Molecular Rounds Faculty

POET VMR Chairs

Pinaki Bose, Ph.D

Assistant Professor, Departments of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Oncology
University of Calgary
Director, Tumour Biology and Translational Research, Ohlson Research Initiative
Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute
Calgary, AB

Dr. Pinaki Bose completed his Ph.D. with Dr. Karl Riabowol at the University of Calgary, investigating the role of the ING1 tumour suppressor protein in DNA damage signaling and apoptosis. After completing his Ph.D., Pinaki joined the Ohlson Research Initiative (ORI) as a postdoctoral fellow and trained in the molecular epidemiology of head and neck cancers under the supervision of Drs. Joseph Dort and Nigel Brockton. As part of a second postdoctoral fellowship, Pinaki trained at the BC Cancer Agency (BCCA) Genome Sciences Centre in cancer genomics and bioinformatics under one of the leading bioinformaticians in the world, Dr. Steven Jones. Pinaki was also a member of the personalized oncogenomics (POG) program at BC Cancer. The POG initiative administers genome-guided targeted therapies to recurrent/metastatic cancer patients.

Dr. Bose currently directs the translational research program within the ORI, a multidisciplinary head and neck cancer research initiative. The Bose lab investigates the biology of head and neck, brain and lung cancers focusing on the role of the immune system in carcinogenesis and progression.

Stephen Yip, MD, PhD, FRCPC

Associate Professor, UBC
Clinician-Scientist/Consultant Neuropathologist, BCCA
Associate Member at Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre
Neuropathologist, VGH
Calgary, AB

Dr. Steven Yip is a Staff Medical Oncologist at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary, Alberta. He is the Southern Alberta GU Tumour Group Chair, Medical Lead of Precision Oncology and Experimental Therapeutics (POET), and Southern Alberta Alberta Prostate Cancer Research Institute (APCaRI) Co-Chair. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Calgary. He has an academic focus on translational research, PSMA PET/CT imaging and novel radiopharmaceutical drug development in advanced prostate cancer. He completed his medical oncology clinical and translational research genitourinary fellowship, under the supervision of Dr. Kim Chi at BC Cancer. He received his MD at the University of Alberta and trained at the University of British Columbia and the University of Calgary. He has a Masters of Science in Health Research Methodology from McMaster University.

Key Publications: 

Reimers MA, Yip SM (Co-First Authors), Zhang L, Cieslik M, Dhawan M, Montgomery B, Wyatt AW, Chi KN, Small EJ, Chinnaiyan AM, Alva AS, Feng FY, Chou J. Clinical Outcomes in Cyclin-dependent Kinase 12 Mutant Advanced Prostate Cancer. Eur Urol. 2019. In Press.

Yip SM, Wells C, Moreira RB, Wong A, Srinivas S, Beuselinck B, Porta C, Sim HW, Ernst S, Rini BI, Yuasa T, Basappa NS, Kanesvaran R, Wood LA, Soulieres D, Canil CM, Kapoor A, Fu SY, Choueiri TK, Heng DYC. Checkpoint Inhibitors in Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Patients (mRCC): Results from the International Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Database Consortium (IMDC). Cancer. 2018;124(18):3677-83.

Herberts C, Murtha AJ, Fu S, Wang G, Schönlau E, Xue H, Lin D, Gleave A,Yip SM, Angeles A, Hotte S, Tran B, North S, Taavitsainen S, Beja K, Vandekerkhove G, Ritch E, Warner E, Saad F, Iqbal N, Nykter Matti, Gleave ME, Wang Y, Annala M, Chi KN, and Wyatt AW. Activating AKT1 and PIK3CA mutation in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Eur Urol. 2020. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eururo.2020.04.058

Jette N, Kumar M, Radhamani S, Arthur G, Goutam S, Yip SM, Kolinsky M, Williams G,

Bose P, Lees-Miller S. ATM-deficient cancers provide new opportunities for precision oncology. Cancers. Cancers (Basel). 2020 Mar 14;12(3). pii: E687. doi: 10.3390/cancers12030687

Yip SM, Loewen SK, Li H, Hao D, Easaw JC. Management of Medical Oncology Services in Canada: Redefined Workload with a Novel Supply-and-Demand Workforce Projection Model. J Oncol Pract. 2018;14(7):e438-e445.

Yip SM, Kaiser J, Li H, North S, Heng DY, Alimohamed NS. Real World Outcomes in Advanced Urothelial Cancer and the Role of Neutrophil to Lymphocyte Ratio. Clin Genitourin Cancer. 2018;16(3):e637-e644.

