Faculty

Dr. Vanessa Bernstein, BA, MSc, MD, FRCPC

Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine
University of British Columbia,
Medical Oncologist
BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver Island Centre
Victoria, BC

Dr. Vanessa Bernstein is a medical oncologist at the Vancouver Island Cancer Centre who specializes in breast cancer and melanoma. She graduated magnum cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College, New Hampshire.  She completed her MD, Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology training at the University of British Columbia.  She was the 2000 Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation BC/Yukon Chapter Research Fellow. She used this opportunity to complete a Master’s of Science in Clinical Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Dr. Bernstein is the medical director of the Systemic Therapy Clinical Trials Unit at the Vancouver Island Cancer Centre. She has been a local and provincial principal investigator for many phase I, II and III clinical trials. She chaired the BC Cancer Agency Breast Cancer Systemic Policy Group from 2013-2015.

She is a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of British Columbia and has taught many medical students and residents.

Dr. Stephen K. L. Chia, MD, FRCPC

Medical Oncologist,
BCCA, Vancouver Clinic
Associate Professor of Medicine,
Department of Medicine,
University of British Columbia,
Chair British Columbia Breast Tumour Group
Vancouver, BC

Stephen K. Chia, M.D., F.R.C.P. (Canada) is an Associate Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.  He also is a staff oncologist with the British Columbia Cancer Agency (BCCA), Vancouver, Canada.  In addition, Dr. Chia serves as Chair for the British Columbia Breast Tumour Group and is physician coordinator for both the breast cancer and head and neck cancer clinical trials at the BCCA – Vancouver Cancer Centre.  He currently sits on the NCIC Clinical Trials Committee Executive, NCIC CTG Breast Executive, NCIC CTG Breast Correlative Science Committee, as well as being a member of the ASCO Scientific Committee (2009-2012). He was a Breast Track chair (Triple Negative/Cytotoxic/Local) for the ASCO 2011 Annual Meeting. He is an active researcher in phase I-III trials in breast cancer, head and neck cancer and investigational new drugs. He has a real interest in neoadjuvant systemic therapy for breast cancer and drug development, as well as the field of translation research of predictive biomarkers/assays.

Dr. Chia has been widely published (over 70 peer reviewed publications) in international peer-reviewed journals including New England Journal of MedicineJournal of Clinical Oncology, Lancet, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Cell, Annals of Oncology and Clinical Cancer Research.  Recently he has written the Commentaries in the Lancet and Lancet Oncology for the latest EBCTCG Overview (2011), NOAH study (2010) and the GEPARQUINTTO study (2012) respectively. An active researcher, he is currently carrying out clinical and translational studies in breast cancer with peer reviewed grant funded research from the National Cancer Institute of Canada, National Institute of Health (USA), Canadian Breast Cancer Research Alliance and Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation – British Columbia/Yukon Chapter.

He received his bachelor’s degree in Pharmacology from the University of British Columbia, where he also earned his medical degree in 1993.  He obtained his Internal Medicine Fellowship and Medical Oncology Fellowship also from the University of British Columbia. Dr. Chia then completed post-fellowship training from 1999-2000 with the Dept. of Advanced Therapeutics – British Cancer Research Centre and at the Institute of Molecular Medicine with the University of Oxford.

Debjani Grenier MD, FRCPC

Medical Oncologist, CancerCare Manitoba
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB

Dr. Grenier is a medical oncologist and a clinical investigator at CancerCare Manitoba and holds academic appointments in the Department of Medicine, Section of Haematology and Medical Oncology at the University of Manitoba. She underwent medical oncology residency training in Winnipeg followed by a Breast Cancer Research Fellowship at Women’s College Hospital, University of Toronto. She is the Program Director for the Medical Oncology Training Program at the University of Manitoba and the previous Chair of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Medical Oncology Examination Board. She also chaired the Breast Cancer Disease Site Group at CancerCare Manitoba for many years.

Her clinical interests are breast and skin cancers and her research interests include cancer treatment-related cardiotoxicity, bone density as a risk factor for breast cancer and effective communication aides for women with breast cancer. She is the site principal investigator of multiple phase III breast cancer trials and is the local representative for several national and international clinical trial co-operative groups, including NCIC and NRG. Dr. Grenier’s main focus is education and clinical research.

Anil Abraham Joy, B.Sc., MD, FRCPC

Associate Professor, Department of Oncology, University of Alberta
Medical Oncology, Cross Cancer Institute
Medical Director (Edmonton), Alberta Cancer Research/CBCF Tumor Bank
Provincial Chair, Alberta Breast Cancer Program
Edmonton, Alberta

Dr. Joy is certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada as a specialist in Internal Medicine with sub-specialty training in Medical Oncology.

He currently serves an Associate Professor of Oncology (Division of Medical Oncology) at the University of Alberta and is a Staff Oncologist at the Cross Cancer Institute, in Edmonton, Alberta.

