The mission of the Terry Fox Laboratory is to make novel discoveries in the biology underlying normal development and cancer initiation/progression. The group has longstanding expertise in mammalian systems with focus on normal hematopoiesis/leukemia/lymphoma, normal and malignant mammary tissues, and lineage specification in the gut, but also more recently acquired expertise in yeast genetics. Experimental approaches include genetically engineered mouse models, patient xenograft models, in vitro cell based assays, molecular biology/biochemistry, DNA regulation, transcriptomics, epigenetics, and DNA repair.

The faculty of the Terry Fox Laboratory comprise a group of experts with diverse backgrounds in biology and medicine and internationally recognized leadership in normal and leukemic stem cell investigations, innate and acquired immunity, embryo and tissue development, telomere biology and aging, signalling, genomics, live cell banking, cell separation, imaging and molecular analysis, and bioinformatics and data management. Strategies span a full range of studies from the investigation of model organisms to experiments with patient’s cells and the initiation and laboratory support of clinical trials.

The Terry Fox Laboratory was created in 1981 as a joint undertaking between the British Columbia Cancer Agency, the B.C. Cancer Foundation, the University of British Columbia and the National Cancer Institute of Canada. It now occupies approximately 44,000 square feet of modern laboratories and offices in the BC Cancer Research Centre opened in 2005, and accommodates a staff of over 150 individuals with more than 75 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. The Terry Fox Laboratory has many interactions with other research groups in Vancouver, across Canada and internationally, and enjoys a particularly unique relationship with the Leukemia/Stem Cell Transplant Program of British Columbia as well as a number of other clinical staff of the British Columbia Cancer Agency and the Vancouver Hospital and Health Sciences Centre. This makes possible ready access to an enormous variety of human material on a daily basis for fundamental experimentation and investigation, and provides novel opportunities for the rapid exchange of ideas between bench and bedside activities. The Terry Fox Laboratory has also spun off a number of successful companies and continues to generate novel intellectual property through patents and commercialization opportunities.

All Terry Fox Laboratory faculty have cross-appointments in various Departments of the University of British Columbia and have built an international reputation for standards of excellence in research and training. Previous trainees now hold appointments at the Universities in Montreal, Toronto, British Columbia, Washington, Los Angeles, Stanford, New York, Paris, Cambridge, Heidelberg, Tubingen, Hamburg, Munich, Glasgow, Adelaide, Brisbane, and others, as well as the Mayo Clinic, Montreal Institut de Recherches en Immunologie et Cancer, Genzyme, AMGEN and StemCell Technologies. This reflects a tradition of selecting superior students who are, themselves, equally committed to the pursuit of a career of scientific discovery and contribution to advances in patient care and the commercialization of new reagents and devices.