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About Lisa Hoffman

Dr. Lisa Hoffman is a biophysicist researching cell therapy and molecular imaging, especially concerning neuromuscular diseases like Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, through cutting-edge imaging technologies including PET/MRI.

Children's Health Collaborators: Keith St. Lawrence



MSK Research Areas of Interest: Animal Models, Clinical Outcomes, Drug Delivery, Molecular & Cell Biology, Muscle Disorders, Musculoskeletal Imaging, Personalized Medicine, Regenerative Medicine

Dr. Hoffman obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Saskatchewan in 2000. She went on to complete several postdoctoral positions that culminated in a unique skill set in stem cell biology, classic cell/molecular biology, and non-invasive multi-modality imaging. Imaging modalities include positron emission tomography [PET], dynamic contrast-enhanced computed tomography [DCE-CT], high frequency 3D ultrasound [HFU]/echocardiography, and optical/bioluminescense imaging . She is currently one of few Canadian researchers poised to take advantage of the recent opening of the PETtracer Cyclotron and PET-radiochemistry facility in London. Dr. Hoffman was appointed as a Lawson Imaging Scientist in the Fall of 2009, and as Asistant Professor in the Departments of Medical Biophysics , Western University (Fall 2009) and Anatomy & Cell Biology, Western University (Spring 2010). Capitalizing on the breadth of her multidisciplinary experience, Dr. Hoffman's current research interests lie in Molecular Imaging and Cell Therapeutics for the treatment of both the skeletal and cardiac manifestations of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Specifically, her group aims to develop objective and quantitative non-invasive imaging technologies to track stem/progenitor cell fate following transplantation into mouse models of DMD.

Her growing expertise in this area of research has been recognized by her being awarded a Stem Cell Network (SCN) Transitional Research Grant in 2008. She has additionally held internal operating funds (IRF) with Lawson (2009-2010), and a CIHR Priority Announcement from the Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis in 2010. She currently holds another Lawson IRF (2011-2012), a NSERC Discovery Grant (2011-2016), and a HSFO Grant-In-Aid (2012-2014).


Dr. Hoffman obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Saskatchewan in 2000. She went on to complete several postdoctoral positions that culminated in a unique skill set in stem cell biology, classic cell/molecular biology, and non-invasive multi-modality imaging. Imaging modalities include positron emission tomography [PET], dynamic contrast-enhanced computed tomography [DCE-CT], high frequency 3D ultrasound [HFU]/echocardiography, and optical/bioluminescense imaging. She is currently one of few Canadian researchers poised to take advantage of the recent opening of the PETtracer Cyclotron and PET-radiochemistry facility in London. Dr. Hoffman was appointed as a Lawson Imaging Scientist in the Fall of 2009, and as Asistant Professor in the Departments of Medical Biophysics, Western University (Fall 2009) and Anatomy & Cell Biology, Western University (Spring 2010). Capitalizing on the breadth of her multidisciplinary experience, Dr. Hoffman's current research interests lie in Molecular Imaging and Cell Therapeutics for the treatment of both the skeletal and cardiac manifestations of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Specifically, her group aims to develop objective and quantitative non-invasive imaging technologies to track stem/progenitor cell fate following transplantation into mouse models of DMD. Her growing expertise in this area of research has been recognized by her being awarded a Stem Cell Network (SCN) Transitional Research Grant in 2008. She has additionally held internal operating funds (IRF) with Lawson (2009-2010), and a CIHR Priority Announcement from the Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis in 2010. She currently holds another Lawson IRF (2011-2012), a NSERC Discovery Grant (2011-2016), and a HSFO Grant-In-Aid (2012-2014).


Dr. Hoffman obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Saskatchewan in 2000. She went on to complete several postdoctoral positions that culminated in a unique skill set in stem cell biology, classic cell/molecular biology, and non-invasive multi-modality imaging.

Imaging modalities include positron emission tomography [PET], dynamic contrast-enhanced computed tomography [DCE-CT], high frequency 3D ultrasound [HFU]/echocardiography, and optical/bioluminescense imaging. She is currently one of few Canadian researchers poised to take advantage of the recent opening of the PETtracer Cyclotron and PET-radiochemistry facility in London.

Dr. Hoffman was appointed as a Lawson Imaging Scientist in the Fall of 2009, and as Assistant Professor in the Departments of Medical Biophysics, Western University (Fall 2009) and Anatomy & Cell Biology, Western University (Spring 2010). Capitalizing on the breadth of her multidisciplinary experience, Dr. Hoffman’s current research interests lie in Molecular Imaging and Cell Therapeutics for the treatment of both the skeletal and cardiac manifestations of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Specifically, her group aims to develop objective and quantitative non-invasive imaging technologies to track stem/progenitor cell fate following transplantation into mouse models of DMD.

Research Group: Imaging
Research Interest Area: Musculoskeletal disorders; Cardiovascular and vascular health; Inflammation and inflammatory disease

Research Overview
I have capitalized on the breadth of research being conducted in the fields of stem cell research and imaging within this center, and now possesses an extremely unique skill-set in stem cell biology, classic cell/molecular biology, and multi-modality non-invasive imaging technologies (positron emission tomography [PET], dynamic contrast-enhanced computed tomography [DCE-CT], high frequency 3D ultrasound [HFU], and optical [bioluminescence]). Excitingly, I am currently one of few Canadian researchers poised to take full advantage of the recent opening of the PETtracer Cyclotron and PET-radiochemistry facility in London.

My future research goal is to develop a collaborative research program in Molecular and Functional Imaging, in which I will play a lead role in cutting-edge research that focuses on the development of therapeutics for neuromuscular diseases, and on the non-invasive assessment of such therapies.

Keywords: Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Regenerative Therapy


Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a severe neuromuscular disorder that results from mutations in or the loss of the cytoskeletal protein, dystrophin, and is characterized by progressive degeneration of both skeletal and cardiac muscle. This disorder affects ~30,000 children (primarily boys) in North America alone, making it the most common fatal genetic disorder diagnosed in early childhood. There is no cure, with most children succumbing to the disease in their early twenties; more than 95% of these patients exhibit clinically-relevant cardiomyopathy. Given the prevalence and severity of DMD, there exists an urgent need for new and innovative ways to improve our understanding of the disease, and to advance therapies and preventive strategies to assess disease risk, delay disease progression, and aid in repair. Molecular imaging has potential to fulfill this need. While recent advances suggest that transplantation of stem cells may be able to repair damaged heart and skeletal muscle, there exists a major limitation to the use of stem cells: a lack of reliable imaging technologies for long-term monitoring of implanted stem cells, and for evaluating its effectiveness as a therapy. Another significant limitation to the use of stem/progenitor cells for the treatment of DMD, however, is the restricted ability of transplanted cells to migrate and engraft within damaged muscle. It has been suggested that this may arise due to deprivation of an appropriate microvascular environment. Therefore, my group also aims to identify growth factors /cytokines, etc. that enhance cell migration and engraftment.

Positions

Present Assistant Professor, Western University Department of Medical Biophysics
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Present Assistant Professor, Western University Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
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Present Associate Scientist, Lawson Health Research Institute ‐ Children's Health Research Institute (CHRI)
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Disciplines



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