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The BC Generations Project

When it comes to learning about the causes of disease, the BC Generations Project will be a phenomenal asset. The project will help researchers learn more about how your environment, lifestyle and genes contribute to cancer and chronic diseases. Our project is part of a national initiative (the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow) to collect health information and biological samples from Canadians across the country to support future research studies that will use this massive collection of data. Participating in the study is like filling a time capsule — today’s data will be used many years in...

My research and taking the reins of the BC Generations Project

Statisticians develop new methodology to understand data and in my thesis I developed new methodology to better evaluate cancer risk in epidemiological studies. After I completed my doctorate, I furthered my experience in developing new statistical methodology, worked with more clinicians in a wide variety of research studies and developed my own research program in outcomes after the diagnosis of cardiac disease. In 1999, I was lucky to return to the BC Cancer Agency as a biostatistician and epidemiologist. I quickly returned to my research interests in the environment and cancer. I studied...

About me and my first BC Cancer Agency role

My name is John Spinelli, and I am a research scientist in Cancer Control Research at the BC Cancer Agency. My background is probably quite different than most of the scientists and physicians at the BC Cancer Agency, as I did not study medicine or any of the hard sciences. Instead, I received my training in mathematics and statistics. For me growing up, there were only two seasons: baseball and winter. I spent hours playing little league or wiffle ball in the backyard, or just throwing the ball against the wall of our house (breaking many windows in the process). When I wasn’t outside...

Introducing Dr. John Spinelli

It’s that time of year again, where holidays are wrapping up and back to school is in the air. We certainly had a busy summer of events here at the Foundation and we are looking forward to what’s to come this fall. In the meantime, we have an interesting blog topic for you this month, shared by our next guest blogger Dr. John Spinelli, who will tell us about the BC Generations Project. Dr. Spinelli is a distinguished scientist and the department head of Cancer Control Research at the BC Cancer Agency. He has a different background from many of the other research scientists at the Agency...

Dr. Huntsman looking to the future of OvCaRe – an internationally recognized entity

Our first five-year plan for the Ovarian Cancer Research program (OvCaRe) is nearly complete. During these first five years, OvCaRe has grown from an idea into an internationally recognized team. We have exceeded all of our expectations of the program’s success. I believe this is because of the collaborative spirit that exists within our team and the firm partnership we have established with our patients and the BC Cancer Foundation. We have a new five-year plan now that enables OvCaRe to increase the scope of our discoveries and bring our discoveries into the clinic – to improve the lives of...

Dr. David Huntsman and the success of OvCaRe

Since the beginning of the Ovarian Cancer Research (OvCaRe) program, the team has expanded; we have multiple new investigators, and have won national and international awards. We have grown from a small group of researchers and disconnected research projects to a coherent team that is recognized internationally as a leader in the study of ovarian cancer. I believe our success stems from three things. First, our team works because we want to work together and we share a vision of a world free from ovarian cancer. Second, the environment we work in is superb. The BC Cancer Agency brings the...

Weekend to End Women’s Cancers

Just a small interruption of Dr. David Huntsman’s blogging to share some news from this past weekend... A total of 800 participants raised over $2 million for research into women’s cancers at the Shoppers Drug Mart® Weekend to End Women’s Cancers™ ! On behalf of the BC Cancer Foundation, thank you to all the participants and supporters who made it an inspiring weekend. It was a two-day journey of hope, healing, celebration and optimism. As a walker myself, I know these feelings are what propel Weekend walkers to keep walking, and it is these feelings that will keep us committed to cancer...

Dr. David Huntsman and the modest beginning of OvCaRe

I still remember when the Ovarian Cancer Research (OvCaRe) program was born. Dr. Dianne Miller, the head of our Gynecologic Tumour Group at the BC Cancer Agency, had called a meeting for anyone in Vancouver who was interested in studying ovarian cancer. We met at a Chinese restaurant, and after dinner, Dianne declared that she was so tired of seeing women dying of this cancer and felt that if we work together we could really do something about it. I remember looking around the table and realizing I was surrounded by people that I admired professionally and saw no reason why we should not only...

About Dr. David Huntsman and ovarian cancer research

Hello! My name is David Huntsman, and I’m a pathologist and clinical cancer geneticist at the BC Cancer Agency Vancouver Centre. I have the great privilege of running our Ovarian Cancer Research (OvCaRe) team, and this month I’d like to share more about the OvCaRe program with you, from how it started to where it’s headed. First, I’ll share how and why I chose to study ovarian cancer. Originally, I was certain my destiny was to become a rural family doctor, while attending medical school at Memorial University in Newfoundland. After medical school, I worked in Western Labrador for two years...

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