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SRI Profiles

Albert J.M. Yee, MD, M.Sc.,FRCSC, DABOS, FIOR

Associate scientist

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Ave., Room MG 371B
Toronto, ON
M4N 3M5

Phone: 416-480-6815
Fax: 416-480-4395

Clinical Assistant: Ala Bankowska
Phone:
416-480-6815
Email: katarzyna.bankowska@sunnybrook.ca

Dr. Albert Yee is the Holland Bone and Joint Program Chief and head of the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre (SHSC), where he holds the Marvin Tile Chair in Orthopaedic Surgery. Dr Yee is an Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon at SHSC, associate scientist (Physical Sciences Platform) at Sunnybrook Research Institute and a consultant in surgical oncology, Odette Cancer Centre. He is a full professor at the University of Toronto in the Institute of Medical Sciences with a cross appointment in the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering. He is the vice chair of research in the Division of Orthopaedics and Co-Director of the Department of Surgery Spine Program, University of Toronto. Dr. Yee is the past president of the Canadian Orthopaedic Research Society (2016-2017), past president of the Canadian Spine Society (2019-2021) and co-chair of Bone & Joint Canada. He is also the Canadian lead for the Young Investigators Initiative of the Bone & Joint Canada and the US Bone & Joint Initiative, a grant mentoring and career development program. Dr. Yee has over 100 peer reviewed publications and has received academic honours including the Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation J. Edouard Samson Award (2011), Canadian Orthopaedic Research Society Founders’ Medal (2011), Charles H. Tator Surgeon-Scientist Mentoring Award (2012) and the American British Canadian (ABC) International Travelling Fellowship, American Orthopaedic Association/Canadian Orthopaedic Association (2013). He was also awarded the distinction of Fellow of International Orthopaedic Research (2019) by the International Combined Orthopaedic Research Society. Dr. Yee’s lab focuses on translational spine and orthopaedic research – pre-clinical models of surgery evaluate novel therapies (e.g. photodynamic therapy, radiofrequency ablation) for the minimally invasive surgical treatment of vertebral metastasis. His work has led to the first in human clinical trials and FDA approval and commercialization of new minimally invasive spinal technology. His work also focuses on understanding mechanisms of disease in cancer invasiveness in bone with an aim towards targeting potential new promising therapeutics.

Education:

  • MD, 1992, faculty of medicine, University of Toronto, Canada
  • M.Sc., 1996, Institute of Medical Science, surgeon-scientist program, U of T
  • FRCS(C), fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Canada, orthopaedic surgery
  • 2003–present, diplomate of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • 1999–2001, clinical and research fellowship, R. Samuel McLaughlin Foundation fellowship in spine surgery, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, U.S.

Appointments and Affiliations:

  • Associate scientist, Physical Sciences, Holland Bone and Joint Research Program, Sunnybrook Research Institute
  • Consultant in surgical oncology, bone metastases clinic, Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
  • Professor, department of surgery, division of orthopaedic surgery, U of T
  • Co-director, department of surgery spine program, U of T
  • Vice-Chair research, division of orthopaedics, U of T
  • Full member, Institute of Medical Sciences, faculty of medicine, U of T
  • Cross-appointed, Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering and Toronto Musculoskeletal Centre, U of T

Research Focus:

  • Preclinical models of spinal surgery
  • Vertebral metastases
  • Intervertebral disc cell metabolism

Research Summary:

The ultimate goal of Dr. Yee's spine research program is to bring forth novel therapies from the bench-top to the clinical setting. As such, the development and use of preclinical models in surgery are important in evaluating potential new therapies for the treatment of spinal disorders. The fundamental aspects of understanding cell-matrix interactions in intervertebral disc and cancer biology will further the development and preclinical evaluation of minimally invasive local strategies targeted against degenerative and metastatic conditions of the spine.

Selected Publications:

See current publications list at PubMed.

  1. Malempati H, Wadey V, Paquette S, Kreder H, Massicotte E, Rampersaud R, Fisher C, Dvorak M, Fehlings M, Backstein D, Yee A. Spinal surgery fellowship education in Canada: evaluation of trainee and supervisor perspectives on cognitive and procedural competencies. Spine. 2013;38(1):83–91.
  2. Du WW, Yang W, Yee AJ. Roles of versican in cancer biology-tumorigenesis, progress and metastasis. Histol and Histopathol. 2013;28(6):701–13.
  3. Du WW, Yang BB, Seth A, Yee AJ. Versican G3 domain modulates breast cancer cell apoptosis: a mechanism for breast cancer cell response to chemotherapy and EGFR therapy. PLoS ONE. 2011;6(11):e26396.
  4. Bederman SS, Murnaghan O, Lansang E, Malempati H, Johnston E, Wilkinson M, Bronstein Y, Finkelstein JA, Yee AJ. In-hospital mortality and surgical utilization in severely polytraumatized patients with and without spinal injury. J Trauma. 2011:71(4): pp E71–8.
  5. Akens MA, Hardisty M, Whyne C, Burch S, Wilson BC, Schwock J, Yee AJ. Defining the therapeutic window of vertebral photodynamic therapy in a murine pre-clinical model of breast cancer metastasis using the photosensitizer BPD-MA (Verteporfin). Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2010 Jan;119(2):325–33.

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