Ellis Lab group photo - October 2017

Ellis Lab 2017.


Our lab has been fortunate in attracting and retaining highly qualified individuals from around the world with diverse research backgrounds.


The success of our lab, in large part, can be attributed to the hard work of our past and present lab members!

Dr. James Ellis

Dr. James Ellis

Senior Scientist

Senior Scientist | SickKids Research Institute

Research Integrity Advisor | SickKids Research Institute

Professor | Department of Molecular Genetics

Victoria in beautiful British Columbia

Previously: James completed his B.Sc. at McGill University in Montreal and his PhD at the University of Toronto with Dr. Alan Bernstein developing retrovirus vectors for gene targeting. His postdoctoral fellowship, studying the beta-globin locus control region, was mentored by Dr. Frank Grosveld in London UK.

Currently: He established his research team at SickKids in 1994 with a focus on blood gene therapy for sickle cell anaemia that evolved into research on retrovirus silencing and using iPS cells to model disease.

In addition: Always keen on wine tasting and mountain biking.


Current CV

Current Members

The Ellis Lab is expanding in 2023 again after lab members completed their projects over the pandemic. Since 2020 we have graduated 4 MSc and 2 PhD students, and 2 Research Associates and 1 Technician moved to new opportunities in the US (see alumni page). New lab members coming soon!

Peter Pasceri - Lab Manager

Peter Pasceri

Lab Manager

Lab Manager / Research Technician


Previously: Peter Pasceri got his B.Sc. in Zoology from the University of Toronto.

Currently: He is the backbone of our lab and can usually be overheard complaining about how he hates to run.

In addition: Peter still finds time for cycling and making wine. He is also a master craftsman of gag gifts and homemade lab equipment.

Scientific contributions
Fraser McCready - Graduate Student

Fraser McCready

Graduate Student

Graduate Student


From: Mississauga

Previously: Fraser McCready completed his undergraduate studies in Molecular Biology and Genetics at the University of Guelph. His undergraduate thesis investigated how RNA binding proteins and the process of asymmetric RNA localization contributes to cell fate decisions in the developing cortex.

Currently: Fraser is using patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells to investigate the molecular mechanisms of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). In particular, he is interested in how mutations in postsynaptic SHANK proteins can have genome-wide effects on translational regulation, and alter the connectivity and overall function of neural networks in ASD.

In addition: Fraser has an interest in amateur motorsports and enjoys repairing, modifying, and occasionally breaking old cars in his spare time.

Wei Wei - Lab Technician

Wei Wei

Lab Technician

Lab Technician


Previously: Wei Wei obtained her B.Sc. at McMaster University and M.Sc. at the University of Toronto. Her Master’s thesis involved the identification of cellular components that interact with the Shiga-like Toxin 1 A1 Chain in order to discover potential therapeutic targets that block SLT-1 action inside cells.

Currently: Her main goal in the Ellis lab is to assist the trainees in establishing a differentiation protocol for the neuronal production platform in order to conduct functional studies for various neurological disorders.

In addition: Outside of work, she enjoys expanding her social horizons and meeting new friends. She takes great pleasure in trying different types of food from various cultures.

Guoliang Meng - Lab Technician

Guoliang Meng

Lab Technician

Lab Technician


From: China / Calgary, Alberta

Previously: Guoliang received his M.Sc and Ph.D. in Genetics and Cell Biology from Peking University, China. Since 1990, he began to work on developing and characterizing mouse ESC lines, RNA interference in different ES cell lines, and further expanded his work to include rabbit, bovine, porcine and human ES cell line derivations. He joined the Rancourt lab (the University of Calgary) in 2003 first as a postdoctoral fellow, then a research associate. His main research focused on derivation, characterization and differentiation PSCs; large-scale expansion of PSCs in stirred bioreactors; xeno-free culture and cryopreservation of hPSCs; CRISPR/Cas9 editing in hPSCs; cardiomyocyte differentiation from hPSCs; derivation/conversion of naïve hPSCs and much more.

Currently: He is working as a lab technician in the Ellis lab to maintain human patient iPSC lines and edit them with CRISPRs, as well as differentiate them into cardiomyocytes.

In addition: In his spare time, he enjoys collecting coins across the world and playing games with his little son.