Dr. McCullough and Dr. Till begin working in UofT's Department of Medical Biophysics

Achievement Details
Wednesday, January 1, 1958
Field of Study: 

The stem cell story began in 1958 with the building of the University of Toronto’s Department of Medical Biophysics, attracting hematologist Dr. Ernest A. McCulloch and biophysicist Dr. James E. Till. McCulloch and Till’s efforts focused on the biological effects of radiation on cancer cells by replacing dead bone marrow cells with healthy cells. They observed that the transplanted cells developed “colony forming units” that proved to be self-renewing precursors of new blood cells, later called a “stem cell.” This dynamic team revolutionized medical literature, uncovered new ways to treat many diseases, and laid the foundation for bone marrow transplantation.