Department of Oncology

Areas of Training

The Department of Oncology trains students to conduct basic and translational research into mechanisms of cancer causation, detection, imaging, diagnosis, treatment and prevention. The Department offers thesis-based M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Oncology and is organized under two specializations: Cancer Sciences and Medical Physics.


Laboratory-based basic and translational research training is provided primarily through the Divisions of Experimental Oncology and Palliative Care, but this specialization also serves students in the Divisions of Oncologic Imaging, Radiation Oncology, and Surgical Oncology.


Current potential supervisors and research areas:


Dr. Vickie Baracos  

Muscle atrophy in cancer associated cachexia 


Dr. Kristi Baker

Anti-tumor immunity; genetic instability; colorectal cancer 



Dr. Gordon Chan

Mitotic cell cycle checkpoint and cancer 



Dr. YangXin Fu

Signaling pathways and gene regulation in ovarian cancer and therapeutics


Dr. Armin Gamper

DNA damage response: radiation biology



Dr. Roseline Godbout

Cancer as a developmental disease; retinoblastoma; brain tumors



Dr. Michael Hendzel

Nuclear components; DNA damage response; chromatin-based epigenetic mechanisms



Dr. Ismail Ismail

Targeting the DNA damage response in B cell malignancies


Dr. John Lewis

Translational prostate cancer research; nanoparticles, novel therapeutics, in vivo imaging


Dr. Wilson Roa

Nono-carrier platforms for therapeutic applications; image guided radiotherapy


Dr. Michael Sawyer

Cell biology, cell signaling and cancer, drug transporters


Dr. Ralf Schirrmacher

Radiopharmaceutical Chemistry, development of PET imaging agents for neuro- and cancer imaging, medicinal chemistry and drug development



Dr. Jack Tuszynski

Computational biophysics; rational drug design; pharmacokinetics


Dr. Alan Underhill

Transcription factors in melanoma; gene regulation & epigenetics


Dr. Michael Weinfeld

Detection and repair of DNA damage


Dr. Frank Wuest

Probe development for molecular imaging of cancer



Do you have a strong background in physics or engineering physics and mathematics? Are you interested in the application of physics to medicine? This graduate program has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Educational Programs (CAMPEP) since 2002.


Students are supervised by faculty in the division of Medical Physics.


Research interests are principally concentrated in four areas:


  • Multi-institutional clinical trials - In collaboration with the Division of Radiation Oncology, we were the first and are currently the only Canadian centre accruing patients to the RTOG prostate, lung and glioblastoma 3D-CRT clinical trials. 
  • Development of radiotherapy planning techniques such as inverse planning, dose calculation algorithms including Monte Carlo simulations and simulated annealing techniques, and dose verification using imaging techniques.
  • Commissioning, integration and development of new technologies (e.g. Tomotherapy and the Linac-MR Project) required for the clinical introduction of new techniques to aid in the improved treatment of cancer patients.

Read more about research in division of Medical Physics.