Faculty

Philippe Bedard, MD, FRCPC

Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto
Fellowship Director, Drug Development Program
Staff Medical Oncologist
Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
Toronto, ON

Dr. Bedard is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto. He is a Staff Medical Oncologist in the Division of Medical Oncology and the Fellowship Director for the Bras Drug Development Program at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. He received his medical degree from the University of Toronto where he was awarded the Cody Academic Silver Medal. He completed his Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology specialty training at the University of Toronto. He received additional fellowship training in clinical and translational breast cancer research at the Breast International Group (BIG). He received the 2017 William E. Rawls Prize from the Canadian Cancer Society, given to a young investigator whose outstanding contributions have the potential to lead to, or have already led to important advances in cancer control. He is the Past Chair of the Canadian Clinical Trials Group (CCTG) Investigational New Drug (IND) Committee and the Clinical Director for the Cancer Genomics Program at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. He is a member of the Steering Committee for the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Project Genomics, Evidence, Neoplasia, Information, Exchange (GENIE), an international clinical and genomic data-sharing initiative. His clinical practice includes the treatment of patients with breast and testicular cancers. His research involves early phase clinical trials with novel cancer drug treatments including immunotherapy agents and the personalization of cancer treatment based upon the results of testing for DNA mutations within tumor cells.

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.

Muriel Brackstone, MD, PhD, FRCSC

Surgical Oncologist, London Regional Cancer Program
Medical Director, London Breast Care Clinic
Director, London Tumour Biobank
Assoc. Professor,  Surgery & Oncology, Western University
London, ON

Dr. Muriel Brackstone is a breast surgical oncologist in London Ontario, and Medical Director of the London Breast Care Program. She is an Associate Professor of Surgery & Oncology at Western University and founding Medical Director of the London Tumour Biobank. She obtained her PhD in Clinical Trials through the Department of Pathology. Her clinical and research interests include translational and window of opportunity clinical trials for personalized preoperative treatment of breast cancer and for optimizing immuno-oncology research and treatment. Dr. Brackstone is a member of the Oncoplastic Partnership Group and Workshop Series. 

Christine Brezden-Masley, MD, PhD, FRCPC

Medical Oncologist and Director, Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre
Mount Sinai Hospital
Medical Director of Cancer Program
Sinai Health System
Toronto, ON

Christine Brezden-Masley, MD PhD FRCPC is a practicing Medical Oncologist and the Director of the Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital as well as the Medical Director of Cancer Program for Sinai Health System in Toronto, Canada. She obtained her PhD in Medical Biophysics at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto and her Medical Degree from the University of Toronto. She is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto and senior scientist for the same Clinical Research Group at the Lunefeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute for Sinai Health System in Toronto, Canada.

Dr Brezden-Masley is the founder of the COMET (Community Oncologists of Metropolitan Toronto) Clinical Trials Consortium, a web-based virtual network promoting cancer clinical trials throughout the Toronto region. She treats both breast and gastrointestinal (colorectal and gastric cancers) malignancies, which are her major areas of research interest. Her main area of clinical research is cardiotoxicity from cancer therapy and she has been the Co-Chair of the Annual Canadian Cardio-Oncology Network meeting, a collaborative national meeting improving cardiac heath in patients with cancer and is currently the President of the Canadian Cardio-Oncology Network. She is also on the Board of Directors of ReThink Breast Cancer, a national advocacy and support network for young women with breast cancer.

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 she holds academic appointments in the Department of Medicine, Section of Medical Oncology and Hematology at the University of Manitoba. Her main areas of interest are breast and skin cancers and she was the past Chair of the CancerCare Manitoba Breast Cancer Disease Site Group.

Dr. Grenier was the Program Director for the Medical Oncology Training Program at the University of Manitoba up until July 2016 and the previous Chair of the Medical Oncology Examination Board of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. She is a member of the Medical Oncology Specialty Committee of the Royal College and has been actively involved in the development and implementation of the Competency Based Education Curriculum for Canadian Medical Oncology Training Programs.

Her research interests include identifying and characterizing cardiotoxicity of cancer therapies and risk factors for breast cancer. She is also involved in determining ways of effectively communicating with cancer patients by means of decision aids and audiotapes. She has been the site principal investigator of multiple phase III breast cancer trials and the local representative for national and international clinical trial co-operative groups, including CCTG and the NRG. She is the current Co-chair of the Locally Advanced Breast Cancer Canadian National Consensus group, and has a research interest in the area of neoadjuvant therapy for breast cancer.

Diana N. Ionescu, MD, FRCP(C), FCAP

Consultant Pathologist, BC Cancer
Medical Director Clinical Trials, BCCA VCC Laboratory
Clinical Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UBC
Vancouver, BC

Dr. Ionescu is a graduate of University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Iuliu Hatieganu” in Cluj Napoca, Romania. She completed her postgraduate training in Anatomical and Clinical Pathology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and a Fellowship in Gynecological Pathology at Vancouver General Hospital. She has practiced as a Consultant Pathologist at BC Cancer Agency in Vancouver since 2006. She is currently a Clinical Professor of Pathology at UBC and served as the residency program director for the Anatomic Pathology Residency Program between 2009 – 2017.

