Dr. Peter Lansdorp (MD, PhD) was born and raised in the Netherlands. In 1985 he moved to the Terry Fox Laboratory at the BC Cancer Agency in Vancouver, where he worked on the purification and biology of human and murine blood forming stem cells. This work led him to studies of telomere biology for which his laboratory developed fluorescence in situ hybridization (Q-FISH) techniques. These techniques have become standard in the telomere field. In 2011 he became the first Scientific Director of the European Research Institute for the Biology of Ageing (ERIBA) at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. In 2016 he returned to the Terry Fox Laboratory in Vancouver to continue his work on development and applications of Strand-seq. Peter Lansdorp is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Academia Europaea.
Dr. Lansdorp's main research interest include stem cell biology, telomere biology and understanding genotype- phenotype relations in aging and cancer. For these studies we use our powerful single cell DNA template strand sequencing technique (Strand-seq) (Sanders, Nat Protoc, 2017). Strand-seq is used to study:
DNA Repair, by mapping the location of sister chromatid exchange events in cells with engineered defects in DNA repair that are challenged with specific and targeted genetic insults. The focus is on the iron-sulfur DNA helicases DOG-1 (aka FANCJ) and RTEL-1 that were cloned and characterized in our lab (Ding, Cell, 2004 & Cheung, Nat Genet, 2002) as well as the role of their substrates, guanine quadruplexes DNA structures, in the biology of normal and cancer cells.
Human Genetics, by generating haplotypes along entire chromosomes (Porubsky, Nat Commun, 2017) and by mapping polymorphic inversions (Sanders, Genome Res, 2016), two major challenges in current studies of human genetics. Strand-seq addresses both issues (Chaisson, Nat Commun, 2019) and is used to study poorly understood familial cancer susceptibility and, more generally, the human genetic variation in relation to different diseases.
(supported by >250 publication of which > 100 were cited > 100 times (google scholar h-index = 108)
- Developed B9, an IL-6-dependent cell line that is and has been instrumental in the IL-6 field.
- Discovered tetrameric antibody complexes, reagents that are key to the success of the Canadian biotech firm StemCell Technologies in Vancouver.
- Produced several widely used monoclonal antibodies for stem cell research (e.g. CD34, CD90).
- Developed serum-free culture medium and novel assays for hematopoietic stem cells.
- Discovered that self-renewal properties of stem cells are developmentally controlled.
- Discovered that blood-forming stem cells lose telomeric DNA with each division.
- Developed quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization (Q-FISH) techniques.
- Reported that telomerase KO mice lose around 5kb of telomeric DNA per generation.
- Described variation in telomere length at individual human chromosome ends.
- Reported that DOG-1, a specialized helicase, is required to maintain guanine-rich DNA in C.elegans.
- Cloned and described the function of RTEL1, a helicase required for telomere maintenance.
- Founded Repeat Diagnostics, a company that provides clinical telomere length results.
- Proposed the “silent sister” hypothesis.
- Discovered that sister chromatids can be distinguished by parental DNA template strands.
- Developed the single cell Strand-seq method.
- Generated the first comprehensive maps of polymorphic inversions in human genomes.
- Developed novel ways to establish haplotypes along entire chromosomes.
- First to map the genomic location of sister chromatid exchange events in Bloom syndrome.
- Professor, Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia (UBC)
- Affiliate Professor, Medicine, UBC
- Associate Member, Experimental Medicine, UBC
- Associate Member, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, UBC
- Associate Member, School of Biomedical Engineering, UBC
- Fellow, Royal Society of Canada
- Professor, Ageing Biology, Medicine, University of Groningen
- MD, Erasmus University Rotterdam, 1976
- PhD, Experimental Hematology, University of Amsterdam, 1985