Vanderhyden Lab

Barbara Vanderhyden profile picture

Contact Information

Barbara Vanderhyden, PhD
613-737-7700 ext. 70330

Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Centre for Cancer Therapeutics
501 Smyth Road
Box 926
Ottawa, ON K1H 8L6

ORCID logo

Barbara Vanderhyden

Senior Scientist, Cancer Research
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Corinne Boyer Chair in Ovarian Cancer Research
University of Ottawa
Distinguished Professor, Cellular and Molecular Medicine
University of Ottawa

Research Interests

The Vanderhyden laboratory has a long-standing interest in normal ovarian function and the molecular changes that occur in the transition from normal epithelium to ovarian cancer, and the subsequent progression and metastasis of ovarian cancer. One key aim of our work is to examine the cellular plasticity and genetic alterations that are oncogenic in oviductal and ovarian surface epithelium. We are exploring how certain risk factors, like age, ovulation and hormones, affect the stem/progenitor cells in those tissues and their susceptibility to transformation into cancer cells. We are also determining how those risk factors affect the ovarian microenvironment and underlying mechanisms that contribute to the creation of a more tumour-permissive niche.

To facilitate our work, we have generated numerous models of ovarian cancer using a variety of strategies, including cell-specific expression of oncogenic signals, the Cre-lox system for conditional expression, and intra-bursal injection of adenoviral vectors. Consequently, we use several model systems in our research, including primary cell cultures and cell lines, transgenic and syngeneic mouse models of ovarian cancer, and human ovarian tumours and ascites. These models are being used to investigate the early events associated with tumour initiation, to determine the impact of risk factors such as BRCA1 mutation and hormones on disease progression, to test novel therapeutics, including targeted therapies, oncolytic viruses and vaccines, and to determine the impact of those therapies on the immune microenvironments.

Brief Biography

Barbara Vanderhyden completed her Ph.D. in Reproductive Physiology at the University of Western Ontario in 1988. She then did postdoctoral studies at The Jackson Laboratory in Maine, where she learned to climb mountains, both literally and scientifically. In 1991, she joined the Cancer Research Group at the University of Ottawa, which has evolved into the Cancer Therapeutics Program at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, where she is a Senior Scientist. Dr. Vanderhyden is also a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Ottawa and has held the inaugural Corinne Boyer Chair in Ovarian Cancer Research since 2000. She established and ran the university’s transgenic mouse facility for 14 years. In her spare time, she established two science outreach programs, Let’s Talk Science / Parlons sciences, which makes science fun for students in local schools, and Science Travels / La science voyage, which sends teams of grad students to deliver science workshops in remote First Nations and Inuit communities in the far north.

Selected Publications

Cook DP, Galpin KJC, Rodriguez GM, Shakfa N, Wilson-Sanchez J, Echaibi M, Pereira M, Matuszewska K, Haagsma J, Murshed H, Cudmore AO, Macdonald E, Tone A, Shepherd TG, Petrik JP, Koti M, and BC Vanderhyden (2023). Comparative analysis of syngeneic mouse models of high-grade serous ovarian cancer. Commun. Biol. 6: 1152.

Landry DA, Yakubovich E, Cook DP, Fasih S, Upham J and Vanderhyden BC (2022). Metformin prevents age-associated ovarian fibrosis by modulating the immune landscape in female mice. Science Advances 8(35):eabq1475. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abq1475

Rodriguez GM, Galpin KJC, Cook DP, Yakubovich E, Maranda V, Macdonald E, Wilson-Sanchez J, Thomas AL, Burdette JE, and BC Vanderhyden (2022). The tumor immune profile of murine ovarian cancer models: An essential tool for ovarian cancer immunotherapy research. Cancer Res. Commun. 2: 417-433.

Cook DP and BC Vanderhyden (2022). Transcriptional census of epithelial-mesenchymal plasticity in cancer. Science Advances 8(1):eabi7640. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abi7640.

Abedini A, Landry DA, Macaulay AD, Vaishnav H, Parbhakar A, Ibrahim D, Salehi R, Maranda V, Macdonald E and BC Vanderhyden (2022). SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling subunit Smarca4/BRG1 is essential for female fertility. Biol Reprod. 108(2):279-291. doi: 10.1093/biolre/ioac209.

David S, Plante A, Dallaire F, Tremblay J-P, Sheehy G, Macdonald E, Forrest L, Daneshmand M, Trudel D, Wilson BC, Hopkins L, Murugkar S, Vanderhyden B, and F Leblond (2022). Multispectral label-free Raman spectroscopy can detect ovarian and endometrial cancer with high accuracy. J. Biophotonics 15(2): e202100198.

Carter LE, DP Cook, CW McCloskey, MA Grondin, DA Landry, T Dang, O Collins, LF Gamwell, HA Dempster, BC Vanderhyden (2021). Transcriptional heterogeneity of stemness phenotypes in the ovarian epithelium. Communications Biology, 4(1): 527. doi: 10.1038/s42003-021-02045-w.

Landry DA, HT Vaishnav, BC Vanderhyden (2020). The significance of ovarian fibrosis. Oncotarget 11: 4366-4370. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.27822.

Robineau-Charette P, Grynspan D, Benton SJ, Gaudet J, Cox BJ, Vanderhyden BC, Bainbridge SA (2020). Fibrinogen-like protein 2-associated transcriptional and histopathological features of immunological preeclampsia. Hypertension 76: 910-921.

Abedini A, C Sayed, LE Carter, D Boerboom, BC. Vanderhyden (2020). Non-canonical WNT5a regulates epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in the mouse ovarian surface epithelium. Sci. Reports 10: 9695.

Cook DP and BC Vanderhyden (2020). Context specificity of the EMT transcriptional response. Nat. Commun. 11: 2142. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-16066-2.

Diseases, conditions and populations of interest

Research and clinical approaches