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About Sickkids
About SickKids

Monica J. Justice, PhD

Research Institute
Head and Senior Scientist
Genetics & Genome Biology

University of Toronto
Molecular Genetics

Chair Positions
Canada Research Chair
Mammalian Molecular Genetics

Other Positions
Scientific Director
The Centre for Phenogenomics

Phone: 416-813-7654 ext. 309199
Fax: 416-813-4931
Email: monica.justice@sickkids.ca

For more information, visit:

Justice Lab

Brief Biography

Monica J. Justice, PhD, is the Head and a Senior Scientist in the Genetics & Genome Biology program at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, Ontario. She recently moved to this position from Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, where she was a Professor in the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics and Director of the Mouse Embryonic Stem Cell Core and the BaSH Consortium for the Production and Broad-based Phenotyping of Knockout Mice. Justice received her PhD from Kansas State University in mouse developmental genetics and was a postdoctoral fellow in the Mammalian Genetics Laboratory at the National Cancer Institute.

Research Interests

Justice is a pioneer in the field of mouse mutagenesis. Her research exploits that genes and whole chromosome regions are conserved between the mouse and human. Overall, her research aims to merge mouse modeling with clinical genetics to understand the basis for human diseases and to use mouse models to ameliorate disease states. Her internationally recognized program has produced hundreds of new mouse models of human disease, which have allowed for discoveries of gene functions in diverse areas such as cancer, reproduction, neurobiology, obesity and blood, heart and bone development. Her current work focuses on a genetic suppressor screen in a mouse model for Rett Syndrome (RTT) to identify pharmacologically targetable pathways for disease suppression.

External Funding

Justice's lab is funded by grants from the Rett Syndrome Research Trust and the National Institutes of Health R01 CA163849.


Justice is a Senior Editor of Disease Models and Mechanisms and Current Protocols in Mouse Biology. She is the recipient of several awards, including an American Cancer Society Junior Faculty Award, the Burroughs Wellcome Innovation Award in Functional Genomics and the Michael E. DeBakey Excellence in Research Award.


Buchovecky, CM, Turley, SC, Brown, HM, Kyle, SM, McDonald, JG, Liu, B, Pieper, A, Huang, W, Katz, D, Russell, DW, Shendure, J, and Justice, MJ  2013. A suppressor screen in Mecp2 mutant mice implicates cholesterol metabolism in Rett Syndrome, Nature Genetics 45(9): 1013-1020.  PMID:23892605  

Justice, MJ, Buchovecky, CM, Kyle, SM and Djukic, A   2013.  A role for metabolism in Rett Syndrome pathogenesis:  new clinical findings and potential treatment targets. Rare Diseases 1(1), Addendum.  DOI: 10.4161/rdis.27265.

Carofino, BL, Ayanga, B, and Justice, MJ  2013.  A mouse model for inducible overexpression of the pluripotency factor Prdm14 results in rapid-onset highly penetrant T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL), Disease Models and Mechanisms 6(6): 1494-1506.   

Simko, SJ, Voicu, H, Carofino, BL, and Justice, MJ 2012.  Mouse lymphoblastic leukemias induced by aberrant Prdm14 expression demonstrate widespread copy number alterations also found in human ALL.  Cancers 4: 1050-1066.  

Dettman, EJ, Simko, SJ, Ayanga, B, Carofino, B, Margolin, J, Morse, HC, and Justice, MJ  2011.  Prdm14 initiates lymphoblastic leukemia after expanding a population of cells resembling common lymphoid progenitors.  Oncogene Jun 23;30(25):2859-73  

Boles, MK, Wilkinson, BM, Wilming, LG, Liu, B, Probst, FJ, Harrow, J, Grafham, D, Hentges, KE, Woodward, LP, Maxwell, A, Mitchell, K, Risley, MD, Johnson, R, Hirschi, K, Lupski, JR, Funato, Y, Miki, H, Marin-Garcia, P, Matthews, L, Coffey, AJ, Parker, A, Hubbard, TJ, Rogers, J, Bradley, A, Adams, DJ, Justice, MJ  2009.  Discovery of candidate disease genes in ENU-induced mouse mutants by large-scale sequencing, including a splice-site mutation in nucleoredoxin,  PLoS Genetics 5(12): e1000759   

Hentges,  K. E., Liu, B., Pollock, D. and Justice,  M. J. 2007. Regional variation in the density of essential genes in mice.  PloS Genetics 3(5); e72 [Epub ahead of print].  

Castillo, A., Morse, H.C. III, Godfrey, V. L., Naeem, R., and Justice, M. J.  2007.  Overexpression of Eg5 causes genomic instability and tumor formation in mice.  Cancer Research 67: 10138-10147.

Kile, B. T., Panopoulos, A. D., Stirzaker, R. A., Hacking, D. F.,  Tahtamouni, L. H., Willson, T. A., Mielke, L. A., Henley, K. J., Zhang, J.-G., Wicks, I. P., Stevenson, W. S., Nurden, P., Watowich, S. S., and Justice, M. J.  2007.  Mutations in the cofilin partner Aip1/Wdr1 cause autoinflammatory disease and macrothrombocytopenia.  Blood 110(7): 2371-2380.

Kile, B. T.  Hentges, K E., Clark, A., Nakamura, H., Salinger, A.P., Liu, B., Box, N., Stockton, D.W., Johnson, R.L., Behringer, R.R., Bradley, A. and Justice, M. J. 2003. Functional genetic analysis of mouse Chromosome 11, Nature, 425, 81-86.