Patient & Caregiver Annual Forum: Speakers



Jack Bacon

Jack Bacon is a PhD student working in the faculty of Genome Science and Technology with the BC Cancer Agency and University of British Columbia. His research interests are cancers of the genitourinary system, including the kidneys, bladder, and prostate. He is currently collaborating with Drs. Nappi and Kollmannsberger at the BC Cancer Agency to study the circulating tumour DNA of patients with metastatic kidney cancer. He is also working closely with a research group at the University of Basel in Switzerland to identify the genetic basis of treatment resistance in patients with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer.

Nesan Bandali

I began my nursing career at the Montreal Children’s Hospital for two years after graduating from Ryerson University. During this time, I gained solid knowledge and love for paediatric nursing. I then transitioned back to Toronto at The Hospital for Sick Children in Haematology/Oncology and there started my journey in cancer care and clinical trials.  During this time, I had the privilege of working on a clinical trial program with Drs. Helen Chan and Brenda Gallie in the Retinoblastoma Program as their Clinical Nurse Research Coordinator. From there, an opportunity came up at the Odette Cancer Centre working with the Genitourinary clinical trials group. I have been honored to work with Dr. Bjarnason and the great work he is doing in Kidney Cancer Research. Through clinical trials we have been able to advance the treatments for our patients. To be able to see the trials of yesterday become the standard of care today has been such a rewarding part of my work.


Peter Black

Dr. Peter Black is a Urologic Oncologist at Vancouver General Hospital, a Research Scientist at the Vancouver Prostate Centre, and an Professor in the Department of Urologic Sciences at the University of British Columbia (UBC).

He has a clinical subspecialty interest in bladder cancer and also a translational research program in urothelial carcinoma. This research focuses on the integration of advanced biomarkers and novel targeted therapies to promote precision oncology and is supported by peer-reviewed grant funding. Dr. Black is also the Vice-Chair of the Bladder Cancer Canada Medical Research Board.

Dr . William Chu

Dr. William Chu is an Assistant Professor and Clinician Investigator in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the University of Toronto. He is also an Affiliate Scientist in Physical Sciences at the Sunnybrook Research Institute. The focus of Dr. Chu’s research is the development and evaluation of innovative, high-impact ablative radiation treatment strategies. One of his main areas of research is stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) - an emerging radiation therapy technique. Dr. Chu is the the Canadian principal investigator of a international, randomized phase III clinical trial (PACE) comparing standard fractionated radiation versus SBRT for the treatment of prostate cancer. He is also investigating the treatment of inoperable renal cell carcinoma with SBRT. Dr. Chu is the principal investigator of a Canadian multi-centre, prospective cohort study (AQuOS) to assess the quality of life and outcomes of patients receiving kidney SBRT. He sustains national and international collaborative studies with the goal of improving the care and quality of life of patients with kidney cancer.

Dr . Shaan Dudani

Dr. Shaan Dudani is a Clinical and Research Fellow in Medical Oncology at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre and University of Calgary in Calgary, Alberta. He is completing his fellowship with a focus on genitourinary cancers and in particular, kidney cancer, under the supervision of Dr. Daniel Heng.

Dr. Dudani completed medical school at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom followed by Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology residencies at the University of Ottawa. He is also currently enrolled in the Master in Public Health program at Harvard University through which he is continuing to develop and refine his clinical research repertoire. Dr. Dudani is currently leading a project partly funded by Kidney Cancer Canada with the goal of identifying new biomarkers in kidney cancer which may help to personalize treatment options for these patients.

Dr. Anil Kapoor

A leading uro-oncologist, Dr. Anil Kapoor is the current head of the Genito-Urinary program at the Juravinski Cancer Centre, Program Director of the McMaster University Residency Program and Surgical Director of the St. Joseph’s Hospital Transplant Program. A prominent Canadian researcher, he is advancing kidney cancer treatment by providing real-world evidence on the effectiveness of new drugs and combination therapies. He is extensively published and is the current Co-Chair of the NCIC Kidney Cancer Disease Group. He also plays a leadership role in The Kidney Cancer Research Network of Canada and recently served as Chair of Kidney Cancer Canada’s Medical Advisory Board. Dr. Kapoor is also a member of Kidney Cancer Canada’s Board of Directors.

Dr . Christian Kollmannsberger LONG

Dr. Christian Kollmannsberger is staff medical oncologist at the British Columbia Cancer Agency (BCCA) Vancouver Cancer Centre, and Clinical Professor at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Kollmannsberger trained in Germany before joining the BC Cancer Agency and University of British Columbia in 2004. 

His research focuses on genito-urinary malignancies with a special interest in testicular and renal cell cancer. This includes phase I, II and III clinical trials, the development of new therapeutic options and investigation of mechanisms of treatment resistance. 

Lucia Nappi

Dr. Lucia Nappi obtained her medical degree and specialty in medical oncology at the University of Naples Federico II, Italy.

She finished her PhD in molecular oncology and endocrinology in Dr. Gleave’s lab at the Vancouver Prostate Centre.

She has worked at the Vancouver Prostate Centre, as post-doctoral fellow, under Dr. Gleave’s supervision, focusing on the discovery of new small molecules to inhibit Heat Shock Protein 27 in prostate cancer.

Since 2015, she has been working with Dr. Christian Kollmannsberger as clinical fellow at the BC Cancer in Vancouver, on the discovery of new biomarkers in germ cell tumors and kidney cancer.

She has had several awards and recognitions, over the last 3 years, including a Michael Smith Foundation scholarship (from 2015 to 2018), the Prostate Cancer Canada TAG grant in 2016, the Kidney Cancer Canada and GUMOC research awards in 2017.

For her micro-RNA 371 project in testis cancer, she has received the Conquer Cancer Foundation merit award at the GU-ASCO in 2017 and she was ranked top2 winner of the Novartis Oncology Young Canadian Investigator Awards at ASCO annual meeting 2018.

She is the co-principal investigator of the SWOG trial S1823 to evaluate micro-R371 in clinical stage I testicular cancer patients.

Dr. Joanna Vergidis (1)

Dr. Joanna Vergidis is a staff medical oncologist at BC Cancer – Victoria. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia and the medical lead for systemic therapy clinical trials in Victoria. Dr. Vergidis completed her Medical Oncology training at the University of British Columbia before joining BC Cancer in 2013.