Peter is teaching Biochemistry to Medical Laboratory Scientists and to Dental Nurses. He also supervises a number of PhD and MSc students. His current research involves developing super-resolution optical methods (SIM and dSTORM) for the study of liver sinusoidal endothelial cell (LSEC) fenestrations, and how they change with ageing. He is also studying endocytic processes in LSEC, and in their "cousins", bone-marrow sinusoidal endothelial cells.
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Currently studying receptors responsible for the clearance of hyaluronan, denatured collagen and other waste connective tissue molecules from the circulation by liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSEC). Also studying the bone marrow counterparts of these cells (BMSEC) in transplant studies with collaborators in Melbourne, Australia. Peter is also studying the effects of ageing on LSEC morphology, in collaboration with the ANZAC Research Institute, Sydney, Australia. To this end, Peter uses electron microscopy and super-resolution optical microscopy (SIM and dSTORM) to study LSEC fenestrations during the ageing process.
Biochemistry for medical laboratory scientists (MBI-1102) and dental nurses (TANN-101).
Peter Anthony Gerard McCourt
Date of Birth
9th August 1965
1986 – B.Sc. (Honours 1a) Flinders University, Australia
1999 – Ph.D. (Biochemistry), University of Uppsala, Sweden
Areas of research expertise:
1. Protein purification, using salt cuts, ion exchange, gel filtration and hydrophobic interaction techniques, as well as ligand-, immuno- and reactive dye-affinity chromatography;
2. Protein analysis using immunoprecipitation, one and two-dimensional SDS-PAGE, immunoblotting and amino acid sequence analysis;
3. Production of rabbit, goat and sheep polyclonal antibodies and mouse monoclonal antibodies;
4. Biochemical assays of cytochrome P450 enzymes in hepatocytes
5. Tissue culture (short – liver cell primary cultures and long-term – various cell lines);
6. Recombinant protein expression (transfection), in mammalian and bacterial systems;
7. Bioinformatic, PCR and cloning strategies;
8. Development of clinical ELISAs and other immunoassays.
9. Immunohistochemistry and immuno electron microscopy
10. Isolation of liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSEC), and study of same using the above techniques.
11. Isolation of bone marrow sinusoidal endothelial cells (BMSEC), bone marrow stem cells, study of same using the above techniques, and their use in bone marrow transplantation (homing and engraftment assays).
12. Super resolution methods (e.g. SIM, dSTORM) for use in the study of LSEC fenestrations.
Approved teaching portfolio (a compulsory requirement for teachers at the University of Tromsø) 19.06.12.
Currently teach Biochemistry to Medical Laboratory Scientists and Dental Nurses.
2020-present: Professor of Biochemistry, IMB, studying the effects of ageing on LSEC morphology and biochemistry.
2016-2017: Sabbatical at the ANZAC Research Institute (Sydney, Australia), Biogerontology Research Group (hosts: Professors David Le Couteur and Victoria Cogger).
2016-present: Honorary Affiliate of the University of Sydney Medical School (Faculty of Medicine).
2012-2020: Associate Professor, IMB, studying the effects of ageing on LSEC morphology and biochemistry.
2010-11: Guest Researcher, Niche Group, CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering, Clayton, Australia, with Associate Professor Susie Nilsson, studying bone-marrow sinusoidal endothelial cells and stem cells and their utility in bone-marrow transplants.
1999-2012: Post-Doctoral Research Fellow/Research Scientist at the Department of Cell Biology and Histology, Institute for Medical Biology, University of Tromsø with Professor Bård Smedsrød, studying receptors responsible for the clearance of hyaluronan, denatured collagen and other waste connective tissue molecules from the circulation by LSEC.
1993-1999: Ph.D. Student, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Uppsala, Sweden under the supervision of Professors Torvard Laurent and Staffan Johansson, working on the purification, characterisation and cloning of hyaluronan/scavenger receptors on liver scavenger endothelial cells.
1990-1993: Guest Researcher, Department of Medical and Physiological Chemistry, University of Uppsala, Sweden under the supervision of Professor Torvard Laurent, studying hyaluronan-binding properties of the monocytic cell lines U937 and J774.
1987-1990: Research Assistant, Lysosomal Diseases Research Unit, Adelaide Children's Hospital, Adelaide, Australia with Professor John Hopwood, working on the purification of lysosomal enzymes, production of hybridoma cell lines/monoclonal antibodies, and development of ELISAs for clinical assessment of lysosomal enzyme deficiencies.
University of Tromsø Researcher Fellowship, HelseNord, various small foundations, Norwegian Research Council Post-doctoral Fellowship, Tromsø Research Foundation, EU:Horizon 2020 MSCA.