Women's College Research Institute

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Canada Research Chair in Breast Cancer

Canada Research Chairs are funded by the government of Canada. Tier 1 chairs are awarded to outstanding researchers acknowledged by their peers as world leaders in their fields.

Dr. Steven Narod studies breast cancer. As director of the Familial Breast Cancer Research Unit at WCRI, he is an internationally respected authority on the inherited genetic mutations found in families with a high risk of breast and ovarian cancer. His work focuses on the prevalence of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations in various populations and on the prevention and management of cancer in high-risk families.

Dr. Narod conducts longitudinal studies of women and families with and without genetic mutations related to breast cancer. By monitoring these family's experiences in a systematic way, he and his team learn about prevention and management strategies that can help other women with similar genetic profiles. He and his team have published papers on a wide range of preventive options available to women and on a range of factors from pregnancy and breast feeding to coffee consumption that affect their cancer risk. Research findings have helped to justify the expense of offering MRI breast screening to high-risk women and they have documented a nearly 100 per cent effectiveness for protective surgeries. Dr. Narod and his team continue to search for dietary strategies and/or hormonal treatments that will offer women less invasive options.

Dr. Narod is one of Canada's most prolific and influential scientists. In the 10 years from 1994-2004, Dr. Narod published 193 papers in peer-reviewed journals. These papers have helped shape our understanding of breast cancer and its genetic determinants. His influence is evidenced by a 2005 analysis conducted by ISI Essential Science Indicators, which revealed that Dr. Narod's papers have been cited by other authors a total of 11,624 times. This is the highest number of citations for any research in the world working in the breast cancer field. Citations are references included in scientific papers which give credit to previous research papers that helped the authors develop and interpret their study. The number of citations a paper receives shows the impact it has had on the work of other researchers.

"It is a great privilege to be able to devote my time to breast cancer studies," says Steve Narod. "I like to think that this statistic reflects the good return on the investment of the research chair."


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  • Fully affiliated with:
  • University of Toronto

  • A member of:
  • Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario (CAHO)