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Michael Woods

Discipline of Genetics
PhD (Memorial)

Associate Professor, Discipline of Genetics

Craig L. Dobbin Genetics Research Centre
Room: M5M304
Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University
St. John’s, NL, Canada  A1B 3V6

t: (709) 864-6489
f: (709) 864-6537
lab: (709) 864-6636


Research Interests: Identification of novel genes and mutations involved in hereditary colorectal cancer, familial pulmonary fibrosis, intracranial aneurysms, Goeminne syndrome and various eye diseases; utilizing a colorectal tissue bank to identify pathways causing cancer; creating and curating the International Society of Gastrointestinal Hereditary Tumours (InSIGHT) variant database



2005: Certificate in Bioinformatics, University of British Columbia

2001:    Ph.D. (Human Genetics), Memorial University 

1998: Diploma in the Graduate Student Teaching Program, Memorial University 

1995: B.Sc. (Biology), Memorial University 


Professional Experience

2011 – present:   Associate Professor, Discipline of Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University

2005 – 2011:        Assistant Professor, Discipline of Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University 

2003 – 2005:     Post Doctoral Fellow, Discipline of Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University

2001 – 2003:     Post Doctoral Fellow, Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, University of Toronto



Dr. Woods’ research interests span numerous diseases, however the commonality between all of these projects is in the methodology. By utilizing the unique Newfoundland and Labrador population, and the wealth of clinical data obtained by colleagues, families with rare diseases of unknown genetic etiology are recognized and the genetic basis of their disease is identified. Due to the outstanding collaborations between laboratory scientists, clinicians, patients and their families, Dr. Woods’ discoveries can be taken from the bench to the bedside in a very short period of time. Particularly now that the Discipline of Genetics has moved into a new state-of-the-art facility, The Craig L. Dobbin Genetics Research Centre, collaboration between scientists and clinicians has become even easier and productive.  

Currently, students and staff in Dr. Woods’ laboratory primarily work on datasets generated through whole exome next generation sequencing derived from family-based studies. Through using this approach, bioinformatics tools and functional assays, disease-causing mutations are identified. This directly helps patients and families by providing information for better clinical and genetic screening protocols. As well, it has the potential to identify important targets for downstream applications. 

Dr. Woods was the Chair of the Board of Directors for the NL Division of the Canadian Cancer Society (2011-2013) and currently is a Member of the National Board of Directors of the Canadian Cancer Society (2011-present). 

Group members

Daniel Evans (medical student & Ph.D. candidate)

Julia Pennell (MSc candidate)


Current Financial Support

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada