Meet Our Team

As a team, we are accelerating the transfer of research discoveries – more accurate biomarkers for diagnosis and outcome prediction and novel therapeutics – from the “bench to the bedside” to make an impact on those living with cancer. Whether new discoveries begin at the bedside or the bench, our group is focused on understanding and ultimately improving the diagnosis and management of aggressive prostate cancer. Our multi-disciplinary group of more than 200 prostate cancer scientists, physicians, trainees and healthcare employees from five leading Alberta health research institutions are working with an international collaborative network to achieve our translational research goals – to make a meaningful impact on health policy and the outcomes of patients living with prostate cancer.

Catalina Vasquez MSc., C. Mgr.

APCaRI, Department of Oncology, University of Alberta View Profile

John D. Lewis Research Group

Department of Experimental Oncology University of Alberta View Profile

Bryan Donnelly, MD, MSc, FRCSC

Department of Surgical Oncology, University of Calgary, Prostate Cancer Centre View Profile

Adrian Fairey, MD

Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, University of Alberta View Profile

Andries Zijlstra Research Group

Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology; Department of Cancer Biology View Profile

Ronald Moore Research Group

Department of Surgery and Oncology, University of Alberta View Profile

Hans Vogel Research Group

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary View Profile

Eric Hyndman, MD, PhD

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Frank Wuest Research Group

Oncologic Imaging, Department of Oncology, University of Alberta View Profile

Kiril Trpkov, MD, FRCPC

Pathologist, Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine University of […]

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Lauren Walker, PhD, RPsych

Research Assistant Professor,  Department of Oncology, Division of Psychosocial Oncology, […]

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Yuliya Kulchytska, BSc.

APCaRI Clinical Data Entry Clerk, Northern Alberta Urology Clinic, Edmonton, […]

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Anais Medina Martin, PhD

Clinical Research Coordinator, APCaRI, Department of Oncology, University of Alberta Anaïs […]

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Morley Hollenberg Research Group

Professor, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology University of Calgary, Calgary, […]

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Lian Willetts, PhD

Instructor, Cummings School of Medicine, University of Canada Dr. Willets […]

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Peter Venner, MD, FRCPC

Medical Oncologist, Professor, Department of Medical Oncology, University of Alberta, […]

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Konstantin Stoletov, PhD

Research Associate, Dr. John Lewis Laboratory, Department of Oncology, University […]

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Gerald Todd, MD FRCS(c) DABU

Urologist University of Alberta, Alberta Urology Institute, Edmonton, AB Dr. […]

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Tatiana Ketova

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Trafford Crump, PhD

Manager, Alberta Prostate Cancer Registry, Prostate Cancer Centre, Calgary, AB […]

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Michael Mengel, MD

Pathologist, Associate Professor, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology University […]

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Loradel Mendoza

APCaRI Clinical Data Entry Clerk, Prostate Cancer Centre, Calgary, Alberta […]

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Dean Ruether, MD FRCSC

Medical Oncologist University of Calgary, Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Calgary, […]

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Geoffrey Gotto, MD

Urologist, Assistant Professor Urologic Oncology, University of Calgary Dr. Gotto […]

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Katia Carmine-Simmen, PhD

Research Associate and Lab Manager, Dr. John Lewis Laboratory, Department […]

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Bimal Bhindi, MD, CM, MSc, FRCSC

Dr. Bimal Bhindi is a urologic oncologist at the Southern […]

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Nawaid Usmani, MD, FRCPC

Radiation Oncologist, Associate Professor, Department of Oncology, University of Alberta, […]

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David Broadhurst, PhD

Assistant Professor, Applied Biostatistician University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB Dr. […]

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Gane Ka-Shu Wong Research Group

Professor Department of Biological Sciences and the Department of Medicine, […]

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Doug Brown

Graduate (Ph.D.) Student, Dr. John Lewis Laboratory, Department of Oncology, […]

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Alexander Tamm MD (STIR), FRCPC (Diagnostic Radiology), FRCPC (Nuclear Medicine)

Dr. Tamm completed his undergraduate degree (2010), medical degree with […]

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Carla Prado, PhD, RD

Professor, Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, University of […]

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Karen A. Kopciuk, PhD

Research Scientist at Alberta Health Services, Department of Population Health […]

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Benjamin Adam, MD

Anatomical Pathology Resident, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University […]

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David Bond, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. John Lewis Laboratory, Department of Oncology, University […]

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Katie Hebron

Graduate Student at Dr. Zijlstra’s Lab, Vanderbilt University Kate began […]

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Alisha Kadam, MSc

PhD Student Dr. John Lewis Laboratory, Department of Oncology, University […]

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Farshid Siadat, MD, FRCPC

Assistant Clinical Professor Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology University […]

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Scott North, MD, FRCPC, MHPE

