Dean H. Betts is internationally recognized for his contributions in embryo development, telomere biology and for deriving stem cell populations from dogs and horses. He received his BSc and MSc degrees from the University of Western Ontario and his PhD from the University of Guelph. Following a post-doctoral fellowship at Case Western Reserve University Dr. Betts joined the Ontario Veterinary College as an Assistant Professor in 2001. He moved his lab to Western in November of 2008. He is currently a Full Professor in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, and a Scientist at Children’s Health Research Institute and at the Ontario Institute of Regenerative Medicine. He is the current Director of Western’s Collaborative Graduate Program in Developmental Biology. He has published over 60 peer-reviewed publications and his research is currently supported by CIHR and NSERC operating grants along with other institute, foundation and industry supported research funds.  

Professional and Academic Experience

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Genetics, Case Western Reserve University

Research Topic: The role of the DNA mismatch repair protein PMS2 in meiosis

Supervisor: Dr. Patricia Hunt


Doctor of Philosophy, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Guelph

Thesis: Analysis Of Telomerase Activity And Telomere Length During Early Bovine Development

Supervisor: Dr. W. Allan King


Frontiers in Reproduction (FIR), Molecular and Cellular Concepts and Applications, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA.

Intensive 6-week laboratory and lecture course in reproductive sciences.


Master of Science, Department of Zoology, The University of Western Ontario

Thesis: Expression of Na/K-ATPase α- and β-Subunit Isoforms During Early Bovine Development

Supervisor: Dr. Andrew J. Watson

Bachelor of Science, Department of Zoology, The University of Western Ontario, Program in Cell Biology   1990-1994


Full Professor


  • Scientist, Children’s Health Research Institute (CHRI)
  • Scientist, Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine (OIRM)


Research Group

Research Interest Area 

Cell and molecular biology

Research Overview

My research program is aimed at understanding the cellular and molecular basis of early embryo development and pluripotent stem cell function.

This research supports my long-term goals of developing and evaluating the health outcomes of various embryonic and stem cell technologies for the treatment of infertility and other disorders.



preimplantation embryo, embryonic stem cells, iPS cells, metabolism, p66Shc, telomerase, telomeres