Developmental Biology

Participating Faculties: Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry (Host), Science

Project Leaders: Thomas Drysdale and Sashko Damjanovsky

Total Project Funding:  $67,358

Funding Period: 3 years

Developmental biology is a field of science that studies mechanisms governing changes from a single, specialized cell to a multicellular, fully functional organism. Research in developmental biology is crucial to both understanding the evolution of differing shapes and forms seen in nature, as well as an array of health research issues. These include identification of genes causing birth defects, elucidation of mechanisms responsible for developmental-origin of adult diseases, establishment of stem cell methodologies for regenerative medicine and tissue engineering, identifying new targets for therapeutic drugs, and providing better approaches for contraception and infertility treatment. At the University of Western Ontario, Developmental Biology researchers cross Faculties and Institutes, including the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, the Faculty of Science, the Robarts Research Institute, the Lawson Health Research Institute, and the Children’s Health Research Institute.

The goals of this proposal are to provide comprehensive training in developmental biology that will place participants as informed, future international leaders in medicine and science, to become an internationally recognized training environment in Developmental Biology at The University of Western Ontario, and to build a community of excellence among researchers, graduate students and undergraduate students who share a common interest in biological processes of development. To accomplish these goals, we are proposing innovations that will lead to increased capacity of our Collaborative Graduate Program in Developmental Biology, and integration of this program with undergraduate student training.