Scholarships for the Next Generation of Scientists program is an initiative to ensure the continuation of cutting-edge research, by investing in new generations of talented young scientists. Unique in Canada, the program helps postdoctoral fellows transition to investigator positions in Canadian universities or research centers.
Newly recruited as an investigator at the University of Calgary, Sorana A. Morrissy uses bioinformatics to better understand pediatric brain cancer. By studying the tumour’s characteristics, she hopes to uncover vulnerabilities that will help find ways to destroy it.
I want to make a difference in the lives of brain cancer patients, who typically have a very poor prognosis and lack effective therapeutic options. One of the main challenges we need to overcome is the ability of cancers to evolve in response to our treatments, and ultimately become resistant to therapy.
We are working to understand how paediatric brain tumours arise in the first place, which likely has a lot to do with errors in normal brain development. While paediatric brain tumours are devastating, they are also rare.
Glioblastoma is the most common malignant adult brain cancer, but remains incurable despite decades of research.
We are using cutting-edge technology and methods and have access to patient samples, which is a key combination for making progress. There is a lot to discover about how tumour cells become resistant to therapy, but it is a crucial task if we are to find and exploit any vulnerabilities.
The Cancer Research Society funds highly promising research projects undertaken by Canada’s best scientists. Following a rigorous peer review selection process, about 150 researchers are thus able to advance scientific knowledge to improve cancer prevention, detection and treatments, through various funding programs. These programs are based on scientific excellence, support to new generations of scientists, support to promising underfunded research avenues and partnerships with great impact potential. Since its inception, the Cancer Research Society has thus contributed to major advances in oncology, helping position Canada at the forefront of cancer research in the world.