Jan. 26, 2021

Dr. Jennifer Chan appointed director of Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute

Appointment effective January 1, 2021
Dr. Jennifer Chan, MD
Dr. Jennifer Chan, MD

The Cumming School of Medicine (CSM) and Alberta Health Services (AHS) Cancer Care Alberta are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Jennifer Chan, MD, as the director of the Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute. The appointment is effective Jan. 1, 2021.

Jennifer takes over from Dr. Gregory Cairncross, who held the role of Director of Charbonneau for the past seven years. During his tenure, Gregory was elected a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences for his discovery of a chemosensitive brain cancer and for co-discovering a molecular marker that is being used worldwide to diagnose oligodendrogliomas and guide their treatment. He will continue his work in brain tumour research at the institute’s Clark H. Smith Brain Tumour Centre. 

Jennifer was recruited to Calgary as a clinician scientist in 2008 and has served as an integral member of the Charbonneau Institute (previously the Southern Alberta Cancer Research Institute), where she held the role of deputy director for the past seven years.

Jennifer's research focuses on brain tumour biology and genetics. In addition, she contributes to several large-scale projects to discover new genes and therapeutic targets in a variety of cancers through her expertise in biobanking and patient-derived model generation — including her leadership roles in the national Precision Oncology for Young People (PROFYLE) project. Dr. Chan holds research grants from Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Terry Fox Research Institute, and the Alberta Cancer Foundation. She currently holds the Kids Cancer Care Foundation Chair in Pediatric Oncology.

Jennifer has held a leadership position in the Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders Research Program, which is a partnership between AHS, Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation, the Charbonneau Cancer Institute and the Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute. She also led the design of new childhood cancer labs that house the children’s cancer research program.

Jennifer received her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and her medical degree from McGill University, and then completed her residency in anatomic pathology and fellowship in neuropathology at Harvard University. After an additional research fellowship in pediatric oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) in Boston, she became pathology leader of the Biospecimens Platform at the Broad Institute of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard while carrying clinical duties at the Brigham & Women's Hospital, Boston Children's Hospital, and the DFCI. 

Jennifer's research experience and her ability to bring together investigators from across the cancer research continuum make her a great fit for her new role.


Jon Meddings, MD                                           Dr. Matthew Parliament, MD
Dean, Cumming School of Medicine              Senior Medical Director
University of Calgary                                       Cancer Care Alberta, Alberta Health Services