I am a clinician-scientist neurosurgeon with a dedicated career focus in neuro-oncology. My goal has been to create a multifaceted translational research program in neuro-oncology. I have a specific interest in management of meningiomas and understanding adverse radiation effects following radiation therapy. I have an independent research laboratory with resources, tools and expertise necessary for a robust and multifaceted investigation of brain tumor research. My primary focus is on understanding novel mechanisms of angiogenesis in brain tumors to improve response to anti-angiogenic therapy (AATx)(CIHR and Terry fox funded project). I have has introduced innovative in-vivo real-time imaging at cellular level of intracranial brain tumor models. I have contributed to the understanding of tumor angiogenesis by providing insights into the role of progenitor cells and the role of the tumor microenvironment in angiogenesis. As a secondary related focus (CIHR-funded), we have established that altered tumor metabolism impacts response to AATx and we have identified lead compounds to test concurrent with AATx . Recognition of this work has led to an endowed chair that will ensure resources to successfully translate these results into clinical trials.
Her clinical practice focuses on Skull Base Neuro-oncology, with dedicated general brain tumour clinic and many multidisciplinary clinics that she has established and is actively involved with such as skull base, pituitary, brain metastases, gamma knife and neurofibromatosis clinic. She is actively involved with and is dedicated to the goal of advancing surgical clinical trials.
Her research laboratory is focused on studying the molecular mechanisms of glioma angiogenesis and molecular regulators of tumour metabolism. Specifically investigating the role of bone marrow derived cells in supporting tumour vasculature in gliomas and how differentiation into macrophage and microglia population plays a role in escape mechanisms of evading anti-angiogenic therapy. A second focus of the laboratory, on tumour metabolism, explores the interplay between altered metabolism in response to anti-angiogenic therapy. She also has a translational program, dedicated to establishing the genomic landscape of menigniomas and schwannomas. Her laboratory is funded through peer-reviewed grants from a number of agencies such as CIHR, Terry Fox New Investigator grant, CCSRI, CRS, BrainChild and others.
She is a scientist at Labatts Brain Tumor Research at Sick Kids Research Institute and Macfeeters-Hamilton Neuro-oncology Centre at Ontario Cancer Institute. She is active in many local, national and international committees in the field of neuro-oncology. She is the director of the UHN brain tumor bank and co-director of the University of Toronto Brain Tumor Bank. Together with Dr Vera Bril she is the co-Director of the UHN Elizabeth Raab Neurofibromatosis Program. She is the Chair of Academic Affairs for Division of Neurosurgery at University of Toronto. She is the Scientific Chair of Society of Neuro-oncology for two years (2015 and 2016), she is currently the Secretary/Treasurer of Society of Neuro-oncology (2016 & 17) and Chair of Neuro-oncology Committee at the World Federation of Neurological Surgeons (2013-17). She is the Scientific Chair and Founder of the consortium on meningiomas, in collaboration with Society of Neuro-oncology.