Bell Lab

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Contact Information

John Bell, PhD
613 737-7700 70333

501 Smyth Road, Box 926
Ottawa, ON K1H 8L6


Dr. John Bell wins public and patient engagement award
April 15, 2019 - Dr. John Bell won the inaugural European Society for Gene and Cell Therapy Public and Patient Engagement Award.
Patients and clinical trial experts key to upcoming made-in-Canada CAR-T clinical trial
March 1, 2019 - Researchers at The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa are known around the world for their expertise in designing and leading clinical trials, and they're now applying this knowledge to create a made-in-Canada approach for CAR-T ...
Often-overlooked Natural Killer cells may be key to cancer immunotherapy
September 10, 2018 - Immune checkpoint inhibitors are revolutionizing the treatment of cancer, but new research challenges the central dogma of how these drugs work. This research, published in the prestigious Journal of Clinical Investigation, shows for the first ...
Top Research Papers from The Ottawa Hospital 2015-2017
June 7, 2018 - Did you know that researchers at The Ottawa Hospital publish an average of four new scientific papers every single day? Our research is advancing science and improving health on a massive scale – both at home and around the world. The list below ...
MS drug makes cancer-fighting viruses more effective in lab models
February 7, 2018 - A drug used to treat multiple sclerosis and psoriasis can dramatically enhance the spread of cancer-fighting viruses in human tumour samples and animal models, according to a study published in Science Translational Medicine. A team led by Dr. Jean
Could viruses take cancer immunotherapy to the next level? Study shows viruses and checkpoint inhibitors work together to cure resistant breast cancer in mice
January 3, 2018 - Immunotherapy, which helps the body’s immune system attack cancer, has revolutionized treatment for cancers such as melanoma and leukemia. However, many other kinds of cancer remain resistant. A new study led by researchers at The Ottawa Hospital and
Dr. John Bell receives top award from Canadian Cancer Research Alliance
October 30, 2017 - The Canadian Cancer Research Alliance (CCRA) announced today that Dr. John Bell is receiving the Outstanding Achievements in Cancer Research Award for his “pioneering work and ground-breaking scientific discoveries, which have propelled the entire fi
CFI provides $18-million boost to research on neuromuscular diseases, cancer-fighting viruses, the power of light and radioactive atoms
October 12, 2017 - The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) has awarded $18 million in funding to support cutting-edge research led by four teams from The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa. “The innovation made possible by this infrastructure support
Ontario start-up makes major deal to develop cancer-fighting viruses
October 11, 2017 - Partners congratulate Turnstone Biologics Inc. Canadian academic institutions and research organizations are congratulating Turnstone Biologics on a new partnership with AbbVie to develop cancer-fighting viruses (also called oncolytic viral immuno
Cancer-fighting viruses: Canadian team to accelerate research with $7.4 million from Terry Fox Research Institute
September 27, 2017 - Imagine a tiny army of viruses entering a tumour, making thousands of copies of themselves and busting up cancer cells as they spread. Now imagine the body’s immune system coming in to fight off the virus and eliminate the remaining cancer cells at
Ottawa cancer researchers to play lead role in new immunotherapy initiative, worth $4 million
May 25, 2017 - The Ontario Institute of Cancer Research (OICR) has awarded $4 million to a team of researchers working to harness the immune system to attack cancer. Called cancer immunotherapy, this area of research was dubbed “breakthrough of the year” by Science
Viral therapy for cancer: Frequently asked questions from patients and families
April 26, 2017 - What is viral therapy for cancer? Viral therapy for cancer, also called oncolytic viral therapy or viral immunotherapy, makes use of viruses to treat cancer. Typically we think of viruses as tiny bugs that infect our body and cause diseases li
First cancer patient treated with a new experimental viral immunotherapy combination in a clinical trial
April 26, 2017 - The Ottawa Hospital and Hamilton Health Sciences have begun a clinical trial to determine if an experimental therapy that combines two viruses and a drug may be able to treat non-small cell lung cancer. This approach is designed to stimulate the
Cobra venom helps hybrid virus evade immune response and repeatedly attack tumours
