Laurie Ailles


A tumour is a mass of cells that grows uncontrollably and eventually spreads throughout the body. A small subset of cells in the tumour, called cancer stem cells, is responsible for tumor growth. The cancer stem cells act as a “seed”, so that even though they are vastly outnumbered by other cells within the tumour, they are the cells that initiate and maintain the disease. They are also resistant to standard therapies, and thus allow old tumours that have already been treated to return.

By identifying markers to differentiate cancer stem cells from other cells in the human body, Dr. Ailles' lab hopes to develop a greater understanding of how cancer stem cells work. With this understanding researchers will be able to eliminate cancer stem cells and create new therapies that can stop the development of tumours before they become fatal.

Dr. Ailles’ lab will focus primarily on the characterization of cancer stem cells from head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and ovarian cancer.

Contact Information

Dr. Laurie Ailles

Telephone: 416-581-7868


2008 - OICR Investigator II, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR).
2008 - Scientist, Division of Stem Cell and Developmental Biology, Ontario Cancer Institute.
2007 - 2008Senior Research Scientist, Stanford University.
2005 - 2007Research Associate, Stanford University.
2005Postdoctoral fellow, Pathology, Stanford University.
2001Postdoctoral fellow, Gene Therapy, Institute for Cancer Research, Candiolo, Italy.
1999PhD, Genetics, University of British Columbia.

Research Output