Queen's University

Three Queen's professors named Cancer Care Ontario research chairs


$2.5 million in funding will allow doctors to pursue cancer-related research projects

[CCO research chair Michael Brundage]CCO research chair Michael Brundage

KINGSTON, ON -- Three Queen’s University professors have been named Cancer Care Ontario Research Chairs. Michael Brundage (Oncology), Gabor Fichtinger (School of Computing) and Penelope Bradbury (Oncology) received three of the six chairs awarded, valued at a total of $2.5 million over five years.

Dr. Brundage, named a Level 1 chair in health services research, will receive $1 million over the next five years, which will be used for research and additional administrative support.

A professor of oncology at Queen’s and a radiation oncologist at the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario at Kingston General Hospital, his areas of research include measuring quality of life for patients with cancer and evaluating the quality of care that cancer patients receive. Dr. Brundage says the chair will allow him to have more time to devote to his research.

[CCO research chair Gabor Fichtinger]CCO research chair Gabor Fichtinger

“It’s very hard to do research on a part-time basis,” he says. “You really need time to develop a national agenda and to execute it properly.”

Dr. Fichtinger, named a Level 1 chair in medical imaging, will receive $1 million over the next five years.

Dr. Fichtinger is an associate professor in the School of Computing specializing in computer-assisted surgery. He came to Queen’s in 2007 from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Dr. Fichtinger, who is cross-appointed in Surgery at Kingston General Hospital, is currently working on creating a reusable platform for image-guided and robotic cancer interventions.

“We know that with the right engineering principles, we can do this,” he says of the project. “Now it’s time to roll it out across Ontario. That’s why I needed to have the chair--this takes time and dedication.”

Dr. Fichtinger says support from Queen’s University and the School of Computing were fundamental elements of his successful application.

[CCO research chair Penelope Bradbury]CCO research chair Penelope Bradbury

Dr. Bradbury, named a Level 2 chair in experimental therapeutics, will receive $500,000 over the next five years to pursue her lung cancer research.

Originally from the United Kingdom, Dr. Bradbury came to Canada from New Zealand in 2006. Drawn to Kingston by the NCIC Clinical Trials Group, she accepted a fellowship at Queen’s in July 2008 and has been at the university ever since.

Dr. Bradbury, Assistant Professor in the Department of Oncology and a medical oncologist at the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario at Kingston General Hospital, says she was surprised to learn she’s been named a chair because she knows how competitive the program is. A medical oncologist specializing in lung cancer research, she hopes to be able to build on the existing infrastructure in the NCIC Clinical Trials Group to facilitate additional lung cancer research in Canada.

“Lung cancer outcomes still aren’t good enough,” says Dr. Bradbury. “There’s a lot more work to be done.”

Funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the CCO program is designed to attract new leading scientists to Ontario and support outstanding scientists already working in the province. The Program focuses on quickly turning research findings into improvements in cancer services and clinical care for patients.

Applications--evaluated by a panel of experts--were considered based on scientific excellence. For more information visit www.cancercare.on.ca/.

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Last updated at 11:50 am EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
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