Ontario Tumour Bank’s team at OICR


John Bartlett, PhD, Principal investigator of Ontario Tumour Bank (OTB)

Dr. John Bartlett is the provincial principal investigator of Ontario Tumour Bank. Through his research at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR), he is pursuing an integrated platform of research focused on the development of novel cancer diagnostics.

In 2011, Dr. Bartlett became director of OICR’s Transformative Pathology Program and OTB. He is developing new diagnostic approaches to improve patient diagnosis and treatment. By gaining an understanding of the molecular complexity of cancer, accurate diagnostic approaches can be developed to ensure that patients receive the most appropriate treatment. Novel diagnostic tools are required to accurately identify molecular sub-types of cancer and to predict the effectiveness of treatment. Dr. Bartlett has contributed to the development of translational research within multi-centre clinical trials, several of which have led to new insights into selecting appropriate therapeutics for breast cancer patients. He aims to foster research in other laboratories across the province to accelerate the discovery of novel diagnostics for cancer.

Monique Albert, M.Sc., PMP, Director of the Ontario Tumour Bank

Monique Albert is the Director of Ontario Tumour Bank with involvement since 2010. She has broad experience in the health research and pharmaceutical sectors, having held a variety of leadership and research roles at: MaRS Excellence in Clinical Innovation and Technology Evaluation (“EXCITE”) program; the STTARR Innovation Centre at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and the Microarray Centre (both at University Health Network); and in the corporate sector at Cangene Corporation and Affinium Pharmaceuticals. Her academic background combines a M.Sc. in biological sciences with project management certification/professional designation.

Actively involved in the global biobanking community, she participates in a number of committees, task forces, and boards to advance the biobanking sector in collaboration with other biobanking experts worldwide. Presently, she serves on the Board of Directors for the International Society of Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) in role of Secretary (elected). Prior to this, she served on the ISBER BOD as the Director-at-Large (Americas) (2017-2020) and co-chaired the full Scientific Program Committee and plenary session for the ISBER international conference in May 2017. At the Standards Council of Canada and International Standards Organization, she is an expert scientist/voting member of the Canadian TC276 Mirror Committee. She was directly involved in the development of the Canadian Tissue Repository Network (CTRNet) resources, has published and presented on biobanking topics on multiple occasions, and is a frequent peer reviewer for Biopreservation and Biobanking.

Team members

  • Larry Phouthavongsy – Analyst
  • Riley Cox – Client Coordinator
  • Lindsay Hayman– Research Technician
  • Andrea Huston – Project Lead

OTB teams at the participating hospitals

OTB is a collaboration between OICR and leading healthcare institutions in Ontario. Four academic teaching hospitals across Ontario currently collect biospecimens and clinical data from participating donors for OTB: Kingston Health Sciences Centre, London Health Sciences Centre, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and The Ottawa Hospital. Each collection centre has a team of professionals that work in collaboration with the local principal investigator. Specially trained staff members include a pathologists' assistant and a clinical research coordinator who are committed to the operations of the OTB.

Fully affiliated with Queen's University, Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) is southeastern Ontario's leading centre for complex-acute and specialty care and serves almost 500,000 people through its Kingston facility and 24 regional affiliate and satellite sites. KHSC is a research and teaching hospital which is home to more than 2,000 health-care learners and more than 180 health researchers and is ranked as one of Canada's Top 40 Research Hospitals by Research Infosource.

Home to the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario, KHSC also provides multidisciplinary, comprehensive cancer care through core services including radiation, systemic and surgical treatment, palliative medicine and supportive care through the regional cancer program.

The regional program, which services the southeast region from Peterborough and Cobourg in the west to Brockville and Smiths Falls in the east, provides almost 70,000 visits/treatments annually. The cancer program also actively participates in cancer and prevention screening activities and various clinical trials.

Principal Investigator

Dr. Jay Engel
Division of Surgical Oncology

Tumour Bank Staff

Caroline Hensman

Kathryn Logan
Pathologists' Assistant

London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) is one of Canada’s largest acute-care teaching hospitals and is dedicated to excellence in patient care, teaching, and research. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, LHSC has pioneered many national and international medical breakthroughs.

