W.G. Cosbie Lectures Biographies


Dr. Frances A. Shepherd

    Lung Cancer: A Journey from Nihilism to Hope Through Bench to Bedside Research

    Dr. Shepherd received her M.D. from the University of Toronto in 1970 and currently is a senior staff physician at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, Canada where she holds the Scott Taylor Chair in Lung Cancer Research and served as the Lung Cancer Site Group Leader for 15 years. She is a Full Professor of Medicine at University of Toronto and served as the University Medical Oncology Division Director from 1997-2003.

    Dr. Shepherd has been recognized for her many contributions in the field of lung cancer research, most notably her longstanding international leadership in the development of innovative therapies for lung cancer. In 2001 she was named the Scott Taylor Chair in Lung Cancer Research, becoming the first holder of this esteemed research position with a primary goal of investigating new options for lung cancer therapy. As Chair, Dr. Shepherd plays a vital role in attracting graduate students, scientists, other doctors and further research funding which will enable her team to intensify their study of lung cancer. Dr. Shepherd also served as Chair of the Lung Cancer Committee of the National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group for 19 years and is a past President of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, having served as president from 2003-2005. She was the recipient of the Jacqueline Seroussi Memorial Award for Cancer Research in 2004, The O Harold Warwick Award for Research Excellence of the National Cancer Institute of Canada in 2006 and the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer Research Award in 2007. She received the Order of Ontario in 2007 and in 2008, she was awarded an Ontario Premier’s Summit Award for Medical Research.

    Dr. Shepherd has been the co-investigator or principal investigator in more than 100 trials, many of which have changed treatment for early stage and advanced stage patients with lung cancer around the globe.

    Dr. Shepherd has been instrumental in establishing Lung Cancer Tumour Banks in order to perform correlative science studies pertaining to lung cancer. Through her leadership, she has brought together a team of basic and clinical researchers committed to the evaluation of molecular pathways in lung cancer. This team is recognized worldwide as one of the foremost groups of bench to bedside research pertaining to lung cancer.

    Dr. Shepherd has served as the Chair of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Membership and Publications Committees. She is a member of the Editorial Board of several journals, including the Journal of Clinical Oncology. She sits on numerous national and international Lung Cancer Advisory Boards, and chairs and/or sits on several Data and Safety Monitoring Boards for international lung cancer trials in Europe and North America. She has authored more than 330 peer reviewed publications and 35 book chapters.

    She is married to Dr. Firouz Khamsi, Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto and has two children, Kathryn Frances Khamsi BA Harvard University, 1995, LLB McGill University, 2000 and LLM Columbia University, 2008 and James Martin Shepherd Khamsi, B Arch Cornell University 2000 and M Arch Harvard University 2006.

    Hartley S. Stern


      5 Year Survival of Clinical Cancer Trials in Canada: Perspective of a Lapsed Investigator

      Dr. Hartley Stern is Executive Director of the Jewish General Hospital and professor of Surgery at McGill University. Most recently he was Vice President of The Ottawa Hospital Regional Cancer Centre and, the Provincial Head of Surgical Oncology with Cancer Care Ontario.

      Originally from Toronto, Dr. Stern completed his undergraduate medical education and surgical training at the University of Toronto, followed by a Research Training Fellowship at the London Hospital Medical College in London, England. He moved his practice to Ottawa in June 1994, to undertake the new roles of Surgeon-in-Chief at the Ottawa Civic Hospital, and subsequently The Ottawa Hospital (amalgamation-1998) and, as Chairman of the Department of Surgery at the University of Ottawa.

      In August 2000, Dr. Stern began a new challenge as the CEO of the Ottawa Regional Cancer Centre, which in January 2004 became a large integrated program in The Ottawa Hospital of the full spectrum of Cancer Services, Research and Education.

      Dr. Stern’s clinical focus is colorectal cancer, and he intends to continue, in a limited fashion, to teach students and perform surgery. He holds an appointment as Professor of Surgery at McGill University.

      In addition, Dr. Stern had the opportunity to work with and preside over the Canadian Oncology Society, the Canadian Society of Surgical Oncology and the Integration Group of the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control as it developed into a National Council. He now sits on the Strategic Advisory Committee of the National Cancer Institute of Canada.

      Dr. Bernard Cummings

      MB, FRCPC, ChB

        Radiation Therapy, Rectal Cancer and Clinical Trials: Lessons and Opportunities.

        Dr. Cummings graduated M.B.,Ch.B. from Otago University in New Zealand. He trained in clinical and radiation oncology in Christchurch, New Zealand, at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, and at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London, England. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the Royal Australia and New Zealand College of Radiologists, and the Royal College of Radiologists of the United Kingdom. He has been a staff radiation oncologist at the Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, since 1974, and was Head of the Department of Radiation Oncology from 1991 to 2001. He is a Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Toronto, and was the first Chair of that department from 1991 to 2001.

