McMaster's Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute
(SCC-RI) explores the underlying cellular and molecular origins that initiate
human cancer by employing human stem cells as a model system. The Institute's
impressive shared facilities are designed to help mitigate the high cost of
human stem cell research that has made entry into the field almost prohibitive
for investigators in Canada.
On the cutting edge of human stem cell research, our team of scientists
integrates expertise in epigenetics, signalling pathways, neural cancer stem
cells, human leukemia and pluripotent stem cells. Our ground-breaking research
complements the efforts of other stem cell programs and centres in Canada and
around the world.
With its particular focus in human stem cell research, the SCC-RI provides
interested graduate students and postdoctoral fellows an exciting opportunity to
pursue this specialized training in Canada. The Institute will also provide an
open forum to educate the public about this important research and work with
sectors developing ethical guidelines and policy for therapeutic applications to
assure Canadians will receive the best health care possible.
The journal STEM CELLS announced their 2014 Young
Investigator Award that honours young scientists who are principal
investigators on a research paper published in STEM CELLS. Dr. Sheila Singh, with Branavan Manoranjan's
paper FoxG1 Interacts with Bmi1 to Regulate Self-Renewal and Tumorigenicity of
Medulloblastoma Stem Cells, was listed as one of the 5 best papers!
[Read more about this publication and others recognized by the
award on the STEM CELLS Portal: The Best Papers from our 2014 Young
Dr. Mick Bhatia's discovery that the type of cells used to make human induced pluripotent stem cells determines what can be best done with them is being
honoured as one of the Canadian Cancer Society's Top 10 research stories of 2014.
The study, published in Nature
Communications, showed that human iPSCs have a memory at the genetic
level of the cell type used to make them, which increases their ability to
differentiate to that tissue type after being reverted to a stem cell state.
For example, Dr. Bhatia was able to show that stem cells made from blood cells
are able to make blood ten times better than stem cells created from other
parent tissue types. This discovery will be applied to improving stem cell
therapy treatments for patients, enhancing disease modeling, and building on
successes in the area of personalized drug discovery.
about Mick Bhatia's discovery
StemCellsShorts are a series of short videos that aim to demystify the field of stem cell research. Watch below for Dr. Mick Bhatia's explanation of induced pluripotent stem cells and the role they can play in developing new therapies for human disease:
What are induced pluripotent stem cells? Narrated by Dr. Mick Bhatia from Stem Cell Network on Vimeo.
[Learn more about StemCellShorts]