Ongoing projects

  1. Discover and target molecular pathways that underlie hereditary cancers.

    About 1 in 100 people carry a pathogenic/likely pathogenic change in a cancer susceptibility gene. In childhood cancer survivors, these changes are 5 – 10 times more frequent. Therefore, we must discover the cellular functions normally supported by these genes. These discoveries will enable us to detect their disruption early and to develop treatments that capitalize on the sensitivities of hereditary cancer cells.
  2. Understand how cells grow and move in tissues and tumors.

    Cancers are complex diseases. But, cancer cells often possess an elevated rate of cell division and the ability to move to other sites in the body. To more completely understand cell division and cell migration, we study the functions of a small set of key genes using various model systems, including human tissues from both healthy and diseased individuals.
  3. Collaborate and develop prospective personalized medicine in childhood cancers.

    The Maxwell Lab collaborates with the BRAvE Initiative at BC Children’s Hospital, a personalized medicine workflow that identifies molecular targets, models disease relapse, and tests drugs initiating at cancer diagnosis. We also collaborate with national initiatives for personalized pediatric oncology, such as the C17 developmental therapeutics committee and the modeling node for PROFYLE.


The Maxwell Lab collaborates with leading research teams located around the world. Together, we work on research projects related to oriented cell division and hereditary cancers, HMMR and BRCA1 biology, and personalized pediatric oncology. The Maxwell Lab also works closely with the following research groups and partners:


Research in the Maxwell Lab is funded by grants from the BC Children’s Hospital, the Michael Cuccione Foundation, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Terry Fox Research Institute, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).