Prof. Olson’s research has been directed at three levels: understanding the fundamental molecular mechanisms by which Rho GTPases contribute to the regulation of proliferation, cell division and apoptosis/survival; creating mouse models to determine how Rho signalling promotes tumourigenesis and growth in vivo and for testing Rho signalling inhibitors as potential chemotherapeutic agents; initiating and driving drug discovery efforts that will lead to the development of novel inhibitors of Rho signalling pathway components. After obtaining a PhD in Pharmacology at the University of Toronto in 1993, Prof. Olson was funded by a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada post-doctoral fellowship to work with Prof. Alan Hall at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Cell Biology at University College London. He then obtained an Institute of Cancer Research Fellowship to work in the laboratory of Prof. Chris Marshall in 1995. A Royal Society University Research Fellowship enabled Prof. Olson to begin his career as an independent principal investigator in 1998 at the Institute of Cancer Research in London. In 2001, he moved to the University of Pennsylvania to become an Assistant Investigator in the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, with cross-appointments as Assistant Professor in the Departments of Cancer Biology and Cell Biology. In 2004, Professor Olson returned to the UK, to the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute and the University of Glasgow at Professor of Molecular Oncology. Upon receiving the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in 2018, he repatriated to Canada to take up his current position.
Michael F. Olson Ph.D.
Canada Research Chair in Molecular Cell Biology, Ryerson University
Ryerson MaRS Research Facility
MaRS Discovery District, West Tower