Bob Hancock

Contact Information
Centre for Microbial Diseases and Immunity Research
Lower Mall Research Station
#232, 2259 Lower Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6T 1Z4
Tel 1-604-822-2682
Fax 1-604-827-5566
Lab Website:

Current Positions

  • Professor, Microbiology and Immunology, Science
  • Director, Centre for Microbial Diseases and Immunity Research

Research Interests

Infectious diseases influence all areas of human endeavor. They are responsible for a third of all deaths on the planet, are currently the third leading cause of human deaths in North America, and also have a major impact on agriculture and food safety. However current therapeutic approaches based on antibiotics are under severe threat due to antibiotic resistance and the dearth (and ineffectiveness) of antibiotic discovery programs worldwide.

The Hancock laboratory is engaged in three basic types of research to address this growing problem; understanding the mechanism of action of cationic host defence (antimicrobial) peptides and their role as modulators of innate immunity (including basic functional genomic studies to define the innate immunity network in blood cells); the development of novel therapeutics based on the immunomodulatory and antibiotic activities of host defence peptides; and investigating the functional genomics of a prominent nosocomial pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, with specific reference to antibiotic resistance and the regulation of resistance and virulence. It is situated in approximately 8000 square feet of lab bench space and 2000 square feet of office space at the Lower Mall Research Station on campus and is well equipped, technologically diverse and well funded.

Selected Publications

  1. Porto W.F., L. Irazazabala, E.S.F. Alves, S.M. Ribeiro, C.O. Matos, Á.S. Pires, I.C.M. Fensterseifer, V.J. Miranda, E.F. Haney, V. Humblot, C. de la Fuente-Núñez, R.E.W. Hancock , L.M. Liao, A. Ladramh and O.L. Franco. 2018. In silico optimization of a guava antimicrobial peptide enables combinatorial exploration for peptide design. Nature Commun., in press.
  2. Haney, E.F., Y. Brito-Sánchez, M.J. Trimblea, S.C. Mansour, A. Cherkasov, and R.E.W. Hancock. 2018. Computer-aided discovery of peptides that specifically attack bacterial biofilms. Sci. Reports 8,1871.
  3. Wu, B.C., A.H. Lee, and R.E.W. Hancock. 2017. Mechanisms of the innate defense regulator peptide-1002 anti-inflammatory activity in a sterile inflammation mouse model. J. Immunol. 199:3592-3603.
  4. Wuerth, K.C., R. Falsafi, and R.E.W. Hancock. 2017. Synthetic host defense peptide IDR-1002 reduces inflammation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infection. PLoS One 12:e0187565.
  5. Wang, D., Y. Shen, J. Ma, R.E.W. Hancock, and M. Haapasalo. 2017. Antibiofilm effect of D-enantiomeric peptide alone and combined with EDTA in vitro. J. Endodontics. 43:1862-1867.
  6. Haney, E.F. B. Wu, K. Lee, A.L. Hilchie and R.E.W. Hancock. 2017. Aggregation and its influence on the immunomodulatory activity of synthetic innate defense regulator peptides. Cell Chem Biol 24:969–980.e4.
  7. Yeung, A.T.Y., C. Hale, A.H. Lee, E. E. Gill, W. Bushell, D. Parry-Smith, D. Goulding, D. Pickard, T. Roumeliotis, J. Choudhary, N. Thomson, W.C. Skarnes, G. Dougan and R.E.W. Hancock. 2017. Exploiting induced pluripotent stem cell-derived macrophages to unravel key host factors influencing Chlamydia trachomatis pathogenesis. Nature Communications 8:15013.
  8. Pletzer, D., S.C. Mansour, K. Wuerth, N. Rahanjam, and R.E.W. Hancock. 2017. New mouse model for chronic infections by Gram-negative bacteria enabling the study of anti-infective efficacy and host-microbe interactions. mBio 8:e00140-17.
  9. Crabbé, A., Y. Liu, N. Matthijs, P. Rigole, C. de la Fuente-Nùñez, R. Davis, M.A. Ledesma, S. Sarker, R. van Houdt, R.E.W. Hancock, T. Coenye, and C.A. Nickerson. 2017.Antimicrobial efficacy against Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm formation in a three-dimensional lung epithelial model and the influence of fetal bovine serum. Sci. Reports 7:43321.
  10. Zhang, T., Z. Wang, R.E.W. Hancock, C. de la Fuente-Núñez and M. Haapasalo. 2016. Treatment of oral biofilms by a D-enantiomeric peptide. PLoS One 11: e0166997.
  11. Mansour, S.C., D. Pletzer, C. de la Fuente-Núñez, P. Kim, G.Y.C. Cheung, H.-S. Joo, M. Otto and R.E.W. Hancock. 2016. Bacterial abscess formation is controlled by the stringent stress response and can be targeted therapeutically. eBiomedicine 12:219–226.;
  12. Yu, K., J. Lo, Y. Mei, E. Haney, E. Siren, M. Kalathottukaren, R.E.W. Hancock, D. Lange, and J. Kizhakkedathu. 2015. Towards infection resistant surfaces: Achieving high antimicrobial peptide potency by modulating the functionality of polymer brush and peptide. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces. 7:28591-605.
  13. Xia J, E Gill and REW Hancock. 2015. NetworkAnalyst for statistical, visual and network-based meta-analysis of gene expression data. Nature Protocols 10:823-844.
  14. Yeung, A.T.Y., C. Hale, J. Xia, P.H. Tate, D. Goulding, J.A. Keane, S. Mukhopadhyay, L. Forrester, O. Billker, W.C. Skarnes, R.E.W. Hancock, and G. Dougan. 2015. Conditional-ready mouse embryonic stem cell derived macrophages enable the study of essential genes in macrophage function. Scientific Reports. 5: 8908; doi:10.1038/srep08908.
  15. Pena, O.M., D.G. Hancock, N.H. Lyle, A. Linder, J.A. Russell, J. Xia, C.D. Fjell, J.H. Boyd, and R.E.W. Hancock. 2014. An endotoxin tolerance signature predicts sepsis and organ dysfunction at initial clinical presentation. eBiomedicine 1:64–71.
  16. Bolouri, H., K. Sävman,W. Wang, A. Thomas, N. Maurer, E. Dullaghan, C.D. Fjell, H. Hagberg, R.E.W. Hancock, K.L. Brown, and C. Mallard. 2014. Innate defence regulator peptide 1018 protects against perinatal brain injury. Ann. Neurol. 75:395-410.
  17. Fuente-Núñez, C., F. Reffuveille, E.F. Haney, S.K. Straus and R.E.W. Hancock. 2014. Broad-spectrum anti-biofilm peptide that targets a cellular stress response. PLoS Pathogens 10(5):e1004152.



  • Postdoctoral, Berkeley (1977-78)
  • Postdoctoral, Tübingen (1975-77)
  • Ph.D., Adelaide, 1974