BioCanRx - Cancer Stakeholder Alliance Learning Institute Working Group

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.


Jeanette Boudreau

Jeanette Boudreau

The Boudreau laboratory 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.


Paul O'Connell (Co-Chair)

Paul O'Connell (Co-Chair)

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.


Vera Samarkina

Vera Samarkina

My name is Vera Samarkina, and I am a cancer survivor. I have faced various stages in the cancer journey: in 2014 I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and two years later, with endometrium cancer, both related to Lynch syndrome. I have been through chemo (different regimens), radiation and immunotherapy trial. Besides, I have developed a number of side-effects that require regular medical assistance (for example, PBD change) and encourage me to educate myself more about human body and health. I have PhD in Literature, and as an educator, I am comfortable around people. I am a Visual Artist and use healing powers of art in conversations with the world. I also have experience as a Patient Advocate –in 2019, I attended CCRA Conference in Ottawa in that capacity. My patient voice was taken into account in a number of panels run by CCRA, CPAC, U of T, and Sunnybrook. Besides, I used to be a member of Pancreatic Cancer Peer Support pilot program. All that experience, I believe, would help me give various perspectives for the study.


Patrick Sullivan (Co-Chair)

Patrick Sullivan (Co-Chair)

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.


Frederic St-Denis-Bissonnette

Frederic St-Denis-Bissonnette

Frederic received a B.Sc. in Biochemistry with a major in Immunology and Microbiology from the University of Ottawa (Canada) in 2021. He is currently pursuing his M.Sc. in Biochemistry with Dr. Jessie R. Lavoie and Dr. Lisheng Wang in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa (Canada). His research focuses on Extracellular Vesicles derived from Natural Killer Cells as an Immunotherapy Strategy for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer.


BioCanRx Members:

Dr. Megan Mahoney

Director, Scientific Affairs and Training Programs

Megan Mahoney

Dr. Stéphanie Michaud

President & Chief Executive Officer

Stéphanie Michaud

Laurie Cameron, CAE

Manager, Knowledge Mobilization & Operations

Laurie Cameron

Mackenzie Huckvale

Knowledge Mobilization Intern
 

Mackenzie Huckvale