Canada Research Chair in Human Stem Cell Lineage Commitment
Associate Professor, Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine
Dr. Jon Draper’s research program is focused on studying human stem cell lineage commitment. His group explores cell fate mechanisms and how they function to determine cell identity, with a special focus on lung tissue and lung diseases. Dr. Draper is interested in determining how a new understanding of cell fate machinery can be practically applied to direct cells towards specific fates.
To this end, the Draper lab is developing new models of healthy lung tissue and lung diseases including pulmonary fibrosis and lung cancer. Through the use of reprogramming strategies, Dr. Draper has successfully created human lung tissues that provide his laboratory with a unique avenue for interrogating the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie lung function and disease development.
Early detection is difficult in many lung diseases because they don't tend to manifest until quite late in the disease stage. As a result, studying the onset and progression of lung diseases is challenging. The Draper lab’s ability to model these diseases in vitro allows them to address this challenge and provides them with new insights into the genetic changes taking place at each stage of disease.
Stem Cells Development. 2013 15;22(2):279-95.
Oncotarget. 2015 Mar 30;6(9):7040-52.