Affiliate Scientist, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto
Jean Wang is a Clinician Scientist and Staff Hematologist at the University Health Network in Toronto, and an Affiliate Scientist at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. Her research currently focuses on acute myeloid leukemia (AML), one of the most deadly types of leukemia and the most common type of acute leukemia in adults. Through the use of xenotransplantation models of AML, Dr. Wang studies the biology of the leukemia stem cells (LSC) that underlie therapy resistance and relapse, and evaluates the efficacy of novel anti-leukemia agents against LSCs, with parallel development of drug response biomarkers for patient stratification in clinical trials. Her group recently developed a robust 17-gene LSC signature (LSC17 score) that is strongly prognostic and predicts therapy response in newly-diagnosed AML patients. She is currently working with colleagues at Princess Margaret to develop a clinical LSC17 assay. This assay will be the first stem cell-based clinical tool and will enable more rational enrollment of high-risk patients in trials. Another major unmet need in AML is a lack of effective therapies against LSCs. Dr. Wang is currently using stemness-based approaches to understand mechanisms underlying drug resistance and identify new drugs with LSC activity.