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2010 Research Chairs

Cancer Imaging

Dr. Gabor Fichtinger , Queen’s University
Dr. Aaron Ward*, The University of Western Ontario

Health Services

Dr. Michael Brundage , Queen’s University
Dr. Anna Sawka , University Health Network – Toronto General Hospital

Experimental Therapeutics

Dr. Penelope Bradbury , Queen’s University
Dr. Richard Kim , London Health Sciences Centre and The University of Western Ontario

* a recruitment license is an award that serves as a license to recruit a particular type of scientist into the Research Chair position

Applications were evaluated by the panel on the basis of scientific excellence and strategic alignment with the four research themes of Cancer Care Ontario’s scientist network program. The awards are for five years and are renewable for another three years.


Dr. Penelope Bradbury

Dr. Penelope Bradbury is an Assistant Professor within the Department of Oncology, Queen’s University, and Physician Coordinator for the Thoracic Oncology Disease Site within the NCIC Clinical Trials Group (CTG).

Dr. Bradbury obtained her MBBCh and postgraduate research degree MD from the University of Cardiff. She undertook medical oncology training in New Zealand, and the Cancer Research UK Medical Oncology Department, Oxford, UK, followed by fellowships at Princess Margaret Hospital (thoracic oncology) and the NCIC CTG, as part of the Queen's University Terry Fox Foundation Training Program in Transdisciplinary Cancer Research in partnership with CIHR (drug development and clinical trials methodology). Prior research has included the conduct of clinical trials and associated correlative and companion studies that evaluate novel therapeutics, pharmacogenetics, and health economics; within the content area of lung cancer, which have attracted multiple awards.

She will continue her research by coordinating the processes to conduct lung cancer clinical trials within the NCIC CTG. Dr. Bradbury’s goal is to develop and consolidate a Canadian thoracic oncology research network that will develop a platform upon which Canadian clinical trials associated with sponsorship of any source, can be integrated to create a more seamless and comprehensive process for clinical thoracic oncology research in Canada. This objective will be initially addressed by establishing processes that facilitate collaborations within Ontario institutions to conduct clinical research, including associated linkages with both translational research and knowledge transfer, in patients with lung cancer.

Dr. Michael Brundage

Dr. Michael Brundage is a currently a Professor of Oncology and of Community Health and Epidemiology at Queen’s University. He received his fellowship in radiation oncology from the Princess Margaret Hospital at the University of Toronto. Since obtaining his MSc in epidemiology in 1991, Michael has had an interest in research and teaching that link epidemiological methods in clinical trials with clinical practice, including a major research focus in applied health-related quality of life research. His current research interests continue in clinical trials methodology and quality of life outcomes and he is considered an international authority on the use of quality of life information in clinical practice. His current profile also includes health services research related to appropriate access to quality care in radiotherapy. 

He is presently Director of the Division of Cancer Care and Epidemiology research unit at the Queen’s Cancer Research Institute at Kingston, and has a clinical practice at the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario at the Kingston General Hospital. He was formerly the medical director of the CCSEO radiation oncology program, and uses this experience as a health administrator in creating a high-impact health services research agenda in radiation oncology that is relevant to Cancer Care Ontario’s mission and integrated with the CCO provincial radiation program. Among his many leadership activities, he serves on the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute Advisory Committee on Research, co-chairs the NCIC CTG quality of life research committee, and serves and the Board of the International Society for Quality of Life Research where he was recent co-chair of the Society Scientific Committee. 

Dr. Gabor Fichtinger

Dr. Gabor Fichtinger holds a BS and MS in Electrical Engineering and Doctorate in Computer Science from the Technical University of Budapest, Hungary, in 1986, 1988, and 1990, respectively. He received postdoctoral training at the University of Texas at Austin between 1990-1992 in high performance computing and biomedical visualization. In 1993, he joined the George Washington University where he architected radiotherapy and neurosurgery navigation systems. Before joining the Johns Hopkins University in 1999, he worked in the medical device industry and developed image-guided radiation therapy systems.

Dr. Fichtinger is Professor of Computer Science at Queen’s University and holds multiple cross and adjunct appointments at Queen’s and the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.  Dr. Fichtinger serves on the Board of Directors of the International Society of Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Interventions and the editorial board of Medical Image Analysis. He is a scientific reviewer for leading journals, conferences, publishers and research funding agencies.

