Dr. Kristin Hope, Hope Laboratory

Dr. Kristin Hope


Kristin is Senior Scientist at the University Health Network and an Associate Professor in the Department of Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto. She also holds an Ontario Institute for Cancer Research Investigator Level II Award and is a Medicine by Design Investigator.


Kristin completed her PhD in the laboratory of Dr. John Dick with a focus on the characterization and therapeutic targeting of the cells that drive acute myeloid leukemia. She carried out post-doctoral studies under the supervision of Dr. Guy Sauvageau where she utilized functional screens to identify novel hematopoietic stem cell regulators. Her research program centers on studying pathways underlying the normal and malignant self-renewal machinery in the human blood system. Of particular interest is the exploration of this circuitry at the post-transcriptional level as mediated by RNA binding proteins. The Hope lab team’s work capitalizes on pre-clinical xenotransplantation assays coupled with lentiviral loss and gain of function strategies, proteomics and global genomics approaches to define candidate stem cell-regulating RNA binding proteins. These investigations are ultimately aimed at identifying nodes of post-transcriptionally controlled pathways central to regeneration and/or leukemia propagation whose tailored modulation through drug screening approaches could provide novel therapeutic possibilities.

Pratik Joshi, Hope Laboratory

Pratik joined the Hope Lab as a fourth year undergraduate thesis student, and now is a second year Master’s student in the Department of Medical Biophysics studying the mechanisms that differentially regulate hematopoietic stem cell self-renewal across human development. He attended McMaster University for his undergraduate degree in biochemistry. When not in the lab, he can be found baking all things dessert.

Pratik Joshi


Tony Chen, Hope Laboratory

Tony Chen


Tony is an MD/PhD student who joined the lab in 2018 after completing his Bachelor of Health Sciences degree at McMaster University. Tony is interested in studying the development of preleukemic conditions and factors driving their subsequent transformation to AML. His project investigates the contributions of alternative splicing to hematopoietic stem cell defects in myelodysplastic syndrome. Outside the lab, Tony enjoys cooking.

Joshua is an MD/PhD student in the lab. He completed his undergraduate degree in Health Sciences at McMaster University. Joshua is interested in studying factors that confer clonal advantage preceding leukemic transformation. Outside of the lab, Joshua enjoys hiking, biking and napping.

Joshua Xu


Joshua Xu, Hope Laboratory

Ava Keyvani Chahi


Ava completed her BSc and MSc at the University of Guelph before joining the Hope Lab as a PhD student. Her research interests include translational control in hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and how HSC fate decisions can be manipulated. Outside of the lab, Ava enjoys expanding her house plant collection and hiking with her dog.

Ava Keyvani Chahi, Hope Laboratory
Ana Vujovic, Hope Laboratory

Ana completed her BSc in Biochemistry at McMaster University and is currently a PhD student. Her research focuses on unraveling post-transcriptional dependencies in human acute myeloid leukemic stem cells (LSCs) to exploit their potential for LSC-targeted therapies. Outside of the lab, Ana enjoys baking and hiking.

Ana Vujovic


Amanda received her bachelor's degree from the University of Waterloo in the Honours Biochemistry Co-op program. In the co-op program, she gained exceptional research experience in the labs of Dr. Joanna Aizenberg and Dr. Mark Nitz at Harvard University and the University of Toronto respectively. Amanda is currently working towards her PhD within the Hope Lab where she aims to elucidate the role of stress granules in leukemic stem cell maintenance and stress resistance programs. Outside the lab, Amanda enjoys hiking, traveling, and spending time with her family.

Amanda Tajik

Amanda Tajik, Hope Laboratory
Steven Moreira, Hope Laboratory

Steven is a post-doctoral fellow identifying novel regulators of CD44 alternative splicing and their effects on acute myeloid leukemia. He completed his Ph.D. in Biochemistry in the lab of Dr. Bradley Doble at McMaster University where he studied the effects of Wnt signaling, mediated by the most downstream effectors the TCF/LEFs, on stem cell self-renewal and pluripotency. Outside the lab, Steven enjoys working on cars, anything comic book related, and video games.

Steven Moreira

Lina Liu, Hope Laboratory

Lina received her MSc degree in Bioengineering from the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences. She completed her Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the McMaster University where she identified dysregulated splicing factors in leukemic stem cells (LSCs) and worked on investigating the role and mechanisms of splicing factors and abnormally spliced variants in LSCs. Lina joined Hope lab as a post-doctoral fellow, exploring the genetic, epigenetic and metabolic changes that contribute to drug resistance and relapse in AML. Outside the lab, Lina enjoys travelling and yoga.

Nicholas Wong

Nick completed his PhD at McMaster University studying cancer stem cells prior to joining the Hope lab in 2016. As a Scientific Associate and unofficial lab manager he oversees various projects and keeps everything organized behind the scenes, but also jumps in to help wherever needed. All of his spare time goes to his fluffy polar bear dog, Zuko.

Nicholas Wong, Hope Laboratory

Lina Liu

Emily Tsao, Hope Laboratory

Emily completed her BSc in Biochemistry at the University of Victoria before joining the Hope Lab as a Master’s student in 2020. Her research project explores the factors that control healthy hematopoietic stem cell self-renewal and division. In her spare time, Emily likes to cook, travel, and try to keep the family of cacti on her desk alive.

Emily Tsao


Zaldy completed his HBSc in Human Biology and Physiology and his MSc in Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto. He joined the Hope Lab in January 2022 as a Research Technician. One of Zaldy’s hobbies is going camping during the summer months!

Zaldy Balde


Zaldy Balde, Hope Laboratory
Soheil Jahangiri, Hope Laboratory

Soheil Jahangiri


Soheil is an affiliate scientist in the Stem Cell Program at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. He received his Ph.D. in Bioinformatics from the University of Shahid Beheshti, Iran, working on Comparative Genomics and Phylogenomics of bacterial strains. He was also a research assistant at the Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences (IPM), Iran, where he worked on Drug-Target interaction prediction and Protein Subcellular localization prediction using recommender systems. In 2019, he joined Dr. Benjamin Haibe-Kains’ lab at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre as a postdoctoral fellow, where he worked on drug sensitivity prediction and personalized combination therapy using single-cell RNASeq and machine learning techniques. Outside of academic life, Soheil enjoys wood carving and the outdoors.

Dr. Kristin Hope | Senior Scientist, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network | Associate Professor, Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto

Princess Margaret Cancer Research Tower, Rm 15-307 | 101 College Street | Toronto, ON M5G 1L7