Discovery and Innovation

Discovery and Innovation Program

The Riddell Centre's Discovery and Innovation Program is dedicated to enhancing the effectiveness and safety of immunotherapies in treating cancer. Through rigorous preclinical research, we aim to invent and develop novel cell and immune-based treatments targeting difficult-to-treat cancers. Leveraging our expertise and resources, the Riddell Centre is committed to advancing knowledge of cancer and its interactions with the immune system, and creating a pipeline of novel cell therapies. Our goal is to continually improve upon our treatments until they're ready for translation in the clinic.

To meet these goals, research aligned to the following objectives will be pursued:


Research Enablers

The Riddell Centre’s Discovery and Innovation Program is underpinned by nine technology platforms known as Research Enablers, which utilize existing resources within the Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute and the Cumming School of Medicine and new resources specifically developed for our Centre. These enablers, led by our principal investigators, staffed by highly qualified staff and equipped with cutting-edge technology and methodologies, are crucial in advancing discoveries in immunotherapies and supporting researchers within our Centre. 


Facilitates bulk and single-cell genomics needs

Lead: Dr. Sorana Morrissy
Staff Scientist: Ana Bogossion


Facilitates proteomics and other mass spectroscopy needs.

Lead: Dr. David Schriemer
Staff Scientist: Dr. Pauline Douglas

Data Science

Performs computational analyses of multi-omics datasets.

Lead: Dr. Sorana Morrissy
Staff Scientist: Dr. Ted Verhey
Staff Scientist: Mobina Kazemi


Maintains and grows a biobank of high-quality tumour and normal specimens.

Lead: Dr. Jennifer Chan
Staff Scientist: Colleen Anderson

Jeff Burns Synthetic Immunology

Designs, engineers, manufactures and functionally validates genetically-retargeted immune cells.

Lead: Dr. Franz Zemp
Staff Scientist: Dr. Snow Guo
Staff Scientist: Dr. Sacha Benaoudia


Develops and performs precision automated assays and high-throughput screening.

Lead: Dr. Douglas Mahoney
Staff Scientist: Dr. Chris Gafuik

Mouse Modeling

Develops novel mouse models and facilitates preclinical in vivo testing for immune cell studies.

Lead: Dr. Jennifer Chan
Staff Scientist: Dr. Xueqing Lun
Staff Scientist: Megan McRae


Facilitates studies of cell therapies and host biology in samples collected from preclinical models and human patients.

Lead: Dr. Nicolas Jacquelot
Lead: Dr. Jongbok Lee

Small Animal Imaging

Facilitates high-resolution in vivo imaging of immune cells and their interactions with host and cancer cells in real time.

Lead: Dr. Craig Jenne
Staff Scientist: Dr. Victor Naumenko

Discovery and Innovation Leadership

Dr. Sorana Morrissy

Associate Director of Discovery and Innovation


Dr. Douglas Mahoney

Director, The Riddell Centre for Cancer Immunotherapy