My encompasses two major areas. As director of the GPEC Genetic Pathology Evaluation Centre at Vancouver Hospital (working with my close colleagues David Huntsman and Blake Gilks) I lead several active tissue microarray and cancer genome profiling projects. A common theme of my work is to make clinical sense out of results from breast cancer and sarcoma basic science investigations, and their translation into diagnostic and predictive tests. As an independent principal investigator, I direct in a research program to develop much-needed systemic treatments for sarcomas, particularly synovial sarcoma (a cancer most commonly occurring in the limbs of young adults), and to develop practical clinical tests for the intrinsic subtyping of breast cancer. We also have active immuno-oncology biomarker assessment projects for breast cancer and sarcomas.
I have external grant support from the Canadian Cancer Society, the Terry Fox Research Institute, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
In breast cancer research, I have an active collaboration with Chuck Perou of UNC-Chapel Hill, Matthew Ellis of the Baylor College of Medicine, and Phil Bernard of the University of Utah, working to translate breast cancer expression profiles into clinical tests using nanoString technology. Indeed, a decade of dedicated work in this area has resulted in the licensing and regulatory approval of the Prosigna test based on our PAM50 signature, now being marketed by Veracyte. On behalf of the North American Breast Cancer Group and the Breast International Group, I am coordinating a study into the analytical reproducibility of Ki67 as a proliferation biomarker in breast cancer. I also direct an international team studying synovial sarcoma, with my work dissecting the molecular biology of several other sarcomas being done in collaboration with Michael Underhill at the UBC Biomedical Research Centre and with Poul Sorensen at the BCCA Cancer Research Centre. My other close collaborators on active grants include breast cancer oncologist Stephen Chia, epigenomics expert Martin Hirst, and sarcoma surgeon-scientist Kevin Jones. At UBC, I am part of the Translational Cancer Genomics Cluster, a group of the most active cancer researchers in British Columbia. Here is my .