Technical Team

Hamed’s professional interests focus on cellular and molecular biology of stem cells as well as their therapeutic applications in orthopaedic injuries. He is a senior PhD candidate in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Canada.

 

He received his master’s in Biotechnology from the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Malaya. His interest in stem cell biotechnology lead him to work as a Research Associate with a group of clinicians, biomedical engineers and stem cell research scientists at the Tissue Engineering Centre, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Malaysia, before he started his PhD studies at UofG.

 

His current PhD research investigates the role of micro-RNAs in chondrogenic differentiation potential of Mesenchymal Stromal Cells (MSC) derived from equine cord blood. In addition, Hamed has expertise in isolation and expansion of MSCs derived from different sources including bone marrow, cord blood and adipose tissue. 

Dr. Lepage is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the Ontario Veterinary College. A native of Windsor, Ontario, she first came to Guelph to pursue a Bachelor’s in Molecular Biology and Genetics, then moved across the country to Vancouver to complete a Master’s degree in Medical Genetics at the University of British Columbia. An avid equestrian,

 

Dr. Lepage helped manage a large boarding facility during her time in Vancouver, and following her MSc., worked for one year at Greenhawk Equestrian Sport in Mississauga, Ontario as an Allocation Analyst.

 

She completed her PhD in Dr. Koch’s lab in 2016, where the focus of her research was utilizing equine stem cells for cartilage tissue engineering. Following her PhD, Dr. Lepage continued to work with Dr. Koch academically until she completed her postdoctoral research in 2018.

Dr. Sahar Mehrpouyan received her MSc. in Genetics & Molecular Biology from University of Malaya (Malaysia) where she continued working as a research assistant for additional two years after her graduation.

 

In 2013, Sahar moved across the continents to Canada to do her PhD studies in the field of Molecular & Cellular Biology at the University of Guelph, where she gained valuable expertise in molecular biology, protein studies and biochemistry.

 

Following her PhD, in 2019, Sahar joined Dr. Thomas Koch’s research team as a molecular biologist, to pursue her great interest in stem cell field. Her research was focused on xenogen-free media formulation to develop equine stem cell cultures. Additionally, she acquired expertise in equine MSC isolation, culture expansion and differentiation.

 

In 2020, Sahar received a Mitacs postdoctoral fellowship award, as a collaboration between eQcell Inc. and University of Guelph.

Dr. Keith Russell is a professional researcher, teacher, and scientific writer with areas of interest that include regenerative medicine, stem cell biology, chondrocyte biology, genetics, and tissue engineering.


Keith spent many years in education before embarking on this second career in science. He received his PhD in Biomedical Sciences at the Ontario Veterinary College. Keith then pursued postdoctoral work at the Lunenfeld Tanenbaum Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, followed by a Mitacs Accelerate Industrial fellowship in partnership with the University of Guelph and eQcell Inc.

Keith has focused his research on answering some necessary questions about the culture and function of both primary and stem cells as a starting point for cellular therapies. For every constraint inherent in choice of cell or culture method, he has sought creative solutions to overcome it. This has led Keith to explore various cell types (MSCs, iPSCs, chondrocytes) and approaches (genome engineering) and taught him that each has its own set of virtues and limits.

 

Over his career, Keith has made conscious choices to expand beyond basic research toward clinically focused research.