Logo Rosalind & Morris Goodman Cancer Institute
Empowering Future Scientists: GCI Alumnus Jason Northey’s Commitment to Cancer Research and Mentorship

Jason Northey, an alumnus of the Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Institute (GCI), shares with us his cancer research path to establishing his own research lab. From his graduate studies under the mentorship of Prof. Peter Siegel to his current endeavors, Jason underscores his commitment to understanding the intricate mechanisms of cancer progression and his dedication to mentoring the next generation of researchers.

Advancing cancer research here and abroad

During his time at GCI, Jason Northey explored the complexities of oncogenes and cytokines in driving metastatic breast cancer. "I became intrigued by cell signalling pathways during my undergraduate studies in Biochemistry at McGill," Jason recalls. "The professors were incredibly engaging and enthusiastic about their research, which motivated me to join Prof. Siegel’s lab." Under Prof. Siegel's supervision and guidance, Jason's research uncovered the critical role of the ShcA adaptor protein in the cooperation between the ErbB2 and TGFbeta signaling pathways which promotes breast cancer cell migration, invasion, and metastasis.

After completing his graduate studies, Jason joined Prof. Valerie Weaver’s lab at UCSF as a postdoctoral fellow. There, he explored how the mechanical context of tissues influences breast cancer initiation and progression. "Prof. Weaver’s mentorship has been invaluable," Jason notes. "I’ve had the freedom to pursue fascinating questions about the tumor microenvironment and how fibrosis impacts tumor progression."

Discover more of Jason’s work on Google Scholar and on PubMed.

Collecting valuable skills along the way

Reflecting on his time at GCI, Jason highlights the foundational skills in molecular biology, biochemistry, and in vivo techniques that he acquired along the way. "I was taught how to discern the best methods for planning and executing experiments, collaborate with others, and effectively communicate results," he says. For current trainees, Jason shares his advice to “try to build and maintain a good support system of colleagues who genuinely want the best for you." He emphasizes on the importance of keeping an open mind and the courage to take risks for things you are passionate about.

New horizons back in Canada

The collaborations and scientific creativity that Jason witnessed and participated in at the GCI inspired him to continue his career in academic research. This summer, Jason will start a new chapter as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Alberta. His research will continue to investigate how mechanical cues influence cell phenotypes through altered steroid hormone signaling and epigenetic regulation of chromatin organization. "I’m excited to start my lab and continue this important research," he shares. "We’ll be using mouse models and organoid model systems to understand the mechanobiology of breast cancer."

As Jason prepares to launch his lab at the University of Alberta, he is actively recruiting prospective students to join him in the fight against cancer: "I’m always on the lookout for people eager to learn and continue this research," he emphasizes.

To learn more about Prof. Jason Northey’s research or interest in joining his research group, contact him on LinkedIn and visit his lab page.


Back to news