Women's College Research Institute

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John Semple, MD, FRCPC

Senior Scientist, Women’s College Research Institute
Head, Division of Plastic Surgery, Women’s College Hospital
Professor, Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation Chair in Surgical Breast Cancer Research
Adjunct Appointment, Division of Wilderness Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University, Boston

Dr. John Semple’s research in breast cancer is focused on clinical breast reconstruction, lymphedema, and innovative models of ambulatory patient care. As chair, Dr. Semple has implemented a novel clinical pathway that allows patients who undergo breast reconstruction to go home after just 18 hours, instead of six days.

Dr. Semple’s model of care is already benefitting patients at Women’s College Hospital. In addition to letting patients recover in their own homes, this model of care reduces costs by lowering the risk of hospital-acquired infections and freeing inpatient beds.

Currently, Dr. Semple is comparing the outcomes of breast reconstruction patients at Women’s College and hospitals with longer postoperative stays. With this ongoing research, his model of care will soon be rolled out in hospitals that perform breast reconstruction across Canada.

In addition, Dr. Semple developed an innovative mobile app and platform that allows surgeons to monitor patients post-surgery, while they recover in the comfort of home. This work is reducing unnecessary follow-up appointments while simultaneously enhancing patients’ access to follow-up care when they do need it.

Select Awards

  • Cause Leadership Award, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation Ontario Chapter (2014)
  • Mentor Best Clinical Paper Award, Resident Research Day, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University of Toronto (2016)
  • Mentorship Award, Women's College Hospital Research Institute (2016)
  • University of Toronto - Gallie Day, Award in recognition of 10 years of service as the Chief of Surgery at Women's College Hospital (2016)
  • Chairman’s Medal, Outstanding Contribution, University of Toronto, Division of Plastic Surgery (2016)


See my peer-reviewed publications

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MSc, Experimental Pathology, University of Toronto, 1985

MD, McMaster University, 1980

Areas of Interest

Breast Surgery

Breast Reconstruction

Tissue Engineering


Mobile health technology

High altitude meteorology and global warming in the Himalaya

  • Fully affiliated with:
  • University of Toronto

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