Located in London, Ontario, LHSC is a multi-site facility that encompasses University Hospital, Victoria Hospital and Children’s Hospital, two family medical centres as well as two community-based outpatient service programs, and is the home of Lawson Health Research Institute and Children’s Health Research Institute, CSTAR (Canadian Surgical Technology & Advanced Robotics), Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic, as well as Children’s Health Foundation and London Health Sciences Foundation. As a regional referral centre, LHSC cares for the most medically complex patients including critically injured adults and children in southwestern Ontario and beyond. The hospital’s nearly 15,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year.

The London Regional Cancer Program (LRCP) at LHSC is committed to translational research that transfers and advances knowledge back and forth between the clinic and the laboratory.

Successful translational research requires strong collaboration between clinical and basic researchers. Together, they identify the high-priority clinical questions for study by basic scientists – questions that, if answered, will lead to improved quality of life and life expectancy in cancer patients. The LRCP is uniquely configured to accomplish this by bringing the cancer care program and the basic cancer research program together.

Principal Investigator

Dr. Jeremy Parfitt
Department of Pathology

Tumour Bank Staff

Lee-Anne Pickard
Clinical Research Associate

Carolyn Shire
Pathology Research Assistant

St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton (SJHH) is a regional leader in patient-centred care providing acute care, research, teaching, community and international outreach programs throughout its network. Since being founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1890, the hospital now spans three specialized campuses in the Greater Hamilton Area (Charlton Campus, West 5th Campus and King Street Campus). Two other members of the St. Joseph’s Health System, St. Joseph’s Villa Dundas and St. Joseph’s Home Care provide long-term care and personalized home care, respectively, traversing the reach of care in the region.

As a premier academic and research healthcare organization, SJHH is committed to excellence and dedicated to discovery; to make a difference in people’s lives and create a lasting future for our community through integrated health services and internationally recognized programs. Its threefold mission is to provide dynamic research, revolutionary methods in health sciences education, and the highest standard of clinical care in a spirit of compassion, innovation and commitment.

SJHH has earned a national reputation for outstanding patient care and innovative medical and surgical treatments. The hospital is particularly well known for excellence in respiratory care, kidney and urinary care, mental health and addictions, surgical services, cancer surgery and women’s and infants’ care. SJHH underscored its commitment to research as a driver of better health outcomes in 2014 through the creation of The Research Institute of St. Joe’s Hamilton (RSJH).

SJHH and RSJH are members of the St. Joseph’s Health system and have affiliations with McMaster University, and Mohawk College and are home to the several prestigious centres and institutes, including: Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health, the Peter Boris Centre for Addictions Research, the Urologic Cancer Centre for Research and Innovation, Hamilton Centre for Kidney Research, and the Michael G. DeGroote Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research.

Principal Investigator

Dr. Vina Alexopoulou
Anatomical Pathology

co-Principal Investigator

Dr. Asghar Naqvi
Anatomical Pathology

Tumour Bank Staff

Dr. Anbreen Zaidi
Clinical Research Coordinator

Gino Celebre
Pathologists' Assistant

The Ottawa Hospital is one of Canada’s top learning and research hospitals, where excellent care is inspired by research and driven by compassion. As the third-largest employer in Ottawa, our support staff, researchers, nurses, physicians, and volunteers never stop seeking solutions to the most complex health-care challenges.

Our multi-campus hospital, affiliated with the University of Ottawa, attracts some of the most influential scientific minds from around the world. Our focus on learning and research leads to new techniques and discoveries that are adopted globally to improve patient care.

We are the Regional Trauma Centre for eastern Ontario and have been accredited with Exemplary Standing for health-care delivery — the highest rating from Accreditation Canada. We are also home to world-leading research programs focused on cancer therapeutics, neuroscience, regenerative medicine, chronic disease, and practice-changing research.

Backed by generous support from the community, we are committed to providing the world-class, compassionate care we would want for our loved ones.

Principal Investigator

Dr. Harman Sekhon
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Co-principal Investigators

Dr. Angel Arnaout
Department of General Surgery

Dr. Sebastien Gilbert
Department of Thoracic Surgery

Tumour Bank Staff

Nikita Rayne
Clinical Research Assistant