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Dr. Natalie Coburn awarded Canada Research Chair

March 13, 2024

Dr. Natalie Coburn, platform director in Evaluative Clinical Sciences at Sunnybrook Research Institute (SRI) and Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto (U of T), has been recognized with a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Cancer Outcomes. Tier 1 CRCs are awarded to world leaders in their field for a seven-year term, renewable once.

The Canada Research Chair Program recently announced its latest appointees to Canada’s highest research honour.

“I am very privileged to work with an incredibly bright and talented team, well-supported by Sunnybrook Research Institute and the University of Toronto,” says Dr. Coburn, who is also a surgical oncologist at Sunnybrook. “I’m honoured to receive a Canada Research Chair, as it recognizes the impact that my research has on patient outcomes and our understanding of the best ways to provide care, both here in Canada and worldwide.”

The funding will help Dr. Coburn and her team improve outcomes for patients diagnosed with cancer. Her research focuses on how care is delivered, as well projects that explore how patients report their symptoms around the time of cancer diagnosis and through treatment.

“Unfortunately, not all patients experience the healthcare system in the same way, with marginalized populations often having worse outcomes, fewer treatment options, and lower rates of symptom control,” says Dr. Coburn. “Our team engages multi-disciplinary groups and governmental agencies such as Ontario Health, BC Cancer Agency and the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer to help improve these gaps found in care.”

Dr. Coburn is grateful for the support of the Sherif and Mary-Lou Hanna Chair in Surgical Oncology over the past nine years, which allowed her to lay the foundation for her research and plans as a Canada Research Chair. This new funding from the Canada Research Chairs program will help provide support for Dr. Coburn and her team to expand their research projects, increasing impact.

“Dr. Coburn is dedicated to improving outcomes for all patients — both at the bedside as a surgical oncologist and in her work as a scientist”, says Dr. Kullervo Hynynen, Vice-President of Research and Innovation at Sunnybrook. “I look forward to seeing how her team’s research will shape the future of healthcare in the coming years.”

At SRI, Dr. Coburn joins existing Tier 1 chairs Dr. Isabelle Aubert, Dr. JoAnne McLaurin, Dr. Donald Redelmeier, Dr. Greg Stanisz, Dr. Bojana Stefanovic, Dr. Graham Wright, Dr. Burton Yang, and Tier 2 chairs Dr. Iacovos Michael, Dr. Jesse Chao, Dr. Mark Chiew, Dr. Maged Goubran, Dr. Meaghan O’Reilly, Dr. Walter Swardfager, Dr. Chao Wang, and Dr. Harindra Wijeysundera.