Niels Bols

Niels Bols
Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Adjunct Professor
Status: Emeritus


Niels Bols is best known for his remarkable generation and maintenance of cell lines for detailed experimental work. He officially retired in 2013 and was designated as a Distinguished Professor Emeritus by the University of Waterloo in 2015.

Animal cell cultures are being used for three purposes: basic research, in vitro toxicology, and biotechnology. Basic research is being done on the development of differentiated fish cell lines and culture systems. These are used to identify and study the roles of nutrition, hormones and polypeptide growth factors on the growth and differentiation of fish tissues and organs.

Professor Bols' particular point of interest is hemopoiesis. In the future these factors may be useful in enhancing the growth and health of fish. Some of the cell lines are being used in ecotoxicology studies. In particular the toxicology of dioxin-like compounds and polycyclic aromatic (PAHs) is being investigated. Many of his projects used current recombinant DNA and immunological technologies.

Research Interests

  • Cell line generation and maintence
  • In vitro toxicology and biotechnology of animal cell cultures
  • Roles of nutrition, hormones and polypeptide growth factors on the growth and differentiation of fish tissues and organs


  • 1975 Ph.D. University of Toronto
  • 1972 M.Sc. University of British Columbia
  • 1970 B.Sc. Simon Fraser


  • 2012 Outstanding Performance Award
  • 1990 Distinguished Teacher Award

Affiliations and Volunteer Work

  • Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology

Selected/Recent Publications

  • Pham, P.H., Jung, J. and N.C. Bols. (2011). Using 96-well tissue culture polystyrene plates and fluorescence plate reader as tools to study the survival and inactivation of viruses on surfaces. Accepted to Cytotechnology.
  • Kawano, A., Haiduk, C., Schirmer, K., Hanner, R., Lee, L.E.J., Dixon, B. and N.C. Bols. (2011). Development of a rainbow trout intestinal epithelial cell line and its response to lipopolysaccharide. Aquaculture Nutrition 17: e241-e252.
  • St. Denis, C., Pinheiro, M.D., Power, M.E. and N.C. Bols. (2010). Effect of salt and urban water samples on bacterirvory by the ciliate, Tetrahymena thermophila. Environmental Pollution 158: 502-507.