• Portrait of Jody Haigh
  • Professor

    Max Rady College of Medicine
    Pharmacology and Therapeutics
    Research Institute in Oncology and Hematology (RIOH)
    Room ON5029, 675 McDermot Avenue
    University of Manitoba
    Winnipeg, Manitoba R3E 0V9

    Phone: 204-787-2134

Research summary

Dr. Jody Haigh and his team of researchers at the Max Rady College of Medicine are making groundbreaking discoveries in the field of leukemia research. They are investigating the role of misexpression of ZEB and SNAI families of transcription factors in blood cell development and function, and how this ultimately leads to leukemic transformation.

Utilizing cutting-edge techniques such as conditional Cre/loxP dependent gain and loss of function mouse models, as well as primary patient leukemic cells, they are identifying novel druggable targets and combination therapies that have the potential to revolutionize the treatment of aggressive forms of blood cancers.

Dr. Haigh's work is not only limited to cancer research, but also encompasses the plasticity of cells and its relationship to differentiation-based therapies in cancer and regeneration-based approaches within the blood system. The ultimate goal of this research is to develop novel therapeutic approaches that can effectively target aggressive forms of leukemia.

With Dr. Haigh's extensive experience and expertise in cell fate engineering and epigenetics, his team is well-equipped to make significant strides in this field.

Research themes

  • Generation of conditional and inducible mouse models of cancer and transdifferentiation
  • Harnessing cellular plasticity in regenerative medicine and cancer therapies
  • Leukemic and hematopoietic stem cell biology
  • Development of novel therapeutic approaches to target aggressive forms of leukemia
  • Use of novel epigenetic differentiation therapies in leukemia


  • Acute lymphocytic leukemia
  • Acute myeloid leukemia
  • Cellular preprogramming
  • Epigenetic therapy
  • Plasticity
  • ZEB and SNAI transcription factors

Research affiliations

  • Senior scientist, Research Institute in Oncology and Hematology (RIOH), CancerCare Manitoba

Research groups


Dr. Jody Haigh is a highly accomplished researcher and professor in the field of pharmacology and therapeutics.

He completed his undergraduate degree in life sciences and master of science degree in biochemistry at Queen’s University, followed by a PhD in biochemistry at the IMP/University of Vienna, Austria.

After spending four years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute at Mount Sinai hospital in Toronto, Dr. Haigh held a position as an assistant professor at Ghent University in Belgium and ran his own research group at the VIB. He was then recruited to the Australian Centre for Blood Diseases (ACBD) at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia on a Larkin’s Fellowship as an associate professor.

In 2018, he returned to Canada as an associate professor of pharmacology and therapeutics and established his research group at the Research Institute in Oncology and Hematology at CancerCare Manitoba/University of Manitoba Bannatyne campus.

Throughout his career, Dr. Haigh has developed and used novel mouse embryonic stem cell-based transgenic technologies to study genes involved in cardiovascular and hematopoietic development and disease-related processes.

He has co-authored numerous publications on the role of vascular endothelial growth factor signaling in organogenesis and disease processes, including cancer. He has co-authored 90 research articles in journals such as Blood, Cell Reports, Nature, Nature Medicine, Nature Cell Biology, and Nature Communications.

His publications have been cited more than 7,000 times.

  • Education

    Postdoctoral Fellow, Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital (2000-2004)

    PhD in biochemistry, Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP)/University of Vienna, Vienna Austria (2000)

    Master of Science in biochemistry, Queen’s Cancer Research Institute (1995)

    Bachelor of Science in life sciences (honours), Queen’s University (1992)

  • Awards

    Larkins Fellowship – Monash University, Melbourne Australia (2013-2015)

    Tier II Canada Research Chair in Regenerative Medicine (declined) (2011-2016)

    Terry Fox National Cancer Institute of Canada (NCIC) Postdoctoral Fellowship (2001-2004)

    Vienna Biocentre International PhD Studentship (1995-1999)

    Queen’s Graduate Award (1994-1995) 

Contact us

Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Max Rady College of Medicine
A205 Chown Bldg., 753 McDermot Avenue
University of Manitoba (Bannatyne campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3E 0T6 Canada