Michael Coughtrie BSc(Hons) PhD FCAHS


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Dr. Michael Coughtrie is a professor at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Dr. Coughtrie is an accomplished scientist, educator and mentor. Born in Glasgow, Scotland, he received his BSc in biochemistry in 1983 and PhD in 1986 from the University of Dundee where he also began his professional teaching and research career based in the School of Medicine. Dr. Coughtrie's tenure as dean of the Faculty commenced on August 1, 2013. His extensive teaching experience encompasses the development and implementation of a number of course modules in the fields of medicine, dentistry and science. As a researcher focusing on the roles of two major families of drug metabolizing enzymes, he has supervised numerous PhD and postdoctoral students, been invited to speak at over 70 international meetings and conferences, and has received more than 70 competitive research grants and contracts. He is an accomplished and widely cited author and serves on the editorial boards of publications including Pharmacogenetics & GenomicsXenobioticaDrug Metabolism Reviews, and Biomarkers. In September 2017, Dr. Coughtrie was elected a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

Dr. Coughtrie's research program is directed towards understanding the role of conjugation and transport in drug metabolism, and in the homeostasis of important endogenous compounds such as steroids, thyroid hormones and bilirubin. The main focus has been on the enzyme families sulfotransferases and UDP-glucuronosyltransferases, and he has carried out some of the seminal work that has guided our understanding of the role these enzymes play during human development. Another major interest is in the role that sulfation of glycosaminoglycans, which are important molecules that govern the interaction of cells with each other and their environment, plays in cancer.


Tucker TG, Milne AM, Fournel-Gigleux S, Fenner KS, Coughtrie MW. Absolute immunoquantification of the expression of ABC transporters P-glycoprotein, breast cancer resistance protein and multidrug resistance-associated protein 2 in human liver and duodenum. Biochem Pharmacol. 2012 Jan 15;83(2):279-85. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2011.10.017. Epub 2011 Oct 31. PMID: 22062654.

Riches Z, Stanley EL, Bloomer JC, Coughtrie MW. Quantitative evaluation of the expression and activity of five major sulfotransferases (SULTs) in human tissues: the SULT "pie". Drug Metab Dispos. 2009 Nov;37(11):2255-61. doi: 10.1124/dmd.109.028399. Epub 2009 Aug 13. PMID: 19679676; PMCID: PMC2774979.

Bui C, Ouzzine M, Talhaoui I, Sharp S, Prydz K, Coughtrie MW, Fournel-Gigleux S. Epigenetics: methylation-associated repression of heparan sulfate 3-O-sulfotransferase gene expression contributes to the invasive phenotype of H-EMC-SS chondrosarcoma cells. FASEB J. 2010 Feb;24(2):436-50. doi: 10.1096/fj.09-136291. Epub 2009 Oct 7. PMID: 19812376.

Dajani R, Cleasby A, Neu M, Wonacott AJ, Jhoti H, Hood AM, Modi S, Hersey A, Taskinen J, Cooke RM, Manchee GR, Coughtrie MW. X-ray crystal structure of human dopamine sulfotransferase, SULT1A3. Molecular modeling and quantitative structure-activity relationship analysis demonstrate a molecular basis for sulfotransferase substrate specificity. J Biol Chem. 1999 Dec 31;274(53):37862-8. doi: 10.1074/jbc.274.53.37862. PMID: 10608851.


"Assessment and Validation of In Vitro Systems for Evaluating Drug Metabolic Pathways Involving Glucuronidation and Sulfation." Coughtrie M (PI), with Pfizer. $185,000. Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council. 2009–2013.

"Enzymatic Synthesis of Glucuronides." Coughtrie M (co-PI), with Novacta Biosystems. $970,000. Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. 2007–2012.

“SNAP Trial: Double-Blind, Randomised, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Nicotine Replacement Therapy in Pregnancy.” Coleman T (PI), Coughtrie M, and six others. $2.8M. 2006–2011.


"Conference Chair." Coughtrie M. International Workshop on Conjugation. Vancouver, BC. September 2016.

“Advances in Conjugative Metabolism: From Molecules to Populations – Session Chair and Discussion Leader.” Coughtrie M. Gordon Research Conference on Drug Metabolism. Plymouth, NH. July 2015.

"Role of Sulfation in Drug Metabolism." Coughtrie M. UK Drug Metabolism Discussion Group. Dundee, UK. June 2013.

"Conference Chair." Coughtrie M. 11th European ISSX Meeting. Lisbon, PT. May 2009.

Contact Details


Pharmaceutical Sciences Building

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