Dr. Fichtinger focuses his research on image-guided therapy and surgery. His specialty is image-guided needle-based percutaneous surgery, with a strong focus on interventional oncology applications. He is a strong proponent of sharing open source software systems and platforms in interventional oncology research, a theme that he will continue to advocate as a CCO Chair.

Dr. Richard Kim

Dr. Kim received his medical degree from University of Saskatchewan. After his internship and residency training, he went on to carry out Clinical Pharmacology fellowship training at Vanderbilt University. Upon completion of his fellowship, he remained at Vanderbilt University as a Clinical Pharmacologist and rose through the ranks to Professor. The focus of his research has been elucidation of the factors that govern intersubject variation in drug responsiveness and the application of such findings to the delivery of optimal drug therapy. In July 2006, he and his group moved from Vanderbilt University to the University of Western Ontario, to lead a program of Translational and Personalized Medicine research.

He is currently Chair of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Professor of Medicine, Physiology & Pharmacology, and Oncology at the University of Western Ontario. He is also a Scientist and Director of the Centre for Clinical Investigation & Therapeutics at the Lawson Health Research Institute (CCIT) in London Ontario.  CCIT is a state-of-the-art clinical research facility located at the Lindros Legacy Research building at University Hospital in London Ontario. A key aspect of Dr. Kim’s program is the delivery of Personalized Medicine to the care of our patients with cancer.

Dr. Kim is a world leading expert in the areas of Clinical Pharmacology, Pharmacogenomics and Experimental Therapeutics. He has been the recipient of numerous awards. He is a Fellow of the American Society for Pharmaceutical Sciences (AAPS), and an elected Member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI).

Dr. Anna Sawka

Dr. Sawka is an endocrinologist and oncology health services researcher who was recruited to University Health Network in Toronto in September, 2005. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto and University Health Network.  Dr. Sawka received her medical degree from the University of Manitoba (1992). She completed a rotating general internship at the University of Ottawa, Civic Hospital Campus (1993). She completed her residency in Internal Medicine (1998) and postgraduate fellowship in Endocrinology (2001) at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester. She completed her Masters degree in Health Research Methodology (also known as Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics) at McMaster University (2003). She completed a PhD degree in Health Research Methodology at McMaster University (2005).

Dr. Sawka's research is in the field of thyroid cancer. Her research interests include:  diagnostic testing for the detection of thyroid cancer, thyroid cancer treatment and outcomes, and medical decision-making in thyroid cancer (including patient-directed knowledge translation). Dr. Sawka's research has published more than fifty referenced research publications. She has received research funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care (Innovation Grant program), the University of Toronto Dean's Fund, and the Connaught Fund.

Dr. Aaron Ward

Dr. Aaron Ward holds a BSc Hons and MSc in Computer Science from the University of Regina. He received his PhD in Computing Science from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia in 2008. His postdoctoral training in prostate cancer imaging took place in 2009-2010 within the Imaging Research Laboratories at the Robarts Research Institute in London.

Dr. Ward is an Assistant Professor of Medical Biophysics and Biomedical Engineering at The University of Western Ontario, and a Scientist with the Lawson Health Research Institute in London. At the London Regional Cancer Program, Aaron co-leads the Imaging Research Laboratory within the Gerald C. Baines Centre for Translational Cancer Research, where imaging researchers are closely co-located with clinician scientists, a molecular imaging laboratory, and a clinical research unit, enabling multi-disciplinary translational research within a single centre.

Dr. Ward’s research program is in the area of development and evaluation of computational methods for medical image analysis, including image segmentation, registration, and computer-aided diagnosis and therapy guidance for cancer patients, with particular attention paid to the validation of algorithms using statistical measures appropriate to assessment of clinical utility and reliability. A major component of his research program is focused on the development of image registration techniques for the validation of in vivo cancer imaging against whole-mount high-resolution digital histopathology. Current disease sites of interest include the prostate, lung and brain.

Dr. Ward has received research funding from Cancer Care Ontario, Cancer Imaging Network Ontario (CINO), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), and Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems (MITACS).

Last modified: Fri, Nov 04, 2011
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