Women's College Research Institute

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Kelly Metcalfe, PhD

Adjunct Scientist, Women's College Research Institute
Professor, Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing and Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
Bloomberg Professorship in Cancer Genetics, University of Toronto

Kelly Metcalfe, R.N., PhD, conducts research on the prevention and treatment of hereditary breast cancer. At Women’s College Research Institute (WCRI), she collaborates with the team of investigators within the Familial Breast Cancer Research Unit. Metcalfe conducted some of the first research on the implications of genetic testing for BRCA in women, men, and spouses. She has published extensively on the psychosocial implications of cancer preventive options including prophylactic mastectomy and oophorectomy. She has developed a decision aid for breast cancer prevention, which she is comparing to standard genetic counselling in an international study. She has also developed the largest known database of North American women with hereditary breast cancer, including pathologic and treatment information. Her research has shown that bilateral mastectomy and oophorectomy as treatment for breast cancer can reduce the risk of dying by half. As a result, she is conducting a study to provide rapid genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 at the time of breast cancer diagnosis so that women can personalize their treatment based on BRCA status.

Select Awards

  • Scholarship into Practice Award, Council of Ontario University Programs in Nursing (2016)
  • Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (2016)
  • Outstanding Paper Award, Women’s College Research Institute (2015)
  • Award for Excellence in Nursing Research, Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (2014)
  • Excellence in Cancer Prevention and Early Detection Award, the Oncology Nursing Society (2008)


See my peer-reviewed publications

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PhD, Medical Science, University of Toronto, 2002

BScN, University of Western Ontario, 1996

Areas of Interest

Breast cancer

Genetic testing

  • Fully affiliated with:
  • University of Toronto

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