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Carol Schuurmans

Senior scientist
Dixon Family Chair in Ophthalmology

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Ave., Room A3 20C
Toronto, ON
M4N 3M5

Phone: 416-480-6100 ext. 67297

Administrative Assistant: Cassandra Cheng
Phone: 416-480-6100 ext. 63537


  • B.Sc., 1986, psychology, University of Alberta, Canada
  • B.Sc. Special Certificate, 1987, microbiology, University of Alberta, Canada
  • M.Sc., 1990, microbiology, University of Alberta, Canada
  • PhD, 1995, medical genetics, University of Toronto, Canada
  • Postdoctoral fellowship, 2001, Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, Strasbourg, France

Appointments and Affiliations:

  • Senior scientist, Biological Sciences, Hurvitz Brain Sciences Research Program, Sunnybrook Research Institute
  • Professor, department of biochemistry, department of laboratory medicine and pathobiology, department of ophthalmology and vision sciences, University of Toronto
  • Adjunct professor, department of biochemistry and molecular biology, University of Calgary

Research Foci:

  • Neural development, with a focus on the retina and neocortex
  • Neuonral reprogramming, with a focus on cortical astrocytes and retinal Müller glia
  • Transcriptional regulation of neural cell fate specification

Research Summary:

The focus of Dr. Schuurmans’ research is on the specification of neural cell fates and the control of tissue morphogenesis in the developing central nervous system, in particular in the developing retina and neocortex. She is applying her knowledge of neural development to understand the injury response and to mobilize endogenous glial cells for tissue repair. Her lab is also developing lineage conversion strategies for neuronal cell replacement therapies.

Selected Publications:

See current publications list at PubMed.

  1. Han S, Okawa S, Wilkinson G, Gazalah H, Adnani L, Dixit R, Tavares L, Faisal I, Brooks M, Cortay V, Zinyk D, Li S, Malik FU, Angarica VE, Chinchalongporn V, Sivitilli A, Gao J, Oproescu AM, Vasan L, Touahri Y, David LA, Raharjo E, Ilnytskyy Y, Kim J-W, Wu W, Rahmani W, Kovalchuk I, Chan JA, Attisano L, Kurrasch D, Dehay C, Swaroop A, Castro DS, Biernaskie J, del Sol A, Schuurmans C. 2021. Proneural genes define ground state rules to regulate neurogenic patterning and cortical folding. Neuron. Sept. 15;109(18):1-17
  2. Touahri Y, Dixit R, Kofoed RH, Miloska K, Park E, Raeisossadati R, Markham-Coultes K, David LA, Rijal H, Zhao J, Lynch M, Hynynen K, Aubert I, Schuurmans C. 2020. Focused ultrasound as a novel strategy for noninvasive gene delivery to retinal Müller glia. Theranostics. 2020 Feb 10;10(7):2982-2999. doi: 10.7150/thno.42611. eCollection 2020. PMID:32194850
  3. *Han S, *Dennis D, *Balakrishnan A, Dixit R, Britz O, Touahri Y, Olender T, Brand M, Zinyk D, Guillemot F, Kurrasch D, Schuurmans C. 2018. A non-canonical role for the proneural gene Neurog1 as a negative regulator of neocortical neurogenesis. Development. 2018 Oct 1;145(19). 1-13. pii: dev157719. doi: 10.1242/dev.157719. PMID: 30201687
  4. *Tachibana N, *Touahri Y, Dixit R, David LA, Adnani L, Cantrup R, Aavani T, Wong RO, Logan CC, Kurek K, Schuurmans C. 2018. Hamartoma-like lesions in the mouse retina: an animal model of Pten hamartoma tumour syndrome. Disease Models and Mechanisms. 2018 May 21;11(5):1-13. pii: dmm031005. doi: 10.1242/dmm.031005. PMID: 29716894
  5. *Dennis D, *Wilkinson G, *Li S, Dixit R, Adnani L, Balakrishnan A, Han S, Kovach C, Gruenig N, Kurrasch D, Dyck R, Schuurmans C. 2017. Neurog2 and Ascl1 together regulate a postmitotic derepression circuit to govern laminar fate specification in the neocortex. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Jun 20;114(25):E4934-E4943. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1701495114. PMID:28584103.

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