Professor and Chair
(519) 824-4120 ext. 53928
Personal Web Site: James Squires's Site
Dr Squires’ research interests involve studies of metabolism and functional genomics to both improve the health and productivity of commercial animals and to develop animal models for human metabolism, health and nutrition. Of particular interest is the metabolism of boar taint compounds (skatole and androstenone), with the goal of reducing boar taint in pigs without surgical castration. His lab has identified some of the key enzymes involved in the metabolic pathways for skatole and androstenone is now studying the role of nuclear receptors CAR, PXR and FXR in the pig, including their ligand specificity, the role of splice variants, and the downstream effects of receptor activation on gene expression.
This has led to collaborations on the role of FXR in neonatal parental feeding, using the neonatal pig as an experimental model for humans. Characterization of the substrate and inhibitor specificity of porcine CYP450s and phase II enzymes and comparative aspects of human and pig CYP450 and nuclear receptor activation has applications in toxicology. Functional genomic studies have developed from metabolism studies by identifying candidate genes for the discovery of genetic markers related to production traits. This includes markers for reduction of boar taint in pigs and increased feed efficiency in cattle. Dr. Squires has published more than 125 papers in referred journals, a textbook “Applied Animal Endocrinology” now in its second edition, several book chapters and numerous abstracts and technical publications.