Millions of people are newly diagnosed with cancer worldwide each year. The impact of cancer is far reaching – on patients and their loved ones, but also on economies and the healthcare systems that provide much needed care. New solutions are needed to reduce this impact and to help people receive earlier diagnoses and more targeted, less aggressive treatment.
OICR is working with partners across Ontario and around the world to help reduce the burden of cancer in our society. This year, we have been successful in implementing new programs and initiatives that will help to ensure our efforts reach patients. Our Translational Research Initiatives, which launched last May, are a major translational research investment, linking researchers and clinicians developing and testing new solutions in acute leukemia and brain, ovarian and pancreatic cancers, as well as developing new solutions in the rapidly growing field of immuno-oncology. Our new Cancer Therapeutics Innovation Pipeline, for which we announced the first projects last December, supports the local translation of Ontario discoveries into therapies with the potential for improving the lives of cancer patients, while also establishing a new pipeline of promising drugs to attract partnerships and investment to Ontario. And our new Adaptive Oncology initiative, which you can read more about in this issue, is bringing together researchers from across disciplines to see how cancer evolves over time, providing a bigger-picture view of an individual’s cancer – and new tools to more effectively diagnose and treat it.
Mr. Peter Goodhand, OICR’s President, has been shepherding these and other major programs in our current strategic plan from idea to reality. Peter’s strong leadership of the Institute over the last two years has been invaluable in ensuring OICR success. I thank Peter, on behalf of all OICR, for taking on this role while the search for a new President and Scientific Director was underway, and for providing OICR with exceptional, stable leadership through a time of transition.
I am also pleased to welcome Dr. Laszlo Radvanyi to the Institute as OICR’s new President and Scientific Director, as of May 1, 2018. Laszlo brings a great deal of scientific and practical translational experience and expertise to the Institute from his time working both in academia and industry, and is returning home to Ontario after years spent in the U.S. Laszlo has been meeting with partners and collaborators across the province and has been extremely impressed by the work he’s seen. I look forward to seeing what new ideas and initiatives Laszlo brings to the Institute and the development of our next strategic plan.
The OICR Board also welcomed a number of new members this year: Dr. John Capone, Mr. Kevin Empey, Dr. Morag Park, Dr. Geoff Porter, and Dr. Brad Wouters. The Board thanks Dr. Daniel Woolf for his contributions to OICR as he stepped down in the spring 2017.
On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank everyone at OICR for their contributions to the Institute over the last year and to OICR’s continued success. I’d also like to thank our partners, with whom we work so closely to deliver on our promise of translating new discoveries. And finally, I’d like to thank the Government of Ontario for your continued support of the Institute and for your commitment to ensuring Ontario remains a global leader in cancer research that has a direct impact on patients.
Chair of the Board of Directors