Principle Investigator

    Hansen He

    Senior Scientist, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network
    Associate Professor, Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto
    Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Brazilian Ball Chair in Prostate Cancer Research, University of Toronto
    Hansen.He@uhnresearch.ca
    Dr. He is an experimental and computational biologist at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. His research program focuses on understanding epigenetic mechanisms underlying cancer development, progression and therapy response, with the aim of identifying epigenetic biomarkers and therapeutic targets to improve treatment outcomes of cancer patients.

    Dr. He obtained his PhD in molecular biology and bioinformatics at the Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2008. He then received postdoctoral training under the joint supervision of computational biologist Dr. Shirley Liu and cancer biologist Dr. Myles Brown at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard University. Dr. He was recruited as a scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and assistant professor at the Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto in 2013. He was promoted to senior scientist and associate professor in 2018.

    Dr. He is recognized internationally for three discoveries that include pioneering the use of chromatin dynamics to predict transcription factor binding, elucidating the roles of noncoding RNAs in cancer biology and illuminating epigenetic vulnerabilities in cancer cells. Dr. He has authored over 70 publications at high profile journals including Cell (2018, 2019), Nature Genetics (2016, 2020) and Nature Cell Biology (2020). The translational research in Dr. He’s laboratory has resulted in one phase II clinical trial and two patents. Dr. He has received many distinctions and recognitions, including a number of new investigator awards from national funding agencies, as well as being named a rising star in prostate cancer research.

Staff

    Amelia Navarrete

    Administrative Assistant
    Amelia.Navarrete@uhnresearch.ca

    Nayeema Akhtar

    Research Technician
    nayeema.akhtar@uhnresearch.ca
    Nayeema has a MSc in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Dhaka, with a focus on Immunology and vaccine development. She is currently working as a Research Technician at He Lab.

    Dave Guo

    Research Technician
    Dave obtained his MSc at the University of Toronto. His work focused on the impact of air pollution on lung infections in cystic fibrosis using mouse models. He is currently working as a research technician in the lab.

Postdoctoral Fellows

    Yujuan Wang

    Postdoctoral Fellow
    yujuan.wang42@gmail.com
    Yujuan Wang got her Ph.D. from Beijing Normal University. She is currently joining the project of prostate cancer m6A profiling to carry out some validation experiments. Next, she is going to carry out a series of CRISPR screens in cancer cell lines, including but not limited to targeting RNA m6A modifications.

    Shiyan Wang

    Postdoctoral Fellow
    wangshiyan9885@hotmail.com
    Shiyan got her PhD degree at Medical Sciences at Department of Medicine, Chinese University of Hongkong in 2011. After that she worked as a lecturer in University of Science & Technology Beijing for about two years and then became a postdoctoral fellow at Research Laboratory of Institute of Digestive Disease, The Chinese University of Hongkong since 2014. She have been focusing on identifying novel tumor suppressor genes epigenetically down-regulated in gastrointestinal cancer progression and elucidating the function of these genes and its clinical significance. In 2016 she joined Prof. Hansen He’s lab, at the Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto. Her current goal is to elucidate the transcriptome disorder caused by m6A RNA modification in human cancers by m6A profiling analysis and identify novel oncogenes/tumor suppressor genes dysregulated by m6A RNA modification.

    Xin Xu

    Postdoctoral Fellow
    xin.xu.bio@gmail.com
    Xin completed his first postdoc program at the Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. After that, he joined He lab in October 2016. Currently, he is working on identifying functional circRNA in prostate cancer, and aim to provide new improved biomarkers and therapy targets that will lead to better diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer.

    Guanghui Zhu

    Postdoctoral Fellow
    moonshadowz@163.com
    Guanghui got his PhD degree from Tongji University in 2019. His PhD work integrated omics data and molecular interaction network to get better understanding of biological problem. Currently, he is working on single cell RNA sequencing data of prostate cancer. His current goal is to identify cell subpopulation associated with disease progression of prostate cancer.

    Xinpei Ci

    Postdoctoral Fellow
    xinpei.ci@uhnresearch.ca
    Xinpei obtained her PhD degree in Genetics at Nankai University, China, and received a two-year joint training at Emory University, USA. Her PhD work studied the role of a prostate cancer suppressor gene by using genetically engineered mouse models. She completed her first postdoc training under the supervision of Dr.Yuzhuo Wang at the Vancouver Prostate Centre, UBC, where she utilized patient-derived xenograft models to identify and study driver genes in prostate cancer hormonal therapy resistance. Xinpei joined Dr. Hansen He’s lab in December 2020 and is currently working on epigenetic mechanisms involved in neuroendocrine prostate cancer.

