• Kirk McManus headshot
  • Professor

    Max Rady College of Medicine
    Biochemistry and Medical Genetics
    University of Manitoba
    Research Institute in Oncology and Hematology
    Room ON6010 – 675 McDermot Avenue
    CancerCare Manitoba
    Winnipeg, Manitoba R3E 0V9

    Phone: 204-787-2833
    Fax: 204-787-2190


  • Chromosome instability
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Drug target discovery
  • High-grade serous ovarian cancer
  • Organoid/spheroid models
  • Patient samples
  • Quantitative imaging microscopy
  • siRNA, shRNA, CRISPR/Cas9
  • Synthetic lethality

Research affiliations

  • Senior scientist, CancerCare Manitoba Research Institute, CancerCare Manitoba

Research summary

Dr. Kirk McManus’ cancer research program has two fundamental goals:

  1. To identify the molecular determinants (abnormal genes, proteins and cellular pathways) driving cancer development and progression, with a particular focus on those impacting chromosome stability; and
  2. To exploit these defective genes, proteins and pathways to develop highly personalized therapeutic strategies to better combat cancer.

A fundamental element of his cancer research program is to provide undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate trainees with innovative, comprehensive and unique training opportunities to enhance and advance their career options within various economic sectors including research, industry, biotech, health delivery, education and policy development.


Dr. Kirk McManus is a professor of biochemistry and medical genetics within the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences. He is also a senior scientist within the CancerCare Manitoba Research Institute at CancerCare Manitoba.

Dr. McManus received his bachelor of science in 1995 and master of science in 1999 from the University of Manitoba.

In 1999, he moved to Edmonton, Alberta, to conduct his PhD studies in experimental oncology at the University of Alberta. He performed his post-doctoral work in molecular oncology at the Michael Smith Laboratories at the University of British Columbia.

He was recruited to CancerCare Manitoba and the University of Manitoba in June 2009.

His research interests are focused on identifying and characterizing the genes, proteins and pathways regulating chromosome stability in various cancer contexts and exploiting these defects to uncover novel therapeutic targets.

He currently employs leading-edge genetics (RNAi and CRISPR/Cas9), biochemistry and cellular biology along with innovative quantitative imaging microscopy approaches and patient model systems to identify both genes and targets of interest.

Dr. McManus has published extensively in cancer genetics with a particular focus on chromosome instability, drug target discovery and therapeutic targeting (synthetic lethality) in many cancer types, including colorectal and ovarian cancers.


  • Post-doctoral fellowship (molecular oncology), Michael Smith Laboratories, University of British Columbia (2009)
  • PhD (experimental oncology), Cross Cancer Institute, University of Alberta (2004)
  • Master of science (human genetics), University of Manitoba (1999)
  • Bachelor of science (honours genetics), University of Manitoba (1995)


  • Scientists’ Choice Award – Best Drug Discovery & Development Article of the Year (2016)
  • University of Manitoba Graduate Student Association Teaching Award (2016)
  • Merit Award for Research, Teaching and Service (2016)
  • Ken Hughes Young Investigator Award for Medical Research (2014)
  • Rh Award for Outstanding Contributions to Scholarship and Research in the Health Sciences (2014)
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research/Manitoba Health Research Council – New Investigator Salary Award (2010-12)


Contact us

Biochemistry and Medical Genetics
Room 336 Basic Medical Sciences Building
745 Bannatyne Avenue
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB R3E 0J9 Canada