        He is a Fellow of the American Society for Radiation Oncology, and an Honorary Member of the European Society for Therapeutic Radiation and Oncology. He is a former President of the Canadian Association of Radiation Oncologists, and of the International Society of Radiation Oncologists.

        He has been involved with NCIC since 1980, and has served on several grant review panels, ACOR, and the Board of NCIC (2000 to 2007). He is currently a member of the NCIC CTG's Clinical Trials Committee. He was a member of the CCO Program in Evidence-Based Medicine GI Tumor Site Committee from 1996 to 2007.

        His clinical and research interests are in gastrointestinal cancers, particularly rectal and anal cancers, and in head and neck cancers. He is active in organizing and participating in teaching programs in radiation oncology in developing countries. He has been an advisor to the World Health Organization on patient safety in radiation therapy, and to the International Atomic Energy Agency on radiation therapy for rectal cancer in developing countries.

        Dr. Robert Califf

          The American Clinical Trials Enterprise: Are We Reaching the Tipping Point for Transformation?

          Vice Chancellor for Clinical and Translational Research, Director of the Duke Translational Medicine Institute (DTMI), and Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology at the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, Dr. Robert Califf leads a multifaceted organization focused on the transformation of how discoveries are translated into improved health outcomes. Prior to his role at DTMI, he was the founding Director, Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI), a premier academic research organization. He is the editor-in-chief of American Heart Journal, the oldest cardiovascular specialty journal.

          Dr. Califf completed his undergraduate studies at Duke University in 1973, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. In 1978, he graduated Duke University Medical School, where he was selected for Alpha Omega Alpha. After completing internship and internal medicine residency at the University of California, San Francisco, he returned to Duke for a fellowship in cardiology.

          As the founder and Director of DCRI for a decade, Dr. Califf led many landmark clinical trials in cardiovascular disease. A leader in clinical research, DCRI collaborates extensively with government agencies, global academic partners, foundations and biotech, pharmaceutical, device, and diagnostics companies to execute clinical trials in a myriad of therapeutic arenas. He remains actively involved in the leadership, design, and execution of multinational clinical trials.

          Dr. Califf currently serves as the co-chair of the Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative, a public private partnership focused on improving the clinical trials system, and as the Chair of the Clinical Research Forum, an organization of academic health and science system leaders focused on the improvement of the clinical research enterprise. A member of the National Advisory Council on Aging, he also serves on the Secretary’s Advisory Council on Human Research Protections for the US Health and Human Services Department.

          Dr. Elizabeth Eisenhauer

            Initiatives to Advance the State of Cancer Clinical Trials in Canada – Hope in Spring

            Since 1982, Dr. Eisenhauer was Director of the NCIC Clinical Trials Group Investigational New Drug (IND) Program where she was responsible for identifying and bringing clinical trial novel cancer agents into Canada. Through her work in the IND Program, she directed the coordination of over 170 phase I, II and III trials across Canada, the US and Europe, which included some of the first trials of paclitaxel and docetaxel, studies of topotecan, gemcitabine, various targeted antisense agents, angiogenesis inhibitors, and small molecule signaling inhibitors.

            In 2012, she became Head and Professor of the Department of Oncology at Queen’s University and Program Medical Director of the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario at Kingston General Hospital.

            Dr. Eisenhauer has served in numerous national cancer research leadership roles, including President of the National Cancer Institute of Canada and Chair of the Research Advisory Group of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. In 2012, she became its Expert Lead, Research, which includes the role of Co-Chair of the Canadian Cancer Research Alliance. She has also received numerous awards including, in 2002, the O. Harold Warwick Prize from the National Cancer Institute of Canada, the Society of Gynecologic Oncology of Canada Presidential Medal Award in 2010, and the NDDO Award Lecture at the international conference on Targeted Anti-Cancer Therapies in Amsterdam in 2012. That same year, Dr. Eisenhauer received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for “her tremendous commitment to the advancement of cancer therapy, supportive care and prevention across Canada and internationally”.

            Dr. Eisenhauer obtained her MD from Queen’s University in 1976 and subsequently completed Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (Canada) training in both Internal Medicine and Hematology.

            Dr. Ian Tannock

              Whither (or Wither?) the Randomised Clinical Trial?

              Dr. Tannock is Professor of Medicine and Medical Biophysics at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and University of Toronto. He obtained his PhD in London, England and his MD at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA. His clinical research investigates methods related to cancer clinical trials, and he chaired trials for men with metastatic prostate cancer that led to licensing of previous (mitoxantrone) and current (docetaxel) standard chemotherapy.

