College of Dentistry

Dr. Leask completed his Bachelor of Science in Cell Biology at the University of British Columbia. He went on to complete his PhD in Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology at the University of Chicago. Dr. Leask is a member of the scientific boards of the American Society of Matrix Biology and the International CCN Society. He is the Managing Editor of the Journal of Cell Communication, which gained its first impact factor under his leadership. He is also on the editorial board of the American Journal of Pathology. He has been a plenary and invited speaker at many meetings and at approximately 100 universities, including Okayama University, University of Liverpool, FASEB Matricellular meeting, and the American Society of Matrix Biology. Members of his laboratory have gone on to positions at institutions such as: U of Toronto, U of Western Ontario, Queen's, Perkin Elmer and Genentech. He is an expert on fibrosis and the tumor microenvironment, and, in particular, on the role of matricellular proteins. According to Google Scholar, Dr. Leask has an h index of 64 and has published over 180 peer-reviewed papers that have been cited over 18,500 times.

Sample publications include:

Shi-Wen X, Racanelli M, Ali A, Simon A, Quesnel K, Stratton RJ, Leask A. Verteporfin inhibits the persistent fibrotic phenotype of lesional scleroderma dermal fibroblasts. J Cell Commun Signal. 2021 Mar;15(1):71-80. 

Leask A. Conjunction junction, what's the function? CCN proteins as targets in fibrosis and cancers. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2020 Jun 1;318(6):C1046-C1054. 

Tsang M, Quesnel K, Vincent K, Hutchenreuther J, Postovit LM, Leask A. Insights into Fibroblast Plasticity: Cellular Communication Network 2 Is Required for Activation of Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts in a Murine Model of Melanoma. Am J Pathol. 2020 Jan;190(1):206-221.


Quesnel K, Shi-Wen X, Hutchenreuther J, Xiao Y, Liu S, Peidl A, Naskar D, Siqueira WL, O'Gorman DB, Hinz B, Stratton RJ, Leask A. CCN1 expression by fibroblasts is required for bleomycin-induced skin fibrosis. Matrix Biol Plus. 2019 Jul 6;3:100009.

Hutchenreuther J, Vincent K, Norley C, Racanelli M, Gruber SB, Johnson TM, Fullen DR, Raskin L, Perbal B, Holdsworth DW, Postovit LM, Leask A. Activation of cancer-associated fibroblasts is required for tumor neovascularization in a murine model of melanoma. Matrix Biol. 2018 Dec;74:52-61.