His primary clinical care interests include both Breast and Thoracic malignancies.

He is actively involved in patient care, clinical research and medical education.

In the field of breast cancer, he serves as an advisor to both the Comprehensive Breast Care Program (CBCP) in Edmonton and the Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Society of Alberta. He was also an invited member to the Société Internationale de Sénologie. His former appointments include being the past Chair of the Northern Alberta Breast Cancer Program as well as serving as a member on the Steering Committee on Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Care and Treatment of Breast Cancer – Canada. In 2010, he was elected to the position of Provincial Chair for the Alberta Breast Cancer Program and currently serves in this capacity.

Dr. Wendy Lam, BSc. (Pharm), MD, FRCPC

Hematologist and Medical Oncologist
Burnaby Hospital Regional Cancer Center
Director, BC Community Oncology Trialists
Burnaby, British Columbia

Dr. Wendy Lam is a hematologist and medical oncologist at the Burnaby Hospital Regional Cancer Centre.

She received her B.Sc (Pharmacy) at Dalhousie University and her MD from University of British Columbia. She then completed her Internal Medicine residency at UBC and Hematology fellowship at McMaster University.

She is the Founding Director of the British Columbia Community Oncology Trialists (BC Cot), which is a collaborative group of oncologists and hematologists involved in clinical research.

Her other interests include education of patients through meeting with patient groups. She has also been instrumental in organizing meetings for continued medical education.

She is Director of the Society of Hematology and Oncology of BC at British Columbia Medical Association

Alexander H.G. Paterson,M.B. Ch.B., MD, FRCP, FACP

Medical Oncologist, Department of Medicine, Tom Baker Cancer Centre
Professor, Department of Medicine and Oncology
University of Calgary
Calgary, Alberta

Professor Paterson trained at Edinburgh Medical School and in London (St Bartholomew’s Hospital and Royal Marsden). He has completed clinical research in melanoma and gynecological malignancies; phase I/II and III clinical trials research in breast cancer; research on natural history of breast cancer; and established and novel prognostic factors in breast cancer; patho-physiology and treatment of bone metastases; malignant hypercalcemia and its treatment; and prevention of bone metastases with bisphosphonates.

He has also performed clinical research in palliative care medicine, prevention and treatment trials in breast cancer (with US based NSABP) and previously, research in autologous bone marrow transplantation. Tumor imaging radio-pharmaceuticals have also been |included in his fields of research.

He is on the Board of Directors of the NSABP and is Chair of NSABP B34 protocol and a Co-chair of the SWOG/NSABP intergroup bone metastasis prevention trial. He was Chair of the Alberta Breast Cancer Programme 2002-2010 and is Chair of the Health Canada Oncology Therapies Scientific Advisory Committee.

He is a clinical oncologist at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre and University of Calgary with a full-time practice mainly in patients with carcinoma of the breast. He teaches in the Physical Examination Course to medical students in the University of Calgary and writes a column for Alberta Doctors’ Digest on general topics.

Christine Simmons, MD, MSc, FRCPC

Medical Oncologist,
British Columbia Cancer Agency,
Vancouver, British Columbia

Dr. Christine Simmons is a Medical Oncologist at the BCCA Vancouver.  She completed her residency training in Toronto, and completed a fellowship in Locally Advanced Breast Cancer at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto.  She also completed a Master’s in Clinical Epidemiology at University of Toronto.  She is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia in the Faculty of Medicine.  She is past Chair of the Locally Advanced Breast Cancer Canadian National Consensus group, and has a strong research interest in the area of neoadjuvant therapy for breast cancer.  In July 2014 she took on the role of Clinical Skills Course Director in the undergraduate medical program at UBC.

Sunil Verma MD, MSEd, FRCPC

Medical Director, Tom Baker Cancer Centre
Professor and Head, Department of Oncology
Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary
Department Head, Clinical Department of Oncology, Calgary Zone
CancerControl Alberta, Alberta Health Services
Medical Lead, Calgary Cancer Project
Calgary, AB

Dr. Sunil Verma is a Professor and Head of the Department of Oncology at the University of Calgary. He is also the Medical Director of the Tom Baker Cancer Centre. He completed his medical degree and postgraduate training in internal medicine and medical oncology at the University of Alberta in Canada. Dr. Verma also completed a fellowship in breast cancer at the University of Toronto and a Masters degree in Medical Education at the University of Southern California.

Dr. Verma is internationally recognized for his research and education leadership in breast cancer. His research interests include developing novel therapies for breast cancer, reducing toxicities associated with systemic treatment and medical education. He is the principal investigator for many trials in breast cancer including a number of practice changing Phase III trials in breast cancer. His work has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, Journal of Clinical Oncology and Cancer. He has led and created numerous innovative educational projects in oncology and has won several teaching and mentoring awards.