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About Sickkids
About SickKids

Janet Rossant, PhD, FRS, FRSC

Research Institute
Senior Scientist
Developmental & Stem Cell Biology

University of Toronto
University Professor
Departments of Molecular Genetics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Email: janet.rossant@sickkids.ca

For more information, visit:

Janet Rossant Lab

Brief Biography

Dr. Janet Rossant is a  Senior Scientist in the Developmental & Stem Cell Biology program at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), and is a Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics, and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Toronto (U of T). Her research interests centre on understanding the genetic control of normal and abnormal development in the early mouse embryo using both cellular and genetic manipulation techniques. Her interests in the early embryo have led to the discovery of a novel placental stem cell type, the trophoblast stem cell. Rossant is also the Director of the newly formed Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine. 

Rossant trained at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, United Kingdom and has been in Canada since 1977, first at Brock University and then at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, from 1985 to 2005.  Rossant has been recognized for her contributions to science with many awards, including the 10th ISTT Prize, from the International Society for Transgenic Technologies, the Ross G. Harrison Medal (lifetime achievement award) from the International Society of Developmental Biologists, the Killam Prize for Health Sciences, the March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology, the Conklin Medal from the Society for Developmental Biology, and the CIHR Michael Smith Prize in Health Research, Canada’s most prestigious health research award. She is a Fellow of both the Royal Societies of London and Canada, and is a foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Science.  Most recently it was announced that Rossant will receive the 2015 Canada Gairdner Wightman Award, the first female to do so.

Rossant is actively involved in the international developmental and stem cell biology communities and has contributed to the scientific and ethical discussion on public issues related to stem cell research. She chaired the working group of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research on Stem Cell Research, which came up with guidelines for CIHR funded research in this area.

Research Interests

  • Stem cell research
  • Molecular genetics
  • Developmental biology

External Funding

  • CIHR
  • NCIC
  • Stem Cell Network
  • Genome Canada


For a complete list of publications, please see PubMed

Cockburn K, Biechele S, Garner J, Rossant J. (2013) The hippo pathway member nf2 is required for inner cell mass specification. Current Biology. 23(13):1195-201.

Biechele S, Cockburn K, Lanner F, Cox BJ, Rossant J. (2013) Porcn-dependent Wnt signaling is not required prior to mouse gastrulation. Development. 140(14):2961-71.

Wong AP, Rossant J. (2013) Generation of lung epithelium from pluripotent stem cells. Current Pathobiology Reports. 1(2):137-145.

Findlay GM, Smith MJ, Lanner F, Hsiung MS, Gish GD, Petsalaki E, Cockburn K, Kaneko T, Huang H, Bagshaw RD, Ketela T, Tucholska M, Taylor L, Bowtell DD, Moffat J, Ikura M, Li SS, Sidhu SS, Rossant J, Pawson T. (2013) Interaction domains of Sos1/Grb2 are finely tuned for cooperative control of embryonic stem cell fate. Cell. 152(5):1008-20.

Hirate Y, Cockburn K, Rossant J, Sasaki H. (2012) Tead4 is constitutively nuclear, while nuclear vs. cytoplasmic Yap distribution is regulated in preimplantation mouse embryos.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U S A. 109(50):E3389-90.

Wong AP, Bear CE, Chin S, Pasceri P, Thompson TO, Huan LJ, Ratjen F, Ellis J, Rossant J. (2012) Directed differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells into mature airway epithelia expressing functional CFTR protein. Nature Biotechnology. 30(9):876-82.

Stephenson RO, Rossant J, Tam PP. (2012) Intercellular interactions, position, and polarity in establishing blastocyst cell lineages and embryonic axes. Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology. 4(11).

Rugg-Gunn PJ, Cox BJ, Lanner F, Sharma P, Ignatchenko V, McDonald AC, Garner J, Gramolini AO, Rossant J, Kislinger T. (2012) Cell-surface proteomics identifies lineage-specific markers of embryo-derived stem cells. Developmental Cell. 22(4):887-901.

Intellectual Property

  • Novel Receptor Tyrosine Kinase (U.S. Patent No. 5,681,714) with Martin L. Breitman, Daniel J. Dumont, Terry P. Yamaguchi
  • Trophoblast Stem Cell Line (Patent Application No. CA99/00867) with Tilo Kunath and Satoshi Tanaka