The Moffat Lab:
Jason Moffat is an expert functional genomicist who was recruited to the Donnelly Centre from the Broad Institute (MIT and Harvard, Boston) where he carried out postdoctoral work with Dr. David Sabatini. While at the Broad, Dr. Moffat helped to establish the RNAi Consortium (TRC), helping to create the first lentiviral-based short hairpin RNA (shRNA) libraries and developing methods for applying these libraries for loss-of-function, positive selection and synthetic lethal genetic screening in human and mouse cells [Moffat et al., Cell, 2006]. Jason was a key architect of what is an international prototype for an RNAi screening facility at the Whitehead Institute, and set up a comparable facility in the Donnelly Centre in collaboration with the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) and the University Health Network (UHN). With support from OICR, the University of Toronto, members of the research community, and more recently, the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, the Platform for Advanced Cell Engineering (PACE) (formerly the COLT platform) has contributed to over 100 research projects and over 40 publications in the decade since its inception. The overarching goal of the platform continues to be the development of novel tools and technologies to enable the application of functional genomics screening to various research questions. The platform was integral in the recent creation of the Toronto Knockout (TKO) CRISPR gRNA library, consisting of 90,000 guide RNA sequences targeting all human coding genes [Hart et al., 2015]. The Moffat lab’s primary research focus centres on utilizing functional genomics to identify novel diagnostic and therapeutic targets for the treatment of cancers and, in conjunction with the Sidhu lab, developing biologics to exploit newly identified targets. Together with Dr. Sidhu, Dr. Moffat has co-founded two biotechnology companies (Northern Biologics and Pionyr Immunotherapeutics [formerly Precision Immune]) to enable commercialization of these novel biologics. Dr. Moffat is a Senior Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR: Genetic Networks Program) and a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Functional Genomics of Cancer.
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Allison Nixon recently received the Doctoral Fellowship from the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. This award is given out to talented graduate students working in the field of breast cancer research. Allison proposed to investigate the role of specific sugar modifications … Continue reading
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