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. We need to keep asking new questions, in order to find answers for patients of tomorrow.

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

2017 Grant Recipients


Dr. Aaron D. Schimmer

Targeting the “Garbage Disposal System” in Leukemia Cells

Cells make waste that must be disposed of properly by “tagging,” a process like putting garbage into a garbage bag. When a cell can’t dispose of waste properly, it will eventually die. While blocking this “garbage disposal system” has shown promise with some cancers, Dr. Schimmer and his team are working on targeting the enzyme that puts the cell’s garbage into the garbage bags, which has shown promise in killing leukemia cells.  Read More>>

Dr. Vuk Stambolic

Towards a Molecular Mechanism of Pancreatic Cancer Association with Hyperinsulinemia 

Obesity can increase the body’s level of insulin and lead to the development of diabetes. In pancreatic cancer – a disease that remains practically incurable – increased insulin and diabetes are associated with greater risk, aggressiveness and disease recurrence. In this project, Dr. Stambolic will collaborate with UHN’s PanCurX team (led by Dr. Steve Gallinger), that has been studying DNA changes in patients with pancreatic cancer.  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:

Malka Greene
Associate Campaign Director
The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation
Phone: 416-946-4668