BC Cancer Research has become a formal UBC-approved and Provincial Health Authority Services Authority-approved (PHSA) research institute — a move set to enhance British Columbia’s leadership position in cancer research innovation.

As a research institute at UBC and PHSA, the BC Cancer Research Institute (BCCRI) will act as a hub for cancer research activity across the province, advancing cancer research discoveries and transformational technologies and treatments.

“At UBC, we know collaboration is critical for the advancement of research and new discoveries,” said Santa J. Ono, President and Vice-Chancellor of UBC. “With BC Cancer Research becoming a UBC-approved institute, we see an incredible opportunity ahead of us, where we can come together, united behind a common cause to accelerate cancer research and ultimately change outcomes for every British Columbian affected by the disease.”

The move will also allow BCCRI to leverage existing resources and infrastructure to improve the health and wellbeing of British Columbians and beyond.

“We are accelerating research and innovation to help address one of the most challenging health issues facing Canadians,” said Dermot Kelleher, Dean of the UBC Faculty of Medicine and Vice-President of Health. “By recognizing the BCCRI as a UBC-approved institute, it will enable us to work together to deliver bold new solutions and training opportunities that will help transform health for everyone.”

The BCCRI is led by Dr. François Bénard, Senior Executive Director, Research, BC Cancer, and Professor in the Department of Radiology and Associate Dean, Research, Faculty of Medicine.

“BC Cancer Research has close ties with UBC and the Faculty of Medicine,” said Dr. Bénard. “The designation as a Senate-approved institute is a signal of our strong interest and willingness to strengthen our ties and connections with the greater UBC community, expand our collaborations across disciplines, faculties and health authorities, and work with the university to scale and grow our capabilities to tackle the leading cause of mortality in British Columbia.”

The BCCRI has academic and research programs spanning across BC Cancer’s many provincial locations and across several UBC faculties and departments. With more than 800 trainees at any given time, the Institute attracts a vibrant student, medical resident and postdoctoral fellow community.  It is also home to enhanced postgraduate training programs in oncology and bioinformatics, helping equip scientists and health professionals with the tools they need to support patients and families affected by cancer.

The BCCRI is also home to many leading research programs, from genomics at the Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre, cancer and stem cell biology at the Terry Fox Laboratory, to translational research, clinical trials and population-level cancer control research. BCCRI will maintain strong relationships with Simon Fraser University and the University of Victoria.

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