Ben Paylor

Ben Paylor completed a Bachelor of Medical Science at the University of Western Ontario, which included a 1-year research exchange to Umea in Northern Sweden. Following his Bachelors, he completed a 2-year Masters of Philosophy in Cardiovascular Biology and Medicine at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. He is currently a PhD candidate in the Experimental Medicine program under the supervision of Dr. Fabio Rossi at the University of British Columbia. His research focuses on understanding the role of tissue-resident mesenchymal progenitors in repair processes of the heart. Outside of science, Ben is an avid pianist and tennis player, as well as being very interested in the field of science communication and policy.  The writer and director of several award-winning science films, Ben is also the co-founder and director of InfoShots (, a science-based animation studio that is currently producing the Stem Cell Network's StemCellShorts series. Ben is the Chair of the Trainee Communications Committee at the Stem Cell Network, sits on the National Advisory Committee of the high school outreach program StemCellTalks and is a 2012/13 Action Canada fellow.

Posts by: Ben

Right Turn: Seeing the potential of retinal stem cells

Author: Ben Paylor, 11/07/14

> The well known expression that “the eyes are the gateway to the soul” has tragic connotations in the context of retinal disease. Rhetoric aside, the potential for regenerative medicine to improve our ability to treat ocular disease and injury makes it an exciting area of stem cell research. It is also one that has…Read more

Right Turn: New StemCellShorts illuminates cancer stem cells

Author: Ben Paylor, 10/24/14

> Just over one year ago, we launched the pilot phase of an animation project titled StemCellShorts here on Signals blog. Funded by a Stem Cell Network Public Outreach Award, the project was very much an experiment for us to see what would happen when you tasked a team of talented creatives, expert faculty and…Read more

Right Turn: No passport required for new animation on stem cell tourism

Author: Ben Paylor, 06/20/14

> Following the initial success of our award-winning StemCellShorts animation project, we are happy to launch the next video in the series. This video features Prof. Timothy Caulfield narrating a response to the question: “What is stem cell tourism?” We were lucky to be able to record the narration with Tim in the idyllic Rocky…Read more

The scientific pursuit of eternal youth

Author: Ben Paylor, 01/21/14

> “I resolve to not get any older.” This may seem like a somewhat outlandish New Year’s resolution, a desire more grounded in the realm of science fiction than science itself. But a growing group working in the field of biogerontology would argue that it is not. I was able to get an update on…Read more

Cardiac regenerative medicine update from the World Stem Cell Summit

Author: Ben Paylor, 12/05/13

> Just over two years ago I wrote about early reports from Dr. Roberto Bolli et al.’s SCIPIO trial running out of the University of Louisville in collaboration with the Harvard Medical School. Since this time, much has happened in the realm of cell therapy to treat ischemic cardiomyopathy and I was able to get…Read more

StemCellShorts 3: What are induced pluripotent stem cells?

Author: Ben Paylor, 10/25/13

“Canada is home to numerous stem cell discoveries and StemCellShorts is an excellent medium through which we can convey these accomplishments to Canadians and others worldwide.  The ‘shorts’ are innovative, educational and entertaining”.  — Dr. Mick Bhatia, Director and Senior Scientist at the McMaster Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute, and Canada Research Chair in Human…Read more

StemCellShorts #2 – What are embryonic stem cells?

Author: Ben Paylor, 10/11/13

“Stem cell research is going to impact on the lives of all Canadians as we move to an era of new stem cell-based treatments for degenerative diseases.  StemCellShorts helps to engage the public in understanding the science of stem cells and I have been delighted to be involved.” –  Dr. Janet Rossant, Chief of Research…Read more

Introducing a new series of animated stem cell videos – StemCellShorts

Author: Ben Paylor, 09/27/13

 > Welcome to the official launch of the first StemCellShorts video: “What is a stem cell?” narrated by stem cell research great Dr. Jim Till. Join us again on October 11 and 25 for the online premieres of two more videos in the series. Anyone who has spent time searching the Internet for quality educational…Read more

Social media and stem cells: Time to start tweeting

Author: Ben Paylor, 04/03/13

Why should stem cell researchers use Twitter? Powerful news aggregator/information filter Able to engage/converse with other attendees at conferences & meetings Increase traffic, discussion and citations of your papers Create professional networks and opportunities for collaboration  Aid the longevity of stem cell research and pace by which it progresses Research is about discovery. The words…Read more

Another success for StemCellTalks

Author: Ben Paylor, 03/19/12

Photo: Mario Moscovici For those who have been involved with StemCellTalks, it’s hard to believe that it’s already in its third year. Some degree of perspective on the pace at which it has been growing can be found in the numbers associated with the event. To date, StemCellTalks symposia have been hosted six times in…Read more