Professor, Department of Surgery, University of British Columbia
Head, Childhood Diseases Theme, BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute
Dr. Megan Levings has been in the UBC Department of Surgery since 2003 when she was recruited back to Canada as a Canada Research Chair in Transplantation. In 2011 she joined the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute where she now heads the Childhood Diseases Research Theme. Dr. Levings’ scientific career started with summer research positions in a fruit fly genetics lab at Simon Fraser University. She then did her graduate training in the genetics program with Dr. John Schrader at UBC, during which time she attended her first of many Canadian Society for Immunology meetings and developed a passion for immunology. In 1999 she joined Dr. Maria Grazia Roncarolo's lab in Milan, Italy, undertaking postdoctoral training in the emerging area of immune regulation. She was among the first groups to show that a special kind of white blood cell, known as a T regulatory cell, could be used as a therapy to stop harmful immune responses. She continues this line of research at UBC, and is now internationally recognized in the field of human immunology, chairs the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies Centres' of Excellence and is a member of the NIH Immune Tolerance Network steering committee. Dr. Levings leads a vibrant group of trainees and staff who are researching how to use T regulatory cells to replace conventional immunosuppression in the context of transplantation and autoimmunity.