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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...

Translational Research: From the Laboratory to Patient Care

My primary research focus is on translational research—from bench to bedside—applying new technologies and findings from the laboratory to patient care. This involves the application of molecular and imaging tools for community screening, early detection, and management of cancerous and precancerous oral lesions.

In Canada, one in 10,000 people has oral cancer. Even with current...

Understanding Oral Cancer

In my last post, I shared how I came from Taiwan to British Columbia to study oral cancer, but my training didn’t stop after I completed my PhD.

To better understand oral cancer, I completed a three-year oral pathology residency under the direction of Dr. Robert Priddy. Through this training, I came to understand more of the clinical aspect of this disease. After I passed both...

Dr. Catherine Poh: How I Became an Oral Cancer Researcher

Hello, my name is Catherine Poh and I am an oral cancer researcher. I took the “long way” to get to where I am today.

I grew up in Taiwan and got my dental degree from the National Taiwan University in Taipei, Taiwan. Though I was getting my degree in general dentistry, I had already developed a great interest in pathology/oral pathology during my time in Taipei.  This was twenty some...

Introducing August Guest Blogger Dr. Catherine Poh

Thank you to our July guest blogger Dr. Rasika Rajapakshe for taking us behind the scenes at the BC Cancer Agency Sindi Ahluwalia Hawkins Centre for the Southern Interior, where tremendous efforts are being made to improve treatment and care for cancer patients in British Columbia.  

I’m very pleased to introduce our guest blogger for August, Dr. Catherine Poh. Dr. Poh is a clinician...

Introducing September Guest Blogger Dr. Ross Halperin

Before I welcome our September guest blogger, I have some exciting news to share:

Over the past several years, the BC Cancer Foundation has been recognized by Charity Intelligence and Imagine Canada for our excellence and transparency in governance. This past week, the Canadian Society of Corporate Secretaries named the BC Cancer...

Dr. Denise Laronde: My Journey from Student to Teacher

Hello! My name is Dr. Denise Laronde and I am pleased to be wrapping up the month of blog posts from the BC OCPP team!

From a research life point-of-view, I was ‘born and raised’ in the BC Oral Cancer Prevention Program. I started as a Masters student, moved on to my doctorate, and now, I am a ‘real’ researcher!

I had worked as a dental hygienist for more than 10 years when an...

Supporting Oral Cancer Research through Community and Philanthropy

Hello, my name is Brenda Currie and my journey to support oral cancer research through community-based philanthropy was a deliberate choice. I was inspired by the talented team of researchers at the BC Cancer Agency in the BC Oral Cancer Prevention Program (BC OCPP), and the realization that there was no community fundraising in support of oral cancer research.

I am a dental hygienist...

Seeing Oral Cancer from Both Sides: Marcia Eaton’s Story

Hello, my name is Marcia Eaton and I am very pleased to be blogging this month!

In grade 10, I was given an assignment to pick a career and job shadow someone in that career. Originally, I picked dentist, but at the dental office I found myself spending a great amount of time with the dental hygienist. Well, the rest is history and I have been a dental hygienist for 23 years.


Dr. Lewei Zhang: My Work at the BC Cancer Agency

As I mentioned in my last post, I came to UBC to teach oral pathology and also to work as an oral pathologist, diagnosing oral diseases.

Before I talk specifically about my research, I want to introduce you to the concept of cross-disciplinary research and translational research. There are a lot of smart people in any university. Most great research, however, is conducted by a team with...


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