Simon Wisnovsky

Dr. Simon Wisnovsky completed his PhD in Prof. Shana Kelley’s lab at the University of Toronto in 2017. He subsequently joined Prof. Carolyn Bertozzi’s group at Stanford University as a postdoctoral fellow and started as an assistant professor in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UBC in July 2021.

Simon’s lab studies the cell surface glycome, a dense network of sugar molecules that coats the surface of every living cell. The glycome plays a fundamental role in regulating the activity of our immune system, helping immune cells to distinguish normal, healthy cells from abnormal cells and invading pathogens. In diseases like cancer, the structure of the cell-surface glycome becomes profoundly altered, allowing tumour cells to escape immune detection. Simon’s group applies cutting-edge CRISPR genomic screening technologies to better understand the complex genetic mechanisms that regulate these changes in cellular glycosylation. The overarching goal of his research is to identify druggable pathways that can be targeted to modulate the cell-surface glycome, generating new therapeutic options for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune disease.