John Dick is a Senior Scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University Health Network, Professor of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto and Co-Leader, Acute Leukemia, Translational Research Initiative, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Toronto. He is recognized for developing a system for transplanting normal and malignant human hematopoietic cells into immune-deficient mice and identifying and characterizing normal and leukemic human stem cells. His contributions have been recognized through election as a Fellow of The American Association for Cancer Research Academy (2016); Fellow of the Royal Society of London, UK (2014); Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (2004) and numerous prestigious awards at the national and international level including the Dameshek Prize (2005) and the Thomas Prize (2009) from the American Society of Hematology; the Clowes Memorial Award from American Association for Cancer Research (2008); the Noble Prize from National Cancer Institute of Canada (2000); the Diamond Jubilee Award (2007) (with Drs. J.E. Till and E.A. McCulloch) from the National Cancer Institute of Canada; International KFJ Prize (2017) from Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen; Gold Leaf Prize for Discovery (2017) from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research; Tobias Award (2017) from The International Society for Stem Cell Research, USA; (2017) The KEIO Medical Science Prize, KEIO University, Tokyo, Japan, (2018) Special Achievement Award, Miami Winter Symposium, Miami, USA.
Dr. Dick's research has revolutionized the study of normal and leukemic human stem cells. Two of the most important achievements were developing a system for transplanting normal and malignant human hematopoietic cells into immune-deficient mice; and using this method to identify and characterize both normal and leukemic human stem cells. His lab established that only a small proportion of human leukemic cells were capable of initiating human leukemia within the immune-deficient mice. Purifiying these leukemia-initiating cells provided direct evidence for the cancer stem cell hypothesis.
Dr. John Dick has achieved groundbreaking findings in the areas of hematopoiesis and cancer. Through his work, he has pioneered the field of cancer stem cell biology, transformed our views of the origin and nature of cancer, and laid the foundation for new approaches to cancer therapy.