McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

McMaster researchers awarded $1.5M by Canadian Cancer Society

Published: April 11, 2011

Three cancer studies led by McMaster University researchers are among 52 new research projects announced today by the Canadian Cancer Society.

"We are very proud to support the innovative and ground-breaking research taking place in Hamilton and across the province," said Martin Kabat, CEO of the Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division, who made the announcement at a campus reception. "We are grateful to the generosity and efforts of our donors and volunteers who make this research possible."

The grants for McMaster researchers totaled more than $1.5 million. Nationally the grants totaled $22 million.

"At McMaster we see our role as taking part in a relay for life," said Fiona McNeill, associate vice-president, research and international affairs of McMaster University. "We take the baton of generous support from the Canadian Cancer Society, its donors and volunteers; and our scientists develop innovative advances towards cancer cures and better care that that can be passed on to patients and their families. This is very much appreciated."

The three McMaster researchers and the research grants are:


Mick Bhatia

Mick Bhatia $423,000

Mick Bhatia’s lab continues its groundbreaking research turning adult skin into human stem cells to generate different types of blood cells. This study aims to identify the molecules required for reprogramming these cells, focusing on the Gli3 gene. The goal is to create an unlimited source of blood for cancer patients requiring bone marrow transplants to fight the side effects of radiation and chemotherapy.

Bhatia is a professor of biochemistry and biomedical sciences and director of McMaster’s Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute.


Hsien Seow

Hsien Seow $671,600

Research by Hsien Seow has shown that end-of-life cancer patients in Ontario who received more homecare nursing hours were less likely to require hospital visits. This project will extend this research to three more provinces, investigate the effect of more homecare nursing hours on total healthcare costs, and determine whether patients use care differently depending on their province.

Seow is an associate professor of oncology and he holds the Cancer Care Ontario Research Chair in Health Services Research.


John Valliant

John Valliant $412,400

John Valliant is studying a way to develop a more precise, non-invasive method to detect breast cancer. With this funding, he will create an imaging probe to help identify insulin receptors that are abundant on the surface of breast cancer cells, with the goal of using this early change in cancer cells for screening and to predict the best treatment options.

Valliant is an associate professor of chemistry and CEO and scientific director of the Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization.


Grants are selected after a rigorous national application and review process. A complete list of newly funded research grants across the country can be found at the Canadian Cancer Society.

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