Epigenetic therapies are now being used to treat some types of cancer

“We all have a unique genome and epigenome.  In simple terms, our epigenome directs our genome…tells it what to do,” explains Dr. Benjamin Neel, Research Director for the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.  “Unfortunately, mutations or changes in our genome that give rise to cancer cannot be reversed or fixed.  However, it has been shown in the laboratory that some changes in our epigenome that lead to cancer can be reversed.”
For several years now, it has been a high priority of Dr. Neel to build a strong team to exploit our understanding of the workings of the epigenome to prevent and treat cancer.  He is very pleased that his team now has three strong leaders in this area.

Dr. Daniel De Carvalho completed his postdoctoral training in cancer epigenetics at the Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Southern California. He completed his undergraduate and Ph.D training in Brazil. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) named his work in cancer epigenetics as one of the top 20 major advances in cancer research in 2012 in its Annual Report on Progress Against Cancer.


Dr. Housheng He recently joined our team after completing postdoctoral training in cancer genomics and epigenomics at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and working as an instructor at Harvard Medical School. He completed his undergraduate and Ph.D training in China.  As a young investigator, he has already led seminal work in the field of epigenetics, including 22 peer-reviewed publications in high-impact journals.


Dr. Mathieu Lupien completed postdoctoral training in medical oncology in 2008 at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and was then recruited as a faculty member at Dartmouth Medical School where he became Director of the Quantitative Epigenomics Laboratory.  Dr. Lupien was recruited to Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in 2012 and is a recipient of the Young Investigator Award from the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research.