Cheryle Séguin

Genetics & Development Dr. Cheryle Séguin


Scientist, Division of Genetics & Development, Children’s Health Research Institute
Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology & Pharmacology, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University

How my research helps children

There are two separate research projects underway in my lab. The first is focused on understanding the process of spine development and the role of resident stem cells in maintaining tissue health.  This research impacts children with degenerative diseases such as ankylosing spondylitis, and the juvenile forms of rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis.  My work examines the cell types responsible for spine formation during development and aims to identify the ways in which these cells maintain tissue health over time.  This information is essential for our long term goal of developing strategies for cell-based therapies and tissue engineering for disc replacement.

The second project is working towards the generation of functional pancreatic beta cells from human embryonic stem cells (hESC) for the treatment of diabetes.  This research directly helps children with type I or juvenile diabetes since it is aimed at replacing insulin-producing cells thereby eliminating the need for regular insulin injections. Our lab is investigating the ability of transcription factors to direct cell differentiation by recreating the cellular events that occur during embryonic development. 


Current Research Activities

My lab is focused on understanding the pathways that control stem cell differentiation and the role that stem cells play during both embryonic development and tissue aging.  This theme underlies both research topics in my lab, both of which are ultimately aimed at developing cell-based therapies for the treatment of diseases using the potential of stem cells.

Research Team

Dr. Séguin’s research lab consists of 2 graduate students, 2 undergraduate students from the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology.  As a new lab on campus at Western, I have just set up the main lab, as well as a core human stem cell culture facility that will be staffed in the fall by one research technician.  My lab works closely with other stem cell-based labs, including Drs Postovit, Hess and Betts.

Awards & Grants

Awards & Grants

Canadian Foundation for Innovation Infrastructure Operating Fund

Funding in support of "Development of Transgenic Technologies to study pluripotency" – Awarded by The University of Western Ontario New Research and Scholarly Initiative

Funding in support of "Elucidating the Role of Connective Tissue Growth Factor in Intervertebral Disc Development, Homeostasis and Degeneration" – Awarded by Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR)

Funding in support of "A Novel, Genetically Modified Mouse Model of Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis and Related Hypermineralization Disorders in the Elderly" – Awarded by Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR)

Canadian Arthritis Network Scholar Award – Awarded by The Canadian Arthritis Network

Funding in support of “Delineating the Role of the Notochord during Intervertebral Disc Development” – Awarded by National Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)

Funding in support of “Role of the Notochord during Intervertebral Disc Formation and Maintenance” – Awarded by The Canadian Arthritis Network

Funding in support of “Directed differentiation of pancreatic islet precursors from pluripotent human stem cells” – Awarded by Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR)

Funding in support of “Mammalian Embryonic Stem Cell Laboratory for the development of controlled differentiation strategies” – Awarded by the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI)

Recent Publications


Exploiting notochord cells for stem cell-based regeneration of the intervertebral disc
McCann MR, Bacher C, Séguin CA
J Cell Communication and Signaling. 2011 March; 5(1):39-43

Geometric Control of Cardiomyogenic Induction in Human Pluripotent Stem Cells
Bauwens CL, Ungrin M, Séguin CA, Zandstra PW
Tissue Engineering Part A. 2011 March

Isolation of human iPS cells using EOS lentiviral vectors to select for pluripotency
Hotta A, Cheung AY, Farra N, Vijayaragavan K, Séguin CA, Draper JS, Pasceri P, Maksakova IA, Mager DL, Rossant J, Bhatia M, Ellis J
Nat Methods. 2009 May; 6(5):370-6

Establishment of endoderm progenitors by SOX transcription factor expression in human embryonic stem cells
Séguin CA, Draper JS, Nagy A, Rossant J
Cell Stem Cell. 2008 Aug 7; 3(2):182-95

TNF-alpha induces MMP2 gelatinase activity and MT1-MMP expression in an in vitro model of nucleus pulposus tissue degeneration
Séguin CA, Pilliar RM, Madri JA, Kandel RA
Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2008 Feb 15; 33(4):356-65

An vitro tissue model to study the effect of age on nucleus pulposus cells
Kandel, R, Hamilton D, Séguin CA , Arana C, Piliar RM
European Spine Journal. 2007; 16(12):2166-73

Differential regulation of matrix degrading enzymes in a TNFalpha-induced model of nucleus pulposus tissue degeneration
Séguin CA, Bojarski M, Pilliar RM, Roughley PJ, Kandel RA
Matrix Biol. 2006 Sep; 25(7):409-18

Formation of a Nucleus Pulposus-Cartilage Endplate Construct In Vitro
Séguin CA, Hamilton DJ, Wang J, Pilliar R, Kandel R
Biomaterials. 2006; 27(3):397-405

Tumor necrosis factor-alpha modulates matrix production and catabolism in nucleus pulposus tissue
Séguin CA, Pilliar RM, Roughley PJ, Kandel RA
Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2005 Sep 1; 30(17):1940-8

Additional publications



Phone: (519) 661-2111, x82977
Fax: (519) 850-2459
Email: cheryle [dot] seguin [at] schulich [dot] uwo [dot] ca

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