Dr John Bell
Robert L. Noble Prize recipient in 2011
A true pioneer in his field, Dr John Bell has led a number of important initiatives aimed at developing oncolytic virus-based cancer therapies and evaluating their clinical potential.
He has created a Canadian oncolytic virus consortium of laboratory and clinical researchers from across Canada to explore the potential of virus-based cancer therapies. In addition, Dr Bell directs the biological therapeutics alliance of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research.
In 2011, Dr Bell’s group published a landmark study in the prestigious scientific journal Nature showing, for the first time, that oncolytic vaccinia viruses delivered intravenously can consistently infect and spread within tumours without harming normal tissue in patients.
Dr Bell is a senior scientist, cancer therapeutics at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and a professor in the departments of medicine and biochemistry, microbiology and immunology at the University of Ottawa.
Dr Bell has previously been awarded a senior research scientist award from the National Cancer Institute of Canada and the scientist award from the Medical Research Council. He has participated and chaired grants panels for several research granting agencies and been a member of the Canadian Cancer Society boards of directors. His publication record in international journals has been exemplary. Dr Bell is also recognized as a superb role model, supervisor and mentor.
Great progress has been made
Some cancers, such as thyroid and testicular, have survival rates of over 90%. Other cancers, such as pancreatic, brain and esophageal, continue to have very low survival rates.