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Global Institute of Psychosocial, Palliative, and End-of-Life Care (GIPPEC)

Led by Dr. Gary Rodin and in partnership with other international academic centres, GIPPEC aims to generate research that informs public policy, health systems, and clinical practice in the area of psychosocial, palliative, and end-of-life care and to provide education to enhance practice and research globally.

​Research and discovery are vital for continued improvements to cancer care services. In addition to large international studies, differen​​ces in culture and environment require local data to ensure that evidence-based clinical decisions are tailored to the population of interest.

Our research program seeks to impact patient care through two streams of work:

  1. To build global research capacity through training research professionals and providing mentorship.
  2. To conduct and define research priorities on global cancer issues with the aim of driving global cancer research and innovation to advance cancer priorities internationally.

The Global Cancer Program places strong emphasis on research that is multidisciplinary and that strengt​hens existing collaborations between Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and partnering institutions. ​

International Clinician Scientist Fellows

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Dr. Eric Zhao

2021 Recipient

Dr. Zhao is a radiation oncology resident and post-doctoral fellow co-supervised by Drs. Trevor Pugh at the Princess Margaret and Scott Bratman at DKFZ. His research focuses on the development of biomarkers of immune system activation against cancers. His research aims to discover novel biomarkers by comprehensively profiling the tumour-infiltrating immune cells across brain cancers. In collaboration with DKFZ, he will analyze immune infiltration methylation signatures in a large and diverse cohort of adult and pediatric brain cancers. The ultimate goal of his research is to develop methylome-based liquid biopsy biomarkers of anti-cancer immune activation to accelerate the development and clinical optimization of novel immunotherapies and immune sensitizing therapies.

headshot of Kira Kornienko  

Dr. Kira Kornienko

2020 Recipient

Dr. Kira Kornienko is a medical doctor specializing in Urooncology. She will be hosted in the Division of Cancer Epigenomics at the DKFZ and collaborate with PM's Functional Epigenomics Research Group on a joint project called PRO-SPeCT (PROstate cancer heterogeneity deconvolution through Single cell Profiling of Chromatin accessibility and Transcriptomic output). Generating novel insights in the progression of aggressive Prostate Cancer is a goal of this highly translational project, which could pave the way for the development of novel approaches to prevent, diagnose, stage and treat Prostate Cancer. Project results could potentially be translated back to the clinics.

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Dr. Robert Vanner

2020 Recipient

Dr. Robert Vanner, Medical Oncology Resident, is a recipient of the DKFZ-PM Clinician and Medical Scientist Fellowship. Robert will work on a joint project entitled "Clonal Hematopoiesis as a Determinant of Metastasis and Immunotherapy Response in Breast Cancer" under the co-supervision of Dr. John Dick at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Dr. Andreas Trumpp at the DKFZ. The project will investigate how clonal hematopoiesis, a process whereby a mutant hematopoietic stem cell disproportionately contributes to blood production, impacts breast cancer response to treatment and progression to metastasis. The proposed work offers the opportunity to assess if clonal hematopoiesis alters the tumour microenvironment in ways that could favour metastasis, or influences response to therapy. The intent is to better understand mechanisms promoting breast cancer metastasis and identify means to prevent this disease's deadly progression.

Annual Seed Grant Competition

Call for Global Cancer Program Seed Grant Awards

The Princess Margaret Global Cancer Program aims to be an academic center of excellence in education, research, and knowledge translation in global oncology. Global cancer is an area of study, research, education, and practice that aims to improve outcomes and achieve equity in cancer care.

The call for the 2023 Global Cancer Program Seed Grant Awards is now closed.

Please direct any questions to pmglobalcancer@uhn.ca.

2023 Awardees

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Dr. Sara Mheid

Dr. Sara Mheid is a Radiation Oncology Clinical Fellow at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. Sara and her team at the Princess Margaret (Meredith Giuliani, Nicole Harnett, and Rebecca Wong) and King Hussein Cancer Centre, Jordan (Ja​​mal Khader) aim to create a professional development model that will accelerate implementation in LMICs through subject-specific education and change management training.

