Monday, July 20, 2015

Beyond the Lab — Putting a Face to Research

On June 10, 2015 we welcomed over 100 guests to the Museum of Vancouver, for the 3rd annual Beyond the Lab event. Overlooking picturesque English Bay, guests were invited to "speed date" five CBCF funded researchers. Researchers discussed their work, how CBCF has contributed to the successes of their project and opened the conversation up for questions.

It was an enlightening and educational evening spent learning directly what some of our incredible researches are doing behind the closed doors of their labs, something most of us never have the opportunity to do. For example:

Dr. Torsten Nielsen has extensive experience in developing biomarker tests for cancer. His research successes include the development of the PAM50 breast cancer subtyping test to the point of FDA and Health Canada approval.

From left to right, featured researchers who met with guests that night: Dr. Torsten Nielsen, Dr. Sheina Macadam, Dr. Michael Underhill, Dr. Tehmina Masud, Dr. Timothy Beischlag.

He hopes his experience will help to develop new tests that can identify which breast cancer patients might be most likely to benefit from new anticancer immune-activating therapies.

Dr. Sheina Macadam’s CBCF-funded project compared patient-perceived abdominal symptoms and quality of life in women who have undergone different types of abdominally-based breast reconstruction.

Did you know that many breast cancer patients decide to undergo breast reconstruction using abdominal tissue following a mastectomy, which can result in post-operative complications such as abdominal wall weakness or hernia formation? The results of her study are helping to advance surgical techniques, facilitate evidence-based practice and improve the process of shared medical decision-making for breast cancer survivors and surgeons.

You can learn more about our amazing researchers by visiting


At the Beyond the Lab event we were graced with the presence of numerous by-invitation-only partners and sponsors as well a few local celebrities, Mi-Jung Lee from CTV and Pamela Martin the Director of Engagement with the BC Liberal Party, to mention a few, and of course, our region’s founder, Judy Caldwell.

Wrapping up the evening the 2015 CBCF Fellowship and Studentship Grant recipients were awarded and adorned with their pink lab coats. It really was an evening to remember.

Events such as these are made possible in part by our sponsors; we'd like to recognize AstraZeneca as the Supporting Sponsor and Safeway as the Event Sponsor for the 2015 Beyond the Lab.

Abigail Thom
Marketing and Communication Coordinator
Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation - BC/Yukon Region

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