Medical Oncologist, Professor, Department of Medical Oncology, University of Alberta, […]

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Russ Greiner, PhD

Professor and founding Scientific Director of the Alberta Innovates Centre […]

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Jack Tuszynski Research Group

Allard Chair & Professor Experimental Oncology, Department of Oncology, Computational […]

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Shanna Arnold, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Zijlstra’s Lab, Vanderbilt University Dr. Arnold started […]

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Trushar Patel Research Group

Assistant Professor Alberta RNA Research and Training Institute, University of […]

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Tarek Bismar Research Group

Pathologist, Clinical Associate Professor, Pathology, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB […]

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Desmond Pink, PhD

Research Associate, Dr. John Lewis Laboratory, Department of Oncology, University […]

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Arun Raturi, PhD

Research Associate, Dr. John Lewis Laboratory, Department of Oncology, University […]

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Robert Paproski, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. John Lewis Laboratory and Dr. Roger Zemp […]

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Adam Kinnaird, MD PhD FRCSC

Surgeon, Scientist, and Assistant Professor Adam Kinnaird is a Surgeon, […]

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Paul Boutros, PhD

Assistant Professor, University of Toronto, the Ontario Institute for Cancer […]

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Reda Alhajj, PhD

Bioinformatics, Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Calgary, Alberta […]

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Lorraine Shack, PhD

Director of Cancer Surveillance and Reporting, C-MORE, Alberta Health Services, […]

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Sunita Ghosh, PhD

Biostatistician, Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Medical Oncology, University of […]

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Raja B. Singh, PhD

APCaRI Director Over the last several years, Raja has led […]

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Madison Turk

APCaRI Clinical Research Assistant/Data Entry Clerk, Prostate Cancer Centre, Calgary, […]

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Matthew Parliament, MD, FRCPC

Radiation Oncologist, Full Professor, Department of Oncology, University of Alberta, […]

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Jackson Wu, MSc, MD, FRCP

Radiation Oncologist, Clinical Associate Professor, Division of Radiation Oncology University […]

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Michael Chetner, MD, MSc, FRCSC, FACS

Urologist, Clinical Professor, Department of Surgery University of Alberta, Alberta […]

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Why did the chicken cross the road…?

Konstantin Stoletov and Lian Willetts co-first-authored an article published recently in Nature Communications titled “Quantitative in vivo whole genome motility screen reveals novel therapeutic targets to block cancer metastasis“. These two researchers, along with fellow Lewis lab members and collaborators from the University of Calgary and Vanderbilt University set out to determine what genes and signaling networks are involved in the rate-limiting steps of solid tumour cell motility, in vivo. But the team was hampered by the lack of an effective, quantitative, in vivo imaging platform. They wanted to visualize the movement of tumour cells, or lack of, in real-time AND use this intravital imaging platform to screen a large bank of tumour cells harboring single gene mutations for cells that show a loss of motility.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-04743-2

When tumour cells metastasize they get into (intravasate) the hosts’ bloodstream and use the vascular system like roadways to travel throughout the body. This lets the tumour cells colonize new microenvironments where they will proliferate and form new tumours. So metastatis is really dependent on tumour cell motility. Although there are many different types of solid tumours known, previous research suggests that if the tumour cells can mobilize and metastasize then the expressed motility-related genes share homology across tumour types. This is great news because it would mean that therapeutic targets aimed at stopping motility could also stop metastasis for many tumour types!

Dr. Konstantin Stoletov

 

Dr. Lian Willetts
Dr. Lian Willetts

The Lewis lab researchers and their collaborators developed an in vivo, fluorescent, time-lapse screening platform that uses shell-less avian embryos for tumour growth and formation. The avian embryo is an excellent tumour model because the tumour cells will grow on the chorioallantoic membrane in a single cell layer, making in vivo cell motility imaging actually doable.

Using this platform the team screened over 30 000 human genes for the ones needed for cell motility and ultimately found 17 genes that looked to be effective metastasis-blocking gene targets. Stoletov, along with other Lewis lab members, are continuing this research by studying these 17 attractive candidates further to determine which one (s) would make therapeutic metastasis-blocking targets.

This article has generated a lot of interest in the scientific community and in the general public! Check out the links below to mentions and articles in the media.

https://www.biocentury.com/bc-innovations/translation-brief/2018-07-18/how-chicken-embryo-screen-identified-entos%E2%80%99-

https://www.ualberta.ca/medicine/news/2018/june/putting-the-brakes-on-metastatic-cancer

Stay tuned for a podcast that will be posted soon from “Parsing Science” where the hosts interview Dr. John Lewis about this work!

https://www.parsingscience.org/coming_soon/
UPDATE Oct 12, 2018: The podcast with John Lewis on Parsing Science called “Halting Cancers’ Spread“, is now available!

- Perrin Beatty