Her specific areas of diagnostic expertise are lung, gynecologic and breast pathology. She is an author of over 35 scientific publications and book chapters. She is the author and invited speaker at numerous regional, national and international lectures. Her investigation interests include oncologic pathology and molecular biomarkers, lung cancer and adult health education. She is the Canadian Anatomic and Molecular Pathology (CAMP) course director.

Dr. Ionescu is an enthusiastic advocate of pathologists participating in numerous patient education forums, TV shows, advocacy campaigns, being an Medical Advisor for Lung Cancer Canada and in 2015 appeared before the House of Commons Committee on Health.

 Anil Abraham Joy, MD, FRCPC

Professor, Department of Oncology
Division of Medical Oncology
University of Alberta,
Edmonton, AB

Dr. Anil Abraham Joy is a Professor in the Department of Oncology, Division of Medical Oncology in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta and a staff staff medical oncologist at the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton, Alberta. In addition to his other appointments, he has previously served as Chair for the Northern Alberta Breast Cancer Program and the Provincial Chair for the Alberta Breast Cancer Program. He currently serves as a member of the pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review (pCODR) Expert Review Committee (pERC) where they assess the clinical evidence and cost-effectiveness of cancer drugs in order to make recommendations to the provinces and territories to help guide their drug funding decisions. His primary oncologic clinical and research areas of interest include breast and thoracic malignancies. He has interest in medical education, Phase II/III clinical and translational research in breast and thoracic malignancies, cardio-oncology-exercise research, clinical guideline development, and global oncology/regional disparity issues.

Mira Keyes, MD, FRCPC

Clinical Professor Radiation Oncology, UBC
BC Cancer, Vancouver Cancer Centre
Vancouver, BC

Dr. Keyes is a Clinical Professor in Radiation Oncology, Division of Surgery, University of British Columbia (UBC) Vancouver. Her main professional interest includes GU, breast oncology and medical education and physician burnout.

Dr. Keyes is one of the founders of the British Columbia Cancer Agency (BCCA) Prostate Brachytherapy Program established in 1998, and program head since 2006. She is a Fellow of American Brachytherapy Society (ABS) (FABS), past board member and secretary for ABS, chair of Education Committee, and ASTRO and ABS Prostate Brachytherapy Workshops course director. In 2017, she was awarded ABS Presidents Award, for outstanding contribution to ABS. She is a member of the editorial board for Brachytherapy Journal.

Dr. Keyes is a Vice-Chair of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada AFC Subcommittee Diploma in Brachytherapy. Dr. Keyes is a former Residency Training Program Director in Radiation Oncology at UBC, and past Royal College examiner. She is a recipient of several UBC Radiation Oncology Residency Training Program awards including: Mentorship Award (2018), Teaching Award (2017), CanMeds of Excellence Award (2104) and AD McKenzie UBC Department of Surgery Clinical Teaching Award 2017. In 2019, she was nominated for Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Mentorship Award.

Dr Keyes has been a keynote speaker at ASTRO, ABS, CARO, Australian Brachytherapy Group and Advanced Prostate Brachytherapy Courses at Seattle Prostate Institute and MD Anderson. She is an author of over 70 peer reviewed manuscripts and recipient of many peer review grants including a CIHR and Michael Smith Foundation grant for translational research in prostate cancer.
She is a national wellness committee chair for CARO and wellness chair for BC Cancer Medical Engagement Society (MSES).

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

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

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

Peter Lennox, MD, FRCSC

Clinical Professor, UBC Plastic Surgery
Head, Division of Plastic Surgery, UBC
Vancouver, BC

Dr. Lennox completed his plastic surgical training at UBC before going to the US for two clinical fellowships in breast surgery.  He returned to join the newly launched UBCH Breast Program in 1999.  His clinical focus is on aesthetic and reconstructive breast surgery. His research interests are in outcomes research and new technologies, particularly as they apply to breast surgery. He is a past President of the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons and the Canadian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, and is the Canadian representative to the Global Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma Advisory Board.  He is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Surgery at UBC, and Head of the UBC/VGH Division of Plastic Surgery.

Heather L. McArthur, MD, MPH

Medical Director, Breast Oncology
Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Los Angeles, CA

Heather McArthur, MD, MPH is Medical Director of Breast Oncology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (CSMC). Dr. McArthur is a medical oncologist with a clinical practice dedicated to the care of patients with breast cancer. Her research activities are focused on innovations in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, with a particular interest in novel immune therapy strategies. For example, she is currently evaluating the impact of tumor destruction with freezing (cryoablation) or radiation in combination with immune stimulation for the treatment of women with early stage breast cancer. It is hoped that by augmenting one’s immune response to the unique biologic features of one’s tumor, that an affected individual may develop long-term immunity against their tumor, and thus, be cured.

