Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network announces creation of External Scientific Advisory Committee to help guide future expansion

The Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network is excited to announce the creation of its new External Scientific Advisory Committee (ESAC). The group, which is composed of four outstanding scientists who all have a proven track-record in building and growing research networks, will work together to augment the Network’s existing governance structures and provide scientific and administrative guidance as it continues evolving over the next two years.

"We are extremely honoured to have these distinguished scientists join our Network,” says Dr. André Veillette, Executive Director of the Network. “Their extensive experience managing international networks and initiatives will provide valuable guidance to our Network’s growth and sustainability. Similarly, their scientific expertise will help us further increase our impact in the Canadian cancer space and continue to accelerate the implementation of precision medicine for cancer in Canada and beyond.”

The four founding members of this group are:

  • Dr. Jayne Danska (co-chair): Anne and Max Tanenbaum Chair in Molecular Medicine, Senior Scientist in the Program in Genetics and Genome Biology, and Associate Chief in the Faculty of Development and Diversity at the Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute and Professor in the departments of Immunology and Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto;
  • Dr. Jeroen Roose (co-chair): Professor and Vice Chair of the department of Anatomy, co-founder of the UCSF Bakar ImmunoX Initiative, co-lead of the UCSF AutoImmunoProfiler Initiative, and co-lead of the Mark Foundation UCSF Endeavor Program on Metastatic Cancer at the University of California, San Francisco;
  • Dr. Rosalie Sears (member): Professor of Molecular and Medical Genetics, Co-Director, Brenden-Colson Center for Pancreatic Care, Knight Cancer Institute, School of Medicine at the Oregon Health & Sciences University in Portland, OR; and
  • Dr. Ramnik Xavier (member): Director of the Klarman Cell Observatory, Director of the Immunology Program, Core institute member at the Broad Institute, Kurt Isselbacher Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and director of the Center for Computational and Integrative Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital.

“I am delighted to co-Chair the External Scientific Advisor Committee for the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network,” says Drs. Jayne Danska. “The goals of the ESAC are to enhance collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and strategic decision-making with cutting-edge research to guide the Network to maximize its impact and ultimately, improve patient outcomes.” 

“I am a strong proponent of collaborative research programs that tackle large health problems,” says Dr. Jeroen Roose, co-Chair of the ESAC. “I have witnessed the impactful breakthroughs from such programs at both UCSF and at the Mark Foundation for Cancer Research and am excited about the MOHCCN’s ambitions and eager to help the Network reach their goals.”

The committee’s main responsibilities will be:

  • to provide future-looking scientific strategy for the Network, helping complete the MOHCCN Gold Cohort and implementing best practice standards to help ensure it reflects the diverse Canadian population;
  • to provide oversight, performance monitoring and strategic advice on the activities of the Network to ensure the scientific validity of Gold Cohort data;
  • to assess and advise on the current and changing landscape of Network activities relative to its scientific and strategic directions;
  • to provide value-driven insights and advice regarding the evolving state of international cancer science; and
  • to provide advice in relation to wider scientific issues raised by the Executive Director, Network Council, TFRI Board of Directors, or the external community.

“I am passionate about helping patients suffering from cancer,” says Dr. Rosalie Sears. “I believe that through working together we can make real advances in our understanding, treatment, and care for patients with this devastating disease. I look forward to contributing to this exciting, collaborative trans-Canada program.”

“I believe that collaborative science, data science and machine learning/AI applications offer a unique opportunity to better understand risk factors and novel therapies for cancer patients, including younger patients who are seeing their cancer rates increase,” says Dr. Ramnik Xavier. "The MOHCCN is well positioned to help advance research into these areas, and I am looking forward to working with the Network to maximize its impact."

"We are extremely honoured to have these distinguished scientists join our Network. Their extensive experience managing international networks and initiatives will provide valuable guidance to our Network’s growth and sustainability."