (GLUT1) in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua). J. Exp. Biol. 207: 4697-4706. http://jeb.biologists.org/content/207/26/4697.long
  •     TJ MacCormack and WR Driedzic. 2004. Cardiorespiratory and tissue adenosine responses to hypoxia and reoxygenation in the short-horned sculpin Myoxocephalus scorpius. J. Exp. Biol. 207: 4157-4164. http://jeb.biologists.org/content/207/23/4157.long
  •     KA Clow, KJ Rodnick, TJ MacCormackand WR Driedzic. 2004. The regulation and importance of glucose uptake in the isolated Atlantic cod heart: rate-limiting steps and effects of hypoxia. J. Exp. Biol. 207: 1865-1874. http://jeb.biologists.org/content/207/11/1865.long
  •     TJ MacCormack and ME DeMont. 2003. Regional differences in allometric growth in the lobster Homarus americanus. J. Crust. Biol. 23: 258-264. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1549630
  •     TJ MacCormack, RS McKinley, R Roubach, VMF Almeida-Val, AL Val and WR Driedzic. 2003. Changes in ventilation, metabolism, and behaviour, but not bradycardia, contribute to hypoxia survival in two species of Amazonian armoured catfish. Can. J. Zool. 81: 272-280. http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/abs/10.1139/z03-003#.UnKIGhCFfSg
  •     TJ MacCormack, JR Treberg, VMF Almeida-Val, AL Val and WR Driedzic. 2003. Mitochondrial KATP channels and sarcoplasmic reticulum influence cardiac force development under anoxia in the Amazonian armored catfish Liposarcus pardalis. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 134A: 441-448. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S109564330200315X
  •     TJ MacCormack and WR Driedzic. 2002. Mitochondrial ATP-sensitive K+ channels (KATP) influence force development and anoxic contractility in flatfish (Limanda ferruginea) but not cod (Gadus morhua) heart. J. Exp. Biol. 205: 1411-1418.http://jeb.biologists.org/content/205/10/1411.long

Grants, awards, & honours

J.E.A. Crake Teaching Award winner, 2013