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Michael Rudnicki

Canadian Stem Cell Network.
Scientific Director

Dr. Michael Rudnicki is a Senior Scientist and the Director of the Regenerative Medicine Program and the Sprott Centre for Stem Cell Research at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. He is a Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Ottawa. Dr. Rudnicki is the Scientific Director of the Canadian Stem Cell Network.

Dr. Rudnicki received his Ph.D. at the University of Ottawa in 1988 with Dr. Michael McBurney where he examined the control of gene expression during embryonal carcinoma cell differentiation. Dr. Rudnicki trained at the post-doctoral level at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Whitehead Institute with Dr. Rudolf Jaenisch. His post-doctoral studies involved the genetic dissection of the function of the MyoD-family of transcription factors by gene targeting. Dr. Rudnicki was appointed Assistant Professor at McMaster University in 1992. He moved to Ottawa In 2000 to join the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute.

Dr. Rudnicki is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and he holds the Canada Research Chair in Molecular Genetics. He is an Associate Editor of Cell Stem Cell and the Journal of Cell Biology, and is Co-Editor in Chief of Skeletal Muscle. He has organized international research conferences as one of the founding directors of the Society for Muscle Biology. 

Dr. Rudnicki's laboratory works to understand the molecular mechanisms that regulate the determination, proliferation, and differentiation of stem cells during embryonic development and during tissue regeneration. The lab has conducted leading studies into both embryonic myogenesis and the function of muscle stem cells (satellite cells) in adult regenerative myogenesis. In particular, they have worked extensively to understand the molecular mechanisms that regulate the function of satellite cells in skeletal muscle. Towards this end, the lab employs molecular genetic and genomic approaches to determine the function and roles played by regulatory factors. They identified Pax7 as a transcription factor required for the specification of satellite cells, and identified Wnt7a signaling as playing an important role in muscle stem cell function. Research has led to the publication of over 200 peer reviewed articles in scientific journals that include Cell, Nature, Nature Medicine, Nature Cell Biology, Cell Stem Cell and Genes & Development.