Development is characterized by the passage of embryonic cells through discrete stages in which their potential to differentiate into stable somatic phenotypes becomes increasingly restricted. The identification and characterization of the cellular hierarchies that distinguish the differentiation capability of cells during development enables control over these processes, and will permit the efficient differentiation of pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) into tissues suitable for regenerative medicine applications. The Draper lab studies the mechanisms that underlie the fate decisions that PSCs make, with a focus on cell cycle and transcriptional regulation in pluripotency. Funding for this work is generously provided by CIHR.
Tumor cell response to therapeutic interventions, such as radiation or chemotherapy treatment, governs the eventual fate of the patient. The Draper lab uses imaging and genetic manipulation techniques to understanding how tumor cells respond to chemotherapeutic treatments. We then use this information to identify drugs that potentiate the killing of patient tumor cells. Our work in this area is supported by funding from the Cancer Research Society and Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute.
Pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) can differentiate into all specialized cell types of the body, providing suitable material for regenerative medicine applications as well as allowing the study of development and disease. The culture conditions that drive the differentiation of PSCs towards the tissues and structures that comprise the adult lung are only partially understood. The Draper lab studies these mechanisms, with the goal of differentiating human PSCs into lung tissue in vitro that can be used for studying lung diseases and as a resource for testing new pulmonary-related drugs . Our work in this field is generously supported by the Ontario Thoracic Society.