Headshot of Nadia Ghazali  

Dr. Nadia Ghazalial

Dr. Nadia Ghazali is a Medical Oncology Clinical Fellow at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. Nadia and her team at the Princess Margaret (Geoffery Liu, Trevor Pugh) and Aga Khan University, Kenya (Mansoor Saleh, Shahin Sayed) aim to demonstrate the feasibility of implementing liquid biopsy next generation sequencing for lung cancer molecular testing for patients at the AKU.

2022 Awardees

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Dr. Beverley Essue

Dr. Beverley Essue is an Associate Professor of Global Health at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. Beverley Essue and her team at UofT (Sujata Mishra), Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (Anna Dare, Danielle Rodin), Tata Memorial Hospital, India (TMH; Revathy Krishnamurthy) and KIMS Cancer Centre, India (KCC; Bidhu Mohanti) are using a mixed-methods approach to examine the economic burden and equity impacts of breast cancer in India. Their findings will feature in the Lancet Commission on Cancer and Health Systems.

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Dr. Arun Ghoshal

Dr. Arun Ghoshal is a Palliative Care Physician and Clinical Fellow at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. Arun and his team at the Princess Margaret (Camilla Zimmerman) and Tata Memorial Hospital, India (TMH; CS Pramesh, Jayita Deodhar) will survey oncologists in India to identify palliative care referral practices, attitudes and the impact of COVID-19 to inform the development of palliative care in India.

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Dr. Madeline Li

Dr. Madeline Li is an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University Health Network and a clinician scientist in the Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care. Madeline and her team at the Princess Margaret (Gary Rodin) and Aga Khan University, Kenya (AKU; Mansoor Saleh, Zul Merali, Zarafsheen Verjee) aim to adapt, implement, and evaluate the distress screening tool DART in a Kenyan population to promote cancer equity and improve outcomes in this population.

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Dr. Funmi Wuraola

Dr. Funmi Wuroala is a Breast Surgical Oncology Fellow at the University of Toronto. Funmi and her team at the Princess Margaret (Anna Dare, Danielle Rodin) and Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria (OAUTH; Olusegun Alatise, Adeleye Omisore) aim to facilitate greater rates of breast-conserving surgery in Nigeria by evaluating the feasibility and acceptability of using wire localization.

2021 Awardees

Headshot of Fadwa Abdel-Rahman  

Fadwa Abdel-Rahman

Dr. Abdel-Rahman is a Clinical Research Fellow in the Breast and Lymphoma programs in Radiation Medicine at the Princess Margaret. She completed her residency at the department of Radiation Oncology at the King Hussein Cancer Center (Amman, Jordan). With her international, multi-institutional team at the Princess Margaret (Danielle Rodin, Anne Koch), King Hussein Cancer Center (Sarah Mheid), A.C. Camargo (Guilherme Rocha Melo Gondim), and partners in the GTA, Dr. Abdel-Rahman aims to advance global knowledge of how to optimally treat women with breast cancer recurrence by identifying treatments that include breast preservation. The study will evaluate the safety and efficacy of a shorter 1-week ultra-hypofractionation regimen for re-irradiation with partial breast irradiation (rPBI).

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Gayathri Naganathan

Dr. Gayathri Naganathan is a General Surgery Resident Physician at the University of Toronto (Toronto, Canada). Along with her supervisor Dr. Andrea Covelli and the team at the University of Jaffna (Sreekanthan Gobishangar, Chishanthi Rajasooriya) and the University of Toronto (Anna Dare), Dr. Naganthan will evaluate surgeon perspectives on the approach to breast surgical oncology in a northern province in Sri Lanka. This qualitative research study aims to understand the experiences of surgeons in the Jaffna district who provide surgical care for breast cancer patients.

