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The focus of my laboratory is to understand and manipulate the behavior of pluripotent and somatic stem cells to understand mechanisms of human disease and develop novel therapeutics. Our research utilizes systems biology to tease apart cell behavior and pathophysiology. We often use pluripotent embryonic stem cells (ESCs) as a model stem cell system because they are easier to grow and manipulate in culture than somatic stem cells. In fact, pluripotent stem cells have become the “new yeast”, enabling researchers to analyze mammalian development at the transcriptome (mRNA & miRNA), proteome, methylome, etc. systems level. Of course, yeast do not encode miRNA so this is an critical difference supporting the use of human ESC research. Importantly, we are now combining these systems approaches to study human disease using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs).  We believe such a systems genetics strategy will identify novel therapeutic targets and therapeutics for many diseases including cancer.  

This work complements our previous endeavors which focused extensively on using the mouse as a model for human disease and generated novel gene trap vectors and a resource of more than 23,000 sequence annotated gene trap mouse embryonic stem cell lines that represents mutations in more than 4500 unique genes as well as numerous targeted clones as part of the CMHD and NorCOMM resources (http://www.norcomm.org/index.htm). This resource is freely available to academic researchers as part of the international mouse knockout project.


Stanford lab is at Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) since July 2011. Please visit my web page at OHRI here.


Dr. William L. Stanford, Ph.D.    

Senior Scientist, Sprott Centre for Stem Cell Research, Regenerative Medicine Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Professor, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa 

Canada Research Chair in Stem Cell Biology & Functional Genomics 


Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Sprott Center for Stem Cell Research
5th Floor Critical Care Wing (CCW), Room 5214
501 Smyth Road, Mail box #511
Ottawa, ON K1H 8L6 CANADA
Office #: (613) 737-8899 x 75495
Lab #:    (613) 737-8899 x 79178

email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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