2023 Canadian Hematology Today
Symposium on B-Cell Malignancies
Scientific Steering Committee
Dr. Julie Stakiw
Originally from Saskatchewan, Dr. Stakiw completed her Bachelor of Science, MD and internal medicine training at the University of Saskatchewan prior to moving to Ontario to complete hematology training at Queen’s university followed by a 1 year fellowship at PMH in Lymphoma and Stem Cell Transplant. After working as a hematologist-oncologist at Peel Regional Cancer Center in Mississauga, Ontario for 3 years, she moved back to Saskatchewan in 2010 to be closer to family. Dr. Stakiw has held several leadership positions including Provincial Leader of Hematology for Saskatchewan, the Medical Director of the Saskatchewan Blood and Marrow Transplant Program and most recently Medical Director of Oncology at the Saskatoon Cancer Clinic.
Dr. Diego Villa
MD, MPH, FRCPC
Dr. Diego Villa is Clinical Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia and a medical oncologist at the BC Cancer – Vancouver Cancer Center. He is involved in the care of patients with lymphoid malignancies and breast cancer. His research interests include the management of transformed indolent lymphomas, management of mantle cell lymphoma, primary and secondary CNS lymphomas, and the role of PET/CT in aggressive lymphoma. Dr. Villa has ongoing research collaborations with Canadian, American, European, and Australian lymphoma groups. He is also the local principal investigator for various international lymphoma and breast cancer clinical trials open in Vancouver. He actively participates in the teaching of medical students, residents, and fellows at BC Cancer and VGH, and is the faculty coordinator for the medical oncology rotation at BC Cancer for the UBC Internal Medicine Residency Program. Dr. Villa is a member of the UBC Medical Oncology Residency Training Program committee and its Competence by Design subcommittee.
Dr. Hira Mian
Dr. Mian is a hematologist at the Juravinski Cancer Centre and an assistant professor within the department of oncology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, where she leads the Multiple Myeloma Program. She completed her clinical training at the University of Toronto and furthered her research training at McMaster University where she obtained her Masters in Health Research Methodology, as well as completed the Clinician Investigator Program. Her research interests include health services and outcomes as well as clinical trials. She has a specific focus on care of older adults with multiple myeloma, disparities in access to care/outcome and quality of life. She is the recipient of numerous local and national grants and an early career research award. She is also board member of Myeloma Canada and an investigator with the Canadian Myeloma Research Group (CMRG) and the Canadian Cancer Clinical Trials Group.
Dr. Inhye Ahn
Dr. Inhye Ahn is Assistant Professor at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute specializing in the care of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). She earned her medical degree from Catholic University of Korea and completed her residency at the Houston Methodist Hospital alongside laboratory research training at MD Anderson Cancer Center, followed by a hematology and medical oncology fellowship at the NIH. Dr. Ahn recognizes that despite significant advances made in the field, CLL patients continue to have heterogeneous outcomes and frequently develop drug resistance against targeted agents. Her research focuses on genomic analysis to improve identification of high-risk CLL and development of novel treatment strategies that can alter disease course.
Dr. Versha Banerji
Dr. Versha Banerji obtained her MD and residency training in internal medicine and hematology at the University of Manitoba. She then completed a post-doctoral fellowship in translational research at the Harvard Cancer Centre/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Broad Institute of MIT. She is a senior scientist at the CancerCare Manitoba Research Institute, Associate Professor at the University of Manitoba, and a clinician-scientist at CancerCare Manitoba. She co-leads the CLL clinic and is involved in several clinical trials and population-based treatment studies. As co-chair of the CLL research program she manages a multi-disciplinary research team in clinical, fundamental and translational research. Her own laboratory is evaluating mitochondrial bioenergetics and function as a measure of cancer cell metabolism.
