BioCanRx - Cancer Stakeholder Alliance Learning Institute Working Group

Patrick Sullivan (Committee Chair)

Patrick Sullivan

Patrick Sullivan is a passionate childhood cancer advocate, and Chair of the Board of Childhood Cancer Canada and one of the founders of the Team Finn Foundation.

Patrick became an advocate after his twin son Finn was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma in 2007 and heard the word "incurable" for the first time in May 2008. His desire to make a change in cancer research is in part an effort to pay an un-payable debt to his son Finn and to Change the Stories of other Finn's.

Patrick participates in several national and international initiatives that include one of the founders of Ac2orn (Advocacy for Canadian Children Oncology Research Network), a director of the CCRA, member of the executive of the Terry Fox Research Profyle initiative, member of the AACR Pediatric Cancer Working Group and Chair of the St. Baldrick's/Stand-Up to Cancer Immunogenomics Advocates Dream Team.

By profession, Patrick is a securities and corporate-commercial litigator practicing at Whitelaw Twining.

Patrick is the proud father of three remarkable children, Baird, Sarah and Finn and would do almost anything for the simple pleasure of holding Finn's hand again.


Etienne Melese

Etienne Melese

Etienne Melese is a PhD candidate in Dr. Ninan Abraham's Laboratory at University of British Columbia (UBC) in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. In collaboration with BC Cancer Research Center, Etienne is studying how tumour and immune cells can inhibit immune T cell anti-tumor response in lung cancer. His research involves using genetically engineered mouse models of lung cancer to study specific populations of T cells involved in anti-tumor immunity in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Additionally, he works on studying the circulating immune response of late-stage NSCLC patients during immunotherapy treatment and how this correlates with immunotherapy efficacy. Etienne has previously been in the learning institute as an academic scholar and is excited to participate again in the learning institute. His previous experience as a caregiver drives him to identify better methods of disseminating scientific research with patients and caregivers.


Jeanette Boudreau

Jeanette Boudreau

The Boudreau laboratory at Dalhousie University investigates the immunology of natural killer cells, with a special focus on their role in cancer and cancer immunotherapy. We focus on inter-individual variation and the impact of immunogenetics and functional training of NK cells. We employ analysis of primary samples from patients and a state-of-the-art humanized mouse model to understand the features of NK cells that impact NK-mediated control of disease, to inform novel immunotherapies.


Kimberly Badovinac

Kimberly Badovinac

Kimberly Badovinac is the Program Manager for the Canadian Cancer Research Alliance (CCRA). She developed and is responsible for the Canadian Cancer Research Survey, an annual survey of the investment in cancer research made by many of the organizations that fund cancer research in Canada. The survey is now in its fifteenth year. In 2017, under the urging of Patrick Sullivan and sponsorship of CCRA members, Kim organized the Patient Involvement in Cancer Research Program (PIP for short). PIP is held in conjunction with the Canadian Cancer Research Conference, Canada's largest all-pillar cancer conference, which is held biennially. PIP provides an opportunity for patients, survivors, and caregivers to learn more about leading-edge cancer research and, most importantly, to network with researchers and trainees. PIP was expanded in 2019 and will continue in a virtual format in 2021.


Paul O'Connell

Paul O'Connell

Paul O'Connell is the Manager, Medical and Scientific Engagement at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada (LLSC). Dr. O'Connell completed his Ph.D.in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and his post-doctoral studies at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. His doctoral research investigated the mechanisms by which our own immune system contributes to metastatic cancer growth and the complications associated with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia.

Inspired by his grandmother's blood cancer journey, Dr. O'Connell first became involved in research as a way to find new and better ways to manage the disease.

At LLSC, Dr. O'Connell leads the organization's research funding program and provides support to existing and prospective stakeholders. He aims strengthen the current framework, broaden the scope of research partnerships and diversify or grow the research portfolio so that the LLSC is at the forefront of blood cancer research in Canada. He works closely with the research community to help connect constituents to the incredible, and potentially, life-saving research that is being done across the country.


BioCanRx Members:

Megan Mahoney, PhD

Director, Scientific Affairs and Training Programs

Megan Mahoney

Rida Gill

Data & Knowledge Mobilization Intern

Rida Gill