Wendy Dean

Dr. Wendy Dean




Cumming School of Medicine, Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy

Biomedical Lab Director

Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute

Child Health & Wellness Researcher

Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute

Contact information

Phone number

Office: 403.210.7066


Office: HMRB268

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Senior Communications Specialist

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Educational Background

PhD in Molecular and Developmental Biology University of Calgary, 1989

MSc in Biology Brock University, 1985

Hons BSc in Biology and Chemistry Brock University, 1982


Areas of Research

Developmental Biology
Developmental Genetics
Gene Regulation

The genetic code supplies instructions for all the 200 cell types of the adult human. All these cells arise from the fertilised egg. One blueprint with many interpretations, giving the awe-inspiring arc from embryo to adult organism. This orchestration is the role of epigenome. Epigenetic instructions are both rigid, keeping cellular identity fixed throughout a healthy lifespan, and flexible responding to environmental, nutritional and metabolic requirements from development and throughout all life. Many layers of the epigenome are required to regulate gene expression in a meticulous fashion supplying sufficient gene products at the right time and the right place. 

Among the most essential cells produced in the development of the organism are those that will become eggs and sperm. These cells cross the generations and arise at early stages of development. As such, during pregnancy, multiple generations all exist simultaneously and the life experiences of one may affect the immediate, next and future generations. Examples are found in age related health and disease processes. Understanding the mechanisms is still in its infancy. However, new tools and therapies are available to probe these challenges to learning about and ensuring children’s health, the basis of a healthy society.

Participation in university strategic initiatives