Molly Shoichet

Molly Shoichet

Molly Shoichet

Lead Scientist
Biomaterials & Devices Platform

Molly Shoichet
Professor, Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry, Chemistry and Biomaterials, and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto, Canada

Dr. Shoichet received her B.Sc. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Chemistry (1987) and her Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in Polymer Science and Engineering (1992).

Dr. Molly Shoichet is an expert in studying the properties of polymers that promote healing and provide a framework for tissue regeneration in the body. She holds the NSERC Canada Research Chair in Tissue Engineering and is Professor of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry, Chemistry and Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto. Before being recruited to the University of Toronto in 1995, Dr. Shoichet worked at CytoTherapeutics Inc. on encapsulated cell therapy.

Dr. Shoichet is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair and has received numerous awards including the Premier’s Research in Excellence Award, Canada’s Top 40 under 40 and the Canada Council for the Arts Killam Research Fellowship. She has extensive industrial experience – as Vice-President, Founding Scientist and Director of BoneTec Corporation from 1998-2003, President, CSO and Founding Scientist of Matregen Corp. and Director of the Chemical Engineering Research Consultants Ltd., where she has acted as a consultant to several major companies. Throughout her productive career, Dr. Shoichet has published over 140 papers, garnering over 2500 citations and an h-index of 29, and has 30 filed patents (published and pending) on drug delivery and scaffold design.

Dr. Shoichet is highly active within the scientific community. She has given over 230 invited lectures, is a member of several editorial boards, including for the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research and Biomaterials, and is a member of several committees and review panels. She is also active in training highly qualified personnel; having taught several graduate and undergraduate courses, and has trained 13 postdoctoral fellows and 46 graduate students, many of whom have gone on to independent scientific careers in industry or academia.

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Gordon Keller

Gordon Keller

Lead Scientist
Cell Manufacturing Platform

 

Gordon Keller
Director, McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University Health Network, Canada

Dr. Keller earned his PhD in Immunology at the University of Alberta in 1979 and completed a Post Doctoral Fellowship at the Ontario Cancer Institute (OCI) in Toronto in 1983. 

Following postdoctoral studies, he became a Member of the Basel Institute for Immunology in Switzerland where he worked for five years, then moved to Vienna (Austria) where he accepted a post of Visiting Scientist at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology. In 1990, Dr. Keller moved to the United States, working initially at the National Jewish Centre for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine in Denver Colorado and, from 1999-2006, as a Professor in the Department of Gene and Cell Medicine at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York. In 2005, he was appointed as the Director of the Black Family Stem Cell Institute within the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. In spite of being labelled by New York Magazine as one of the “six doctors New York can’t afford to lose”, Dr. Keller was enticed to return to Canada in January 2007 to accept the position of Director of the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine at the University Health Network in Toronto.

In addition to his role as Director, Dr. Keller is a Senior Scientist in the Division of Stem Cell and Developmental Biology at OCI and a Professor in the Department of Medical Biophysics at U of T. He has trained over 30 HQP, providing them with a solid foundation with which to start independent research careers. Dr. Keller is also a founding member, past president and serves on the Board of Directors of the International Society of Stem Cell Research and is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the Burnham Institute for Medical Research. Throughout his remarkable career, Dr. Keller has received numerous awards, including the “100 Alumni of Influence” Alumni award from the University of Saskatchewan and a Tier I Canada Research Chair in Embryonic Stem Biology. He works closely with industry as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for StemGent and serves as a consultant for the Biotechnology Companies Embryonic Stem Cell International (Singapore) and Ontogeny (Cambridge, Massachusetts) and the pharmaceutical company Sandoz (Switzerland).

