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SickKids

David Kaplan

Title: Senior Scientist, Neurosciences & Mental Health
Designations: PhD
Phone: 416-813-7654 ext. 301433
Email: dkaplan@sickkids.ca
U of T Positions: Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics

Biography

David Kaplan is a Senior Scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Member, Institute of Medical Sciences at the University of Toronto.

He was previously a Professor and Head of the Brain Tumor Research Centre at McGill University and a Section Head at the National Cancer Institute in Frederick MD. Dr. Kaplan was a post-doctoral fellow in Dr. Harold Varmus' lab at UCSF and a PhD student at Harvard University in Dr. Thomas Roberts' lab at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.   

Research

David Kaplan shares a lab with his wife, Freda Miller, working on how stem cells build and maintain the brain, and discovering drugs that mobilize our stem cells to enhance and repair the aging or injured brain and skin and to treat childhood cancers.

He is best known for co-discovering, as a graduate student, the signalling protein PI3-kinase (Cell 1987) and discovering the Trk/Nerve Growth Factor receptor when his lab was at the NIH (Nature, Science 1990). He has published almost 200 research papers with over 40,000 citations. David, with Freda, founded the biotechnology companies Exogen Neurosciences, Aegera Therapeutics, and Reveille Inc. to bring their research discoveries in the cancer, nerve degeneration, and stem cell fields to the clinic. David moved to Canada 20 years ago, attracted to the promised land of collaboration, great trainees, and perfect weather. 

Education

  • 1987: PhD, Cell and Developmental Biology, Harvard University 
  • 1978: BA, Biology, Clark University 

Experience

  • 2006Present: Senior Scientist, Program in Neuroscience and Mental Health, The Hospital for Sick Children 
  • 2002Present: Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto 
  • 2002Present: Faculty Member, Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto  
  • 2020Present: Adjunct Professor, U. British Columbia 
  • 2016Present: Adjunct Professor, Trent University 
  • 20022006: Head, Cancer Research Program, The Hospital for Sick Children, and Senior Scientist, Program in Cell Biology, Toronto, ON  
  • 20032012: Vice-Chair, Science, Board of Directors, Neuroscience Canada and Brain Canada  
  • 19962002: Head, Brain Tumor Research Centre, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill U., Montreal, PQ and William Feindel Chair in Neuro-oncology 
  • 19962002: Professor, Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, McGill University, Montreal, PQ 
  • 19901995: Section Head, ABL-Basic Research Program, National Cancer Institute-FCRDC, Frederick, MD

Achievements

  • 20022016: Canada Research Chair (Tier I) in Cancer and Neuroscience
  • 2017Present: Member, Board of Directors and Scientific Advisory Board, and Consultant, Reveille Inc., Toronto 
  • 20122017: Member, Scientific Advisory Board, Three to be Foundation for Children with Neurological Disorders
  • 20122013: Co-chair, Scientific Advisory Council, Brain Canada
  • 20112015: Member, Board of Directors, and Research Policy, Communications and Public Policy subcommittees, Brain Canada
  • 20102015: Canadian Association for Neuroscience, Advocacy Officer 
  • 20102013: Society for Neuroscience, Member, Government and Public Affairs (GPA) Committee
  • 2009Present: Member, Scientific Advisory Board, Solving Kid’s Cancer (USA)
  • Former Editorial Board Member of Neuron and Cell Death and Differentiation 
  • 20122017: Member, Scientific Advisory Board, Three to be Foundation for Children with Neurological Disorders
  • 20122013: Co-chair, Scientific Advisory Council, Brain Canada 
  • 20112015: Member, Board of Directors, and Research Policy, Communications and Public Policy subcommittees, Brain Canada
  • 20102015: Canadian Association for Neuroscience, Advocacy Officer
  • 20102013: Society for Neuroscience, Member, Government and Public Affairs (GPA) Committee
  • 2009Present: Member, Scientific Advisory Board, Solving Kid’s Cancer (USA) 
  • 2006: Program Chair, International Society for Developmental Biology Meeting, Banf
  • 2006: Program Chair, International Society for Developmental Biology Meeting, Banff
  • 20052009: Chair, External Advisory Board of COBRE Centre grant, Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center, University of Louisville, KY
  • 20032012: Chair, Scientific Advisory Council, NeuroScience Canada Partnership 
  • 2002: Barbara Turnbull Award for Spinal Cord Injury Research, CIHR Institute of Neuroscience
  • 2002: William Feindel Endowed Chair in Neuro-oncology, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University
  • 20012006: Member, Gairdner Foundation Medical Review Panel 
  • 20002006: Co-founder, Member of the Board of Directors, and Consultant, Aegera Therapeutics Inc., Montreal, PQ 
  • 2000: Co-chair, Sixth International Nerve Growth Factor Conference, Montreal, PQ
  • 19972000: Co-founder, Consultant, and Member, Board of Directors, Exogen Neurosciences, Montreal PQ
  • 2000: Distinguished Lecturer Award for ‘Outstanding Contributions in Cell Signaling Research’, Neuroscience Center for Excellence/LSU Greater New Orleans Society for Neuroscience 
  • 1997: Co-chair, Gordon Conference on Neurotrophins
  • 19962002: Research Scientist Award, Canadian Cancer Society 
  • 1996: Harold E. Johns Award for ‘Most Outstanding Applicant for a Canadian Cancer Society Research Scientist Award, National Cancer Institute of Canada
  • 1986: Richard K. Smith Award and Seminar, Dana Farber Cancer Institute 

Publications

  1. Acquisition of a Unique Mesenchymal Precursor-like Blastema State Underlies Successful Adult Mammalian Digit Tip Regeneration. Storer MA, Mahmud N, Karamboulas K, Borrett MJ, Yuzwa SA, Gont A, Androschuk A, Sefton MV,Kaplan DR,Miller FD. Dev Cell. 2020 Feb 24;52(4):509-524.e9. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2019.12.004. Epub 2020 Jan 2.PMID:31902657 
  2. A Translational Repression Complex in Developing Mammalian Neural Stem Cells that Regulates Neuronal Specification. Zahr SK, Yang G, Kazan H, Borrett MJ, Yuzwa SA, Voronova A,Kaplan DR,Miller FD. Neuron. 2018 Feb 7;97(3):520-537.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2017.12.045. Epub 2018 Jan 27.PMID:29395907 
  3. Developmental Emergence of Adult Neural Stem Cells as Revealed by Single-Cell Transcriptional Profiling. Yuzwa SA, Borrett MJ, Innes BT, Voronova A, Ketela T,Kaplan DR, Bader GD,Miller FD. Cell Rep. 2017 Dec 26;21(13):3970-3986. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.12.017.PMID:29281841 
  4. A neuroprotective agent that inactivates prodegenerative TrkA and preserves mitochondria. Feinberg K, Kolaj A, Wu C, Grinshtein N, Krieger JR, Moran MF, Rubin LL,Miller FD,Kaplan DR. J Cell Biol. 2017 Nov 6;216(11):3655-3675. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201705085. Epub 2017 Sep 6.PMID:28877995 
  5. A Metastatic Mouse Model Identifies Genes That Regulate Neuroblastoma Metastasis. Seong BK, Fathers KE, Hallett R, Yung CK, Stein LD, Mouaaz S, Kee L, Hawkins CE, Irwin MS,Kaplan DR. Cancer Res. 2017 Feb 1;77(3):696-706. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-16-1502. Epub 2016 Nov 29.PMID:27899382

  1. Canadian Institutes of Health Research operating grant (D. Kaplan PI). Establishment and maintenance of adult neural stem cell pools, 7/2015-6/2021
  2. Canadian Institutes of Health Research project grant (M. Irwin PI, D. Kaplan co-PI). Targeting relapsed metastatic neuroblastoma, 4/2019-3/2024
  3. Canada First Research Excellence Fund - Medicine by Design. (F. Miller PI; Co-PIs: G. Bader, D. Kaplan, C. Morshead, Y. Li, P. Gilbert, A. McGuigan, S. Goyal). Regulatory network control of neural stem cells for endogenous repair, 9/1/2019-8/31/2022. 

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