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  • Dr. Gerald C. Johnston, PhD, FCAHS


Scientific Director, Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute
Professor, Microbiology & Immunology
Dalhousie University, Faculty of Medicine


Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine

Research Interests:

Yeast as a model system for studying cancer and the transition of cells from quiescence to proliferation

Unlocking the secrets of cancer’s origins

Bakers’ yeast is a simple organism – yet the genetic and cellular processes that allow this organism to divide are the same processes that initiate division within human cells, a process that can lead to cancer. By studying yeast as a model of cancer genesis, Dalhousie researchers Dr. Gerry Johnston and his colleague of 40 years, Dr. Rick Singer, have revealed processes that prompt cells to switch from a non-dividing state to a state of rapid cell division. Fundamental knowledge of this type reveals the complex origins of cancer and is a necessary step to develop more effective cancer therapies in the future.

Involvement with BHCRI to date:

Dr. Johnston is an Honorary Member and Senior Scientist of BHCRI, and since 2017 serves as Scientific Director for BHCRI. Dr. Johnston has served for many years as co-chair of the BHCRI Cancer Research Training Program.



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