When Dr. Kerry Courneya first began his research program in the early 1990s, physical activity was not recognized as an important component of cancer care. Since then, Kerry has effectively changed the landscape of exercise oncology research through substantial contributions to advancing knowledge and translating his research into improved health outcomes for cancer patients. As a University of Alberta professor and Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity and Cancer, Kerry’s research focuses on understanding how physical activity may help cancer patients prepare for treatments, cope with treatments, recover after treatments, and improve long-term survival.
Over his career, Kerry has conducted some of the most influential studies that have had substantial impact on both research and practice. His studies have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of physical activity for improving health-related fitness, symptoms, and quality of life in numerous cancer patient groups both during and after treatments. This evidence has sparked initial efforts aimed at incorporating physical activity into clinical cancer care.
In the past decade, Kerry has shifted the focus of his work to lead pivotal studies designed to change clinical practice by focusing on cancer outcomes (i.e., disease recurrence, progression, and death from cancer). These studies have the potential to elevate the status of physical activity from a quality of life intervention to a cancer treatment intervention. The overall goal of Kerry’s research program is to have physical activity adopted into widespread clinical oncology practice to improve the lives of those affected by cancer.