Robert and Maggie Bras

Robert and Maggie BrasThe Robert & Maggie Bras and Family New Drug Development Program came into being January 2001. Robert Bras was being treated for Prostate and Gallbladder cancer at The Princess Margaret, Toronto General and Toronto Western Hospital, all part of the University Health Network (UHN). From time to time he received care at Mount Sinai Hospital. Robert’s care was exemplary and the dedication of the doctors, nurses, clinicians, pharmacists and staff went beyond the call of duty.

Robert and I felt a desire to ‘give-back’. We asked ourselves in what form this giving back should take and after some consideration, we decided to create an endowment to help get on its feet, a drug development program at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. The Princess Margaret is Canada’s leading cancer centre and the only hospital exclusively devoted to the education, treatment and research of cancer. It is also recognized as one of the top five cancer facilities in the world and has gained an international reputation for excellence in both patient care and cancer research! Breakthroughs discovered by our scientists often have global impact, affecting cancer research and patient care around the world. Our research spans all avenues: from basic science to the development of groundbreaking treatments.

Under the brilliant directorship of Dr. Malcolm Moore, along with co-directors, Drs. Amit Oza and Lillian Siu, The Robert & Maggie Bras and Family New Drug Development Program was on its feet with an amazing group of members all dedicated to fighting this insidious disease – cancer. Our program is comprised of a multi-disciplinary team devoted to researching and developing new agents and therapies to eradicate cancer, primarily through early phase clinical trials. The Bras Family Drug Development Program (BDDP) also works in concert with its research arm, the Ontario Cancer Institute’s (OCI) drug discovery program to uncover biomarkers that will enable more targeted and effective drugs.

Since 2001, the program has garnered the credibility and international reputation needed to be chosen by pharmaceutical companies and large government agencies for testing the most promising new cancer drugs. This is obviously a wonderful opportunity for patients as well as an endorsement of the people who run the program in Toronto.

Funds contributed to The Robert & Maggie Bras and Family New Drug Development Program by our donors are used for the highest priorities – fellowship assistance, equipment, new facilities and technical support of clinical trials – that lead to new and improved treatments. Thanks to our donors, we are one step closer to our vision: TO CONQUER CANCER IN OUR LIFETIME.

To find out more about the program please visit

Reviewed: October 2013