Dr. Dean Betts

Professor, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry

Dean H. Betts is internationally recognized for his contributions in embryo development, telomere biology and for deriving some of the first stem cell populations from dogs and horses. He received his BSc and MSc degrees from the University of Western Ontario and his PhD from the University of Guelph. Following a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Genetics at Case Western Reserve University, Dr. Betts joined the Ontario Veterinary College as an Assistant Professor in 2001. He moved his research lab to Western in 2008. He is currently a Full Professor in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, and a Scientist at Children’s Health Research Institute and at the Ontario Institute of Regenerative Medicine. He is the current Director of Western’s Collaborative Graduate Specialization in Developmental Biology. He has published over 70 peer-reviewed publications and his research is currently supported by CIHR and NSERC operating grants along with other institute, foundation and industry supported research funds. His current research program is aimed at understanding the various events and functions of early embryo development and pluripotent stem cells. One area of focus is to develop stem cell-based therapies for dogs.

Canine Pluripotent Stem Cells – Progress, Hurdles and Opportunities

Monday, September 9, 9:30 AM – 10:00 AM


The derivation of canine embryonic stem cells (cESCs) and generation of canine induced pluripotent stem cells (ciPSCs) are significant achievements that have unlocked the potential for developing novel cell-based disease models, drug discovery platforms, and transplantation therapies in the dog. A progression from concept to cure in this clinically-relevant companion animal will not only help our canine patients but also help advance human regenerative medicine. Nevertheless, many issues remain to be resolved before pluripotent stem cells can be used clinically in a safe and reproducible manner. In this seminar, an up-to-date progress in the canine pluripotent stem cell field will be reported along with presenting the current obstacles and ideas to overcome these hurdles to progress these cells from the laboratory to the clinic.