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Dr Morag Park

Robert L. Noble Prize, 2017 recipient

Dr Morag ParkOne of Dr Park’s early milestone achievements was isolating a cell signalling protein called Met that helps control cell growth, survival and movement. She was among the first to reveal its importance in cancer, demonstrating that it could lead to tumour development in an unexpected way. Dr Park’s research highlighted Met as a promising therapeutic target in cancer.

Dr Park has also expanded our understanding of the non-cancerous supportive cells that surround tumours – the tumour microenvironment. For example, she has described how patterns of gene activity in the tumour’s supportive cells can predict how women with breast cancer will fare in the clinic. This research also opened a new avenue for cancer therapy development.

As a top scientific leader in Canada, Dr Park served as the Scientific Director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) from 2008–2013. In this role, she was instrumental in establishing partnerships between Canadian and international cancer research organizations to coordinate research efforts.

Dr Park is regarded as one of the most influential breast cancer researchers worldwide. Her work has deepened our understanding of cancer, and she has guided our research community to make the most impact on cancer in Canada and beyond.

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Great progress has been made

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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.

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