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Leaning on Darwin’s thinking

In previous posts I wrote about matching treatment to the patient’s tumour. Currently, we choose treatments primarily based on what the lymphoma looks like down the microscope. At this time, we treat all patients who have diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, the most common form of lymphoma, with one chemotherapy recipe called R-CHOP. This works quite well, curing about 60 percent of patients. But if the treatment fails the disease becomes very difficult to overcome. To improve outcomes and make a difference for patients, research needs to be translated into targeted therapies and tests to choose...

How donors are accelerating scientific discovery

The other day I spent time with some BC Cancer Foundation donors, talking about lymphoma research and taking them on a tour of the lab. Later, I reflected on the role that philanthropy plays in supporting cancer research in general and my research specifically. During our discussion, I was asked a number of great questions, and all had the same theme—recent innovations in technology or treatments. Increasingly, these are the things we focus on also—using cutting-edge technology to work out why lymphomas develop, why some lymphomas respond to treatment while others don’t and how best to use...

From Lab to Bedside

Hello again. In my last post, I told you a little about my background and how I came to be at the BC Cancer Agency. The journey from graduating medical school to becoming a Clinician-Scientist involved over a decade of training, gaining the skills and experience to both care for patients and perform research. The role I now have at the BC Cancer Agency, in the Centre for Lymphoid Cancer and the Department of Lymphoid Cancer Research, makes use of all of this training and really is my dream job. Caring for patients with lymphoma is both challenging and enormously rewarding. Sharing the journey...

Personal Experience Motivates this Doctor

As a Clinician-Scientist at the BC Cancer Agency, I spend part of my time looking after patients with lymphoma and part of my time doing lymphoma research. I grew up in a small rural community south of Auckland, New Zealand – the youngest of six children. From a young age, I was exposed to the challenges of medicine, as my father was a doctor, mainly looking after people with diabetes, and my mother was a pharmacist. As a teenager, observing the sacrifices my father made to be a great doctor, particularly time spent away from our family, I decided that I would rather be a scientist. An...

Introducing May Guest Blogger: Dr. David Scott

Thank you to our April guest blogger, Robyn Roscoe, who shared some great insight into how project management can be an integral part of the research team. This month, we’re excited to welcome Dr. David Scott, who is a Clinician-scientist with the BC Cancer Agency’s Centre for Lymphoid Cancer, which has become one of the world’s leading centres for lymphoid cancer research. Originally from New Zealand, Dr. Scott was one of the first two recipients of the BC Cancer Foundation Clinical Investigator Awards. A large focus of his work has been studying prognostic biomarkers, which help clinicians...

Come Together

Waiting for the elevators at the BC Cancer Agency Research Centre, I see the plaque commemorating the Jambor-McCarthy gift to the BC Cancer Foundation. It includes their family motto: work hard, live well, give back. I’ve adopted this for my own mission statement, and try to exemplify these in my work at the BC Cancer Agency. Every day, I work hard to provide effective and motivational leadership to staff at the Genome Sciences Centre and throughout the Cancer Agency. To me, this means leading by example in all of my own tasks, but also working to create pathways for success for everyone...

We Can Work It Out

Over the past 13 years at the Genome Sciences Centre, I have led the development of teams of professional leaders, managers and coordinators, with the overall goal of enabling the best possible science and research and the maximally effective use of available resources. To maintain our vision and focus amidst the noise that research administration can sometimes involve, we have a mission statement: science, timeliness, respect. Dr. Marco Marra wrote the statement, and the management and administration teams at the Centre have adopted it as a set of guiding principles: Science and Excellence...

Foundation excited to welcome new President and CEO

As the Chair of the BC Cancer Foundation Board, I am pleased to announce that Sarah Roth joins the Foundation today, as its new President & CEO. Sarah brings an extensive 20 year career in fundraising and leadership to the BC Cancer Foundation. She has had exceptional success leading teams through large scale fundraising initiatives for Boston Children’s Hospital and New York Presbyterian Hospital. Most recently, Sarah was the Assistant Dean of Development and Alumni Relations in the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Medicine. In this leadership role, Sarah built a team that...

A long and winding road

Like most people, I’m sure; I had no idea when I finished school what I would be doing today. I’ve been fortunate to find opportunities to learn and contribute to science and research for many years now. When I came to Vancouver from Winnipeg in 1990, I worked for nearly 10 years in the field of environmental assessment, before moving into research, specifically the field of genomics. In 2003, I was very fortunate to be one of the first project managers at the Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre. My first day was April 1 st , just days prior to the publication of the genome sequence...

Research Enabler

I’m delighted to be this month’s blogger for the BC Cancer Foundation. Over the next month, I hope to share with a bit about myself and my enthusiasm and commitment to the incredible research work being done at the BC Cancer Agency. Currently, I’m the Director of Management and Administration at the BC Cancer Agency Genome Sciences Centre, where I’ve been a project manager since 2003. I’m originally from Winnipeg, but I’ve lived in Vancouver for more than half my life, arriving in 1990 shortly after finishing my BSc at the University of Manitoba. Most of my immediate family eventually...

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