Ontario Institute for Cancer Research

Description of Organisationoicr2logo

The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) is an innovative cancer research and development institute dedicated to prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The Institute is an independent, not-for-profit corporation, supported by the Government of Ontario. The annual budget for OICR, its research partners and collaborators exceeds $150 million. This supports more than 1,600 investigators, clinician scientists, research staff and trainees located at its headquarters and in research institutes and academia across the Province of Ontario. It has research hubs in Hamilton, Kingston, London, Ottawa, Thunder Bay and Toronto. OICR has key research efforts underway in small molecules, biologics, stem cells, imaging, genomics, informatics and bio-computing, from early stage research to Phase III clinical trials. Dr. Thomas J. Hudson is President and Scientific Director of OICR.

Previous experience

Dr. Hudson was the founder and Director of the McGill University and Genome Quebec Innovation Centre and Assistant-Director of the Whitehead/MIT Center for Genome Research. Dr. Hudson is internationally renowned for his work in Genomics. At the Whitehead Institute, Dr. Hudson led the effort to generate dense physical and gene maps of the human and mouse genomes. He is a leader in the development and applications of robotic systems and DNA-chip based methodologies for genome research. In June 1996, he founded the Montreal Genome Centre based at the McGill University Health Centre Research Institute. In 2003, this group expanded to become the McGill University and Genome Quebec Innovation Centre. Dr. Hudson and his team were founding members of the International Haplotype Map Consortium. Dr. Hudson’s interests in human genetic diseases focus on the dissection of complex genetic diseases. Disease projects in Dr. Hudson’s laboratory included the search for genes predisposing to lupus, inflammatory bowel disease, coronary artery disease, asthma, diabetes and colon cancer. The laboratory also used the DNA-chip technology to characterize breast and ovarian cancer.

In 2007, Dr. Hudson was appointed to the rank of Professor (status-only) in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto. He previously taught in the departments of Human Genetics and Medicine at McGill University and practiced medicine at the McGill University Health Centre – Montreal General Hospital (Division of Immunology and Allergy).


Profile of staff members

As President and Scientific Director of OICR, Dr. Hudson is responsible for bringing together Ontario’s cancer researchers to build a global centre of excellence. Under his direction OICR has launched several large-scale programs including the Ontario Health Study, the Cancer Stem Cell Program, the Pancreatic Cancer Genome Project (which is part of the International Cancer Genome Consortium), the Terry Fox Research Institute/OICR Selective Therapies Program and High Impact Clinical Trials.

Dr. Hudson's laboratory at OICR is involved in the study of genome variation that affects cancer predisposition, progression, and response to therapy. His main project focuses on the genetic architecture of loci associated with risk to colorectal cancer.


Dr. Hudson is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He was one of the co-founding members of P3G and is currently serving as its Scientific Director. He is editor-in-chief of the journal Human Genetics. and is a member of the board of reviewing editors of the journal Science. He has co-authored over 230 peer-reviewed scientific publications.



Ontario Institute for Cancer Research

Five recent publications relevant to the project

1) International Cancer Genome Consortium (Hudson TJ is lead and corresponding author). International network of cancer genome projects. Nature. 2010 Apr 15; 464(7291):993-8.

2) Dancey JE, Bedard PL, Onetto N, Hudson TJ. The genetic basis for cancer treatment decisions. Cell. 2012 Feb;148:409-20. PMID:22304912

3) Tran B, Brown AMK, Bedard L, Winquist E, Goss GD, Hotte SJ, Welch SA, Hirte HW, Zhang T, Stein LD, Ferretti V, Watt S, Jiao W, Ng K, Ghai S, Shaw P, Petrocelli T, Hudson TJ, Neel BG, Onetto N, Siu LL, McPherson JD, Kamel-Reid S, Dancey JE. Feasibility of Real Time Next Generation Sequencing of Cancer Genes Linked to Drug Response: Results from a Clinical Trial. International Journal of Cancer. In press.