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Our Researchers and Scientists

The Michael Cuccione Foundation funds the following key investigators in the Michael Cuccione Childhood Cancer Research Program at the Child & Family Research Institute.

Our research teams are making significant inroads into their understanding of cancer cells – how cancer cells form, how they divide and multiply, how they move and spread, what they need to survive and how the harmful side effects of current therapies can be reduced.

Each team has a unique approach, yet their varied research programs still share the common themes of developing safer, better and more personalized therapies for childhood cancer, and finding ways of reducing their harmful side effects.

The Michael Cuccione Foundation’s “ongoing commitment and support enables our dedicated scientists, clinicians and researchers to engage in a wide range of research: basic science that deepens our understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of cancer; the development of therapies to diagnose disease; the identification of conditions leading to relapse; and the personalization of treatment – all aimed at improving children’s quality of life during and after care.”

"... A steady flow of funding makes research possible. Ongoing support from donors like the Michael Cuccione Foundation is crucial if we are to remain at the forefront of cancer research and continue to have the ability to recruit and retain some of the world’s top scientists. Only through research can we develop less invasive therapies and, eventually, find a cure for childhood cancer."

Dr. Kirk R. Schultz
Director, Michael Cuccione Childhood Cancer Research Program
At the Child & Family Research Institute at BC Children’s Hospital

Our scientists lead teams that, together, are making significant inroads into our understanding of cancer.

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 Dr. Kirk R. Schultz

Dr. Kirk R. Schultz


Dr. Kirk Schultz leads the clinical research team. He is an experienced clinical investigator with a primary focus on bone marrow transplantation (BMT) and care for complicated acute lymphoblastic leukemia patients and oversees the clinical research activities of the Pediatric Oncology Program.
 
He has been involved in the development, performance and leadership of 19 clinical protocols. He also serves as Chair of the Canadian Bone Marrow Transplantation (BMT) Group’s Clinical Trials Network and is the Chair-Elect of the international Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplantation Consortium, and his laboratory is a reference laboratory for both groups. He chairs an international phase III trial in acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
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Dr. James Lim


Dr. Lim and his research team are studying the interactions between leukemic cells and the bone marrow micro-environment, providing insight into how these interactions can alter the response of tumour cells to treatments such as chemotherapy. It is increasingly recognized that the tumour micro-environment is an important therapeutic target, specifically in the quest to minimize chances of relapse due to minimal residual disease.

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Dr. Christopher Maxwell


Dr. Maxwell’s research team studies how brain stem cells respond to cues that encourage their growth and what goes awry when their division occurs without a key protein. By understanding how brain stem cells grow, Dr. Maxwell’s team hopes to discover how the process goes amiss and how to maintain healthy brain stem cells during cancer treatment.

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 Dr. Poul Sorensen

Dr. Poul Sorensen


Cellular signal transduction pathways determine whether or not tumour cells divide and proliferate. Studying these pathways is central to understanding tumour cell biology. Dr. Sorensen’s research focuses on targeting these pathways as a treatment strategy, while minimizing effects on normal growth. Dr. Sorensen’s team investigates how mutations disrupt signal transduction in solid tumours and leukemias, with the goal of identifying new therapeutic targets.

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