January 10, 2020
OICR-led international research group develops new open-source software to determine the accuracy of computational methods that can map the genetic history of tumour cells.
A cancer patient’s tumour is often made up of many cells with different genetic traits that can evolve over time. Interest in tumour evolution has grown over the last decade, giving rise to several new computational tools and algorithms that can characterize genetic diversity within a tumour, and infer patterns in how tumours evolve. However, to date there has been no standard way to compare these tools and determine which are most accurate at deciphering these data.
The genetic differences between tumour cells can tell us a lot about a patient’s disease and how it evolves over time – Adriana Salcedo
In a study recently published in Nature Biotechnology, an OICR-led international research group released new open-source software that can be used to judge the accuracy of these novel algorithms.Continue reading – New open-source software judges accuracy of algorithms that predict tumour evolution
July 9, 2018
The BETTER program has been awarded almost $3 million to train primary care providers as prevention experts across Canada
As the number of Canadians at risk of cancer and other chronic diseases continues to grow, so does the need for health professionals to deliver effective disease prevention and screening recommendations.
June 19, 2018
Over the past 10 years, more than 300,000 Canadians have volunteered to be part of the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project (CPTP), a research platform that tracks the development of cancers and chronic diseases in the population over several decades to better understand risk factors.
Researchers from across Canada and the University of Toronto published a manuscript in the Canadian Medical Association Journal last week, marking a culmination of effort from hundreds of Canadian researchers to build the project with support from multiple national and provincial funders.
June 13, 2018
Some common pathogens, like the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), can turn healthy cells into cancer cells, but it is not well understood how they do so. Better understanding how such pathogens work allows researchers to find new ways to target the pathogen’s disease-causing mechanisms and ultimately find new treatments for certain virus-induced cancers.
Dr. Ivan Borozan, from Dr. Vincent Ferretti’s Lab at OICR, and Prof. Lori Frappier at the University of Toronto are working together to better understand EBV and how it triggers the transformation of normal cells to cancerous cells, also known as oncogenesis. Together, they have identified that a key protein expressed by EBV, BKRF4, is one of the likely drivers behind EBV-induced stomach cancers.
March 29, 2018
Canada’s largest health research platform teams up with University of Toronto to accelerate cancer and chronic disease research
Pictured (left to right): Dr. John Mc Laughlin, Executive Director of CPTP; Cindy Morton, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer.; and Dr. Philip Awadalla, National Scientific Director of CPTP.
Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project (CPTP) enters a new era of scientific activity under the leadership of newly appointed National Scientific Director, Dr. Philip Awadalla
March 29, 2018 (Toronto) – The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (“the Partnership”) today announced The University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health will be the new national scientific partner of the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project (CPTP) – Canada’s national population cohort for precision health. This new scientific partner will enable a strong national scientific vision for CPTP and support leading-edge research on the possible causes of cancer and chronic diseases, leading to more made-in-Canada discoveries and breakthroughs. In addition, the University has announced that Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) will be its strategic partner to deliver the expertise and services needed to lead this key research platform.
December 7, 2017
The link between some viruses and cancer has long been established. Now, researchers like OICR’s Dr. Ivan Borozan are using genomic sequencing to analyze common viruses like Epstein-Barr (also called human herpes virus 4). This knowledge could ultimately be used to develop new therapeutic vaccines to keep these viruses from taking hold in the body and prevent associated cancers from ever developing in the first place.
December 4, 2017
OICR launches groundbreaking Cancer Therapeutics Innovation Pipeline to drive cutting-edge therapies to the clinic
Ten new projects were selected in the pipeline’s inaugural funding round, highlighting Ontario’s strengths in collaboration and drug discovery.
Toronto (December 4, 2017) – The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) today announced the Cancer Therapeutics Innovation Pipeline (CTIP) initiative and the first 10 projects selected in CTIP’s inaugural round of funding. CTIP aims to support the local translation of Ontario discoveries into therapies with the potential for improving the lives of cancer patients. The funding will create a new pipeline of promising drugs in development, and attract the partnerships and investment to the province necessary for further clinical development and testing.
“Ontario congratulates OICR on this innovative approach to driving the development of new cancer therapies,” says Reza Moridi, Ontario’s Minister of Research, Innovation and Science. “The Cancer Therapeutics Innovation Pipeline will help ensure that promising discoveries get the support they need to move from lab bench to commercialization, and get to patients faster.”
October 23, 2017
The Toronto Bioinformatics User Group’s (TorBUG) 2017-2018 season continues this Wednesday, October 23 with two presentations that promise to be of interest to anyone involved in bioinformatics. Dr. Quaid Morris, Associate Professor at the University of Toronto (U of T) will present “The Genetic Archaeology of Individual Cancers”. Brendan Innes, a PhD Candidate in the Bader Lab at U of T will cover “Cell types in single-cell RNAseq.”
May 18, 2016
Mr. J. Mark Lievonen, a member of OICR’s Board of Directors, and Dr. Laurence Klotz, a doctor and researcher based at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the University of Toronto, who has conducted OICR-funded research into prostate cancer, were invested as Members in the Order of Canada at a ceremony in Ottawa on May 13.
May 17, 2016
Dr. Eva Grunfeld named as Chair of new Canadian Institute of Health Research Institutes Advisory Board on Chronic Conditions
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) named Professor Eva Grunfeld as the inaugural Chair of the new Institutes Advisory Board (IAB) on Chronic Conditions. In her role, Grunfeld, Giblon Professor and Vice Chair (Research) at the Department of Family and Community Medicine at U of T, will help determine the future directions of research in chronic disease in Canada.
The management and prevention of chronic diseases in Canada represents one of the biggest challenges to our healthcare system
“It’s a great opportunity to contribute to the development of the new IAB structure – the aim of which is to improve integration across CIHR Institutes,” said Grunfeld, who is physician-scientist and Director of the Knowledge Translation Research Network, Health Services Research Program, at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. “Particularly with chronic conditions, it’s important to coordinate and cooperate across disciplines, across health conditions, and across research pillars. I’m looking forward to working with the other IAB chairs, IAB and members, and Institute Directors to impact research on chronic conditions in Canada.”
May 11, 2016
Recruiting the next generation of researchers with in-demand skills is essential to the success of a research institute like OICR. On May 6, representatives from OICR attended the University of Toronto Life Sciences Career Development Society’s (LSCDS) Career Day. The Institute’s booth was very busy as students in chemistry, biology, medicine and other fields came by to find out about the research being done at OICR and how their skills could be applied. OICR also held a well-attended ‘Spotlight Session’ to inform students about the Institute’s research programs and the benefits of working at OICR.
Recruiting the next generation of researchers with in-demand skills is essential to the success of a research institute like OICR.
Students were invited to visit OICR later this month to get a firsthand look at the Institute’s facilities, to hear more about current projects and to speak to its researchers about career paths. OICR would like to congratulate LSCDS for a very successful event and thanks to everyone who stopped by to find out more about OICR.
May 1, 2016
The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) elected Dr. Gang Zheng to its College of Fellows for “outstanding contributions on activatable photosensitizers for photodynamic therapy and discovery of porphysome nanotechnology in cancer imaging and therapy.”
Joining the College of Fellows puts Zheng among some elite company.
Zheng is Professor, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, and Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, Senior Scientist, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, and Core Lead, Techna Institute for the Advancement of Technology for Health (Techna), University Health Network.