Dr. Richard Keijzer
Dr. Keijzer was born and raised in The Netherlands. He did his clinical training (General Surgery and Pediatric Surgery) at ErasmusMC-Sophia in Rotterdam, The Netherlands and a fellowship in Pediatric Endoscopic Surgery at The Children’s Hospital of Alabama in Birmingham, Alabama. His research training consisted of MSc and Ph.D. degrees at the Departments of Pediatric Surgery and Cell Biology & Genetics of ErasmusMC in Rotterdam and the Department of Lung Biology Research in the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. After completion of his General Surgery training, he did a postdoctoral fellowship at the Department of Physiology & Experimental Medicine of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.
In 2010 he joined the Department of Surgery at the University of Manitoba and the Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba as a pediatric surgeon-scientist. His clinical interest concentrates on minimal invasive Pediatric General Surgery. He has established a research program in normal and abnormal lung development related to congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH). His ultimate research goal is to develop a prenatal therapeutic intervention to modulate the natural course of the abnormal lung development in CDH and improve the outcome of babies born with this anomaly.
Dr. Keijzer was awarded a Career Development Award from the Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Program in 2012 and was named the inaugural Dr. Paul H.T. Thorlakson Chair in Surgical Research and Director of Research for the Department of Surgery in July 2012. He also received a New Investigator Salary Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research/Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba/Manitoba Lung Association in 2013.
Shana has been passionate about biological sciences ever since she was a teenager, so in 2010 she choose to pursue an undergraduate degree with a major in Cellular and Molecular Biology. Throughout her undergraduate degree Shana began working in different laboratories to learn more practical skills. Finally, after about 2 years of working in molecular genetics, hematology, biochemistry, microbiology and immunology laboratories and getting an A in her bachelor program, she was confident that she was ready to start her work as a researcher at the Cancer Institute of Iran by focusing on molecular pathways of programmed cell death and epigenetics in cancer biology.
In 2016, she started her Master’s of Physiology and Pathophysiology at the University of Manitoba. Shana believes that combining molecular vison while considering clinical aspects will help her to reach her goal of preventing life threatening diseases. Shana’s molecular background in addition to her physiological knowledge help her in completing her Master’s project in the miRacla Lab, which is identifying miR-200b targets in normal and abnormal lung development.
Dustin joined the miRacla lab in August 2015, before entering his final year at the University of Winnipeg and beginning work on his Honours Project. The goal was to study the differential expression of proteins between wildtype and miR-200b knockout mouse lungs, particularly those involved in epithelial-to-mesencyhmal transition (EMT).
Since then, he has been investigating the mechanisms behind pulmonary miR-200b downregulation in fetal rats that have nitrofen-induced diaphragmatic hernias. The idea is that production of mature miR-200b is disrupted during its biogenesis, and the hope is to link any findings to dysregulation of miR-200b in human congenital diaphragmatic hernia.
In his spare time, Dustin does rock climbing and skate skiing, but mostly eats.
Chelsea is a Biology student at the University of Manitoba who is doing her honours in cellular, molecular and developmental biology. In her free time she enjoys ringette, rock climbing, baking and spending time with family and friends. During her not so free time you can often find her in dingy libraries reading way to many scientific papers. This is her second summer working in the miRacla Lab, and she is currently looking at protein expression in the lungs of 200b knock out mouse.
Landon graduated in 2018 from the University of Manitoba, receiving a BSc. with honours in Psychology. She is currently working on her Masters in the miRacla lab. Previously, she has looked at protein expression in the mouse miR-200b knock out lung using immunohistochemistry and immunofluoresence as well as RT-qPCR. She has performed lung morphometry analysis to evaluate the effectiveness of a potential prenatal therapy for babies born with CDH. Last year, she looked at the expression of Yes-Associated Protein in the lung as well as its role in lung development. She is currently looking at the role of of different receptors in the Nitrofen pathway in our rat model of CDH.
In her free time, Landon enjoys playing hockey, spending time with friends and family and going to the cabin. When she isn't working, she is a tutor for children with autism as well as a volunteer swimming instructor for children with disabilities.
Dr. Andrew (Wai Hei) Tse obtained his Bachelors of Medical Science (Honours) and Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario in the field of Medical Biophysics. Trained under the guidance of Dr. Jin Zhang in biomedical and chemical engineering, Andrew honed his research focus on the design, modification, and application of nanoparticles for clinical practice. He aspires to apply a theranostic approach, a combination of diagnostics and therapeutics, using nanoparticles to act as a therapeutic chauffeur for clinical application. For his endeavours and contributions he was awarded an NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship (Doctoral) and Western's Doctoral Excellence Research Award (DERA).
In 2017, he joined the miRacla Lab as a postdoctoral fellow. He is currently investigating potential methods of drug delivery to administer microRNAs (miR), in particular, miR-200b as a potential therapeutic option using nanoparticles to rescue abnormal fetal lung development in CDH. The objective is to deliver a nanoparticle construct laden with miR-200b via transplacental transmission to selectively target and rescue lung hypoplasia while minimizing maternal exposure.
Furthermore, Andrew is currently exploring prospective proponents of CDH in the established nitrofen model. In particular, he is interested in the environmental triggers affecting the pathogenesis of CDH and their relationship with the onset of lung hypoplasia.
Richard joined the miRacla Lab as a Research Fellow in January 2018. He studied Medicine in Germany (Leipzig), Australia (Sydney and Perth) and Colombia (Medellin) and graduated in 2016 from Medical School. In 2017 he started his training in Paediatric Surgery in Leipzig at the University Hospital. After his Fellowship, he plans to return to Leipzig and continue his training and research in cooperation with the miRacla lab.
His project in Dr. Keijzer's Lab is focused on improving the diagnosis of CDH babies prenatally and continuing the investigation of CDH lungs using novel large scale analysis methods.
In his free time he enjoys reading, making music, surfing and spending time with friends and family.