By Kyster Nanan

The Ontario Molecular Pathology Research Network (OMPRN) and the Ontario Hereditary Cancer Research Network (OHCRN) co-hosted a conference in Toronto on October 23-24, 2023. About 100 participants, including 10 patient partners, attended the conference, which focused on the intersection of somatic and hereditary cancer genetics. Dr. Diana Mandelker (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center) kicked off the meeting by sharing research findings from her diagnostic pathology and molecular genetics lab. Other fantastic talks and interactive workshops covered diverse topics, including AI in pathology, HDR pathways in pancreatic cancer, clinical and research use of cfDNA and how to integrate patient values into research. Dr. Laura Arbour (University of Victoria) rounded off the scientific program with a talk about equity in medicine and lessons learned about Indigenous genomic data from the Silent Genomes Project.

The success of the conference was due in large part to the dedication of the organizing committee mentioned in Harriet’s letter. Their complementary expertise and collaborative nature were instrumental in creating an informative, educational and worthwhile experience for all attendees. Thank you, as well, to members of the OICR administrative team, including Toni Rose Jose and Polina Kargapolova, the OICR IT team and OICR executive for their support. We are also grateful to the team at the Westin Harbour Castle, led by Laveera DSouza, who worked to provide a comfortable and welcoming environment throughout the conference. Finally, we would like to thank the attendees and members of the OMPRN and OHCRN communities. Your active participation and engagement enriched the depth of our discussions, reminding us that it’s our collective effort that propels progress forward!

The OMPRN-OHCRN Joint Scientific Conference set a high bar for collaboration and knowledge exchange in the molecular pathology and hereditary cancer research fields. The insights and network connections established during this event are expected to spur further advancements in the fight against cancer, underscoring the importance of such collaborative efforts in the Ontario cancer research community.


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