Yip SM, Ruiz Morales J, Donskov F, Fraccon A, Umberto B, Rini BI, Lee JL, Bjarnason G, Sim HW, Beuselinck B, Kanesvaran R, Brugarolas J, Koutsoukos K, Fu SYF, Yuasa T, Davis I, Alva A, Kollmannsberger C, Choueiri TK, Heng DYC. Outcomes of Metastatic Chromophobe Renal Cell Carcinoma (chrRCC) in the Targeted Therapy Era: Results from the International Metastatic Renal Cell Cancer Database Consortium (IMDC). Kidney Cancer J.2017;1(1):41-47.

Vishal Navani, MA (Oxon) MBBS (Lon) MRCP (UK) FRACP
Staff Medical Oncologist, Tom Baker Cancer Centre
Calgary, AB

Dr. Navani is a staff medical oncologist at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre. He previously graduated from Oxford and Imperial College London. He holds both Membership of the Royal College of Physicians of the United Kingdom and Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. His academic focus includes the interrogation of large real world datasets spanning tumour streams in order to generate practical insights that can be used in the clinic. He is a clinical director at Glans Look, one of North America’s largest lung cancer databases. His work has been published extensively in high impact journals and won international awards. He plays a lead role in academic endeavours at the University of Calgary such as the Precision Oncology and Experimental Therapeutics programme and has contributed as a clinical expert to CADTH national drug reimbursement decisions.

Key Publications

JAMA Oncol. 2022 Feb 1;8(2):292-299. doi: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2021.4337.

CABOSEQ: The Effectiveness of Cabozantinib in Patients With Treatment Refractory Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma: Results From the International Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Database Consortium (IMDC).

Navani V, Wells JC, Boyne DJ, Cheung WY, Brenner DM, McGregor BA, Labaki C, Schmidt AL, McKay RR, Meza L, Pal SK, Donskov F, Beuselinck B, Otiato M, Ludwig L, Powles T, Szabados BE, Choueiri TK, Heng DYC.Clin Genitourin Cancer. 2022 Jul 21:S1558-7673(22)00160-4. doi: 10.1016/j.clgc.2022.07.008. Online ahead of print.

Imaging Response to Contemporary Immuno-oncology Combination Therapies in Patients With Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma.

Navani V, Ernst M, Wells JC, Yuasa T, Takemura K, Donskov F, Basappa NS, Schmidt A, Pal SK, Meza L, Wood LA, Ernst DS, Szabados B, Powles T, McKay RR, Weickhardt A, Suarez C, Kapoor A, Lee JL, Choueiri TK, Heng DYC.JAMA Netw Open. 2022 Jun 1;5(6):e2216379. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.16379.
PMID: 35687336

Find the path of least resistance: Adaptive therapy to delay treatment failure and improve outcomes.

Gedye C, Navani V.Biochim Biophys Acta Rev Cancer. 2022 Mar;1877(2):188681. doi: 10.1016/j.bbcan.2022.188681. Epub 2022 Jan 18.PMID: 35051527

Overall survival in metastatic melanoma correlates with pembrolizumab exposure and T cell exhaustion markers.

Navani V, Graves MC, Marchett GC, Mandaliya H, Bowden NA, van der Westhuizen A.Pharmacol Res Perspect. 2021 Aug;9(4):e00808. doi: 10.1002/prp2.808.PMID: 34129290 

SPEAKERS

Nimira Alimohamed, MD, FRCPC

Program Director, Medical Oncology Residency Training Program
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Calgary
Staff Medical Oncologist, Tom Baker Cancer Centre
Calgary, AB

Dr Nimira Alimohamed is Medical Oncologist at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre. Her clinical areas of expertise include genito-urinary and breast. She is actively involved with bladder cancer research and is a member of the Medical Advisory Board for Bladder Cancer Canada. She has seen the site lead for several clinical trials in urothelial cancer.

She is an Associate Professor at the University of Calgary and also serves as the program director for the Medical Oncology Residency Training Program. She is the deputy division head of Medical Oncology.

