Dr. Kelly McNagny obtained his PhD with Dr. Max D. Cooper (Nat Acad. Science) on cell surface proteins that regulate B cell maturation and homing. He performed his post-doctoral studies at the EMBL in Heidelberg, Germany with Dr. Thomas Graf on transcriptional control of hematopoietic stem cell maturation and he identified factors that regulate the gene expression and differentiation of eosinophils, which play a major role in allergic responses. He also identified novel stem cell surface proteins and analyzed their function at EMBL as a visiting scientist prior to starting his own laboratory at the Biomedical Research Centre, University of British Columbia where he is currently a full professor in medical genetics.
His lab studies the CD34 family of stem cell proteins and has used gene knock out studies to show that these molecules act as molecular “teflon” to make cells more invasive and facilitate chemotaxis. He has delineated the function of these molecules in a diverse set of biological processes including 1) tissue morphogenesis, 2) vascular integrity, 3) mucosal inflammation, 4) stem cell homing and migration, and 5) tumor progression.
McNagny has received a number of awards including a Canadian Institutes of Health Research scholarship, a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Senior scholarship, and the 2002 Showell-Pfizer Junior Faculty Award from the American Association for Immunology. He is also an active member of the Canadian AllerGen and Stem Cell Network Centres of Excellence.