Sheila Singh

Medical Review Panel

Senior Canada Research Chair in Human Cancer Stem Cell Biology

Pediatric Neurosurgeon, McMaster Children’s Hospital

Division Head, Neurosurgery, Hamilton Health Sciences

Professor of Surgery, and Biochemistry & Biomedical Sciences; Director, Centre for Discovery in Cancer Research; Chair, McMaster College of Health Inventors

McMaster University

Hamilton, ON, Canada

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Dr. Sheila Singh is a professor of surgery and biochemistry, chief pediatric neurosurgeon at McMaster Children’s Hospital, Division Head of Neurosurgery at Hamilton Health Sciences, and inaugural director of the new Cancer Research Centre at McMaster University. She holds a Tier 1/ Senior Canada Research Chair in Human Brain Cancer Stem Cell Biology, and is the founding Director of the McMaster Surgeon Scientist Program.

Her PhD thesis described the novel identification of a population of cancer stem cells that exclusively drive the formation of brain tumours. Since 2007, Dr. Singh’s lab applies a developmental neurobiology framework to the study of brain tumorigenesis. Building upon previous cell culture techniques developed for the isolation of normal neural stem cells (NSC) and applying them to brain tumours, and through development of a xenograft model to efficiently study brain tumour initiating cell (BTIC) activity, Dr.  Singh’s lab aims to understand the molecular mechanisms that govern BTIC self- renewal.

Dr. Singh is currently studying the regulation of BTIC signaling pathways in glioblastoma, brain metastases and childhood medulloblastoma, with an ultimate goal of selectively targeting the BTIC with appropriately tailored drug and molecular therapies. Her laboratory is funded by CCSRI, CIHR, TFRI, CRS, the Stem Cell Network, McMaster Surgical Associates, Brain Canada and the Boris Family Fund.

She is scientific founder and prior CEO of a start-up company, Empirica Therapeutics, a brain cancer therapeutics company that is seeking new, data-driven and polytherapeutic treatment options for patients with Glioblastoma and brain metastases. Empirica was acquired by Century Therapeutics Inc (Philadelphia) in June 2020, resulting in the creation of a Canadian subsidiary, Century Canada, based in the McMaster Innovation Park in Hamilton.