Professor

Jeffrey Wrana

Molecular Genetics

PhD

Location
Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute
Address
600 University Avenue, Room 1070, Toronto, Ontario Canada M5G 1X5
Research Interests
Cellular reprogramming, Colorectal and breast cancer, Drug development, Human organoid models, Intestinal regeneration, Mouse genetic models, Signal transduction, Single cell biology, Stem cell biology, Tissue regeneration

My research is focused on understanding how extracellular cues regulate cell behaviour in development, tissue regeneration and cancer. We are particularly interested in understanding how signalling pathways are assembled into higher-order networks that confer contextual responses to a cell’s biological output. This led to our key discoveries of intersections between WNT, TGFbeta and the Hippo pathways in stem cells, and the regulation of epithelial cell plasticity. Currently, we are using functional genomics tools coupled to spatio-temporal mapping single-cell profiling to map single-cell state dynamics during tissue morphogenesis, homeostasis and regeneration. This led us to our discovery that damage to the intestine induces a novel cell type we call revival stem cells (revSC) that mediate tissue regeneration by reconstituting a fresh supply of adult, homeostatic stem cells. Our ongoing work seeks to understand how single-cell plasticity is regulated in complex tissues and drives development, tissue regeneration and cancer.

Courses taught

  • Undergraduate: Molecular Genetics 425
  • Graduate: Signalling Networks in Development

Awards

  • Alumni of Influence, University College, University of Toronto, 2020
  • McLaughlin Medal, Royal Society of Canada, 2018
  • Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal awarded by the Prime Minister of Canada, 2013
  • Ontario Premier’s Summit Award in Medical Research, 2010
  • Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, 2006
  • The Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, NY, 2005

Cross-affiliations

  • Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute