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Contact Information

William Stanford, PhD

Administrative Assistant:
Amanda Cabeceiras
Tel 613-737-8899 ext 73841

William Stanford

Senior Scientist, Regenerative Medicine Program
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Professor, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
University of Ottawa
Canada Research Chair, Stem Cell Biology & Functional Genomics

Research Interests

The focus of my laboratory is to understand and manipulate the behavior of pluripotent and somatic stem cells to understand mechanisms of human disease and develop novel therapeutics. Our research utilizes systems biology to tease apart cell behavior and pathophysiology. We often use pluripotent embryonic stem cells (ESCs) as a model stem cell system because they are easier to grow and manipulate in culture than somatic stem cells. In fact, pluripotent stem cells have become the “new yeast”, enabling researchers to analyze mammalian development at the transcriptome (mRNA & miRNA), proteome, methylome, etc. systems level. Of course, yeast do not encode miRNA so this is a critical difference supporting the use of human ESC research. Importantly, we are now combining these systems approaches to study human disease using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). We believe such a systems genetics strategy will identify novel therapeutic targets and therapeutics for many diseases including cancer.

This work complements our previous endeavors, which focused extensively on using the mouse as a model for human disease and generated novel gene trap vectors and a resource of more than 23,000 sequence annotated gene trap mouse embryonic stem cell lines that represents mutations in more than 4500 unique genes as well as numerous targeted clones as part of the CMHD and NorCOMM resources (http://www.norcomm.org/index.htm). This resource is freely available to academic researchers as part of the international mouse knockout project.

Brief Biography

Dr. William (Bill) L. Stanford, PhD, is a Senior Scientist at the Sprott Centre for Stem Cell Research at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, a Full Professor in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of Ottawa and holder of a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Integrative Stem Cell Biology. Dr. Stanford is trained as a chemist, holding a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Duke University and as an Immunologist, holding a PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The overall goal of Dr. Stanford’s research is to understand the factors that control stem cell function and apply this knowledge to improve human health. Specifically, Dr. Stanford’s laboratory uses systems biology approaches to understand how the proteins, miRNAs, epigenetic marks, etc within in a stem cell combine with other factors to determine that cell’s fate. Furthermore, Dr. Stanford has contributed to the development of genetic reprogramming techniques that can be used to turn normal adult human cells, such as blood cells, into l induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). These iPSCs can then be grown in the laboratory, and coaxed into giving rise to all of the specialized cell types that make up the human body. Dr. Stanford is interested in using iPSCs to model diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and arthritis, and also develop new targeted and regenerative therapies. Dr. Stanford is Lead Scientist of the Cell Reprogramming Platform of the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine and the Director of Gene Trap Mutagenesis in the Centre for Modeling Human Diseases. Prior to moving to the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute in 2011, Dr. Stanford was an Assistant (2002-2007), Associate (2007-2009) and Full Professor (2009-2011) at the University of Toronto in the Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering. He still holds an appointment at the University of Toronto. Furthermore, Dr. Stanford was a Visiting Scientist at the Institute for Systems Biology (Seattle, Washington) in 2009-2010. He is currently an Adjunct Member of the Institute for Systems Biology (Seattle, Washington). Dr. Stanford’s interdisciplinary research has been published in most of the top journals according to impact factor and standing within the journal subject category (Cell, Science, Nature, Cell Stem Cell, PNAS, Nature Rev, Nat Genet). Having been cited about 4500 times, Dr. Stanford is considered to be in the top 1-2% of cited researchers.

Selected Publications

Selected Publications (from 83 peer-reviewed publications)

1. McDonald ACH, S Biechele, J Rossant*, and WL Stanford*. Sox17-mediated XEN cell conversion identifies dynamic networks controlling cell fate decisions in embryo-derived stem cells. Cell Reports (CELL Press) 9:1-14, 2014 (*co-corresponding authors)

2. Shelton ML, J Metz, J Liu, RL Carpenedo, S-P Demers, WL Stanford*, and IS Skerjanc*. Derivation and expansion of Pax7-positive muscle progenitors from human and mouse embryonic stem cells. Stem Cell Reports (CELL Press) 3: 516-529, 2014 (*co-corresponding authors)

3. Chang WY, JR Lavoie, S Kwon, Z Chen, JL Manias, John Behbahani, V Ling, RA Kandel, DJ Stewart, and WL Stanford. Feeder-Independent Derivation of Induced-Pluripotent Stem Cells From Endothelial Progenitor Cells. Stem Cell Research 10: 195-202, 2013

4. Kinnear C, WY Chang, S Khattak, A Hinek, T Thompson, K Kennedy, N Mahmut, P Pasceri, WL Stanford, J Ellis and S Mital. Modeling and rescue of the vascular phenotype of Williams-Beuren syndrome in patient induced pluripotent stem cells. Stem Cells Translational Medicine 2:2-15, 2013

5. Chang WY, K Garcha, J Manias, and WL Stanford. Deciphering the Complexities of Human Disorders and Diseases by Coupling Induced-Pluripotent Stem Cells and Systems Genetics. WIREs System Biology & Medicine, 4:339–350, 2012

6. Waese EYL and WL Stanford. One-Step Generation of Murine Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Mesoderm Progenitors and Chondrocytes in a Serum-Free Monolayer Differentiation System. Stem Cell Research 6: 34-49, 2011

7. Cassar PA and WL Stanford. Integrating Post-Transcriptional Regulation into the Embryonic Stem Cell Gene Regulatory Network. J Cellular Physiology (Published Online April 18, 2011)

8. Hughes MR, N Anderson, S Maltby, Z Berberovic, J Wong, CL Birkenmeier, K Garcha, DJ Haddon, A Flenniken, LR Osborne, SL Adamson, J Rossant, L Peters, RF Paulson, C Wang, DL Barber, KM McNagny, and WL Stanford A novel ENU-generated truncation mutation lacking the spectrin-binding and C-terminal regulatory domains of Ank1 models severe, hemolytic hereditary spherocytosis. Experimental Hematology 39: 305-320, 2011

9. Walker E, J Manias, WY Chang, and WL Stanford. PCL2 modulates gene regulatory networks controlling self-renewal and commitment in embryonic stem cells. Cell Cycle 10: 45-51, 2011

10. Walker E, WY Chang, J Hunkapiller, G Cagney, K Garcha, J Torchia, N Krogan, J Reiter, and WL Stanford. Polycomb-like 2 Associates with PRC2 and Regulates Transcriptional Networks during Mouse Embryonic Stem Cell Self-Renewal and Differentiation. Cell Stem Cell (CELL Press) 6:153-166, 2010

11. Woltjen, K and WL Stanford. Inhibition of Tgf-? Signaling Improves Mouse Fibroblast Reprogramming. CELL Stem Cell (CELL Press) 5: 457-458, 2009

12. Hotta A, AYL Cheung, N Farra, K Garcha, WY Chang, WL Stanford, and J Ellis. EOS lentiviral vector selection system for human induced pluripotent stem cells. Nature Protocols 4: 1828-1844, 2009

13. Chang WY and WL Stanford. Translational Control: A New Dimension in Embryonic Stem Cell Network Analysis. CELL Stem Cell (CELL Press) 2:410-412, 2008

14. Walker E, M Ohishi, RE Davey, W Zhang, PA Cassar, TS Tanaka, SD Der, Q Morris, TR Hughes, PW Zandstra, and WL Stanford. Predicting and Testing Novel Transcriptional Networks Regulating Embryonic Stem Cell Self-Renewal and Commitment. Cell Stem Cell (CELL Press) 1: 71-86, 2007

15. Skarnes, WC, H von Melchner, W Wurst, G Hicks, AS Nord, T Cox, SG Young, P Ruiz, P Soriano, M Tessier-Lavigne, BR Conklin, WL Stanford, and J Rossant. A public gene trap resource for mouse functional genomics. Nature Genetics 36: 543-54, 2004

16. Bonyadi, M, SD Waldman, D Liu, JE Aubin, MD Grynpas, and WL Stanford. Mesenchymal progenitor self-renewal deficiency leads to age-dependent osteoporosis in Sca 1/Ly 6A null mice. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA (Direct Submission), 100:5840-5845, 2003

17. Ito, CY, CYJ Li, A Bernstein, JE Dick, and WL Stanford. Hematopoietic stem cell and progenitor defects in Sca-1/Ly-6A null mice. Blood, 101:517-523, 2003.

18. Stanford WL, JB Cohn, and SP Cordes. Gene trap mutagenesis: past, present and beyond. Nature Rev. Genetics. 2: 756-768, 2001

Diseases, conditions and populations of interest

Aging; Arthritis; Cancer; Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM); Vascular, heart and metabolic disease

Research and clinical approaches

Molecular and cellular biology; Regenerative medicine; Stem cells; Systems biology