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Claire Cupples - Simon Fraser University. Burnaby, BC, CA

Claire Cupples

Dean of Science and Professor of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, Faculty of Science | Simon Fraser University

Burnaby, BC, CANADA

Dr. Cupples has worked as a scientist, faculty member and administrator in three Canadian comprehensive universities since 1989.





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Dr. Cupples received her BSc at the University of Victoria, her MSc at the University of Calgary and her PhD at York University. She pursued post-doctoral studies at UCLA. She has held academic and administrative positions previously at Concordia University, in Montreal, and at the University of Victoria.

Her research focuses on the causes, consequences and prevention of mutations in microbes and in humans, and she teaches in the areas of molecular biology and microbiology.

In her role as Dean, Dr. Cupples works with departments to set the strategic direction of the Faculty, oversees the budget and represents the Faculty of Science as a member of the senior administration of SFU. She has a particular interest in bringing science to school age children and the general public.

She has served on the boards of BCNet and the Science Fair Foundation of BC, and as President of the Canadian Council of Deans of Science; she is currently on the boards of TRIUMF, Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre and Science World.

Industry Expertise (3)


Writing and Editing


Areas of Expertise (5)

Molecular Biology


DNA Repair

University Administration

Science Outreach to the Public

Education (4)

York University: Ph.D., Biology

University of Calgary: M.Sc., Biology

University of Victoria: B.Sc., Biology

UCLA: post-doctoral fellow, molecular genetics

Media Appearances (5)

SFU student says thanks to high school math teacher

Simon Fraser University News  online


Have you ever wanted to let one of your high school teachers know how much they shaped your educational experience? SFU statistics student Nikola Surjanovic did.

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Opinion: How basic academic research leads to innovation

Vancouver Sun  online


There’s a disconnect between Canada’s capacity to innovate and our capacity to commercialize those innovations — or so the story goes. It’s been repeated so often it’s become a mantra in certain circles, and it was hauled out again recently in an opinion piece that wondered how we can get Canada’s health research “out of the lab and into the market.” Their solutions are always the same: reject investments in purely academic research in favour of market-driven research.

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People-centered science will attract more women to the field

Vancouver Sun  print


You don't have to lock yourself away in a laboratory to be a successful scientist.

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Opening of SFU Observatory

Global News  tv

Celebrating the Trottier Observatory - a new venue for science outreach at SFU.

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Call for better science education

CBC Radio  radio


We need to find better ways of teaching science if we are to capture students' interest.

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Articles (5)

MutL: conducting the cell's response to mismatched and misaligned DNA


2010 Base pair mismatches in DNA arise from errors in DNA replication, recombination, and biochemical modification of bases. Mismatches are inherently transient. They are resolved passively by DNA replication, or actively by enzymatic removal and resynthesis ...

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Wot the 'L—Does MutL do?

Mutation Research / Reviews in Mutation Research

2010 In model DNA, A pairs with T, and C with G. However, in vivo, the complementarity of the DNA strands may be disrupted by errors in DNA replication, biochemical modification of bases and recombination. In prokaryotic organisms, mispaired bases are recognized by ...

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Interaction between the mismatch repair and nucleotide excision repair pathways in the prevention of 5-azacytidine-induced CG-to-GC mutations in Escherichia coli

DNA Repair

2009 5-Azacytidine induces CG-to-GC transversion mutations in Escherichia coli. The results presented in this paper provide evidence that repair of the drug-induced lesions that produce these mutations involves components of both the mismatch repair and nucleotide ...

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Characterization of mutant MUTYH proteins associated with familial colorectal cancer


2008 The human mutyh gene encodes a base excision repair protein that prevents G: C to T: A transversions in DNA. Biallelic mutations in this gene are associated with recessively inherited familial colorectal cancer. The aim of this study was to ...

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MBD4-mediated glycosylase activity on a chromatin template is enhanced by acetylation

Molecular and Cellular Biology

2008 The ability of the MBD4 glycosylase to excise a mismatched base from DNA has been assessed in vitro using DNA substrates with different extents of cytosine methylation, in the presence or absence of reconstituted nucleosomes. Despite the enhanced ability of ...

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