Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
Our lab is focused on understanding the biology of normal and leukemic human hematopoietic stem cells in order to develop more effective therapies for AML. Our approach involves xenotransplantation of primary AML patient samples into immune-deficient mouse recipients. This functional assay allows characterization of the relevant stem cells that sustain leukemic growth in AML. Through functional validation of leukemia cell subsets, we have identified a highly prognostic leukemia stem cell (LSC) signature and generated a deep gene expression database which we will explore to identify molecules and pathways important for LSC survival. We also use the xenotransplant model to test the efficacy of novel anti-leukemia agents, including effects against LSCs, and to develop drug response biomarkers for use as stratification tools in the clinic.
The other major area of research is an ongoing collaborative project with Jayne Danska at SickKids on the role of SIRPα in macrophage-mediated clearance of leukemia cells, and development of novel therapeutics to antagonize SIRPα in order to enhance host innate immune surveillance against leukemia.
Assistant Professor, University of Toronto
Staff, Medical Oncology and Hematology, University Health Network