Dr. Rajshekhar Chakraborty
Dr. Rajshekhar Chakraborty is an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in the division of hematology/oncology. After receiving his medical degree from University of Delhi, India, he completed his residency in internal medicine at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai-Queens Hospital Center. Subsequently, he spent three years as a clinical researcher in plasma cell disorders at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, followed by fellowship in hematology/oncology at the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Chakraborty cares primarily for patients with plasma cells disorders, including multiple myeloma, amyloidosis, MGUS, POEMS syndrome, and Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia. His research interests include clinical trials and outcomes research in plasma cell disorders.
Dr. Ajai Chari
Dr. Christine Chen
MD, MEd, FRCPC
Dr. Gwynivere Davies
MD, MPH, FRCPC
Dr. Gwynivere Davies is an Assistant Professor at McMaster University and a Clinician Educator in the Department of Oncology at Hamilton Health Sciences. She is a hematologist with a clinical focus in lymphoma, autologous stem cell transplant and CAR-T. Her research interests include the social determinants of health, supported by her MPH, health services research, and education on the intrinsic roles in the liminal space between residency and independent practice, supporting her role as lymphoma fellowship director within the department.
Dr. Kelly Davison
MD, PhD, FRCPC
Dr. Isabelle Fleury
Dr. Ronan Foley
Dr. Ronan Foley is a clinical hematologist with an active practice in malignant hematology at the Juravinski Cancer Centre and Director of the Hamilton Health Sciences Clinical Stem Cell Laboratory. Dr. Foley is a Professor of Pathology and Molecular Medicine at McMaster University, Past President of CBMTG, a Director of the Clinical Trials Network, and a member of the NIH Consensus Panel for the Diagnosis and Classification of Chronic Graft vs. Host Disease, along with several other affiliations. His other activities include board membership on OCREB and panel chair for the CIHR CBT panel. Dr. Foley’s current research focus is the development of therapeutic cell-based autologous vaccines. He has held grants with CANVAC, OICR, CIHR, OCRN, and CBCRA.
Dr. Alina Gerrie
Dr. Alina Gerrie is a hematologist and Assistant Professor in the Divisions of Hematology and Medical Oncology at the University of British Columbia and a Clinician Investigator at the Centre for Lymphoid Cancer at BC Cancer, Vancouver Centre. She completed her medical degree and internal medicine residency at the University of Toronto, followed by hematology residency at UBC. She undertook a fellowship through the Royal College Clinical Investigator Program and earned a Master’s of Public Health degree from Harvard University, where her research included investigating the impact of genetic abnormalities on population-level outcomes in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients. Other academic interests include the investigation of novel therapeutics and cellular therapy for CLL and lymphoma.
Dr. Michael Jain
Dr. Roopesh Kansara
Dr. Roopesh Kansara is a staff Hematologist within the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Manitoba. He is an Assistant Professor and is also the Program Director for Adult Hematology subspecialty program at the University of Manitoba. He pursued his Medicine and Hematology subspecialty training at the University of Manitoba followed by further training in lymphoproliferative disorders at the British Columbia Cancer Agency (Vancouver). He treats both malignant and benign hematologic disorders but has a special focus on lymphoproliferative neoplasms, especially CNS B-cell lymphomas.
Dr. Robert Kridel
MD, MPH, PhD
Dr. Robert Kridel is a lymphoma specialist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, having previously completed his medical training in Europe (Switzerland) and Canada (Vancouver). His research focuses on the delineation of distinct patient populations based on integrative genomic profiling of tumour biopsies, aiming to identify vulnerabilities that will lead to biology-adjusted therapeutic approaches. In addition, his research group explores means to overcome treatment resistance through functional genomic approaches.
Dr. Richard LeBlanc
Dr. Richard LeBlanc is a hematologist and medical oncologist at Maisonneuve-Rosemont hospital. He obtained his MD degree at Laval University in 1995. He was certified in internal medicine in 1998 and in hematology in 2000 at Laval University. Thereafter, he spent two years, from 2000 to 2002, as a research fellow at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School in Boston, to develop an expertise in multiple myeloma. In 2004, he completed his training in medical oncology at the Université de Montréal. He is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Department of Medicine, Université de Montréal. Since 2012, he has been the Myeloma Canada Chair at the Université de Montréal. His practice and interests focus on improvements in care, teaching, and research in multiple myeloma.
