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I am a recently appointed Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Biophysics from Algoma University, where I started my academic appointment as assistant professor in the Department of Biology. Prior to my time at AU and transitioning to Wilfrid Laurier University as Faculty of Science Research Chair and assistant professor of Health Sciences, I completed an NSERC-funded PhD in Biomolecular Sciences from Laurentian University. I was then recruited to the Allen Discovery Center at Tufts University as a postdoctoral fellow, where I developed a successful research program grounded in regenerative biology and in comparative cognition with Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University for over 3 years. It was during this time where I also was a teaching fellow at Harvard University in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology.
Combating any pathological state requires comprehensive and the integration of interdisciplinary models of cellular communication. Just as chemicals instruct cells to divide, grow, and specialize to form organisms, so to do biophysical signals. Mechanical, optical/magnetic, and electrical signals are pervasive in the cell’s microenvironment but are only now being recognized as determinants of cell fate and plasticity. My lab adopts a top-down approach to understand the biophysical language of cellular communication toward transformative breakthroughs in human disease. Specifically, combining state-of-the-art techniques from several fields including neuroscience, regenerative medicine, and cancer biology, my research investigates how cancer cell fate can be re-programmed by modulating tissue microenvironments, reverting cells to healthy states. Along with this, my lab investigates the mutual relationships between cancers, their microenvironments, and distant organ systems such as the brain which express cancer-related alterations of function including neurocognitive impairment.
(2022 – Education News Canada) Tier II Canada Research Chair Tissue Biophysics Award Announcement
(2022 – Wall Street Journal) Frogs Regrow Missing Limbs in Lab Study, Advancing Key Effort of Regenerative Medicine
(2022 – New York Times) Frogs Without Legs Regrow Leglike Limbs in New Experiment
(2021 – Forbes) Intelligent Beings Without Brains Are Abundant In Nature–A Growing Scientific Consensus
(2021 – CBC) How studying brainless slime mold could help better understand human intelligence
(2021 – CBC) Researcher studying how to predict, prevent chemo brain
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