Adjunct professor, Human Anatomy and Cell Science 

Adjunct professor, Physiology and Pathophysiology 

Research achievements

Research summary

As an independent scientist, he is pursuing his own experimental interests, such as muscle lipotoxicity and diabetes-associated complications of the cardiovascular system.

Although his program is based on the expertise he acquired during training, all current projects in are based on novel observations since he became independent.

Current projects involve:

  • The regulation of Nix by Myocardin during cardiac development and disease
  • The evaluation of Nix-induced mitophagy and the role in muscle and heart insulin resistance
  • Determining how Bnip3 regulates neonatal cardiomyocyte cell death and proliferation during hypoxic injury
  • Evaluating the role of Nix and Bnip3 in rhabdomyosarcoma

Research affiliations

Scientist, Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba (CHRIM)

Research affiliate, Manitoba Centre for Nursing and Health Research (MCNHR)

Member, MitoNet Canada

Principle investigator, Manitoba Epigenetic Network

Research groups

Diabetes Research Envisioned and Accomplished in Manitoba (DREAM theme) for Diabetes Research at the Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba

DEVOTION Research Cluster at the Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba


    • Bnip3
    • Cardiac, skeletal and vascular smooth muscle cells
    • Cell death
    • Differentiation
    • Hypoxia
    • Insulin signaling
    • Lipotoxicity
    • Mitochondria
    • Mitophagy
    • Myocardin
    • Nix
    • Nutrition and metabolism
    • Permeability transition
    • Proliferation
    • Rhabdomyosarcoma


Over the course of his training, Dr. Gordon studied in three high-profile Canada research laboratories, each with a record for excellence.

He began his graduate training with Dr. David Hood in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science at York University.

During his master’s training with Dr. Hood, he studied how skeletal muscle mitochondria physiologically adapt to chronic contractile activity, with a specific interest in the mitochondrial protein import pathway and the molecular regulation of the mitochondrial transcription factor A (Tfam).

During his PhD training, he studied with Dr. John McDermott in the Department of Biology at York University. Here, he examined the importance of the myocyte enhancer factor 2 (MEF2) family of transcription factors in muscle differentiation.

His dissertation was directed toward understanding how protein kinase A (PKA) negatively regulates MEF2 activity and muscle gene transcription. In addition, they identified a novel MEF2 interacting partner, the protein phosphatase 1α, and determined how this mechanism regulates myocardin expression in vascular smooth muscle cells through CPI-17.

Finally, he trained as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Lorrie Kirshenbaum at the St. Boniface Research Centre, where he studied the molecular regulation of hypoxia-induced programmed cell death in cardiac myocytes.

Here, he engaged in the discovery and biological characterization of a novel hypoxia-inducible splice variant of the death-gene Bnip3. They discovered that this splice variant acts as an endogenous inhibitor, serving to promote cardiac myocyte survival.


PhD, department of biology, York University, Toronto

Master of science, department of kinesiology and health science, York University, Toronto

Bachelor of kinesiology, department of kinesiology, McMaster University, Hamilton


CIHR-MHRC Post-Doctoral Fellowship (2011-2012)

CIHR IMPACT Strategic Training Program Post-Doctoral Fellowship (2011-2012)

Arnold Naimark Young Investigator Award (2011)

Dr. Joseph Gordon In the news

Contact us

College of Nursing
Helen Glass Centre for Nursing
89 Curry Place
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry Campus) 
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada