Torsten Nielsen

Project Leader
Professor Torsten Nielsen completed the MD/PhD program at McGill followed by a residency in Anatomical Pathology at UBC, before taking up a position as a clinician-scientist. He combines work as a musculoskeletal subspecialty pathologist with active grant-funded research programs in breast cancer and sarcomas, the common themes of which are the translation of genomic discoveries into clinically-practical new diagnostics and treatments. Among his accomplishments in sarcoma research are the development of novel diagnostic tests for synovial sarcoma, gastrointestinal stromal tumor and liposarcomas, and the identification of driver events leading to new treatments for tenosynovial giant cell tumor and epithelioid sarcoma. In breast cancer Dr. Nielsen pioneered intrinsic subtyping tests including the FDA-cleared PAM50 (Prosigna) assay, and has taken a lead role in international efforts to standardize Ki67 and immune biomarkers for implementation in hospital pathology laboratories. He is active with clinical trials groups and is the Director of UBC's combined MD/PhD program, training a new generation of clinician-scientists.