Dr. Sheila Singh is an associate professor of surgery and biochemistry, a pediatric neurosurgeon at McMaster Children’s Hospital, and scientist appointed to the Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute at McMaster University. She holds a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Human Cancer Stem Cell Biology, and is Director of the McMaster Surgeon Scientist Program. Her PhD thesis described the novel identification of a population of cancer stem cells that exclusively drive the formation of brain tumours.
Since 2007, Dr. Singh's lab applies a developmental neurobiology framework to the study of brain tumorigenesis. Building upon previous cell culture techniques developed for the isolation of normal neural stem cells (NSC) and applying them to brain tumours, and through development of a xenograft model to efficiently study brain tumour initiating cell (BTIC) activity, Dr. Singh's lab aims to understand the molecular mechanisms that govern BTIC self-renewal. Dr. Singh is currently studying the regulation of BTIC signaling pathways in glioblastoma, brain metastases and childhood medulloblastoma, with an ultimate goal of selectively targeting the BTIC with appropriately tailored drug and molecular therapies. Her laboratory is funded by CCSRI, CIHR, TFRI, CRS, the Stem Cell Network, McMaster Surgical Associates, Brain Canada and the Boris Family Fund.