Stem cell biology
The roots of our laboratory is founded on mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs). We joined this exciting and powerful area more than 20 years ago and have contributed to the foundation work of applying mESC to study developmental biology and genetics.
With the knowledge gained from working with the mouse, we then moved on to the human field. Our laboratory was the first in Canada to establish ESCs from human embryos (hESCs).
As a direct continuation of our work on human ESCs, we have recently widened our attention to include induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC), and are now addressing burning questions about these novel cells.
Blood vessel biology - in development, physiology and disease
Since the mid 90’s, our laboratory has been interested in the role of the Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF). We have genereated several mutations, including a null, an over and an underexpressor hyper- and hypomorphic allele.
These studies have become part of the foundation for cancer therapies targeting the development of vessels in solid tumours, several of which are already in clinical trials. Currently, we are investigating the role of VEGF in normal physiological processes and in the complexity of the body's reaction to systemic suppression of VEGF signaling.
We are also developeing a new generation of biologics targetting VEGF at the disease area, while avoiding adverse systemic effects on generalized essential physiological functions.
We are builders. We like to design and produce our genetic tools in the mouse and cell systems, including ES cells, iPS cells and cancer cell lines.
Our lab developed the concept, designed and build the prototype for the Canadian high throughput gene targeting project, the NorCOMM.
We are combining several recombinases (Cre, Dre, Flp, PhiC31) and inducible systems (tetracycline) in genetic tools to gain total control of gain and loss of function genetic alterations in all of our research areas.