Meet the Researchers Funded by JGH Foundation Donors

Dr. Shirin A. Enger

Dr. Shirin A. Enger’s lab at the JGH’s Lady Davis Institute (LDI) develops medical devices and software solutions for personalized treatment and imaging of cancer. One of her projects, in collaboration with Exactis Innovation, aims to create a database so researchers can detect and treat cancer more effectively by drawing on large-scale patient data.

The insights from this project can be used to develop new drugs, radiotherapy protocols, and other novel and personalized treatments for cancer. With the help of the JGH Foundation and some of Dr. Enger’s colleagues at the JGH, the project is well underway.

“Donors enable us to develop novel technology that responds to unmet needs in our hospital, helping us to provide the best treatment to our patients and be at the forefront of medical technology development,” said Dr. Enger. “Thanks to donor support, we are not just technology users, we are also innovators.”

Dr. Sonia del Rincon

Dr. Sonia del Rincon’s work investigates how tumour cells spread throughout the body and to organs. This process, called metastasis, remains the leading cause of all cancer-related deaths. Using a holistic approach, her lab studies tumour-supportive cells, which can help tumour cells resist therapy and metastasize.

Following her post-doctoral training, and after giving birth to twin boys in 2010, she helped run a lab at the Lady Davis Institute (LDI). In 2018, her own lab at the LDI officially opened.

“In large part, my salary comes from the JGH Foundation. I am very grateful to donors because of my sideways career trajectory. Their support allowed me to pursue my dream of running a research lab without neglecting the care of my young kids,” Dr. del Rincon said.

Dr. April Rose

“Our goal is to develop better treatments for cancer,” said Dr. April Rose, clinician-scientist and a Principal Investigator at the Jewish General Hospital’s Lady Davis Institute.

With the support of donors, her team is working hard to understand how cancer becomes resistant to different therapies. This includes precision medicine, which targets specific mutations present in a subset of cancers. It also includes immunotherapy, which works by activating the patient’s immune system so that it can recognize and kill cancer cells.

“Without the support of JGH Foundation donors, I wouldn’t be able to recruit such outstanding staff,” Dr. Rose said. “We wouldn’t be able to work at such a quick pace to turn our results into clinical reality.”

Dr. François Mercier

Dr. François Mercier is a Senior Investigator at the JGH’s Lady Davis Institute (LDI) who researches blood cancer, particularly acute myeloid leukemia, the most common type of acute leukemia in adults.

“Donor support allows my team to try things that are high risk and high reward,” he said. “We can do things that wouldn’t necessarily be externally funded at an early stage.”

With funds from donations, Dr. Mercier has been able to get the preliminary results he needs to win external funding and move forward in his research.

“It’s heartwarming,” he said about donors’ support of his work. “I have a feeling of gratefulness that pushes me to work harder.”

Groundbreaking innovations are made here.

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