Dr. William Foulkes is a James McGill Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Oncology and Human Genetics at McGill University. He is a researcher-clinician who has practiced clinical cancer genetics at McGill-affiliated hospitals since 1996 and who heads cancer genetics research laboratories at two McGill-affiliated, hospital-based research institutes, the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research of the Jewish General Hospital and the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre.

He is best known for his work on the clinico-pathological features of hereditary breast cancer, for his discovery of a founder mutation in MSH2 in the Ashkenazim, and for his identification of a founder mutation in the breast cancer susceptibility gene PALB2. In collaboration with Jacek Majewski, he identified SMARCA4 mutations in small cell carcinoma of the ovary, hypercalcemic type. He has also collaborated extensively with researchers around the world to better understand the genetics of breast, colorectal, prostate, pancreatic and ovarian cancer. Most recently, much of his research has focused on the characterization of the DICER1 pleiotropic tumor predisposition syndrome; with nearly forty publications, In particular, Dr. Foulkes’ research team has identified DICER1 mutations in certain diseases (mainly benign tumors), thus expanding the list of conditions in the DICER1 syndrome. Dr. Foulkes’ team has extended the associated DICER1 Syndrome phenotypes to include, among others, Wilms tumour, pituitary blastoma and pineoblastoma.

Dr. David Malkin is a University of Toronto Professor in the Department of Paediatrics and the Department of Medical Biophysics. He is a Senior Scientist at the SickKids Genetics and Genome Biology Research Institute, a Senior Oncologist and the Director of the Cancer Genetics Program at the Hospital of Sick Children in Toronto.

His research revolves around genetic causes for childhood cancer and childhood sarcomas. His research team was the first to demonstrate that highly variable regions of DNA, termed copy number variations, are found in excess in the blood of some people, both children and adults, at very high risk of developing cancer, and may represent the earliest genetic changes that ultimately lead to development of cancer. Recently, his work has focused on application of this genetic/genomic information to develop rational clinical surveillance and treatment guidelines for children and adults deemed at genetic ‘high risk’ for cancer.


The following individuals are oncologists/pediatricians who will perform the identification and
recruitment of eligible patients into the study at their respective sites:

  • Dr. Nada Jabado, Professor, McGill University
  • Dr. Carol Portwine, Associate Professor, McMaster University, McMaster Children’s Hospital
  • Dr. Donna Johnston, Associate Professor, University of Ottawa and Clinical Investigator
  • Dr. David Eisenstat, Adjunct Professor, University of Alberta, Stollery Children’s Hospital
  • Dr. Lucie Lafay-Cousin, Associate Professor, University of Calgary, Alberta’s Children’s Hospital
  • Dr. David Dix, Clinical Associate Professor, University of British Columbia, BC Children’s Hospital

The following two individuals are Montreal pathologists who will assist with identification of eligible tumors and will continue their existing collaboration with the principal investigator to review and confirm the diagnoses for the pathology material acquired through the network.

  • Dr. Steffen Albrecht, Assistant Professor, McGill University, Montreal’s Children Hospital, McGill University Health Centre
  • Dr. Dorothée Dal Soglio, Department of Pathology and Cellular Biology, Ste-Justine Hospital
  • Dr. Elvis Terci Valera voluntarily provided us with Portuguese translations of this site.


Genetic Counsellor Evan Weber contributed extensively to the creation of this website’s content. The information displayed on this website was reviewed by peers Leanne De Kock and Dr. Marc Fabian. Web development was led by Marcos Clavier.