Dr. Arleigh McCurdy
MHA, MD, FRCPC
Dr. Arleigh Robertson McCurdy is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa and Lead of the Multiple Myeloma Program at The Ottawa Hospital. Her clinical research is focused on multiple myeloma and related disorders. She is an active member of the Canadian Myeloma Research Group and the Canadian Cancer Trials Group Myeloma Committee. She is a member of the Myeloma Canada Board of Directors and the International Myeloma Working Group.
Dr. Carolyn Owen
Dr. Carolyn Owen is an Associate Professor in the Division of Hematology & Hematological Malignancies at the University of Calgary. She completed internal medicine training in Ottawa and Hematology training in Vancouver followed by a research fellowship in molecular genetics at Barts and the London School of Medicine in London, UK. Her prior research is focused on familial myelodysplasia and acute myeloid leukemia. Her current clinical interests are low grade lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia and she is the local principal investigator at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre for several clinical trials in these areas.
Dr. Anthea Peters
Dr. Anthea Peters is a hematologist based at the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton, Alberta and an Associate Professor in the Department of Oncology at the University of Alberta. She completed her MD at the University of Saskatchewan, internal medicine residency training at the University of Alberta and hematology training as well as a lymphoma fellowship at the University of Calgary. Her clinical and research interests are centered around lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), with a special interest in post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders. She is currently the clinical lead for lymphoma and CLL for Northern Alberta.
Dr. Anca Prica
Dr. Anca Prica is a staff hematologist at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, and Associate Professor in the Division of Hematology at University of Toronto, appointed in 2014. She is currently the site lead of the Lymphoma and Myeloma program at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. She did her initial medical training in Toronto and her clinical training in Internal Medicine and Hematology in the University of Toronto program. She then did a two-year fellowship in Malignant Hematology at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and a Master’s in Health Research Methodology at McMaster University, with research interests in quality of life and economic evaluations. Her clinical work focuses in both lymphoproliferative and plasma cell disorders, as well as autologous stem cell transplantation and CAR-T therapy. Her research interests focus on health services research, particularly economic evaluations and decision analyses for oncologic questions, examining resource use and cost of care, as well as toxicity of chemotherapies, and their effects on quality of life and caregiver burden.
Dr. Laurie Sehn
MD, MPH, FRCPC
Dr. Douglas Stewart
BMSc, MD, FRCPC
Dr. Steven P. Treon
MD, PhD, FRCP, FACP
Dr. Chris Venner
Dr. Chris Venner completed his medical training at the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta. He later attended the University of British Columbia to complete a sub-specialty degree in Hematology. He then went on to pursue a Plasma Cell Dyscrasias Fellowship jointly through the Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program of British Columbia, St. Bartholomew’s Hospital and the London School of Medicine and the National Amyloidosis Centre. He subsequently joined the National Amyloid Centre as a staff physician before returning to Edmonton and the Cross Cancer Institute and led the Malignant Hematology Program and the Myeloma/Plasma Cell Dyscrasias group. In 2021 he joined the BC Cancer – Vancouver Centre to advance the Plasma Cell Dyscrasias Program. In addition to being actively involved in hematology clinical trials, his current academic interest involves clinical outcomes research in plasma cell dyscrasias, examining the evolution of therapy in these diseases and the impact novel combinations have on survival. Much of this work is done through the Canadian Myeloma Research Group through activities in the CMRG Canadian Multiple Myeloma Database initiative which he led as Chair (2014-2021), and the CMRG clinical trials group. He is also the Co-Chair of the Myeloma Sub-Committee with the Canadian Cancer Trials Group.
The CHT 2023 Symposium on B-Cell Malignancies is a dedicated educational forum designed to inform and update Canadian clinicians on the management of hematologic disease.