Regenerative Medicine Cluster Initiative in BC

Peter Zandstra

University of Toronto/University of British

Peter Zandstra

University of Toronto/University of British Columbia

Peter Zandstra is a Professor at the University of Toronto’s Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, with cross appointments in the Departments of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, and the Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research.  Peter is also a Professor at UBC in the Departments of Medical Genetics and Chemical Engineering and Biological Engineering. Dr. Zandstra graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering degree from McGill University in the Department of Chemical Engineering, obtained his Ph.D. from UBC in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology  and continued his research training as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Biological Engineering  at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Research in the Zandstra Laboratory is focused on the generation of functional tissue from adult and pluripotent stem cells. Zandstra and his team have pioneered the field of stem cell bioengineering which applies engineering principles to the study of stem cell biology. Dr Zandstra is the Canada Research Chair in Stem Cell Bioengineering and is a recipient of a number of awards and fellowships including the Premiers Research Excellence Award (2002), the E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship (2006), the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (2007), the McLean Award (2009), and the Till and McCulloch Award (2013). He is a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and in 2015 was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (Science). In addition to his role as a Professor, Zandstra is interested in innovation and the process by which fundamental research can be catalyzed and translated for health and economic impact. These efforts are manifested in his roles as the Chief Scientific Officer at the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM), Director of Research and Development at the Ontario Institute of Regenerative Medicine, and Executive Director of Medicine by Design (MbD), a CFREF-funded institution-wide collaborative research program.  In addition to these community efforts, Dr. Zandstra has directly participated in co-founding three companies. The most recent example of this is the creation of ExCellThera, a clinical stage company that focuses on the development of technologies for robust and cost effective blood stem cell based therapies for leukemia and other blood diseases.