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Dr. John Bell


Senior Scientist, Cancer Therapeutics Program
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

Professor, Depts. of Medicine and Biochemistry, Microbiology & Immunology
University of Ottawa

Director, Canadian Oncolytic Virus Consortium (COVCo),
Terry Fox New Frontiers Program Project Grant

Scientific Director, BioCanRx, Biotherapeutics for Cancer Treatment
Network of Centres of Excellence (NCE)

Dr. Bell's has been at the forefront of Oncolytic Virus (OV) research for over 25 years and has developed multiple products that have gone onto clinical testing. In particular, the Bell Lab Research group at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) has developed a novel vaccinia virus based platform that has been used to create a multi-mechanistic immune stimulating oncolytic virus that is in a phase I/II trial (NCT04301011). One of our fundamental studies includes the demonstration of common cancer specific defects that provide the selective growth of OVs that has been exploited by multiple oncolytic virus platforms and companies around the world. Dr. Bell was the first to demonstrate that OVs can be delivered systemically to cancer patients. In 2007, he recognized the acute need for biomanufacturing capacity in Canada and founded the Biotherapeutics Manufacturing Facility at the OHRI which has grown over the years to now employ 40 HQP with expertise in GMP manufacturing of virus products. This is still the only academic GMP facility in Canada to have produced viral vectors for clinical trials. Dr. Bell's role within the C3 will be to provide Scientific direction and mentorship for the development of multiplex OV products to enhance the activity/recruitment of tumour infiltrating lymphocytes into the tumour microenvironment.

Dr. John Bell
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