Carol J. Schuurmans

Carol J. Schuurmans


BSc, University of Alberta, 1986
BSc-Special Certificate, University of Alberta, 1987
MSc, University of Alberta, 1990
PhD, University of Toronto, 1995
Postdoc, Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, 2001

Address Sunnybrook Research Institute
S116 - Swing
2075 Bayview Ave

Toronto, ON M4N 3M5
Lab Schuurmans
Lab Phone 416-480-6100, ext. 3266
Office Phone 416-480-6100, ext. 3266

Dr. Carol Schuurmans is the Dixon Family Chair in Ophthalmology Research and Senior Scientist at the Sunnybrook Research Institute. She completed her BSc and MSc degrees in Microbiology at the University of Alberta and her PhD degree in Medical Genetics at the University of Toronto. She then undertook postdoctoral studies at the Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire in Strasbourg, France. Dr. Schuurmans joined the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Calgary as an Assistant Professor in 2001, and became full Professor in 2014. In July, 2016, Dr. Schuurmans joined the Sunnybrook Research Institute and became full Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Toronto. Her research is focused on the specification of neural cell fates and the control of tissue morphogenesis in the developing central nervous system, in particular in the retina and neocortex. She is now applying her knowledge of neural development to understand the injury response, and to create lineage conversion strategies for cell replacement therapies.

Research Lab

Current Lab Members

Dawn Zinyk, PhD (Research Associate)

Yacine Touahri, PhD (Research Associate)

Reza Raeisossadati, PhD (PDF)

Sisu Han (PhD student)

Anjali Balakrishnan (PhD student)

EunJee Park (PhD student)

Shalini Dixit (Research Technician)


Research Description

Neural development and neural repair

The overarching goal of my laboratory is to understand how neurogenesis is regulated and cell fate choices are made in the developing central nervous system – in particular, in the retina and neocortex. Currently we focus on two families of transcription factors – the proneural genes Neurog1, Neurog2 and Ascl1, encoding basic-helix-loop-helix transcription factors, and members of the pleiomorphic adenoma gene (Plag) family, including Zac1, Plag1 and Plag-l2, encoding zinc finger transcription factors. We have also begun to examine how different signaling molecules (e.g., ERK, Pten) influence transcriptional networks to control retinal and cortical neurogenesis and tissue morphogenesis. More recently we have begun to apply the knowledge we have gained from studying embryonic development to interrogate the molecular response of neural progenitor cells to injury, and to design novel lineage conversion strategies for cellular repair.


View all publications on PubMed