McMaster University

McMaster University

Jon Draper

, PhD

Associate Professor (Part-Time)
Pathology and Molecular Medicine

Jon Draper

Faculty Biography

Education and Professional Standing

PhD Cell and Developmental Biology, Sheffield University (UK) 2003 


Research Focus

Dr. Draper’s research program is concerned with the genetic mechanisms that govern lineage determination within human ES cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. He has recently highlighted functional differences between mouse and human ES cell ability to respond to signaling initiated by ectopic expression of the homeobox transcription factor Cdx2. Dr. Draper was also involved in the generation of endoderm progenitors from human ES cells by constitutive expression of Sox transcription factors.

His research at McMaster will seek to expand our understanding of the mechanisms that guide the differentiation of human ES and iPS cells along discrete lineages into tissue that are relevant to clinical therapies and drug discovery. He will do this by addressing these research aims:

1. Investigate the sufficiency of key transcription factors to alter fate in human ES and iPS cells.

Dr Draper will capitalize on his previous investigation of transcription factor over expression in human ES cells to assay the sufficiency of a set of candidate gene that have met stringent lineage determining criteria using inducible and reversible gene expression technologies. Particular attention will be paid to genes capable of influencing differentiation toward an endoderm fate.

2. Characterize distinct subsets of differentiating lineage progenitors.

Currently little is understood about the genetic profile of most lineages that differentiate from human ES cells. Reporter systems utilizing fluorescent proteins under the control of endogenous gene promoters offer the opportunity to map and track specific cell types. Dr Draper is generating such reporters in human ES cells linked to lineage specific genes that will enable a more thorough understanding of the properties of a range of precursor cell types. These reporter cell lines will also facilitating purification of these marked cells from within a background of non-specific differentiation.

Academic Interests

Dr. Draper is involved in the Undergraduate Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences Program and also teaches Graduate level biochemistry.

Team Members

Post-Doctoral Fellows: Carlos Pilquil, Maria Ledran

Graduate Students: Ashley Calder

Draper team members

Selected Publications

  • Hotta A, Cheung AY, Farra N, Vijayaragavan K, Séguin Ca, Draper JS, Pasceri P, Maksakova IA, Mager DL, Rossant J, Bhatia M, Ellis J. (2009). Isolation of human iPS cells using EOS lentiviral vectors to select for pluripotency.  Nat Methods, 6(5), 370-376.
  • Séguin CA, Draper JS, Nagy A, Rossant J. (2008). Establishment of endoderm progenitors by SOX transcription factor expression in human embryonic stem cells. Cell Stem Cell, 3(2): 182-95.
  • International Stem Cell Initiative (included author) (2007). Characterization of human embryonic stem cell lines by the International Stem Cell Initiative. Nat Biotechnol. 2007 Jul;25(7):803-16
  • Liew, CG, Draper JS, Walsh J, and Andrews PW. (2007) Transient and stable transgene expression in human embryonic stem cells. Stem Cells. 25(6):1521-8
  • Harun R, Ruban LN, Matin MM, Draper JS, Jenkins NM, Liew GC, Andrews PW, Li TC, Laird SM, Moore HD. (2006). Cytotrophoblast stem cell lines derived from human embryonic stem cells and their capacity to mimic invasive implantation events. Human Reprod, 21(6), 1349–1358.
  • Andrews PW, Matin MM, Bahrami AR, Damjanov I, Gokhale P, Draper JS. (2005). Embryonic stem (ES) cells and embryonal carcinoma (EC) cells: opposite side of the same coin. Biochem Soc Trans. 33 (Pt 6):1526-30
  • Enver T, Soneji S, Joshi C, Brown J, Iborra F, Orntoft T, Thykjaer T, Maltby E, Smith K, Dawud RA, Jones M, Matin M, Gokhale P, Draper J, Andrews PW. (2005). Cellular differentiation hierarchies in normal and culture-adapted human embryonic stem cells. Hum Mol Genet. 14(21):3129-40.
  • Draper JS, Smith K, Gokhale O, Moore HD, Maltby E, Johnson J, Meisner L, Zwaka TP, Thomson JA, Andrews PW. (2004). Recurrent gain of chromosomes 17q and 12 in cultured human embryonic stem cells. Nat Biotechnol. 22(1):53-4.
  • Draper JS, Moore HD, Ruban LN, Gokhale PJ, Andrews PW. (2004). Culture and characterization of human embryonic stem cells. Stem Cells Dev. 13(4):325-36
  • Matin MM, Walsh JR, Gokhale PJ, Draper JS, Bahramie, AH, Morton I, Moore HD, Andrews PW. RNA interference mediated knock-down of Oct4 expression induces differentiation of human EC and ES cells. Stem Cells. 2004;22(5):659-68.
  • Sperger JM, Chen X, Draper JS, Antosiewicz JE, Chon C, Jones S, Brooks JD, Andrews PW, Brown PO, and Thomson JA. (2003). Shared patterns of gene expression between human embryonic stem cells and human pluripotent germ cell tumours. P.N.A.S. 100(23):13350-5
  • Draper JS, Pigott C, Thomson HA and Andrews PW. (2002) Surface antigens of human embryonic stem cells: changes upon differentiation in culture. J Anat 200, 249-58.
  • Henderson JK*, Draper JS*, Baillie HS, Fishel S, Thomson JA, Moore H and Andrews PW. (2002). Preimplantation human embryos and embryonic stem cells show comparable expression of stage-specific embryonic antigens. Stem Cells 20, 329-37. *JKH and JSD contributed equally to this work.
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