Welcome to the Matthews Lab!

About Us

The Matthews Lab is interested in the mechanisms of aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) signalling by small molecules, dietary components and environmental contaminants. We are particularly interested in how AHR regulates gene expression, how its activation affects other receptor pathways, how AHR functions in normal physiology and influences disease states (cancers, inflammation), and how these processes are influenced by its downstream target genes.

We focus our efforts on three different but related research areas. In one research area, we use molecular biological and genomic approaches to further characterize the AHR signaling pathway. Another focus area is aimed at understanding the signaling interplay or crosstalk among AHR, nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (Nrf2), and estrogen receptors and how this may impact breast cancer. The third and new research direction in the group is to understand the role of the AHR target gene, TCDD-inducible poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (TiPARP) also known as ADP-ribosyltransferase diphtheria-like 14 (ARTD14) in AHR transactivation, in TCDD-mediating toxicity and in normal physiology and human disease.


Jason Matthews, Ph.D. completed his graduate research on Endocrine Disruption in the laboratory of Dr. Tim Zacharewski at the Michigan State University, receiving his Ph.D. in 2001. He then completed his postdoctoral research on the mechanisms of transcriptional regulation by estrogen receptors and the aryl hydrocarbon receptor in the laboratory of Dr. Jan-Åke Gustafsson at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden in 2006. Dr. Matthews joined in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University in Toronto in 2006. He spent a one-year sabbatical in the nuclear receptor group at the University of Oslo in Oslo Norway headed by Dr. Hilde Nebb from August 2012 to July 2013 and continues to maintain a strong research collaboration with Hilde’s group.