Dr. Kristin Hope

Investigator II

Dr. Kristin Hope is focused on dissecting the molecular regulation of normal and malignant hematopoietic stem cell self-renewal. She aims to identify the underlying processes that lead to the transformation of healthy cells into leukemic cells and contribute to the progression of the disease.

Maintenance of a healthy blood system is dependent on a strict balance between the capacity of the hematopoietic stem cell pool to differentiate and its ability to renew itself. In contrast, to drive leukemic growth, leukemic stem cells are thought to function by exploiting this normally exquisitely regulated self-renewal machinery. Dr. Hope’s work focuses on understanding the molecular control of stemness at the level of RNA processing and regulation where RNA binding proteins play an integral role. In particular her research is exploring the premise that RNA binding protein-driven post-transcriptional control is a critical mode by which self-renewal and transformation are regulated in hematopoiesis. With this work, Dr. Hope and her team aim to identify novel stem cell regulators that could inform the design of enhanced hematopoietic stem cell-based regenerative therapies on one hand and leukemic stem cell-targeted anti-leukemic therapies on the other.

Current affiliations

  • Investigator II, OICR;
  • Assistant Professor, Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton;
  • Principal Investigator, McMaster Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute.

Research interests

  • RNA binding proteins;
  • Stem cell function;
  • Proteomics;
  • CLIP-seq.

Select publications

Belew MB, Bhatia S, Keyvani Chahi A, Rentas S, Draper JS, Hope KJ.
PLAG1 and USF2 Co-regulate Expression of Musashi-2 in Human Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells.
Stem Cell Reports. 2018;10(4):1384-1397.

Rentas S, Holzapfel N, Belew M, Pratt G, Voisin V, Bader G, Wilhelm B, Yeo G, Hope KJ.
Musashi-2 attenuates AHR signalling to expand human haematopoietic stem cells.
Nature. 2016;532(7600):508-511.

Hereault O*, Hope KJ*, Deneault E, Mayotte N, Chagraoui J, Whilhelm BT, Cellot S, Sauvageau M, Andrade-Navarro MA, and Sauvageau G*. (2012).
A role for GPx3 in activity of normal and leukemia stem cells. 
J Exp Med. 2012;209(5):895-901.

Hope K*, Bhatia M*.
Clonal interrogation of stem cells.
Nat Methods. 2011;8(4 Suppl):S36-40.

Hope KJ, Cellot S, Ting S, MacRae T, Mayotte N, Iscove NN, Sauvageau G.
An RNAi screen identifies Msi2 and Prox1 as having opposite roles in the regulation of hematopoietic stem cell activity.
Cell Stem Cell. 2010;7(1):101-13.

Jin L*, Hope KJ*, Zhai Q, Smadja-joffe F, Dick JE.
Targeting of CD44 eradicates human acute myeloid leukemia stem cells due to abrogation of stem cell trafficking and induction of differentiation.
Nature Med. 2006;12(10):1167-1174.

*Authors made equal contribution.

See Dr. Hope’s recent publications on PubMed.


  • Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, Early Researcher Award;
  • Cole Foundation, Postdoctoral Fellowship;
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Post-doctoral Research Fellowship;
  • Canadian Cancer Trials Group (formerly National Cancer Institute of Canada), Post PhD Research Fellowship (Declined);
  • Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé, Post-doctoral Training Award (Declined);
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Doctoral Research Fellowship.

Previous experience and education

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Laboratory of Dr. Guy Sauvageau, Université de Montréal;
  • PhD, Molecular and Medical Genetics, University of Toronto;
  • PhD Graduate Student, Laboratory of Dr. John Dick, University of Toronto.

Opportunities to collaborate

The Hope Lab is always looking to explore fruitful new avenues to understanding stem cell function through novel collaborations. The lab offers expertise in wide a range of methodologies and approaches, including primary human cell culture, lentivirus infection, xenotransplantation, multiparameter high throughput flow cytometry and CLIP-seq.

Visit OICR’s Collaborative Research Resources directory for more opportunities to collaborate with OICR researchers.

Related links


Dr. Kristin Hope