Dr. Juliet M. Daniel

Dr. Juliet Daniel is a Professor and Cancer Biologist in the Department of Biology at McMaster University. Dr. Daniel received her B.Sc. from Queen’s University and her Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia. Dr. Daniel spent six years as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Tennessee (St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital & Vanderbilt University) before joining McMaster in 1999 to establish her own research laboratory.

Dr. Daniel’s research expertise is cell-cell adhesion and signaling through transcription factors, and how their malfunction contributes to cancer. Dr. Daniel’s research led to her discovery and naming of a new gene “Kaiso”, coined from the popular Caribbean music “calypso”. Kaiso regulates the expression of genes that control cell proliferation and adhesion; consequently Kaiso’s malfunction in various human tumors (e.g. breast, colon, prostate) contributes to tumor progression and spread.

Dr. Daniel’s team is currently focused on aggressive and difficult to treat triple negative breast cancers (TNBC) that are most prevalent in young women of African ancestry and Hispanic women – groups that paradoxically have a lower incidence and lifetime risk of breast cancer. Her research team seeks to identify unique DNA mutations or markers in cells that may explain this racial disparity and which can then be developed for diagnostic tests or therapeutics for women diagnosed with TNBC worldwide regardless of ethnicity. Dr. Daniel partners with The Olive Branch of Hope cancer support service in Toronto to organize “Think Beyond ‘Love Pink’ Breast Cancer Awareness” workshops for women of African Ancestry in the GTA.

In recognition of her research, Dr. Daniel has received several awards including the Ontario Premier’s Research Excellence Award, the John C. Holland Professional Achievement Award, the African Canadian Achievement Award of Excellence in Science, the Barbados National Honor Gold Crown of Merit and a Hamilton YWCA Women of Distinction Award. She has also been featured in “Millennium Minds: 100 Black Canadians”.

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