Transforming Cancer Care: Research, Innovation and Collaboration

Idea Exchange

Idea Exchange

Anyone who has experienced cancer themselves or sat bedside with a loved one through treatment wishes we could do better. That means earlier cancer detection, more effective treatment, improved patient experience and more positive outcomes. To get there, we need innovative research and collaboration — and discoveries that translate to new treatments and standards of care. 

Our moment is almost here. 

Join the conversation about cancer treatment and research in Alberta and learn more about the Calgary Cancer Centre, a leading-edge facility and research centre opening in 2023.

Watch now!


Dr. Ed McCauley, PhD

Dr. Ed McCauley, PhD

President and vice-chancellor, University of Calgary

Dr. Edward McCauley is the ninth president and vice-chancellor of the University of Calgary. He has served the university for over three decades as a professor, a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair, and the vice-president (research).

Ed is deeply committed to supporting excellence in innovation, and he holds a record of cultivating strong national and international partnerships with industry, community and government towards this goal. 

A Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Ed holds a BSc and MSc from the University of Ottawa, a PhD from McGill University, and was a Postdoctoral Scholar and Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara leading a U.S. National Centre.

Breakout Rooms

Note: Choose two sessions during this 30-minute learning opportunity after the panel conversation.

Dr. Aaron Goodarzi, BSc'99, PhD‘05

Dr. Aaron Goodarzi, BSc'99, PhD'05

Evict Radon Conversation with Dr. Aaron Goodarzi

Dr. Aaron Goodarzi is the Canada Research Chair for Radiation Exposure Disease, the Lead of Science Communication for the University of Calgary’s Charbonneau Cancer Institute and founder and Scientific Director of Evict Radon, a transdisciplinary, national non-profit enterprise aimed at enabling research into understanding and engineering out lung cancer-causing radon gas exposure from the Canadian residential environment. He opened his own laboratory at UCalgary’s Cumming School of Medicine in 2011 and was named one of Calgary's Top 40 Under 40 in 2015 for achievements in science and education. In 2018, he was selected as a TEDx speaker on how citizen-based science can transform research.

Dr. Fiona Schulte, PhD

Dr. Fiona Schulte, PhD

Pediatric Psychosocial Oncology with Dr. Fiona Schulte

Dr. Fiona Schulte is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Oncology, Division of Psychosocial Oncology in UCalgary’s Cumming School of Medicine. She is also a registered psychologist at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. Her research in enhancing the patient and family experience for children, adolescents and young adults diagnosed with cancer, and improving the psychosocial late effects of childhood cancer survivors has been recognized with multiple awards and she was named to Calgary’s Avenue Magazine Top 40 Under 40 in 2017. Dr. Schulte is President of the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology and a member of several national and international committees focused on improving cancer care.

Dr. Shane Sinclair, PhD'09

Dr. Shane Sinclair, PhD'09

Compassion: The Secret Ingredient of the Patient Experience with Dr. Shane Sinclair

Dr. Shane Sinclair is an Associate Professor and Cancer Care Research Professor with the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Nursing and an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Oncology at the Cumming School of Medicine. The former Top 40 Under 40 awardee is also the Director of the Compassion Research Lab, which conducts nationally funded research on compassion. His recent study on Sympathy, Empathy and Compassion was awarded ‘Paper of the Year’ by Palliative Medicine. The former President of the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology is a certified spiritual health practitioner with the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care and was recently awarded their highest honour the 2021 Distinguished Service Award.

Dr. Oliver Bathe, MD’90

Dr. Oliver Bathe, MD'90

Improving Cancer Care by Advancing Precision Oncology with Dr. Oliver Bathe

Dr. Oliver Bathe is a Professor of Surgery and Oncology at UCalgary, with a special interest in hepatobiliary, pancreatic, and gastrointestinal tumors. His clinical research interests relate to improving clinical outcomes in cancers of the liver, pancreas and GI tract. He also leads a basic and translational research program and lab focused on understanding the host response against tumor, particularly the metabolic changes that accompany tumor growth and metastasis. He directs the University of Calgary Hepatobiliary and Gastrointestinal Tumor Bank, attracting a number of national and international collaborations, including with The Cancer Genome Atlas Project (TCGA) and the Clinical Proteomic Tumor Analysis Consortium (CPTAC). Most recently, his work has involved mapping the metabolomic features of various hepatobiliary, pancreatic, and gastrointestinal tumors, which has led to the development of some diagnostic blood tests for pancreatic cancer and colorectal cancer.

Panel Experts


Dr. Jennifer Chan, MD

Institute director, Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute; associate professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Dr. Jennifer Chan is director of the Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute (ACCI) and an associate professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at UCalgary. She received her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from Dartmouth College and her MD from McGill University. She then completed clinical training in anatomic pathology and neuropathology at Harvard University. Following a research fellowship at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, she became a staff neuropathologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the pathology leader of the Biological Samples Platform at the Broad Institute. 

Dr. Chan joined UCalgary in 2008, where she has clinical duties in neuropathology at Foothills Medical Centre and Alberta Children's Hospital and has a research lab in the ACCI. Her research program focuses on the intersection of growth factor signalling and intrinsic determinants such as transcription factor function in cell fate determination and proliferation in neural development and brain cancers. She also directs the Clark Smith Brain Tumour and Pediatric Tumour Bank and is involved in several collaborative projects to molecularly characterize pediatric and adult brain tumors.


Dr. Douglas Mahoney, PhD 

Assistant professor, Microbiology, Immunology and Infectious Disease

Dr. Doug Mahoney is a leading immunotherapy researcher, running a lab focused on developing novel virus and T cell-based immunotherapies for treating pediatric solid tumours and other cancers. His research encompasses the study of both the cancer and its environment, including secondary lymphoid organs and the gut microbiome.


Dr. Darren Brenner, PhD

Assistant professor, Oncology and Community Health Sciences

Dr. Darren Brenner is a molecular cancer epidemiologist and data scientist in the departments of Oncology and Community Health Sciences at UCalgary. He leads a program of research focused on using big data and precision health analytics to examine cancer risk and outcomes. Dr. Brenner is leading several studies to examine the intersection of lifestyle, genetics and clinical variables in the prediction of cancer risk and progression. He is also the Associate Director of Research at the Forzani & MacPhail Colorectal Cancer Screening Centre and the Associate Director for the Oncology Outcomes Research Initiative.


Dr. Don Morris, MD’92, PhD 

Department head, Department of Oncology, Cumming School of Medicine; Calgary Zone clinical department head, Oncology, Alberta Health Services; facility medical director, Tom Baker Cancer Centre; AHS medical lead, Calgary Cancer Project; Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada

Dr. Don Morris joined the Tom Baker Cancer Centre (TBCC) in 1997 as a medical oncologist after completing his residency in Calgary. He obtained his MD from the University of Calgary in 1992 after completing a PhD in immunology at Queen’s University in 1989, where he also obtained his undergraduate degree.

Dr. Morris held the role of chief of the Division of Medical Oncology in UCalgary’s Department of Oncology from 2013 to 2020, and was also head of the Section of Medical Oncology for Alberta Health Services (AHS). He has also been a senior staff scientist in the TBCC Translational Laboratories since 2001 and, in 2011, took on a role as its director, which he held until 2019. His research has focused on using viruses in the treatment of various cancers.

In March 2020, he accepted the positions of department head of the Department of Oncology at UCalgary’s Cumming School of Medicine; facility medical director of the TBCC; and medical lead of UCalgary’s new Cancer Centre. He is also an associate senior medical director of CancerControl Alberta with AHS.