Diabetes research in Canada: 100 years later

  2021 marked the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin – a Canadian breakthrough that has saved the lives of countless people with diabetes. It seems only fitting that 100 years later, we take a moment to reflect on how far Canadian diabetes research has come, with a focus on stem cells and regenerative medicine of course! Diabetes is a disorder where the body’s cells are unable to process glucose (sugar) properly. Normally, the…

Continue reading


Unlocking stem cells’ full potential for treating multiple sclerosis – Highs, lows and future opportunities from OHRI’s MESEMS trial

Image credit: Signals Cells that are programmed to protect can sometimes go rogue, as is the case with multiple sclerosis, or MS. Overactive immune cells mistakenly target the tissues of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves, igniting inflammatory flare-ups that destroy myelin, a fatty insulating material that encapsulates nerve fibres. Over time, nerves lose their ability to transmit signals, and mobility, cognitive functions and vision take a serious hit. There is no known cure…

Continue reading


Right Turn: The most popular blogs in 2021

When I wrote last year’s post on popular blogs in 2020, I was really happy to be saying goodbye to a difficult year. I had such hopes for 2021! While the past year has been easier in some respects, Omicron let us all down and put a definite damper on our Decembers. Because we have a global pandemic still looming over us as we begin 2022, I think distraction is needed more than ever. If…

Continue reading


About tissue regeneration, fibroblasts and reindeer

In 2005, the Stem Cell Network inaugurated the Till & McCulloch Award to honour the important work of Canadian scientists Drs. James Till and Ernest McCulloch, for which the annual Till & McCulloch Meetings (TMM) are also named. This year’s TMM attendees had the pleasure of watching Dr. Till introduce the 2021 Drew Lyall Award and the Till & McCulloch Award session. He highlighted this year as a particularly special one for Canadian stem cell…

Continue reading


Bioethics workshop tackles key questions on clinical translation

Kevin Robb is a PhD candidate in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto and University Health Network. His research is on the development of immunomodulatory cell-based therapies for osteoarthritis. Kevin holds a Bachelor of Science, Honours Physiology from McGill University, and a Master of Engineering Science in Biomedical Engineering from Western University. He is a member of the Stem Cell Network Trainee Communications Committee and is passionate about regenerative medicine, bioethics, and science communication.…

Continue reading


Voting is officially open! Here are the nominees for Reader’s Choice 2021…

Photo by Glen Carrie at Unsplash Each of the following research stories are highlights selected from previous editions of “Regenerative Medicine News Under the Microscope.” Vote for the one that inspired you most this year! Vision science: Making organoids cry This story is nothing to blink at. While many of us don’t think much about our tear glands on any given day, they are critical organs that keep our eyes well-lubricated. Why is this important?…

Continue reading


Cardiovascular regeneration at TMM 2021

The 2021 Till & McCulloch Meetings (TMM) are where the heart is. More specifically, I am referring to the major advances in cardiovascular regenerative medicine presented during the Bioengineering Regeneration plenary session on the final day of the conference. It was my privilege to both attend and participate in the conference on behalf of Signals and I was quite amazed by the advances in such a challenging field. The Bioengineering Regeneration session was chaired by…

Continue reading


Regenerative medicine news under the microscope – November 2021

“Regenerative medicine news under the microscope” is a monthly feature highlighting big stories in stem cell research. I will sample the latest and greatest findings in recent press and package them into a single post. This month, we open up the voting for “Reader’s Choice 2021.” A week from today, we’ll list select research stories from each blog post in this series (most of these will be Picks of the Month), and it’s up to…

Continue reading


World AIDS Day: exploring HIV cure research and gene therapies

To mark World AIDS Day, I caught up with the International AIDS Society (IAS) 2021 HIV Cure and Gene Therapy Forum’s opening session, which focused on the intersection between HIV cure research and rapidly advancing gene-based therapies. The session sought to address two increasingly urgent questions: How can advances in gene therapy from other fields be applied to developing an HIV cure? (The IAS definition is an intervention that would lead to durable, antiretroviral-free suppression…

Continue reading


It’s all about the Niche! Take-aways and highlights from TMM 2021

Fluorescently labelled cell types that form the mouse skin niche. (Screen capture from Prof. Valentina Greco’s talk during TMM2021.) This year, the Till & McCulloch Meetings (TMM) featured two particularly exciting Plenary Sessions for those of us with a passion for the nitty-gritty of stem cell biology: on November 15, a session entitled “Endogenous stem cells and their niches” featured talks by Prof. Valentina Greco (Yale) and Prof. Sean Morrison (Texas Southwestern Medical Center), as…

Continue reading