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How to Contact Us...

by mail...

160 College Street, 11th floor

Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research

University of Toronto

Toronto ON, M5S 3E1


by phone or fax

Lab: 416-978-4539

Administrative Office: 416-978-0553

Fax: 416-978-2666

lab members...

research associates...


Brian Ballios, MD., PhD.  

Retinal Stem Cells

Project Description: Retinal stem cell biology and applications in retinal degeneration.




Saeed Khalili, PhD. Post Doctoral Fellow (2012-Present)


Retinal Stem Cells

Project Description: Adult retinal and pancreatic stem cells.





post doctoral fellow...

Taryn Grieder  
Taryn Greider

Motivation Group

Project Description: Investigating the involvement of dopamine, CRF and various nicotinic receptors in the motivational effects of acute and chronic nicotine and withdrawal.



graduate students ...

Tania Alexson  

ES Cells/Developmental Stem Cell Biology

Project Description: Investigating if cell cycle can serve as the gatekeeper to self-renewal.




Ahmed Fhamy Graduate Student (2012-present)

Cell Lineage and Brain Development/IPS cells

Project Description: Using Neural Crest stem cells in investigating the mechanism of cellular reprogramming.



Kenneth Grisé Graduate Student (2012-Present)

Retinal Stem Cells

Project Description: Characterization of neural stem cells in the brain and retina and development of regenerative therapies to repair damage caused by disease or injury.



Geith Maal-Bared Graduate Student (2012-Present)


Neurobiology of Motivation

Project Description: Identifying the

anatomical layout and molecular properties

underlying the GABA switch in the VTA of

opiate dependent/deprived rodents.




Isabel Mackay-Clackett Graduate Student (2015-Present)


Motivation & Learning and Memory in C.elegans

Project Description: neurobiological mechanisms underlying the induction of psychoactive drug withdrawal, with particular attention to the motivational effects it produces & olfactory discrimination in C.elegans



Daniel Merritt Graduate Student (2012-Present)


Learning and Memory

Project Description: My research is on the biochemical nature of memory in the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans.



Nikolaos Mitrousis Graduate Student (Shoichet Lab 2012-Present)


Retinal Stem Cells

Project Description: In collaboration with the Shoichet lab, we are studying the interactions between the retinal pigmented epithelium and the photoreceptors of the eye, using a bioengineering approach.




Tahani Waheeb Graduate Student (2012-Present)

Retinal Stem Cells

Project Description: Retinal stem cell therapy and the steps

toward success.



Mandy Yee Masters Student (2015-Present)



Project Description: neurobiological substrates of the rewarding effects of caffeine.





Glenn Wolfe Graduate Student (2011-Present)

Learning and Memory

Project Description: Unravelling the genetic mechanisms of learning and memory by characterizing a learning deficient C. elegans mutation.




Samantha Yammine Graduate Student (2012-Present)
Samantha Yammine

Neural Stem Cells

Project Description: Regulation of pluripotency and self-renewal of primitive and definitive neural stem cells in the developing mammalian brain.


lab support

Brenda Coles-Takabe Lab Manager & Technican


Please contact for all techinical lab querieies

Contact: 416-978-4539


Fax: 416-978-2666



Monica Flak Administrative & Program Coordinator

Please contact for any lab querieies

Contact: 416-978-0553


Fax: 416-978-2666


past students...

Margot Arntfield, PhD.  

Pancreatic Stem Cells





Irina Brokhman, PhD.  

Pancreatic Stem Cells

Project Description: Dual embryonic origin of

the mammalian enteric nervous system.



Mary Rose Bufalino  
Mary Rose


Asymetrical Division

Project Description: The asymmetric segregation of damaged proteins during cell division and its influence on stem cell aging and cancer cell differentiation.




Laura Clarke-Donaldson, MDPhD.  


Retinal and Neural Stem Cells

Project Description: Investigated the properties of progenitor cells found in the adult mammalian subependymal zone and dentate gyrus of the brain as well as the pigmented ciliary epithelium of the eye using a combination of in vitro clonal assays and transplant models



Brian DeVeale, PhD.  


Cell Lineage and Brain Development

Project Description: Lineage specification of pluripotent populations in murine development.



Rachel Leeder  
Rachel Leeder



Retinal Stem Cells

Project Description: The role of Oct4- expressing primitive neural stem cells in the neural stem cell lineage.



Rozita Razavi, PhD.  
Rozita Razavi

Pancreatic Stem Cells




Ryan Ting-A-Kee  



Motivation Group

Project Description: Studies the brain regions important for caffeine, opiate, and ethanol reward.



Hector Vargas-Perez, PhD.  

Neurobiology of Motivation



Jie Xu, PhD.  

Pancreatic Stem Cells


by air and land

Fly into Toronto Pearson Airport (YYZ). If you take a cab, expect to pay $60-$70, depending on traffic. We are located downtown on the U of T campus.



Derek van der Kooy

**photo credit: Simon Smukler - depicted are differentiated cell progeny derived from a single pancreas-derived precursor cell. The green colour represents labeling of insulin (pancreatic beta cells) and the red colour represents labeling of a neuron-specific marker. The blue colour shows the nuclei of all the cells present in the field. From Seaberg, et al, Nature Biotechnology, 2004 Sep;22(9):1115-24. **