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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...

Introducing April Guest Blogger: Robyn Roscoe

Thank you to our March guest bloggers, Drs. Jessica McAlpine and Aly Karsan, who shared how receiving BC Cancer Foundation Clinical Investigator Awards will allow them to build upon their respective research. This month, we’re excited to welcome Robyn Roscoe, who is the Director of Management and Administration at the BC Cancer Agency Genome Sciences Centre, where she has been a project manager since 2003. Robyn will share how she got involved in health care and how her skills and expertise in management, organization, and communication enables the research to happen. One of her biggest...

Research leads to better understanding and diagnosis of blood cancers

Last week I blogged about what led me to study blood cancers and how they come about. This week, I will update you on some our previous work, and the work that is currently being supported by the BC Cancer Foundation. A number of years ago, my lab became very interested in learning about a kind of blood cancer called myelodysplastic syndromes, or MDS. This cancer starts out slowly, but because any disruption of the blood system affects the production of blood cells, symptoms can become obvious even when the cancer is not aggressive. The blood system produces red blood cells that help carry...

Questions of medicine and science formed half way ‘round the world

My path to a career in science and medicine was convoluted, but not without direction. I grew up in east Africa on an island in the Indian Ocean. Both my maternal grandparents died at very young ages of undiagnosed conditions. While the setting was idyllic, the reason for my grandparents’ deaths, or rather the lack of a reason bothered me. This great gap in understanding—the causes of disease or even to be able to diagnose diseases was something that continued to gnaw at me even after moving to Canada. The desire to understand how things worked led me to a genetics lab while I was at Queen’s...

Research leads to increased options for cancer treatment

In my previous post I shared how we have learned so much about endometrial cancer by analyzing the molecular features of the tumours. Recently, we have been really excited in showing that these molecular features can be determined on endometrial samples, and do not require analysis of the whole uterine specimen, such as from a hysterectomy. Most women diagnosed with endometrial cancer have some sort of spotting or irregular bleeding alerting them that something is wrong. Then in their doctor’s office, or in a simple surgical procedure, a sample of the endometrial lining is obtained. This...

Most common gynecologic cancer gets boost

It is a pleasure to be able to contribute to the BC Cancer Foundation blog again! Since I last blogged almost a year ago, we have gained further insight on the behavior of different endometrial cancers, and I had the pleasure of joining another Ride to Conquer Cancer last summer, in somewhat epic conditions. Tales of adventure on the latter are for another day. But I would like to share some of our research team’s progress in endometrial cancer. First, thanks to an incredibly generous donation by a family who was impacted by endometrial cancer we have been able to complete biologic analysis...

Introducing March Guest Bloggers: Drs. Jessica McAlpine and Aly Karsan

Thank you to our February guest blogger, Dr. Malcolm Moore, who shared some very interesting thoughts on philanthropy and research, and what he sees for the future of cancer care. This month, we’re excited to welcome Drs. Jessica McAlpine and Aly Karsan, both of whom recently received BC Cancer Foundation Clinical Investigator Awards . The Clinical Investigator Awards were established in 2013, the result of a $1.5 million gift to the Foundation from Thomas Tait. Shortlisted candidates are selected from a group of high caliber applicants by a panel representing leading cancer research...

Cancer research continues to reveal exciting advances

Cancer is a complex disease, and so cancer research is by necessity multifaceted and involves lots of collaboration. We are fortunate in B.C. to have strong research programs. We do need to pay attention to research and programs in health promotion, cancer prevention, and early detection through screening as these can have profound effects on our overall goal of reducing the burden and death from cancer. Expanding treatment options In the area of biomedical and clinical research, two approaches—cancer genomics and immunotherapy—have seen extraordinary progress and excitement in the past few...

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