Winson Y. Cheung, MD, MPH, FRCPC

Professor, Departments of Medicine and Oncology
University of Calgary
Director , Oncology Outcomes (O2) Program
Charbonneau Cancer Institute
Calgary, AB

Dr. Winson Y. Cheung, MD, MPH, is a senior medical oncologist and real-world data scientist with over 15 years of cancer research experience. He is currently a Full Professor in the Departments of Oncology, Medicine, and Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary where he is also the Provincial Director and Chair of the Health Services Research and Real-World Evidence (RWE) Generation Program. Dr. Cheung’s main research interest is health outcomes research and RWE generation across all cancer types, including solid tumors and hematologic malignancies. He has cultivated strong and effective partnerships with public and private sectors. He is the Principal Director of the Oncology Outcomes (O2) Program that focuses on enriching data sources and leveraging new technologies to facilitate “fit-for-purpose” cancer RWE generation. His track record consists of over 150 invited presentations and over 300 peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts in the RWE space. He has received over 15M in competitive grant funding. He acts as a sounding board for projects using cancer data and serves as a preferred point of first contact for oncology RWE queries.

She is an Associate Professor at the University of Calgary and also serves as the program director for the Medical Oncology Residency Training Program. She is the deputy division head of Medical Oncology.

Dr. Craig Gedye

Conjoint Associate Professor
School of Medicine and Public Health
University of Newcastle
Newcastle, Australia

I’m privileged to work as a medical oncologist and cancer researcher. I work for people with melanoma, brain, prostate, bladder and kidney cancers at the Calvary Mater Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

I’m humbled when a treatment works for a patient, but frustrated when treatment fails. My research focus has been on complexity and heterogeneity in cancer. Why are cancers different between different people? Why are cancers cells different to each other? What does this mean for each person’s treatment? This challenging set of problems spans across the research spectrum, from patient experience, through clinical trials, translational biomarkers and questions in basic science.

I’m very fortunate to lead several cancer research projects for NSW Regional Health Partners, ANZUP and COGNO cancer trials groups, chair the ANZUP Renal Cancer Subcommittee, and contribute as a member of the Mark Hughes Scientific Advisory Committee, HNEHLD Clinical Trials Ethics Subcommittee, COGNO Scientific Advisory Committee and ANZUP Cancer Trials Scientific Advisory Committee.

Twitter: @DrCraigGedye
FCOI: bit.ly/3xKTdPm

Pashtoon Murtaza Kasi, M.D., M.S.

Assistant Professor of Medicine (Interim) – Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University
Assistant Attending Physician – New York-Presbyterian Hospital
New York, USA

Dr. Pashtoon Kasi, MD, MS is an oncologist and researcher at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. He focuses on treating patients with gastrointestinal (GI) cancers and the treatment of patients with novel drugs/early-phase clinical trials. At Weill Cornell Medicine, Dr. Kasi additionally serves as the Director for Colorectal Cancer Research, as well as Precision Medicine Director for Liquid Biopsy Research at the Englander Institute of Precision Medicine.

Prior to joining Weill Cornell Medicine, Dr. Kasi served as an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the University of Iowa. Before that, he was an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Oncology at both University of Iowa and Mayo Clinic. Dr. Kasi was one of a select few who were appointed to the academic post of Assistant Professor of Oncology and Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic during his fellowship due to his research and academic achievements.

Dr. Kasi’s research focus has been on “liquid biopsies” [(circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) and circulating tumor cells (CTCs)], alongside developing and conducting clinical trials focused on precision oncology and precision medicine. Dr. Kasi is an author and editor of several books including: “Research: What, Why and How: A Treatise from Researchers to Researchers”, and “Impact of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) in Patients with Gastrointestinal Malignancies” and has over 100 publications in leading peer-reviewed journals. Additionally, Dr. Kasi has been active as a principal investigator on numerous investigator-initiated, industry-sponsored as well as cooperative group clinical trials in oncology.

David Thomas FRACP, PhD

Head, Genomic Cancer Medicine
Garvan Institute of Medical Research
Chief Executive Officer, Omico: Australian Genomic Cancer Medicine Centre
Conjoint Professor, St Vincent’s Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine, UNSW

Dr Thomas is a National Health and Medical Research Council L3 Investigator at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. As a clinician-scientist, he applies genomic technologies to the understanding and management of cancer.  Dr Thomas founded the Australasian Sarcoma Study Group and Australia’s leading adolescent and young adult cancer unit.  Dr Thomas leads the International Sarcoma Kindred Study, and led the first trial of denosumab in Giant Cell Tumor of bone, leading to FDA approval and PBS reimbursement.  His work on whole-body MRI in Li-Fraumeni Syndrome has changed management guidelines internationally. In 2018, he was President of the Connective Tissue Oncology Society, the peak international body in his field.

In 2019, he has established the Australian Genomic Cancer Medicine Centre (Omico), a national precision medicine program which has enabled more than 5,000 Australians with advanced cancers to access genomic profiling, and matched therapies through clinical trials.