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About Thomas Drysdale

Dr. Tom Drysdale is a biologist researching the molecular events behind early development of different organ systems including the heart, kidney, lungs, and thyroid, to understand how organs like the heart form and how disruptions can cause developmental defects.

Children's Health Collaborators: Qingping Feng, Douglas Fraser, and Andrew J Watson

The goal of my lab is to understand the molecular events that govern the development of specific organs. In particular, we are interested in the early development of the cardiovascular system, the lung and thyroid. We have found that retinoic acid is a critical signaling molecule in controlling the decisions regarding the differentiation of these organ systems. We are also trying to understand the cellular events that govern the morphogenesis of the organ.

We utilize a combination of classical embryology, molecular biology and genome manipulation to look at these challenging questions.

Dr. Tom Drysdale received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1981 and his MSc degree in 1986 from the University of Guelph. He then completed his doctorate with Dr. R. Elinson at the University of Toronto examining the development and patterning of surface ectoderm in Xenopus. Upon completion of his PhD in 1992, he joined the laboratory of Dr. Paul Krieg at the University of Texas in Austin. That postdoctoral work led to the development of key tools that have enabled Xenopus to become an excellent tool for the examination of cardiac development.

Dr. Drysdale became a Principal Investigator at the Lawson Health Research Institute in 1995 and was appointed an Assistant Professor in the Department of Paediatrics at Western University. In 1997, he was cross-appointed to the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology. Dr. Drysdale was awarded a Heart and Stroke Foundation Research Scholarship in 1999 and is currently funded by the CIHR.

Research Interest Area: Neonatal health
Research Overview: The molecular and cellular interactions that define the heart in the early embryo


Present Associate Professor, Western University Department of Paediatrics
Present Associate Professor, Western University Department of Physiology and Pharmacology
Present Scientist, Lawson Health Research Institute ‐ Children's Health Research Institute (CHRI)


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Recent Works (15)