Management Profiles

Dr. Anne-Marie Mes-Masson

Executive Member and Co-Principal Investigator

Dr. Anne-Marie Mes-Masson is a molecular oncologist who obtained her degree in microbiology and immunology from McGill University in 1984. From 1984 to 1986, she pursued her post-doctoral studies at UCLA's Molecular Biology Institute, researching the BCR-ABL gene implicated in chronic myelogenous leukemia. After a short period as a research associate at the Biotechnology Research Institute, Dr Mes-Masson joined the Institut du cancer de Montréal and the Department of Medicine at the Université de Montréal in 1989. A full professor since 2001, Dr. Mes-Masson is presently the scientific director of the Institut du cancer de Montréal and Director of cancer research at the Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier de l’université de Montréal (CRCHUM). In 2003, Dr. Mes-Masson was named the Director of the Réseau de recherche sur le cancer du Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé (FRQS), a provincial cancer network of over 100 scientists focused on translational and clinical cancer research ( In 2008 Dr. Mes-Masson was named the Quebec node coordinator for the Terry Fox Research Institute (TFRI). Dr. Mes-Masson is also a board member of the Canadian Cancer Research Alliance, the Atlantic Cancer Research Institute and Ovarian Cancer Canada. Dr. Mes-Masson has authored well over 150 publications in cancer research, and her major focus over the last two decades has been ovarian and prostate cancer. Dr. Mes-Masson has also established a translational research program largely focused on delivering personalized medicine in oncology.


Dr. Peter H. Watson

Executive Member and Co-Principal Investigator

Dr. Peter Watson is Director of the Tumour Tissue Repository Program at the BC Cancer Agency, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) in British Columbia.  He also holds appointments as the Chief Physician Vancouver Island Centre, Senior Scientist and a Professor of Pathology, University of British Columbia, and academic positions at the University of Victoria and University of Manitoba.  He completed his medical training at the University of Cambridge and St Thomas's Hospital London, UK in 1983 and specialist training in Anatomic Pathology at the University of Manitoba in 1988. After fellowship training he established a career as a clinician scientist in 1993 at the University of Manitoba, and since 2005 at the BC Cancer Agency.  He currently combines a clinical practice as a breast pathologist with research interests in the molecular pathology of breast and ovarian cancer, and in the discipline of biobanking.  His research program focuses on biomarkers of breast tumour progression and response to therapies.  This work has included the discovery, validation, elucidation of the mechanism of action, and exploration of the therapeutic potential of the S100A7 gene in breast cancer.  This research has led to publication of over 150 scientific research papers.  He has also lead provincial and national biobanking initiatives to advance translational cancer research.  In addition, Dr. Watson serves on the executive of the Canadian Tumour Repository Network (CTRNet) he is currently the Director of the University of British Columbia, Department of Pathology Office of Biobank Education and Research, advises on the Manitoba Breast Tumour Bank, serves on the executive of the Marble Arch International Working Group for Biobanking, and acts as Deputy Editor for the Biopreservation and Biobanking, the journal of the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories.


Dr. Lois Shepherd

Management Committee Member

Dr. Lois Shepherd is a Professor in the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine at Queen's University. She completed her medical school training at McGill and spent three years in England where her interest in Hematology developed. She completed her training as a Hematopathologist at the University of Ottawa and moved to Queen's University, Kingston in 1987. Dr. Shepherd is currently the Director of the Transfusion Medicine Service and Immunology at Kingston General Hospital. Since 1989, Dr. Shepherd has worked with the Clinical Trials Group of the NCIC (NCIC CTG) as a Senior Investigator. Her focus has been in Haematology and Breast Cancer as well as the development of the National Tumor/Tissue/Data Repository associated with the NCIC Clinical Trials Group where she is the Operational Director of this resource.


Dr. Leigh Murphy

Management Committee Member

Born in Australia, Dr. Leigh Murphy arrived at the University of Manitoba's Faculty of Medicine in 1985. She is a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics, Chair and Director of Breast Cancer Research Group, and Director of the Manitoba Tumour Bank.

Over the course of her 30-year career, Murphy's research has focused primarily on the role played by estrogen receptors in the development of breast cancer. In that time, she has published over 180 research papers, reviews and book chapters and conducted numerous research projects. In 1997, her research team was the first to show that some types of breast cancer cells contained not just one estrogen receptor, as had been previously believed, but two (estrogen receptor alpha, or ERa, and estrogen receptor beta, or ERb). She and her team have also shown that ERb is present in two types of breast cancers: those that contain ERa and those that contain ERb alone. As well, her research team was the first to publish that human breast tumours contain special chemical changes (called phosphorylation on ERa), which affect the tumour's activity.