              His laboratory research evaluates effects of the tumour microenvironment on outcome of cancer therapy. He is an editor of the Basic Science of Oncology textbook, now in its 5th edition, that is used by trainees in all branches of oncology. Dr. Tannock was a member of the Board of Directors of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) from 2001-2004. He received the alumnus award from M.D. Anderson Hospital, Houston, USA (1989), the Warwick Prize from the National Cancer Institute of Canada (2003), an honorary degree (DSc) from London University, UK (2009), and the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) award (2012), the first non-European to receive this award. He chairs the scientific audit committee of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) and is a member of the EORTC Board. Dr. Tannock was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in December 2013.

              Dr. Joseph M. Connors

                Yin and Yang: Population-Based Studies and Clinical Trials – Lessons from Lymphoid Cancer

                Dr. Connors is a clinical professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology, at the University of British Columbia and Clinical Director of the BC Cancer Agency Centre for Lymphoid Cancer. He obtained his medical degree at Yale University, trained in internal medicine at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and completed his medical oncology fellowship at the Stanford University Medical Center. While at the BC Cancer Agency and University of British Columbia, he has focused his clinical activities and research efforts in the area of lymphoid cancers, most recently on the application of genomic analysis to understanding and optimizing treatment for these diseases.

                Dr. Connors is best known for his clinical investigations into the treatment of Hodgkin lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemias and multiple myeloma. He sits on the Executive Committee of the American Society of Hematology and on the scientific advisory board of the Lymphoma Foundation Canada.

                Dr. Connors has published over 350 peer-reviewed scientific articles addressing various aspects of research into lymphoid cancers. His many awards include a Terry Fox Cancer Research Award, Canadian Cancer Society John W. Whittick Memorial Award, Karl Musshoff Lifetime Achievement Award, and a Canadian Medical Association Lifetime Achievement Award. He has been recognized as one of the 20 most influential scientific minds in Canada, in The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds.

                Dr. Mary Gospodarowicz

                  Global Cancer Control – Challenges and Opportunities

                  Mary Gospodarowicz is Professor of Radiation Oncology at the University of Toronto, the Medical Director of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre at the University Health Network, and the Regional Vice President of Cancer Care Ontario. She holds specialty certifications in internal medicine, radiation oncology, and medical oncology and her clinical practice involves lymphomas and genitourinary cancers. Her research focused on clinical trials evaluating radiation therapy, image-guided precision radiotherapy, and cancer survivorship. Her current interests include global cancer control, global access to radiotherapy, and quality cancer care.

                  Professor Gospodarowicz is the Immediate Past-President of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). She proudly participates in the work of the Global Task Force on Cancer Care and Control of Harvard Global Equity Initiative, the UICC’s Global Task Force on Radiotherapy for Cancer Control, and the HGEI-Lancet Commission on Global Access to Pain Control & Palliative Care.

                  She is the Associate Editor of Journal of Global Oncology and a longstanding member of ASCO, a Fellow of the American Society in Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Radiologists in the United Kingdom, and Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Radiologists in the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland. She is a recipient of numerous awards, including the Gordon Richards Lectureship from the Canadian Association of Radiation Oncologists, the May Cohen Award for Women Mentors from the Canadian Medical Association, the Janeway Medal from the American Radium Society, the ESTRO Lifetime Achievement Award, the ASTRO Gold Medal, and the Harold O. Warwick Prize for outstanding achievements in cancer control research from the Canadian Cancer Society. In 2015, she was appointed Officer of the Order of Canada.

                  Dr. Gerald Batist

                    Precision Medicine Requires Precise Targets and a Community of Patients

                    Dr. Gerald Batist is the former Chair of the Department of Oncology at McGill University and Director of the McGill Centre for Translational Research in Cancer. A major award from the Canada Foundation for Innovation led to the expansion of the Centre and its integration into the Segal Cancer Centre at the Jewish General Hospital, which he also directs.
                    Dr. Batist is a clinician-scientist trained in medical oncology and molecular pharmacology. His work, both in his lab and clinical research, focuses on therapeutic resistance. This includes large consortia of biopsy-based clinical trials. In 2014, he co-led a successful application that resulted in the establishment of the Canadian National Centre of Excellence in Personalized Medicine, Exactis Innovations. The core feature is a program to build a massive biobank and database linked to a prospective longitudinal registry of cancer patients followed throughout the trajectory of their illness – a project called 'Personalize My Treatment'. In 2016, Dr. Batist was appointed Member of the Order of Canada and Knight of the National Order of Quebec.