My research is and has been focused on the role of genome instability in stem cells in aging and cancer. My lab has a track-record of developing novel research tools, many of which are still in widespread use e.g. commercialized by StemCell and other biotech companies. These include monoclonal antibodies, an IL-6 dependent cell line, cell separation techniques and methods to measure the length of telomere repeat in chromosomes and cells. Recently, we developed a powerful single cell sequencing technique called Strand-seq. We now want to use...
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Cancer-causing gene mutations were found in the pelvic lesions of women with a typically non-cancerous gynecological disorder called endometriosis, a study by Vancouver scientists published Wednesday by the New England Journal of Medicine shows. Endometriosis causes intense pelvic pain, menstrual abnormalities and even infertility. It is characterized by tissue that normally lines the uterus migrating outside the organ, causing lesions throughout the pelvic cavity. The bumpy…
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(Left to right) Dr. Fabio Rossi, William Kennedy, Roza Vaez Ghaemi, Dr. Katharina Rhothe, Stephanie Campbell, Sanam Shafaatablab, and Dr. Allen Eaves at the BC Regenerative Medicine Symposium. On May 10th, scientists and trainees in the field of stem cell biology attended the first ever BC Regenerative Medicine Symposium at the UBC Pharmaceutical Sciences building. The full day event featured…
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Zymeworks Inc. today announced the closing of its initial public offering of 4,500,000 common shares at an initial offering price of U.S.$13.00 per share, for a total of U.S.$58,500,000 in aggregate gross proceeds. Zymeworks expects to use the net proceeds from the offering to further develop and advance its pipeline of product candidates and to increase its liquidity. In addition,…
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UBC Faculty of Medicine researchers have found that reducing twin and triplet pregnancies to singleton or twin pregnancies was associated with a substantial reduction in complications, such as pre-term birth and very pre-term birth. Although rates of death and serious illness were not lower among all multi-fetal pregnancies that were reduced, pregnancies that resulted from fertility treatments did show a…
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Scientists in Vancouver have developed a new screening tool that reveals the genetic signature of an individual’s hepatitis C virus so that doctors can customize their treatment. The tool, funded by Genome B.C. and devised by researchers at the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, could save money and lives, said Anita Howe, scientific lead for the hepatitis C program.…
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New Research Finds Brain Injury Causes Impulse Control Problems in Rats

New research from Dr. Catharine Winstanley‘s lab confirms for the first time that even mild brain injury can result in impulse control problems in rats. The study, published in the Journal of Neurotrauma, also found that the impulsivity problems may be linked to levels of an inflammatory molecule in the brain, and suggest that targeting the molecule could be helpful for…
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Small cell carcinoma of the ovary, hypercalcemic type (SCCOHT) is a rare but extremely lethal ovarian cancer in young women due to lack of effective treatment. Our current study suggests that SCCOHT tumor cells need the activity of an enzyme called EZH2 for their survival. This enzyme adds methyl groups to the dedicated site of histones, a group of proteins that maintain the proper structure of DNA, and thereby controls which genes to turn on or off. Two EZH2 inhibitors, both in various clinical...
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Stat3 Regulates Centrosome Clustering in Cancer Cells via Stathmin/PLK1

Cancer cells have been observed to frequently have amplified centrosomes. These amplified centrosomes must be actively clustered together for cancer cells to divide. Since normal cells do not have centrosome amplification, targeting centrosome clustering is a highly specific way to target cancer cells while sparing normal cells. We performed an automated screen for compounds that inhibited centrosome clustering and identified a Stat3 inhibitor. We are currently trying...
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Vaccines have rightly come to be regarded as one of modern medicine’s greatest accomplishments, having prevented millions of cases of smallpox, yellow fever, polio, tetanus and other debilitating, often deadly diseases. But UBC vaccine expert Tobias Kollmann would be one of the last people to declare victory. He sees all of the diseases caused by pathogens for which no vaccine…
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