New ideas lead to tomorrow's discoveries

New cancer research is the key to finding new treatments that could potentially save lives. But without seed-funding, new ideas can stall - that is why Invest in Research began in 2007. We need to keep asking new questions in order to find answers for the patients of tomorrow.

More than $2 million raised to date has helped to leverage approximately $30 million of additional funding

2018 Grant Recipients


Dr. Brian Wilson

Photodynamic Therapy to Treat Melanoma

Melanoma is an aggressive cancer with high mortality and morbidity rates. It is most prevalent in the skin (cutaneous), with more than 230,000 new cases and 55,000 deaths per year worldwide. The main treatment is surgery, but the disease metastasizes in 30% of patients and thereafter is very difficult to control, demonstrating a significant unmet clinical need.
Dr. Wilson aims to develop a new type of therapy for melanoma patients. In his proposal he wants to use photodynamic therapy (PDT) to treat melanoma cancer that has metastasized.  Read More>>

Dr. Steven Chan

Repurposing Metformin and Doxycycline to Prevent Blood Cancers and Cardiovascular Disease 
Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) is an aggressive blood cancer that kills more than 1,000 patients every year in Canada. Most AML patients are not cured with current therapies and die within months of diagnosis. Recent research shows that the disease actually begins to form many years before patients receive a diagnosis. This pre-leukemia condition, Clonal Hematopoiesis of Indeterminate Potential (CHIP), develops due to mutations in a special type of blood cell known as hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs).  Read More >>

#InvestInResearch is perhaps the best "return on investment from a grant we have ever had." -Dr. Gang Zheng and Dr. Jonathan Irish, 2014 grant recipients.


One or two grants of $100,000 are awarded annually to researchers at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre with donors voting on the projects that receive support. Read below for some highlights:

Revolutionary lung treatment

In 2010, Dr. Thomas Waddell and Dr. Marcelo Cypel received an Invest in Research grant to test the revolutionary idea of targeting chemotherapy directly to the lungs to improve survival rates and extend the period of time patients can live cancer free. Patient trials began in 2016 and the doctors hope they can treat more people with a variety of cancers that have spread to the lungs in the next five years.

Study of proteasomes

Dr. Aaron Schimmer received one of the first Invest in Research grants in 2008 to determine the mechanism by which an antifungal and antiprotozoal drug called Clioquinol inhibited the proteasome. They found the drug was a non-competitive proteasome inhibitor that could overcome some forms of bortezomib (anti-cancer drug) resistance. He received another grant in 2014 to further his research. 


Dr. Laurie Ailles received a grant in 2010 to determine if renal cell carcinoma stem cells are rare or common in kidney cancer. The first step was to develop resources derived from patient tumours, which included developing methods for growing patient’s cancer cells in culture and in mice. The project also received a Canadian Cancer Society grant (2015-2018) and work is continuing in this area.

Fund ground-breaking advancements in cancer research

Join Invest in Research

Participating in Invest in Research has many benefits:

  • ►   Learn about ground-breaking cancer research at one of the world’s top 5 cancer research centres.
  • ►   Meet brilliant researchers who are on the forefront of scientific research.
  • ►   Network with other visionary investors and with leaders from The Princess Margaret.
  • ►   Invitations to other events organized by The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.

For more information, please contact:

Karina Wong
Manager, Leadership Giving
The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation
Phone: 416-946-2920