Joan Shellard, Ph.D
Joan is a Research Scientist and part-time Instructor in the Biotechnology Program at BCIT, where students earn a joint BCIT-UBC Bachelor Honours Degree in Biotechnology. She has taught core courses in molecular genetics, introduction to biotechnology and currently teaches protein biochemistry and advanced animal cell biology. Joan has almost 20 years of post-doctoral work experience and has conducted research in both the academic and biotechnology sectors. She has consequently developed a diverse background in several areas of molecular and cell biology, with a particular interest in the molecular biology of stem cells.
Prior to joining at BCIT, Joan worked for over five years at Chromos Molecular Systems as a Sr. Scientist and Team Leader for their Cell Line Engineering program. She led all projects focused on enhancing gene targeting and expression, and was successful in engineering Chromos' proprietary (US Patents 20050181506 & 0120064578) ACE System vectors (Perkins et.al.). Joan was also responsible for engineering a manufacturing (CHO) cell line for a first-in-class therapeutic monoclonal antibody, which is now undergoing clinical development by Glenmark and Sanofi Pharma for the treatment of multiple sclerosis and Crohn's disease, respectively (Bloomberg; Nature Biotech).
Joan's Ph.D thesis focused on the biochemical purification and characterization of a novel & selective growth regulator of hematopoietic progenitor cells (Shellard et.al.; Logan, Shellard et.al.). This regulator belongs to a class of neutrophilic granule proteins that mediate a variety of pro-inflammatory activities and Joan is credited as the first researcher to identify its regulatory role in hematopoiesis and the pathogenesis of myeloid leukemias (Ouriaghli et.al.; Tavor et.al.). Joan's post-doctoral work expanded her expertise in the molecular mechanisms governing embryonic and stem cell development. In the Zoology department at UBC, she analyzed the Polycomb gene, Asx, in fruit fly development (Sinclair et.al.) and at the Institut Pasteur (Paris, France), she studied the role of Leukemia Inhibitory Factor (LIF) in maintaining the totipotency of mouse embryonic stem cells (Shellard et.al.).
Current Research Projects
- Biomarker Discovery
Joan is using a combined immunological & proteomics approach to search for prostate cancer biomarkers in human serum.
- Applied Health Genomics
Joan is collaborating with Drs. Karen Mooder and Sarah McLeod to develop rational approaches for identifying genetic markers associated with human disease.
- Industry Collaborations
Joan's expertise in cell line engineering (e.g. high level recombinant gene/protein expression in CHO & HEK-293 cells) has led to collaborative opportunities with several biotechnology companies.
Joan Shellard, Ph.D