Martin Hirst, PhD

    Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Centre for High-Throughput Biology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC
    Head of Epigenomics, Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre, BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver, BC
    Adjunct Professor, Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC

Dr. Hirst’s research is directed at understanding the role of epigenetics in cancer and investigating the therapeutic potential of interventions directed at epigenetic processes. He approaches this from an epigenomic perspective by combining innovative molecular biology and computational techniques with genome-wide detection platforms.

Working with local, national and international collaborators Dr. Hirst was one of the first in the world to develop techniques for performing epigenome profiling utilizing next generation sequencing platforms. Collaborating within a team of scientists and clinicians Dr. Hirst is applying these tools to profile the genetic and epigenetic landscapes of normal and transformed human tissues and cells and has published 81 peer reviewed research articles.

Dr. Hirst is actively engaged in the generation of reference epigenome maps of normal human cells and tissues as part of the CIHR and Genome BC funded Centre for Epigenomic Mapping Technologies and NIH Reference Epigenome Roadmap project. He is a member of the International Human Epigenome Consortium Scientific Steering Committee (ISSC) and the International Cancer Genome Consortium technologies working group.