Dr. McArthur completed formal medical oncology training in Canada where she was awarded a highly competitive grant that funded an advanced fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York. Thereafter, she joined MSKCC as faculty where she developed the institutional breast cancer immunotherapy program before joining CSMC in 2016. She has a Master’s in Public Health with a focus on clinical trial design from Harvard University and has mentored many medical students, residents, fellows, and junior faculty in the conduct and reporting of several studies – two of which directly informed national (NCCN) treatment guidelines.

Dr. McArthur has held several leadership positions in the field including Co-Chair of a Breast International Group Immunotherapy Taskforce, member of a NCI Breast Cancer Immuno-Oncology (IO) Working Group, member of a NCI Breast Cancer IO Task Force, and member of an Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology IO Committee. She has served ASCO on the Annual Meeting IO Scientific Committee, the YIA/CDA Grant Selection Committee, the Breast Cancer Symposium Program Committee, the Annual Meeting Grant Writing Workshop, a Guideline Expert Panel, and Educational Book Expert Panels. She has participated in the ASCO Leadership Development Program; reviewed manuscripts for various high impact journals; authored numerous articles; and served on many study steering committees. She has designed, conducted, and reported on many studies in breast cancer and is currently the co-PI for a large, randomized, international phase 3 study exploring adjuvant chemotherapy with or without immune therapy for the treatment of triple negative breast cancer (IMpassion030).

Elaine McKevitt, BSc, MED, MD, FRCS(C), FACS

Clinical Associate Professor, University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC

Dr. McKevitt is a Breast and General Surgeon at Providence Health Care in Vancouver. She did her medical training and General Surgery residency in British Columbia. She also holds a Masters degree in Education, UBC. Her clinical practice is focused at Mount Saint Joseph Hospital, Vancouver, where she is also active in teaching, breast cancer research, and multidisciplinary rounds at the Providence Breast Center.

Dr. McKevitt is the chair of the BC Cancer Surgeon Network Breast Surgical Tumour Group. Through the surgical tumor group Dr. McKevitt has led the Breast Cancer Synoptic Operative Report initiative, led the updating of BC Cancer surgical cancer management guidelines, and was guest co-editor of the 2018 BCMJ theme edition on breast cancer. She has been involved in the development of National Standards for Breast Cancer Surgery through the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer.

Lashan Peiris

Oncoplastic, Reconstructive Breast & General Surgeon
Univeristy of Alberta
Edmonton, AB

Dr Peiris is an Oncoplastic and Reconstructive Breast and General Surgeon in Edmonton, Alberta. He was trained in the UK, where he developed a specialist practice in oncoplastics and breast reconstruction. Since commencing practice in Alberta, he has helped improve access to oncoplastic breast conservation as well as both implant- and latissimus dorsi- breast reconstruction. In 2018, he organised a live-surgery masterclass, live-streaming level 1 and 2 oncoplastic procedures from the operating room to the lecture theatre, thereby helping to introduce these techniques to other breast surgeons in the province. In 2019 he organised a breast surgical oncology meeting, in which numerous contentious topics within the field of breast surgery were presented and discussed by both an international and domestic distinguished faculty.

He is undertaking numerous clinical research projects in both oncoplastics and breast reconstruction as well as breast surgical oncology.

Josée-Anne Roy,  MD

Medical Oncologist, Hematologist
Université de Montréal
Montréal, QC

Clinical research studies in breast cancer and CCTG as Principal investigator and sub investigator in clinical studies in Colon, Lung, Pancreatic and hematological cancers.

Christine Simmons, MD, MSc, FRCPC

Medical Oncologist,
British Columbia Cancer Agency,
Vancouver, BC

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.

Maureen Trudeau, MD, MSc, FRCPC

Medical Oncologist
Affiliate Scientist
Sunnybrook Research Institute
Professor of Medicine
University of Toronto
Toronto, ON

Dr. Maureen Trudeau is a Medical Oncologist, specializing in breast cancer. She is an Affiliate Scientist at the Sunnybrook Research Institute and Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto. As former co-chair and now member of the Breast Cancer Disease Site Group in the Program in Evidence-Based Care of Cancer Care Ontario, Dr. Trudeau is involved in practice guideline development. She has also been involved with the approval for funding of cancer drugs provincially since 2006; and nationally since 2012; as Vice Chair and now Chair for the Expert Review Committee of the Pan Canadian Oncology Drug Review.

Rebecca Warburton, BSc MD FRCSC

Breast Surgical Oncologist
General Surgeon
Medical Director, Providence Breast Centre
Clinical Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC

Dr. Rebecca Warburton is a Breast Surgical Oncologist and General Surgeon at Mount Saint Joseph Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia.  She is the Medical Director of the Providence Breast Centre and the chair of the Vancouver Coastal Health Breast Reconstruction Network.  She completed her medical training and general surgery residency at the University of Saskatchewan.  She then continued her oncology training at the University of Toronto as a fellow in Breast Surgical Oncology.  Dr. Warburton is a member of the Breast Tumour Group at the BC Cancer Surgeon Network.  She is actively involved in post graduate medical education within the Department of Surgery as the Resident Affairs Lead for the UBC General Surgery Program.  She collaborates locally and nationally in breast surgical oncology research.