    Sujun Chen

    Postdoctoral Fellow
    sujun.chen@mail.utoronto.ca
    Sujun recieved her MSc degree in bioinformatics from Tongji University. She completed her PhD in the Department of Medical Biophysics at U of T. Her research is focused on circular RNA detection and regulation.

Visiting Scholars

    Rui Zhu

    Visiting Scholar
    zhurui0321@shu.edu.cn
    Rui obtained her bachelor's degree from Shanghai University with a specialization in Information and computing science and a minor in Finance. She is currently a PhD student in the Department of Mathematics at Shanghai University. Her research is focused on multi-omics analysis for cancer.

Graduate Students

    Peiran Su

    PhD Candidate
    peiran.su@mail.utoronto.ca
    Peiran received his Honours of Bachelor of Science degree at University of Toronto in Biochemistry. He is now a M. Sc. candidate in the Department of Medical Biophysics. Peiran is co-supervised by Dr. Ming Tsao. His research is focused on extending the CRISPR screens into SCLC PDX models.

    Mona Teng

    PhD Candidate
    mona.teng@mail.utoronto.ca
    Mona obtained her Honours Bachelor of Science at University of Toronto with a specialist in Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology and a major in Biochemistry. She is currently a masters student in the department of Medical Biophysics. Her current project focuses on characterizing circular RNAs implicated in neuroendocrine prostate cancer. Mona is also co-supervised by Dr. Brian Raught to develop a new method for elucidating RNA-protein interactome.

    Helen Zhu

    PhD Candidate
    helen.zhu@mail.utoronto.ca
    Helen received her undergraduate degree from McMaster University in the BHSc (Hons) program with a specialization in Biochemistry and a minor in Mathematics. She is currently a PhD student in the Department of Medical Biophysics. Her current project focuses on M6A modifications in cancer.

    Linsey Gong

    MSc Student
    linsey.gong@mail.utoronto.ca
    Linsey obtained her bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto with a double major in Molecular Genetics and Pharmacology. Currently, she is an MSc student in the Department of Medical Biophysics as co-supervised by Dr. Faiyaz Notta. Linsey's project utilizes Spatial Transcriptomics and organoid models to study pancreatic cancer precursor lesions.

    Peter Her

    MSc Student
    peter.her@mail.utoronto.ca
    Peter obtained his bachelor’s degree from McGill University with a major in Pharmacology. He is currently a Masters student in the Department of Medical Biophysics. He is interested in characterizing the molecular mechanism and clinical utilization of RNA circularization, and looking at circular RNAs involved in immune regulation and tumour immunity.

Alumni

Yong Zeng

Postdoctoral Fellow
Current Position: Affiliate Scientist at PMCC

Fraser Soares

Postdoctoral Fellow
Current Position:

Kashif Daud

Summer Student
Current Position:

Xinyi Zhang

Summer Student
Current Position:

Nicholas Lo

Summer Student
Current Position: Student at Western University

Yin Liu

Visiting Scholar
Current Position: Physician

Wenbin Ye

Visiting Scholar
Current Position: PhD, Systems Engineering, Xiamen University

Moliang Chen

Visiting Scholar
Current Position: PhD, Engineering, Xiamen University

Jessica Petricca

MSc Student
Current Position: Medical Student, University of Toronto

Musadeqque Ahmed

Postdoctoral Fellow
Current Position: Staff Scientist, Roche

Yibo Xue

Postdoctoral Fellow
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow

Haiyang Guo

Postdoctoral Fellow
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Shandong University

Zhao Wei

Visiting Scholar
Current Position: Clinical Laboratory Technician, Shandong University

Tony Hua

PhD Student
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow at UCSF

Miranda Wang

Staff
Current Position: Dentistry at Western

Jennifer Lu

Volunteer
Current Position: Undergraduate Student at U of T

Christine Sarah Poon

Summer Student, 2014
Current Position: BMSc at University of Western Ontario

Jens Langstein

Exchange student, Sept-Dec 2014
Current Position: Graduate student, German Cancer Research Centre and National Center for Tumor Diseases, Heidelberg Germany

Urooj Sheikh

Summer student, 2015
Current Position: BSc student in University of Toronto-Mississauga

Yuchen Li

Summer student, 2015
Current Position: Medical student, University of Toronto

Catherine Lu

Summer student, 2015, 2016
Current Position: Medical Student

Yi Liang

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, 2016
Current Position: Research associate, TMDT

Tran Nguyen

Intern, 2016
Current Position: MSc student, McGill University

Xiaotong Yang

Research Student, 2016
Current Position: BSc student, University of Toronto

Xutao Wang

Research Student, 2017
Current Position: MSc student, Harvard University

Xue Bai

Visiting scholar, 2017
Current Position: Director of Forensic Medicine, Ministry of public security China

Yuzhe Zhang

PhD candidate, 2017
Current Position: Lecturer, University of Dali