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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...

Philanthropy, Research and the Ride to Conquer Cancer

BC Cancer Foundation donors have helped me build a strong foundation for oral cancer research. The hallmark of my research is the COOLS trial, a surgical study using a blue-light device invented at the BC Cancer Agency to better outline the surgical margins for patients receiving surgery.

This is a pan-Canadian study involving oral cancer patients, head and neck surgeons, and...

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...

Medical Oncology: Improving Outcomes through Research

As a medical oncologist who treats lung and head & neck cancer, I have the opportunity to work with many inspiring patients and families. Their positive outlook and strength give me the motivation to find ways of improving outcomes through research.

Research is something that I think people often equate with working in a lab performing experiments on cells. But at the BC Cancer...

Dr. Frances Wong: My Journey to a Career in Cancer Medicine

One’s life journey is full of twists and turns. Very often, the path taken is influenced by decisions at critical points which become obvious only in hind sight.

I was born in Hong Kong to a middle class family. We initially lived in a rural area and I went to a Chinese language primary school. It was at my brother’s insistence that I applied to an English language secondary school....

A Glimpse into the Future of Cancer Research and Care

Dear readers - thank you so much for returning to my fourth and final blog post. This week I have an opportunity to reflect on some of the revolutions in cancer treatment that I have personally witnessed over the past two decades and speak a little on what I think our future might look like.

I graduated from medical school in 1993, and started training in radiation oncology that same...

Progress in Cancer Research: The Role of Philanthropy

Welcome back to my third blog post. In my first two installments, I wrote a little about myself, the BC Cancer Agency, and what makes us so unique compared to other cancer hospitals and research organizations.

Because the BC Cancer Agency is a provincial program that provides screening services, cancer treatments and supportive care to everyone in B.C. and the Yukon, we are able to ask...

Dr. Jonn Wu: The Impact of Research at the BC Cancer Agency

Since arriving at the BC Cancer Agency Vancouver Centre in 1999, my roles and responsibilities have gradually evolved in interesting and sometimes unexpected ways. My early years at the Agency predictably included lots of teaching with medical students, residents, and fellows visiting from all corners of the globe.

I also had the opportunity to supervise and mentor many of them in...

Dr. Jonn Wu: My Background in Cancer Research and Care

Thank you for visiting my blog! I am delighted to have this opportunity to share some of my background and thoughts with you.

Although I was born in Taipei, Taiwan, which sounds very exciting, my parents and I moved to Vancouver, B.C. before my first birthday. I spent most of my youth in Burnaby, B.C. and graduated from Burnaby South Senior Secondary - the original campus - which dates...

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