Department: Surgery, University of Toronto
Our laboratory studies the role of developmental signaling pathways in musculoskeletal pathologic and reparative processes. This work has identified pathways and genes regulating normal skeletal development, and identified how progenitor cells differentiate in normal and pathologic processes, such as in repair and in mesenchymal tumors. Members of the lab are also working to study cellular heterogeneity in mesenchymal tumors (sarcomas) and some of this work focuses on the role of tumor initiating cells and the identification of the cell of origin. Extensive use is made of genetically modified mice and human samples in this research work. The long-term goal of this work is to develop novel pharmacologic therapies for these otherwise difficult to treat tumors, and to improve repair processes, and some of the work from the lab has already been translted to patient care.