Stem cells are found in a variety of contexts in the developing and adult human. These remarkable cells have two important traits: they have the capacity to self-renew, producing more stem cells, and they can differentiate into specialized cells that enable organs and tissues to function. The Draper lab’s research focuses on identifying the cell fate mechanisms that control the switch between self-renewal and differentiation in both normal and cancerous human stem cell populations. We study these cell fate commitment processes in pluripotency, lung development and breast cancer using genome editing and high content imaging techniques.

We are an academic lab located in McMaster University's Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute (SCC-RI). Funding for our work is generously provided by the Canada Research Chairs program, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute.