McMaster University

McMaster University

Gonzalo Hortelano

, PhD

Associate Professor (Part-Time)
Pathology and Molecular Medicine

Division: Molecular Medicine

School of Biomedical Engineering

McMaster University
4N75 Health Sciences Centre
905-525-9140 ext. 22373

Gonzalo Hortelano

Faculty Biography

Education and Professional Standing

  • PhD, Molecular Genetics, University of Wollongong (Australia), 1991
  • MSc, Bacterial Genetics, University of Witwatersrand (South Africa), 1986


Research Focus

My laboratory is actively involved in the development of novel approaches to cellular and gene therapy. One of our strategies is to engineer cells such as stem cells or myoblasts to secrete the desired therapeutic product. Subsequently, the recombinant cells are enclosed in biocompatible hydrogel microcapsules that can be implanted into mice. The encapsulated cells thus provide a continuous delivery of the therapeutic product in the host. In addition, the microcapsules offers the enclosed cells protection from immune rejection. In addition, my laboratory is developing novel approaches to gene therapy based on the oral delivery of DNA. In order to protect plasmids from degradation in the gastrointestinal tract, DNA is formulated with polymers to form nanoparticles that can be taken up by intestinal cells, leading to therapeutic production. We have colonies of hemophilia A and B mice that are used to evaluate new therapeutic strategies.

Academic Interests

Dr. Hortelano is also actively involved in teaching or supervising projects at McMaster University for the following programs:


  • Cell Biology 2K03 (Bachelor of Health Sciences)
  • 4th Year Senior Thesis Biology BIO 4C09 / 4GG9 (Supervisor)


  • Gene therapy MS703 (coordinator/instructor)
  • Gene therapy for Bioengineers BME704 (coordinator/instructor)
  • Introduction to Bioengineering BME 701 (Instructor of Biology Section)
  • Human Molecular Biology MS749 (teach one session in Dr. Waye’s course)
  • Research Seminar in Molecular Biology Techniques
  • Graduate supervisor Medical Sciences & Biomedical Engineering (5 students)

Selected Publications

  • Hortelano, G., A. Al-Hendy, F.A. Ofosu, and P.L. Chang. 1996. Delivery of human factor IX in mice by microencapsulated recombinant myoblasts: A novel approach towards allogeneic gene therapy of hemophilia B. Blood 87(12):5095-5103.
  • Chang PL, Van Raamsdonk JM, Hortelano G, Barsoum SC, MacDonald NC, Stockley TL. (1999) The in vivo delivery of heterologous proteins by microencapsulated recombinant cells. Trends in Biotechnology 17(2):78-83.
  • Hortelano G, Xu N, Vandenberg A, Solera J, Chang PL, Ofosu FA. (1999) Persistent delivery of factor IX in mice: Gene therapy for hemophilia B using implantable microcapsules. Hum Gene Ther 10(8):1281-1288.
  • Springer ML, Hortelano G, Bouley D, Kraft PE, Wong J, Blau HM. (2000) Induction of angiogenesis by implantation of encapsulated primary myoblasts expressing vascular endothelial growth factor. J Gene Medicine 2(4):279-288.
  • García-Martín C, Chuah MKL, van Damme A, Robinson KE, Vanzieleghem B, Saint-Remy JM, Gallardo D, Ofosu FA, VandenDriessche T, Hortelano G. (2001) Therapeutic levels of human factor VIII in mice implanted with encapsulated recombinant myoblasts: potential for gene therapy of hemophilia A. Journal of Gene Medicine 4:215-223.
  • Hortelano G, Wang L, Xu N, Ofosu FA. (2001) Sustained and therapeutic delivery of human factor IX in nude hemophilia B mice implanted by encapsulated C2C12 myoblasts: concurrent tumorigenesis. Haemophilia 7(2):207-213.
  • Orive G, Hernandez RM, Gascon AR, Calafiore R, Chang TM, Vos PD, Hortelano G, Hunkeler D, Lacik I, Shapiro AM, Pedraz JL. 2003. Cell encapsulation: Promise and progress. Nature Medicine 9(1):104-107.
  • Orive G., Hernández, R.M., Gascón, A.R., Calafiore, R., Chang, T.M.S., De Vos, P.,Hortelano, G., Hunkeler, D., Lacik, I., Pedraz, J.L. 2003. History, challenges and perspectives of cell microencapsulation. Trends in Biotechnology, 22(2):87-92.
  • Gomez-Vargas A, Rosenthal KL, McDermott MR, Hortelano G. 2004. Continuous antigenic stimulation system (CASS) as a new immunization strategy. Vaccine, 22(29-30):3902-10.
  • Wen, J., Ofosu, F.A. and Hortelano, G. 2005. Encapsulated Primary Myoblasts Deliver Sustained and Therapeutic Levels of Human Factor IX to Hemophilic Mice. J Gene Medicine, 8(3):362-369.
  • Wen J, Xu N., Li A., Bourgeois J., Ofosu F.A., Hortelano, G. 2007. Encapsulated Human Primary Myoblasts Deliver Functional hFIX in Hemophilia Mice. J Gene Medicine 9(11):1002-10.
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