Professor, University of Ottawa
Bio: I believe that Synthetic Biology will continue to play a significant role in medical innovation, including engineered virus and engineered immune cells that can cure cancer. I have been part of the Synthetic Biology community since the early 00' and started working in the field with Dr. James Collins on sources of "noisy" signals in gene expression and the engineering of programable cell behaviour by creating "plug-ins" for interfacing synthetic gene networks and natural signalling pathways. To facilitate medical advances, I am member of the Cancer Therapeutics Program at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and the Regional Genetics Program at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario.
My NSERC-funded Synthetic Biology program uses an integrated genetic network engineering approach to study gene regulatory processes and develop artificial gene control systems. This program is driven by my long-term passion to understand how genomes encode "programs" that control and coordinate cellular behaviour and organismal development and fail during disease. This involves both foundational and applied research, including DNA assembly methods, artificial transcription factors, biological network design, systems modelling and simulation.
I initiated the uOttawa iGEM undergraduate training program soon after I arrived in Ottawa and have been the organizer and the supervisor of the uOttawa iGEM team. Many iGEM team members have continued as graduate students in my program subsequently moved to world-leading institutions including MIT, Cambridge, Harvard and NYU.
Research Officer, National Research Council of Canada; University of Ottawa
Email Address: email@example.com
Bio: Chimeric antigen receptor T cells (CAR-T) are an exciting new avenue to redirect immune cells to target and kill cancer. While breakthroughs in CAR-T therapy have led to life-saving treatments for patients with previously incurable leukemia, such therapies have been less successful against solid tumours. Moreover, the determinants of long term cancer regression in CAR-T treated patients are not yet well understood. Using genome editing, we are dissecting the mechanisms of programmed cell death and other immune signalling pathways in T cells in order to improve their effectiveness against cancer. Our long term goal is to create super-functional gene-edited cell therapies to treat currently intractable illnesses such as cancer and autoimmunity.
Professor & Director, Michael Smith Laboratories, University of British Columbia / Professor, University of Toronto
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bio: Research in the Zandstra Laboratory is focused on the generation of functional tissue from somatic and pluripotent stem cells. Our quantitative, technology-driven approach strives to gain new insights into fundamental mechanisms that control stem cell fate and to develop robust technologies for the propagation of stem cells and their derivatives. We apply synthetic biology to understand and control cell fate decisions by manipulating the stem cells themselves (genome editing, gene circuit engineering) and their prospective niche (synthetic biomaterials, macro- and micro reactor technologies).
Assistant Professor, University of Guelph
Email Address: email@example.com
Bio: My lab will open in July 2018 at the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Guelph. We are creating synthetic proteins using bimolecular engineering approaches to accelerate understanding of biology and development of novel therapeutics.