Steven Pelech

Degrees / Designations 

B.Sc. (Hon) Biochemistry (UBC); Ph.D. Biochemistry (UBC)

Email Address 
604-323-2547 ext 10
Mailing Address 
Suite 1, 8755 Ash Street Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6P 6T3


Academic Appointment 
Body Locations and Systems 
Immune System
Endocrine System
Disorders and Conditions 
Alzheimer's Disease
Other Areas of Research 

Dr. Pelech is a full professor in the Division of Neurology in the Department of Medicine at the University of British Columbia (UBC), where he has been on faculty since 1988. He is also concurrently the principal founder, president and chief scientific officer of Kinexus Bioinformatics Corporation ( He was the principal founder of Kinetek Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and served as its president for six years and was one of the founding scientists of the Biomedical Research Center at UBC. Prior to his academic and industrial experience, he spent five years in post-doctoral training with Sir Philip Cohen at the University of Dundee in Scotland and Nobel laureate Dr. Edwin Krebs at the University of Washington in Seattle. Dr. Pelech received his B.Sc. (1979; Honours) and Ph.D. (1982) degrees in Biochemistry from UBC.

Dr. Pelech has authored over 220 scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters about signal transduction and is one of the discoverers of the MAP kinase family of cell signalling proteins. His accolades include the 1993 Martin F. Hoffman Award for Research at UBC, and the 1993 Merck Frosst Canada Prize from the Canadian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He is the 2001 Distinguished Lecturer for the Faculty of Medicine at UBC for the basic sciences. He has served on grant review panels for the US National Institutes of Health, the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, the National Research Council of Canada, the Michael Smith Health Research Foundation, Genome Alberta, Genome Prairie, the Canadian National Cancer Institute, the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation and the American Heart Association, and has acted as an external reviewer for 22 other agencies including the U.S. National Science Foundation and the Israel Science Foundation. He has also been an external reviewer for over 28 scientific journals.

Current Projects 

Research in Dr. Pelech's laboratory focuses on the mapping and tracking of protein kinase-based signalling networks in healthy and diseased cells and tissues. In particular, his research is directed towards better understanding of the operation of these regulatory systems in cancer, diabetes and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and ALS with the goal of identifying disease biomarkers and therapeutic drug targets for their diagnosis and treatment. His laboratory develops antibodies for regulatory proteins and their phosphorylation sites and deploys these probes in high content antibody microarrays as well as lysate microarrays that are used to analyze cell and tissue specimens. Current projects include the elucidation of the substrate specificities of protein kinases using peptide microarrays, and the development of computer algorithms to predict kinase substrate specificities and drug interactions. The application of these algorithms has resulted in the production of the open-access websites PhosphoNET ( and DrugKiNET ( In addition to these websites, Dr. Pelech has also coordinated the development of databases with immunoblotting data (, antibody microarray data (, and gene expression data ( Under construction are on-line databases with beta-versions for information on protein kinases ( and cancer proteins (