Our Team 2021


Jeff Biernaskie, PhD

Dept. of Comparative Biology and Experimental Medicine

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

University of Calgary

Jeff Biernaskie completed his BSc in Neuroscience at the University of Lethbridge, his PhD in Neuroscience at Memorial University and postdoctoral training in Stem Cell Biology at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.


In 2009, he joined the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Calgary, where is he currently a Professor in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. He is a member of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute and the Hotchkiss Brain Institute and he holds the Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Society Chair in Skin Regeneration and Wound Healing.


His research program is focused on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying tissue regeneration and the potential to exploit tissue-resident stem cells toward restoration of function following injury or disease. He is specifically interested in how skin and brain stem/progenitors cells are regulated during homeostasis and how factors like injury, advanced aging and the immune system impact their function.


Joshua Vorstenbosch, MD PhD FRSCS

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

Assistant Professor of Surgery

McGill University

Royal Victoria Hospital

Dr. Joshua Vorstenbosch, MD PhD FRSCS is an attending plastic surgeon at the McGill University Health Centre, an Assistant Professor of Surgery at McGill University, and a Junior Scientist at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre.  Dr. Vorstenbosch earned both his medical degree and PhD at McGill University, where he studied under the supervision of Dr. Anie Philip.  He also completed a fellowship in microvascular oncologic reconstruction at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.


Dr. Vorstenbosch’s research lab focuses on the healing response following implantation of biomaterials.  Using human capsular tissue surrounding breast implants as a model, he studies the cellular and molecular singling at the tissue-implant interface.  His lab is investigating what differentiates normal tissue tolerance to an implant from the development of chronic inflammation, which often leads to pathologic fibrosis or in rare cases, cancer.  


In his clinical practice, Dr. Vorstenbosch performs complex oncologic reconstructive surgery, primarily following breast cancer.  He offers a full breadth of reconstructive options ranging from using a patient’s own tissue to using implants.  Dr. Vorstenbosch is also leading the development of a surgical lymphedema program at the MUHC to provide surgical treatment to patients affected by lymphedema.

Scientific committee
Awards committee