Make a Gift
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.
James Till was born in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan in 1931. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree at the University of Saskatchewan in 1952 and went on to earn a PhD in biophysics from Yale in 1957. During his studies at Yale, Till became intere
Ernest McCulloch, nicknamed “Bun” or “Bunny,” was born in Toronto in 1926. He earned an MD in 1948 and trained in hematology, with a special interest in plasma proteins, at the Lister Institute of London. In 1952, McCulloch joined the Faculty o
There have been many cancer-related discoveries and advances made at the University of Toronto, both in terms of developing better treatments and in understanding the fundamental workings of cells.
Contribute your biography, stories, photos, and letters | Email us with questions or feedback about the Living History project.
Copyright © 2012, University of Toronto | Faculty of MedicineDeveloped by Discovery Commons