Dr. Keller is the premier researcher, worldwide, in the application of developmental biology to the differentiation of embryonic stem (ES) cells into therapeutically relevant cells, such as cardiomyocytes, hematopoietic cells and endoderm cells. His investigations into how to induce mouse and human ES cells to become different cell types recently led to breakthrough results, published in the journal Nature, describing the first successful transformation of ES cells into rudimentary heart cells, which were further directed to become three different types of coronary tissue. These cells may be used in the future to help repair damaged hearts and are also a novel source of human cardiac cells that can be used for drug testing. Dr. Keller’s research has led to 5 patents and over 100 publications, which have earned greater than 9200 citations, resulting in an h-index of 45.

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Bill Stanford

Bill Stanford

Lead Scientist
Cell Reprogramming Platform

Bill Stanford
Senior Scientist, Regenerative Medicine Program,

Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

Dr. Stanford received his Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Duke University and his Doctorate in Immunology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Stanford came to Canada as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Dr. Alan Bernstein’s laboratory in the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute (SLRI) at Mt. Sinai Hospital.

He established his laboratory at the University of Toronto in January 2002, where he is a Full Professor and Canada Research Chair in Stem Cell Bioengineering and Functional Genomics. Dr. Stanford is the Director of Gene Trap Mutagenesis in the Centre for Modeling Human Disease (CMHD) at the SLRI and is the Co-Scientific Director of the Ontario Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Facility. He is also a Member of the Heart & Stroke/Richard Lewar Centre of Excellence at the University of Toronto and a Scientist in the Regenerative Medicine Program at the McLaughlin Centre for Molecular Medicine, University of Toronto.

Dr. Stanford’s laboratory is focused on basic and applied research in stem cell biology, tissue engineering and modeling human disease using mouse mutagenesis and patient-specific induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. He has received several notable distinctions for his work, including the Premier’s Research Excellence Award and the Top Research Award from the Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis Quality of Life.  Dr. Stanford has published over 60 manuscripts in high-ranking journals that include: Cell Stem Cell, Nature Protocols and Nature Genetics, earning almost 3000 citations and an h-index of 24. He is a valued member of several professional organizations and is a founding member of the Canadian Mouse Consortium, the International Gene Trap Consortium as well as the International Mouse Mutant Consortium. Dr. Stanford’s opinion is highly sought-after as a reviewer for journals such as Cell, Development and Nature Biotechnology, as well as on numerous research grants panels and as a consultant for industry. He has generated 9 inventions/patents from his research.

The Stanford Laboratory has been an excellent source of high-level multidisciplinary training for a large number of trainees, including over 30 undergraduates, 15 graduate students and 12 postdoctoral fellows, many of who have gone on to independent scientific careers. Dr. Stanford is also involved with science outreach activities, including Let’s Talk Science, has served on numerous examination/advisory committees and has a strong history of teaching both graduate- and undergraduate-level courses.

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James Ellis

James Ellis

Lead Scientist
Cell Reprogramming Platform

James Ellis
Senior Scientist, Developmental & Stem Cell Biology,

Hospital for Sick Children, Canada

Dr. Ellis completed his BSc at McGill University in 1984 and his PhD at the University of Toronto in 1990 developing retrovirus vectors for gene targeting. His Post-Doctoral Fellowship studying the beta-globin Locus Control Region was mentored by Dr. Frank Grosveld at the NIMR in London UK.

Dr. Ellis established his own research team at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto in 1994. The research theme in the Ellis Lab is to generate safe and effective retrovirus and lentivirus vectors for manipulating stem cells during regenerative medicine. Stem cells silence viral vectors by compacting DNA into inaccessible chromatin structures. We study these silencing mechanisms and design vectors with insulator elements that resist silencing. We develop vectors with reporter genes that mark specific cell types, such as our EOS vectors that express highly in pluripotent stem cells but extinguish during differentiation. These EOS vectors have applications to facilitate the generation of induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) cells, for enhancing directed differentiation protocols, and for ablating undifferentiated cells to prevent teratoma formation after transplantation. The Ellis team is currently modeling Rett Syndrome and other autism spectrum disorders, cystic fibrosis and cardiac disease using mouse and patient specific iPS cells. These cells may have applications for novel drug screens and regenerative medicine.

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