Principal Investigator

Dr. Arshad Ayyaz

Assistant Professor,

Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Calgary, 2500 University Dr NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada

Dr. Ayyaz is a geneticist and stem cell biologist, known for his contributions to the fields of somatic tissue repair, inflammation, single-cell genomics and cancer. His pioneering research has significantly enhanced our understanding of the intricate mechanisms governing somatic stem cell function under physiological conditions and the aberrations that manifest in pathological states.

In a groundbreaking study published in Nature Cell Biology in 2015, Dr. Ayyaz elucidated the role of innate immune cells in modulating stem cell activity through the invocation of conserved developmental pathways. This pioneering work revealed a dual role for these pathways: promoting regeneration of the intestinal epithelium on one hand, and stimulating tumorigenic proliferation of stem cell clusters on the other, in a context dependent manner (Ayyaz et al., 2015, Nature Cell Biology).

Dr. Ayyaz also spearheaded a single-cell genomics study that led to the identification and characterization of a novel stem cell type, which he termed the "revival stem cell." His findings underscored the quintessential role these cells play in regenerating the intestinal epithelium post-injury and in the aftermath of homeostatic stem cell ablation in the intestine (Ayyaz et al., 2019, Nature).

Dr. Ayyaz has been an active collaborator with various research teams, both within Canada and internationally. His collaborative endeavors have been instrumental in unveiling the molecular signalling pathways that facilitate the stem cell interactions with their microenvironment in health and disease, encompassing elements such as the mesenchyme, immune system, gut microbiota, and enteric pathogens (e.g., Dervovic et al., 2023 in Nature Communications; Baghdadi et al., 2021 in Cell Stem Cell; Goldsmith et al., 2020 in Nature Communications; Sousa-Victor et al., 2017 in Cell Reports).


Assistant Professor (2022-present): Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Calgary, Canada

Postdoctoral Fellow (2016-2021): Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital Toronto, Canada

Postdoctoral Fellow (2015-2016): The Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer, Montreal, Canada

Postdoctoral Fellow (2012-2015): Buck Institute for Research on Aging, California, USA

PhD (2008-2012): University of Strasbourg, France

Master (2007-2008): Louis Pasteur University, Strasbourg, France