Stem Cells and Disease Modeling, Gairdner Foundation Lecture

Event Date: 
Thursday, March 10, 2016 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm
Event Location: 
ATAC 5036

About the Talk

The ability to generate induced pluripotent stem (iPS)cells from adult human cells has opened up new horizons for understanding human biology and disease mechanisms. Patient-specific iPS cells have the ability to differentiate into many different cell types that can be used to study disease in the petri dish, develop screens for novel drug therapies and eventually provide replacement cell types for regenerative therapies.  We have been using lung cells derived from iPS cells to study cystic fibrosis and develop personalized therapies for patients.  I will discuss the opportunities and challenges ahead in the translation of stem cells to therapeutic outcomes.

About the Speaker

 Dr. Janet Rossant

Dr. Janet Rossant is a Senior Scientist and Chief of Research Emeritus in the Developmental and Stem Cell Biology program at the Hospital for Sick Children. She is a University Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto. Rossant is also the incoming President and Scientific Director of the Gairdner Foundation. 

Dr. Rossant’s research interests focus on understanding the genetic control of normal and abnormal development in the early mouse embryo using both cellular and genetic manipulation techniques. Her interests in the early embryo have led to the discovery of a novel placental stem cell type, the trophoblast stem cell and new insights into the origins of pluripotency.

Dr. Rossant is actively involved in the international developmental and stem cell biology communities and has been recognized for her contributions to science with many awards, including Companion of the Order of Canada, 10th ISTT Prize from the International Society for Transgenic Technologies, the Ross G. Harrison Medal (lifetime achievement award) from the International Society of Developmental Biologists, the Killam Prize for Health Sciences, the March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology, the Conklin Medal from the Society for Developmental Biology, and the CIHR Michael Smith Prize in Health Research. She is a Fellow of both the Royal Societies of London and Canada, and is a foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Science. Dr. Rossant received the 2015 Canada Gairdner Wightman Award, the first female to do so.

Dr. Rossant trained at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, United Kingdom and has been in Canada since 1977 – first at Brock University, then at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital from 1985 to 2005 before coming to SickKids.