Dr. Mary Gospodarowicz, the long-serving medical director of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, one of the top 5 cancer research centres in the world, has been named president of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) at a worldwide conference held in Montreal, Quebec. Dr. Gospodarowicz is not only the first Canadian to hold the prestigious position, but is also the first woman named to the post.
The UICC, founded in 1933, is the largest cancer fighting organization of its kind, with more than 400 member organizations from across 120 countries. With its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, it is the leading non-governmental, non-profit, non-political and non-sectorian cancer organization. UICC’s mission is to eliminate cancer as a life-threatening disease for future generations.
This has been an exceptional year for Dr. Gospodarowicz. At their annual meeting held earlier in August, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) awarded Dr. Gospodarowicz with the 2012 May Cohen Award for Women Mentors.
Born in Gdansk, Poland, Dr. Gospodarowicz is a medical graduate of the University of Toronto. She earned specialty certifications in internal medicine, radiation oncology and medical oncology, and in 1978, joined the staff at Princess Margaret Hospital. In 2001, Dr. Gospodarowicz was named chief of the Radiation Medicine Program, and in 2005, she was appointed medical director of Princess Margaret Hospital, as well as regional vice-president of Cancer Care Ontario.
A member of the University of Toronto medical faculty since 1981, Dr. Gospodarowicz recently completed two terms as professor and chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology. She has an active clinical practice in which she treats patients with lymphomas and genitourinary cancers. She is the author of more than 250 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, with her research interests including clinical trials evaluating radiation therapy in cancer treatment, image-guided precision radiotherapy, and survivorship.
Her numerous roles at the provincial, national and international levels have included president of the Canadian Association of Radiation Oncology and chair of the Canadian Committee on Cancer Staging. She is an honorary fellow of the U.K. Royal College of Radiologists, a fellow of the American Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, and honorary member of the European Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology.