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Dr. Anne Martel appointed to the Tory Family Chair in Oncology

July 27, 2022

Sunnybrook is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Anne Martel to the Tory Family Chair in Oncology, jointly shared by Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the University of Toronto. The Chair, established in 2007 by the John A. and Liz Tory Family, provides support for cancer research for a five-year renewable term.

“I’m honoured to be recognized with the Tory Chair,” says Dr. Anne Martel, a senior scientist in Physical Sciences and the Odette Cancer Research Program at Sunnybrook Research Institute (SRI) and a Professor in the Department of Medical Biophysics at U of T’s Temerty Faculty of Medicine. “This generous support will help raise the profile of artificial intelligence as a critical component of oncology research.”

Dr. Martel’s research focuses on developing medical imaging analysis techniques, using artificial intelligence and machine learning, for precision cancer diagnostics and treatment. Her research areas include digital histopathology, computer-aided detection and diagnosis of breast cancer using MRI, and analysis of dynamic contrast-enhanced images.

Dr. Martel was recently awarded a grant from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) to establish the Artificial Intelligence Platform for Precision Medicine at SRI. The project will enable researchers to carry out transformative, translational work in the field of deep learning applied to medical imaging and image-guided therapy. Researchers will use anonymized patient data — in the form of X-rays, CT scans, MR images and digital pathology — to develop and train artificial intelligence (AI) models that will eventually be used to solve pressing clinical problems across multiple clinical areas at Sunnybrook.

“AI can help us to discover insights within imaging data that will allow us to better predict patient outcomes, guide therapy decisions and improve the delivery of therapy,” says Dr. Martel. “The Chair will help support translational activities, as we work with our clinical colleagues to move AI-based projects from the lab to the clinic.”

The Tory Chair was previously held by Dr. Martin Yaffe, a senior scientist in Physical Sciences and the Odette Cancer Research Program, for three consecutive terms. Over 15 years as Chair, Dr. Yaffe was instrumental in moving forward breast cancer research. From both research and policy perspectives, his compelling work ensured a broad and continuing commitment to cancer research, and furthered academic inquiry into the diagnosis and management of cancer. During his time as Tory Chair, he was inducted as a Member of The Order of Canada and a Fellow of The Royal Society of Canada. He is also Co-Director of the Imaging Research Program at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR).

The Tory Family Chair in Oncology is made possible thanks to generous support from the John A. and Liz Tory Family and the Norman Bell Research Trust Fund.