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Spirit of Giving

As this is the week leading up to Christmas, I would like to wish everyone all the very best over the holiday season. Each year working at the BC Cancer Agency has been a new adventure and I am grateful to work here. Every person who is treated at the Agency has the opportunity to exceed their potential and it is a privilege to experience this every day. It’s also the perfect time of time of year to thank the donors who have been key to research and innovation. These projects directly affect patient care and outcomes. Donor support leads to innovative work The BC Cancer Agency is an...

The Power of Research

I am actively involved in clinical research at the BC Cancer Agency, including being an investigator in several gastrointestinal cancer clinical trials for patients, and as such am fortunate to be able to help with the translation of research into patient outcomes. We have a world class research centre and treatment facility. Some of the research requires access to tissue samples to gain a better understanding of how cancer develops. Other research directly impacts on patient care such as clinical trials or the Personalized Onco-Genomics (POG) Program . To be honest, there is so much going on...

Dr. Howard Lim: Mad-Scientist kid turned cancer researcher

Thanks to the BC Cancer Foundation for inviting me to be a guest blogger! I am a medical oncologist at the BC Cancer Agency Vancouver Centre, specializing in gastrointestinal cancer. I look forward to posting over the holiday season. I grew up in Vancouver, and my interest in science started when I was in elementary school, mainly due to trips to the library where I read books on do-it-yourself science experiments. I blew up potatoes, jumped off the balcony with garbage bags as a parachute, and other mad-scientist type adventures. Prior to going to medical school, I was fortunate to do...

Introducing December Guest Blogger: Dr. Howard Lim

Thank you to our November guest bloggers, Dr. Robert Holt and the immunogenomics team, for sharing how their exciting work with DNA analysis is helping to make immunotherapy-based treatments most effective. This month, we’re pleased to welcome Dr. Howard Lim, a medical oncologist at the BC Cancer Agency. Dr. Lim’s research focuses on uncovering new and improved solutions for those with colorectal cancer. As well, the enrollment of one of Dr. Lim’s patients in the Personalized Onco-Genomics (POG) Program made news earlier this year , when a medication typically used to treat blood pressure was...

Govinda Sharma: Inspired by BC Cancer Foundation Donors

Hi readers, my name is Govinda Sharma and I am a PhD candidate in Dr. Rob Holt’s lab at the BC Cancer Agency Research Centre in Vancouver. I’m very excited for this opportunity to share a little bit about myself and my thesis work in this week’s post. Prior to starting graduate research at the BC Cancer Agency, I spent time working in various scientific fields ranging from medicinal chemistry to environmental geophysics. I’m proud of my eclectic background as it reflects my belief in interdisciplinary science and my tendency to gravitate towards big problems that need solving. For these...

Daniel Woodsworth: Developing Cell-Based Therapies for B.C. Patients

Hi, my name is Daniel Woodsworth and I work on cell-based immunotherapies at the BC Cancer Agency Research Centre. Near the end of my undergraduate degree, I started to become very interested in building nanoscale devices and machines. I was captivated by the notion of recreating all of the incredible machinery that surrounds us in our everyday life, at very small scales. As I started to work in the field of nanotechnology, I became increasingly aware of the wealth of nanoscale machines that already existed in the world of molecular biology. One only has to look at the structure of ATP...

Scott Brown: From Computer Science to Cancer Research

Hello and thank you for taking a look at our Immunogenomics blog posts. My name is Scott Brown, and I am a PhD Student in Dr. Robert Holt ’s lab at the BC Cancer Agency. I began working with Dr. Holt as an undergraduate in May 2011; this was my first introduction to cancer research. Within a short period of time, I began to understand how my computer science background and skills could be applied to cancer research – specifically in the field of immunogenomics, where complex algorithms are required to sift through extremely large data sets. In other words: looking for the needle in the...

Eric Yung: Collaborating to Bring Immunotherapy to Patients

Hello! My name is Eric Yung and I am the staff scientist and lab manager in the Holt Lab, which basically makes me responsible for all of the day-to-day activities of the lab. I’ve been involved in cancer research for almost a decade now and immunogenomics for the last two years. I got started due to scientific curiosity, really. I began my PhD studying viruses, HIV specifically. When the link was made between cancer and certain viruses (like HPV), I was curious about how that happened, and how we can use viruses to hopefully cure cancer. I’ve been using viral vectors as gene therapy delivery...

Dr. Richard Moore: Decoding the Immune Response

Thanks for taking time to read our immunogenomics blogs and for supporting our research at the BC Cancer Agency. I have always been fascinated with infectious agents and, in particular, viruses. This led to my focus on infectious agents that cause cancer and a strong interest in the human immune response. I pursued this interest during my graduate studies and postdoctoral work in Cambridge, UK, working on papillomavirus and retroviruses. Since 2003 I have been working for Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre (GSC) at the BC Cancer Agency and have continued this focus in my research...

Miruna Bala: Ensuring High Quality Data for Cancer Research

Hello everyone, my name is Miruna Bala and I am very happy for the opportunity to blog this month. I am the Quality Systems group leader for the Holt Lab at the Genome Sciences Centre and the immunotherapy program at the BC Cancer Agency, which means I am responsible for the design, implementation, monitoring and improvement of the Quality Management System (QMS). QMS ensures accurate, consistent and high quality data and processes are delivered in an efficient manner to our collaborators, and ultimately, to cancer patients. I have always been passionate about delivering high quality care and...

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