Women's College Research Institute

Jump to body content

Joanne Kotsopoulos, PhD

Scientist, Women's College Research Institute
Associate Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto
Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Prevention

Joanne Kotsopoulos, PhD, studies breast and ovarian cancer, particularly among high-risk women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation. Kotsopoulos is a scientist in the Familial Breast Cancer Research Unit. She dedicates her research program at furthering our understanding of BRCA-associated cancers with the goal of identifying strategies that confer substantial risk reduction and improve survival.

Her efforts include identifying inherent markers (host factors) in BRCA-mutation carriers. This research may translate into putative targets for chemoprevention. Kotsopoulos also leads several projects to improve our understanding of factors that impact ovarian cancer prognosis, a highly fatal disease. The overall goal of Dr. Kotsopoulos's research is to provide women with a wider choice of less-invasive options to reduce their risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

She also directs molecular studies aimed at characterizing BRCA genes as haploinsufficient tumor suppressor genes and investigate whether one can modulate cancer risk by affecting gene or protein expression.

Select Awards

  • Victoria College Distinguished Alumni Award, University of Toronto (2015)
  • Cancer Care Ontario Research Chair in Population Studies (2009)
  • Canadian Cancer Society Career Development Award in Prevention (2013-2016)
  • Canadian Gene Cure Foundation/CIHR Champion of Genetics Grant


See my peer-reviewed publications

Jump to top page


PhD, Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, 2007

MSc, Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, 2002

Areas of Interest

Cancer epidemiology (breast, ovarian)

BRCA1/2 mutation carriers





Hereditary cancer

Prognostic factors

  • Fully affiliated with:
  • University of Toronto

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