Ontario Institute for Cancer Research

Annual Report 2018/19

Letter from the President and Chair of the Board of Directors

Laszlo Radvanyi and Tom ClossonCancer research is not just about making discoveries. It is also of the utmost importance that those discoveries reach patients. Millions of people around the world are affected by cancer each year and while we have made great strides in diagnosis and treatment, we can do much more to help people live longer, healthier lives.

Moving research from the lab to patients is called translational research, and it’s at the very core of what we do at OICR. Whether it is making genomic sequencing more widely accessible, shedding light on completely undiscovered parts of the cancer genome, discovering new cancer drug targets, finding new biomarkers to pick the right therapies for our patients, or creating the ecosystem to attract industry investment for Ontario cancer discoveries, OICR is at the forefront of translational cancer research globally.

OICR is facilitating cross-disciplinary, collaborative research across Ontario, linking to the rest Canada and the world. We are combining the best expertise to accelerate the pace of research and avoid wasteful duplication of efforts, a necessary step in solving the big and complicated problems of developing new tools and therapies to diagnose and treat cancer. OICR has emerged as a leader in testing and evaluating new assay technologies and making these available for the benefit of the research community. We’re ensuring that the best research from across Ontario can help patients around the world and benefit the Ontario economy.

You can read highlights of these initiatives in this annual report, which covers some of the Institute’s most exciting research projects over the last year and charts the journey of OICR’s research from lab to patient. You can also read about the work of some of our future research leaders in our “next generation” section.

We would not be able to do any of this work without the guidance and support of our dedicated Board of Directors. This year we welcomed Wendy Kelley and Ken Lawless to the OICR Board, and we thank retiring board members Dr. John Capone, John Riesenberger and Dr. Roger Deeley for their service to the Institute.

We are tremendously grateful to the Ontario Government for their support for cancer research, recognizing its criticality in society and their focus with us on improving the lives of all Ontarians. We look forward to working with our new partners in the Ontario Government, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, to further advance cancer research and to help bring more economic and health benefits to the province. And finally, we thank our staff and many collaborators across the province and around the world who, working together, are making a very real and tangible impact in the fight against cancer.

Dr. Laszlo Radvanyi
President and Scientific Director

Mr. Tom Closson
Chair, Board of Directors