Christine Bear is the Co-Director of the CF Centre at SickKids and is a Senior Scientist in the Molecular Medicine program at the SickKids Research Institute. She is also a Professor of Physiology with cross appointment to biochemistry and the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto. Bear’s laboratory has had a major interest in understanding the molecular basis for ion channel activity. She pursued postdoctoral training in patch clamp electrophysiology because of its power to provide insight into mechanisms underlying single ion channel activity. Her laboratory together with Dr. Jack Riordan, the co-discoverer of the CF gene, provided the first direct evidence that the CFTR protein functioned as a cyclic AMP regulated chloride channel. Currently, in collaboration with the stem cell and respiratory biology community in Toronto, her laboratory has been successful in developing methodology suitable for measuring channels in patient derived nasal epithelia and epithelia differentiated from iPS cells.
Felix Ratjen, MD, PhD, FRCP(C)
Dr. Felix Ratjen is the Co-Director of the CF Centre at SickKids, and is Medical Director of the Clinical Research Unit. He completed a majority of his medical education in Germany, along with a research fellowship at the Children’s Hospital in Boston. He was subsequently Deputy Chief of the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Essen, and was the chief executive of the scientific board of the German CF Foundation until coming to Canada in 2005. His CF research involves multiple clinical trials, including new therapeutic strategies to target the underlying defects, as well as in the treatment of airway infections within the CF Centre at SickKids, in collaboration with the adult centre at St. Michael’s Hospital, and internationally. Ratjen holds the H.E. Seller’s Chair in Cystic Fibrosis at SickKids. In addition, he is the Division Chief in Respiratory Medicine at SickKids, as well as Senior Scientist, Translational Medicine at the SickKids Research Institute, and a Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto.
Janet Rossant, PhD, FRS, FRSC
Dr. Janet Rossant is SickKids Emeritus Chief of Research and a Senior Scientist in the Developmental & Stem Cell Biology program. Her ground-breaking research with mouse embryos has advanced the understanding of the roles genes play in human embryo development and defined the embryonic process of establishing stem cells with the capacity to make all cell types in the body. Rossant is actively involved in the international developmental and stem cell biology communities and has contributed to the scientific and ethical discussion on public issues related to stem cell research. Rossant has been recognized for her contributions to science with many awards, including the Ross G. Harrison Medal (lifetime achievement award) from the International Society of Developmental Biologists, the Killam Prize for Health Sciences, the March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology, the Conklin Medal from the Society for Developmental Biology, and the CIHR Michael Smith Prize in Health Research. She is a Fellow of both the Royal Societies of London and Canada, and is a foreign associate of the US National Academy of Science.