Dr. Randy Johnston

Management Committee Member

Dr. Randy Johnston received a BSc degree (1975) from the University of Victoria and his PhD (1980) and postdoctoral training from Stanford University in California. He has been a faculty member of the University of Calgary since 1984, where he was recruited with funding from the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research. He was appointed for 10 years as the Terry Fox Professor for Cancer Research at The University of Calgary, together with the positions of Director, Southern Alberta Cancer Research Centre and Associate Director (Research), Tom Baker Cancer Centre. He then was appointed as the Associate Vice-President (Research) for the University of Calgary, and subsequently as President of Genome Prairie/Alberta (a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to genomics research as part of the Genome Canada program), before returning full-time in 2006 to his academic position at the University in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. His new roles include serving as General Secretary for the Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences, Director of the Alberta Cancer Research Biorepository and CBCF Tumour Bank, and as Director of the Biomedical Technology Graduate Program. Dr. Johnston's research focuses on cancer genomics and novel viral therapies for cancer that show great promise and are currently being used in clinical trials.


Dr. John Bartlett

Management Committee Member

Dr. John Bartlett is pursuing an integrated platform of research focused on the development of novel cancer diagnostics.

In 2011, Dr. Bartlett became Director of OICR’s Transformative Pathology Platform and the Ontario Tumour Bank. He is developing new diagnostic approaches to improve patient diagnosis and treatment. By gaining an understanding of the molecular complexity of cancer, accurate diagnostic approaches can be developed to ensure that patients receive the most appropriate treatment. Novel diagnostic tools are required to accurately identify molecular sub-types of cancer and to predict the effectiveness of treatment. Dr. Bartlett has contributed to the development of translational research within multi-centre clinical trials, several of which have led to new insights into selecting appropriate therapeutics for breast cancer patients. He aims to foster research in other laboratories across the province to accelerate the discovery of novel diagnostics for cancer.


Dr. Suzanne Vercauteren

Management Committee Member

Dr. Suzanne Vercauteren is a hematological pathologist at BC Children’s Hospital, who obtained her MD and PhD at the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands. She did her residency in hematological pathology at the University of British Columbia. She is the Director of BC Children’s Hospital BioBank as well as the Chair of the Childhood Cancer and Blood Research BioBank at BC Children’s Hospital. She participated in a “Permission to Contact” study with Dr. Peter Watson and is interested in increasing engagement and participation of pediatric patients in research studies.
Dr. Vercauteren is the director of the clinical immunology laboratory and is engaged in researching and implementing tests to enhance patient’s care including the set-up of minimal residual disease testing for patients with acute leukemia.


Dr. Dominique Trudel

Management Committee Member

Dr. Trudel obtained her medical degree in Québec City at the Université Laval in 2005 while completing a master degree in Experimental Medicine in 2004 (combined MD/MSc program) working on biomarkers in prostate cancer. She completed her residency in Anatomical Pathology at the Université Laval in 2011. During her residency, she entered the Clinician-Investigator (CI) Program of the Royal College of Canada and she was appointed as residents' representative in the CI Program. She completed her PhD in 2014, mainly investigating biomarkers in ovarian carcinoma,. From 2011 to 2013, Dr. Trudel worked in the area of prostate cancer as part of The Terry Fox Foundation Strategic Health Research Training Program in Cancer Research at Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Ontario Institute of Cancer Research (Molecular Oncologic Pathology). Effective January 2014, Dr. Trudel commences clinical practice as a clinician scientist at the CHUM (Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal).


Dr. Kathryn Graham

Management Committee Member

Dr. Kathryn Graham is a cell and molecular biologist who obtained her PhD in the Department of Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto, Ontario Cancer Institute. Her postdoctoral training was at the University of Alberta where she studied molecular virology. Starting in 1995 she pursued translational cancer research in the Department of Oncology at the University of Alberta, Cross Cancer Institute.  Her research interests include the expression of nucleoside transporter genes and in the analysis of gene expression signatures in breast cancer. Currently she manages the Edmonton node of the cbcf Tumour Bank and MicroArray Facility, a component of the Alberta Cancer Research Biorepository.