Dr. Keith Humphries
Director, Terry Fox Laboratory

Dr. Keith Humphries has been with the BC Cancer Agency for 30 years. He began his career in medicine at the Ontario Cancer Institute in the 1970s, where he became interested in stem cell biology. Following postdoctoral studies at the National Institutes of Health in Washington, Dr. Humphries joined the BC Cancer Agency team at the newly-created Terry Fox Laboratory (TFL). As Director of the TFL, Dr. Humphries work focuses on cancers of the blood and stem cell research. By harnessing the self-renewal properties of normal stem cells, Dr. Humphries and his colleagues hope to stimulate the production of more healthy cells and suppress leukemic growth. 

You can read Dr. Humphries’ blog posts here

Blog Posts by Dr. Keith Humphries

Displaying 1 - 4 of 4 blog posts

Dr. Keith Humphries: Looking Ahead

Science tends not to be a series of “eureka” moments but rather, if one is lucky, the odd eureka interspersed with a lot of hard slogging. In the mid ‘90s my group made the rather startling discovery that we could stimulate the expansion of blood-forming stem cells by engineering the overexpression of a single gene. By 2002 we had advanced this discovery to show that it was possible to expand stem cells in the laboratory. These discoveries were based on ten years of previous work (the hard slogging bit) by which we developed and optimized methods of genetically modifying stem cells with...

The Impact of Philanthropy at the Terry Fox Laboratory

How do BC Cancer Foundation donors support my research? The answer to be complete would take pages, literally. But let me hit the highlights: It is now eight years ago that we were able to move our lab from the old research centre (the old bakery, as we called it) to the state-of-the-art BC Cancer Agency Research Centre. Without generous donations to the BC Cancer Foundation this would never have happened. Indeed this was a transformational event, finally giving us space to grow and to have room for specialized core facilities that have allowed all of us working in the Centre to remain...

Stem Cell Research at the Terry Fox Laboratory

My role since joining the BC Cancer Agency has been that of a full time scientist in the Terry Fox Laboratory (TFL). Currently I am Director of the TFL, a bustling interdisciplinary research group that now numbers some 12 scientists, over 80 trainees (split between graduate students and post doctoral fellows) and a cadre of highly specialized technical and research support staff. My primary role throughout my almost 30 years here has been to direct my own research lab where we focus on cancers of the blood. Our work is directed towards two major types of cells: normal cells in the bone marrow...

Hello from Dr. Keith Humphries

Hello, my name is Dr. Keith Humphries and I have had the privilege of working at the BC Cancer Agency as a researcher for just shy of 30 years. Looking back, I still find it curious that a prairie boy raised in Edmonton and seemingly destined to pursue a career in physics ended up with an MD then a PhD and a lifelong pursuit of the mysteries of leukemia and blood cell production. My formative years were shaped by an older brother blazing the trail in nuclear physics and I found myself pursuing a BSc in physics at the University of Alberta with every intent of going on to do research in solid...