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Nicole Harnett

Nicole Harnett is the Director of the Accelerated Education Program and of the Radiation Medicine Skills Lab at the Princess Margaret in Toronto, Canada. Her team from the Princess Margaret (Rebecca Wong, Vanessa Wan, Kelly Guo), the Michener Institute of Education at UHN (Renate Bradley, Reshika Balakrishnan) and Tikur Anbessa (Black Lion) Hospital in Ethiopia (Wongel Bekalu, Eskadmas Yines, Edom Seif) will help support radiation training programs to build a radiation therapist (RTT) workforce to deliver high quality radiotherapy (RT) appropriate to the needs of Ethiopia. Building off previous training, the team will implement a 10-session education series including lectures, discussions and simulation sessions supplemented by asynchronous self-directed learning designed to provide the knowledge to prepare practising RTTs for advanced RT topics.

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Aba Scott

Dr. Aba Scott is a Clinical Oncologist at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (Accra, Ghana), with a special interest in gynecological and genitourinary cancers, and a Research Fellow with the Princess Margaret Global Cancer Program. With her team at the Princess Margaret (Michael Milosevic, Rebecca Wong) and the National Centre for Radiotherapy and Nuclear Medicine (NCRNM; Evans Sasu, Toby Obeng-Mensah) Dr. Scott will design and implement an intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) planning and delivery program for cervical cancer at the NCRNM. The goal is to expand the scope and efficacy of radiotherapy in Ghana, providing patients with gynecologic cancers with best practice treatment.

Headshot of Jacqueline Alcalde Castro  

Jacqueline Alcalde Castro

Dr. Jacqueline Alcalde Castro is a Palliative Care Fellow at the Princess Margaret who completed her training in Medical Oncology at the National University Autonomous of Mexico (UNAM) and the National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition "Salvador Zubirán" (INCMNSZ) in Mexico City, Mexico. With her supervisor Dr. Camilla Zimmermann (Head, Supportive Care), and their team, Felicia Knaul, Silvia Allende, Emma Verastegui Aviles, and Paula Cabrera, they will identify factors associated with earlier specialized palliative care (SPC) referrals before and during COVID-19, compare Mexican oncologists' SPC referral practices and the availability of SPC and cancer resources before and during COVID-19, and identify factors associated with the availability of SPC before and during COVID-19.

2020 Awardees

Headshot of Monika Krzyzanowska  

Monika Krzyzanowskao

Impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) on Cancer Care Delivery

  • Melanie Powis (PhD Trainee, Princess Margaret)
  • Rachel Riechelmann (Medical Oncology, AC Camargo)

In collaboration with A.C. Camargo Cancer Center in Brazil, the primary aim of this study is to characterize the patterns of cancer care delivery during the peri-COVID-19 period compared to the year prior at both Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and AC Camargo Cancer Center. The study will evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on quality of cancer care delivered, examine potential disparities, and evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on patient outcomes.

Headshot of Meredith Giuliani Headshot of Tina Papadakos

Meredith Giuliani and Tina Papadakos

Closing the Global Cancer Research Gap: Advanced Training in Science Communication

  • Anet Julius (Princess Margaret)
  • Jose Fregnani (AC Camargo)
  • C.S. Pramesh (Tata Memorial Centre)
  • Catherine Coolens (Princess Margaret)
  • Philipp Gebhardt (DKFZ)

In collaboration with A.C. Camargo Cancer Center, Tata Memorial Hospital, and DKFZ, this study will develop and pilot a globally focused course on advancing science communication to better translate research to practice. Impact of the course will be evaluated on knowledge and perceptions through a longitudinal impact assessment plan.

Past Work

Global Task Force on Radiotherapy for Cancer Control (GTFRCC)

The Global Task Force on Radiotherapy for Cancer Control (GTFRCC) was established to determine the cost to close the global radiotherapy gap. The economic benefits of closing the global radiotherapy gap were analyzed, and the results were published in Lancet Oncology.​​


Clinician and Medical Scientist Fellowship Program
Last reviewed: 5/11/2023
Last modified: 1/18/2024 9:28 AM
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