Dr. John Dick

Cancer stem cells

Dr. John Dick is a world-leading expert on cancer stem cells—believed to be the root of cancer tumours.  Very recently, in 2007, he and his team were the first to isolate cancer stem cells in colon cancer.

While working to improve the animal model for studying leukemia in order to better understand how cancer originates and grows, he and his team were able to duplicate the natural process of how normal cells become leukemic. The converted cells, when transplanted into special mice that lack an immune system, can replicate the entire disease process from the very moment it begins.  This creates an environment where scientists can gain a much greater understanding of the process of how cancer begins.

Considered a luminary by his colleagues, Dr. Dick has won numerous awards including the Dameshek Prize (ASH), Noble Prize (NCIC), Michael Smith Award (CIHR), and most recently he shared the Diamond Jubilee Award (NCIC) with Drs. James Till and Ernest McCulloch.  He has expertise in stem cells, NOD/SCID mice, gene transfer, transplantation, retroviruses, leukemia, oncogenes, hematopoiesis, and lentivectors.

Additional Appointments

  • Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto
  • Director, Program in Cancer Stem Cells-GENESIS Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR)
  • Canada Research Chair in Stem Cell Biology
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