Research Innovations and Priorities

Research Innovations and Priorities

Thursday May 31, 2018

Jenkins Auditorium (Basement via East elevators)
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Odette Cancer Centre, T Wing
2075 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, ON M4N 3M5​

11:00am - 1:00pm
Refreshments will be served.

Please RSVP by Wednesday, May 23, 2018 to secure your spot.



Join us on Thursday, May 31, 2018 to learn about innovative blood cancer research advancements and patient therapies with our panel of blood cancer experts and LLSC priorities with our President.

Contact Lara Panov (647) 253-5538 Email: for more information


Guest speakers


David Andrews Ph.D.

David Andrews Ph.D.

Director and Senior Scientist, Biological Sciences - Sunnybrook Research Institute
Professor, Departments of Biochemistry and Medical Biophysics - University of Toronto
Canada Research Chair in Membrane Biogenesis

Dr. Andrews studies the molecular mechanisms by which Bcl-2 family proteins regulate cancer cell death in response to chemotherapy. He recently discovered a class of small molecules that can be used to trigger the Bcl-2 family protein Bax to selectively kill cancer cells. He also develops novel high content screening instruments and uses them to aid in the development of new chemotherapy drugs and methods for precision medical treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia and other cancers.​


Rena Buckstein MD FRCPC

Rena Buckstein MD FRCPC

Head Hematology Site Group, Director of National MDS Registry
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine - Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center

Dr. Buckstein is a Clinical Hematologist and Clinician Investigator at the Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Center (OCC).  Her current clinical trial research interests include 1.the study of novel targeted and biologic agents for hematologic cancers, with a particular interest in myelodysplastic syndromes, 2. The impact of patient related factors on MDS clinical outcomes, 3. Patient reported outcomes in MDS patients and their predictors, 4. The impact of CHIP on chemotherapeutic outcomes in non-myeloid hematologic cancers and 5. The real-world evaluation of chemotherapy drugs in MDS patients.


Brian Leber, MDCM, FRCPC – Hematology

Brian Leber, MDCM, FRCPC

McMaster University Medical Center
Juravinski Cancer Centre
Director of the Molecular Hematology Laboratory in Hamilton

Dr. Brian Leber is an attending physician in the hematopoietic stem cell transplant unit at the McMaster University Medical Center and a Professor of Medicine based at McMaster University Medical Centre and the Juravinski Cancer Centre with an interest in translational research in leukemia and lymphoma and investigational new drug trials.


Michele K. Anderson, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist at the Sunnybrook Research Institute
Associate Professor in the Department of Immunology at the University of Toronto

Currently, Dr. Anderson’s lab studies how HEB transcription factors operate during normal versus leukemic T cell development, with a focus on how specific types of genetic mutations collaborate to evade growth control. These insights will facilitate precision medicine approaches to diagnosing and treating leukemia, as well as revealing fundamental principles that operate during T cell development.


Dr. David Spaner, MD, PhD, FRCP 

Senior scientist, Biological Sciences, Sunnybrook Research Institute
Associate professor, department of medical biophysics, University of Toronto

Dr. Spanner is renowned for his work in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) and the goal of his research laboratory is to understand the biology of this cancer and develop better treatments for it. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most common leukemia in Canada and is often fatal. A new drug called Ibrutinib has been of great help to CLL patients but does not cure them. Dr. Spaner's group has found that CLL cells are kept alive in the presence of Ibrutinib by proteins called cytokines. Learning the best way to block the effects of cytokines should improve the lives of patients on Ibrutinib.