March 24, 2017 - Viruses have shown promise in treating cancer, but it can be challenging to get multiple doses to a tumour because our immune system quickly learns to recognize and attack viruses. Two of our main antiviral defenses include antibodies that attach t
Ottawa researchers to play lead role in new cancer immunotherapy studies
February 15, 2017 - BioCanRx funds research into CAR-T and virus-infected cell therapy Researchers from The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa will play a lead role in cutting-edge research on cancer immunotherapy, thanks to five new peer-reviewed researc
Ontario start-up company secures US$41.4 million to advance cancer immunotherapy
November 2, 2016 - Partners congratulate Turnstone Biologics Inc. The Ottawa Hospital, the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), the University of Ottawa (uOttawa) and McMaster University congratulate Turnstone Biologics Inc. (Turnstone) on securing US$ 41.
Virus-chemo combination therapy shows promise in breast cancer models
August 24, 2016 - Researchers in Dr. John Bell’s group and Dr. Jean-Simon Diallo’s group have discovered that a cancer-fighting virus called Maraba-MG1, together with a common chemotherapy called paclitaxel, can slow the growth of breast cancer in animal models an
Researchers find a way to supercharge cancer-fighting viruses
June 14, 2016 - A research team led by Drs. Jean-Simon Diallo, Christopher Boddy and Jeffrey Smith has created a new molecule that could help cancer-fighting viruses be more effective against a wider variety of tumours. Engineered viruses that destroy cancer ...
Terry Fox award helps Ottawa researcher develop next-generation cancer immunovirotherapy
February 4, 2016 - What if there was a way to destroy cancer cells and stimulate a patient’s own immune system to attack tumours, while leaving healthy tissues unharmed? The Terry Fox Research Institute (TFRI) has awarded Dr. Guy Ungerechts (The Ottawa Hospital and
Taking the Trojan horse to the next level: using fruit fly cells to deliver viral therapies for cancer
December 8, 2015 - Oncolytic viruses destroy cancer cells without harming normal cells, but once an immune response develops against a given virus, it can become more difficult for subsequent doses of virus to get through the blood stream and into tumours. One possible
Virus vs. Prostate Cancer: Canadian Researchers Pioneer Next-generation Therapy -- Prostate Cancer Canada and the Movember Foundation partner to make innovative work possible
September 30, 2015 - A multi-disciplinary team of scientists and clinicians led by Dr. John Bell of The Ottawa Hospital is developing a treatment for prostate cancer using viruses that destroy cancer cells and boost the anti-cancer immune response, all the while leaving
Research reveals how cancer-fighting viruses infect tumour blood vessels
August 19, 2015 - Researchers around the world are developing oncolytic viruses that preferentially replicate in and kill cancer cells, but laboratory and clinical studies have revealed that these viruses also replicate readily inside the “normal” cells that make up
Cancer patients treated in world-first clinical trial of Canadian viral therapy
July 10, 2015 - Canadian researchers have launched the world’s first clinical trial of a novel investigational therapy that uses a combination of two viruses to attack and kill cancer cells, and stimulate an anti-cancer immune response. Previous research by this tea
Partners herald new cancer immunotherapy company
May 4, 2015 - The Ottawa Hospital, the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), the University of Ottawa (uOttawa) and McMaster University congratulate its researchers on forming Turnstone Biologics Inc., a biotechnology company focused on developing new tre
Pancreatic cancer loses viral defences when talking with supporting cells
April 20, 2015 - Ottawa researchers have unlocked a way to make pancreatic cancer cells more vulnerable to cancer-killing viruses, known as oncolytic viruses. Outlined in a paper published today by Nature Medicine, the scientists have discovered how they can exploit
The Ottawa Hospital to host $60M national research network for innovative cancer treatments
December 15, 2014 - BioCanRX network to focus on promising biotherapeutics such as oncolytic viruses, immune cells and synthetic antibodies The Government of Canada announced $25 million today, with an additional $35M from partners, to create the first Network of ...
$1.2M to advance the treatment of pancreatic cancer
April 2, 2014 - The Canadian Cancer Society has awarded Dr. John Bell an Impact Grant totalling $1.2 million over the next five years to further his research into the use of viruses to fight pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest forms of cancer. According to the