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April 16, 2010

CiRA appoints a new Canadian principal investigator

Dr. Knut Woltjen joined CiRA on April 16, 2010, as a principal investigator at the Department of Reprogramming Science, bringing the number of CiRA's PIs to 18.

Dr. Woltjen graduated from the University of Alberta, Canada, with a degree in Molecular Genetics, and in 2006 obtained his Ph.D. in mouse genetics and gene targeting technologies under the co-supervision of Dr. Derrick Rancourt at the University of Calgary, Canada, and Dr. Teruhisa Tsuzuki at Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan. As a Post-Doctoral Fellow he joined the laboratory of Dr. Andras Nagy on Toronto, and early in 2009, spearheaded work with Dr. Nagy on a novel transposon-based method for iPS cell production. During his last year in Toronto, Dr. Woltjen also operated as Manager of the Ontario Human iPS Cell Facility.

Dr. Woltjen's research focuses on genetic engineering and its application to mouse and human iPS cell production methodology. He currently utilizes inducible mouse models of reprogramming to decipher the molecular events underpinning iPS cell derivation. At CiRA, Dr. Woltjen will direct his research toward novel applications of transposon transgenesis in generating in vitro disease models and investigating cellular modifications during the reprogramming process that may be harnessed to enhance somatic cell reprogramming.

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