Cancer in companion animals is emerging as a robust model for the human condition, and investigators from other universities, institutions, and industry see the value of collaboration with OVC.

Research teams in the four OVC departments and the Health Sciences Centre are actively investigating cancer at multiple levels, including improving novel imaging, diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical procedures, and devices for companion animals with cancer.

This research is enhanced and expanded upon by being located at the intersection of in vitro experiments, pre-clinical models in companion animals, and human cancer investigations.

Utilizing an interdisciplinary approach builds opportunities for translational research, emphasizing  expertise in carcinogenesis, cell signaling, angiogenesis, and tumour progression/metastasis, among other areas. Access to samples from OVC's companion animal tumour biobank ensures continuing opportunities for molecular cancer discovery.

OVC is the only Canadian member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Comparative Oncology Clinical Trials Consortium, which links industry, government, and academia for the purpose of veterinary oncology clinical trials.


Dr. Anthony Abrams-Ogg: Professor; Diplomate, ACVIM

  • Canine lymphoma: Clinical and laboratory characterization and retrospective and prospective investigation of differential treatment response

Dr. Byram Bridle: Associate Professor

  • Cancer immunotherapy; Oncolytic virotherapy

Dr. Roger Moorehead: Professor

  • Role of insulin-like growth factors in mammary and lung physiology and tumorigenesis; Generation of transgenic mouse models to study human disease; Signal transduction pathways and gene expression

Dr. Anthony Mutsaers: Associate Professor; Diplomate, ACVIM

  • Comparative oncology; Osteosarcoma; Metronomic chemotherapy and tumour angiogenesis; Cancer metabolism and stress responses; Radiation and chemotherapy sensitization; Biomarkers for clinical application of targeted oncology drugs

Dr. Michelle OblakAnimal Health Partners Research Chair in Veterinary Medical Innovation; Associate Professor; Diplomate ACVS; ACVS Fellow of Surgical Oncology; Assistant Co-Director, Institute for Comparative Cancer Investigation

  • Translational research; naturally occurring disease models for cancer in humans; comparative oncology; osteosarcoma; innovative methods for staging and treatment of dogs with cancer including sentinel lymph node mapping, image guided therapeutics, and 3D printing and rapid prototyping for surgical planning and reconstruction

Dr. Jim Petrik: Professor

  • Novel therapies for advanced-stage cancers; Tumor vasculature in ovarian cancer; Mevalonate pathway in metastatic disease; Translational approaches

Dr. Courtney Schott: Assistant Professor; Diplomate, ACVP

  • Anatomic pathology; oncologic pathology; mechanisms of metastasis and chemoresistance; cancer prognostication

Dr. Alicia Viloria-Petit: Associate Professor

  • Molecular mechanisms of breast cancer invasion and metastasis; Three-dimensional culture models for the study of cell polarity and invasion; Epithelial-mesenchymal transition in cancer; Tumor angiogenesis; Molecular targeted therapy of solid tumors: emphasis in breast cancer and acquired drug resistance

Dr. Geoff WoodAssistant Co-Director, Institute for Comparative Cancer Investigation; Associate Professor

  • Pathology of neoplasia; Multi-species comparative cancer genetics; Biomarkers of cancer in dogs; Mouse models of human cancer

Dr. Paul Woods: Professor; Diplomate, ACVIM (Internal Medicine Oncology)

  • Translational models of cancer

Dr. Sam Workenhe: Assistant Professor

  • Programmed cell death; Cancer immunotherapy

Research Groups

Institute for Comparative Cancer Investigation

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