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New stem cell behaviour project receives $5M funding


Vancouver, BC – The BC Cancer Agency’s Terry Fox Laboratory has received a landmark $5 million grant from the Terry Fox Foundation, through the National Cancer Institute of Canada, for research on normal and leukemic stem cells.

Five senior scientists will work together to examine the unique behaviour of stem cells and determine how stem cell behaviour is altered in leukemia with the goal of developing new therapies.

“Once again the BC Cancer Agency is being recognized for their world-class capabilities in research,” says George Abbott, Minister of Health. “The Agency has an exceptional group of researchers and I’d like to thank each one of them for their contribution towards ultimately seeking a cure for cancer.”

“Our research is aimed at understanding the complex mechanisms controlling both normal and leukemic stem cells,” says Dr Keith Humphries, the program’s coordinator and senior scientist at the BC Cancer Agency.

The research program incorporates five separate studies that utilize multiple model organisms, cell models and techniques. The studies are led by Drs Humphries, Connie Eaves, Peter Lansdorp, Gerry Krystal and Andrew Weng.

“We’re essentially decoding stem cell behaviour from various angles,” says Dr Eaves, director of the BC Cancer Agency’s Terry Fox Laboratory. “This programmatic grant allows us to combine our expertise in order to find answers much faster.”