PhD University of British Columbia
MSc University of British Columbia
BSc University of Alberta
Office: St. Joseph's Hospital, Room F3-117
Phone: (519) 646-6100 Ext. 42690
Visit: The Leong Lab Website
The laboratory (leonglab.com) is focused on two major areas: 1) understanding and stopping cancer metastasis and 2) developing "liquid biopsies" for improved screening and prognostication of prostate cancer and then other cancers.
Cancer Metastasis Research
Our goal is to understand the molecular mechanisms responsible for cancer spread (metastasis), which is the most lethal phase of cancer progression. We target two key steps of metastasis, intravasation (entry of cancer cells into the blood circulation which occurs at the primary tumor), and extravasation (cancer cells leaving the bloodstream by moving past the vessel walls at distant sites, i.e., bone marrow, brain). We employ intravital imaging techniques and various pre-clinical models of cancer metastasis to discover genes and drugs that may have a therapeutic role in combating cancer metastasis.
"Liquid Biopsies" for Cancer and Precision Medicine
Our goal is to develop blood-based "liquid biopsies" for prostate cancer and other diseases. These "liquid biopsies" could significantly improve the way we screen for and prognosticate (predicting outcome to therapy) prostate cancer. These technologies are also being applied on other disease sites in collaboration with clinician specialists (colorectal cancer, Alzheimer's Disease, chronic kidney disease). These "liquid biopsies" are focused on enumerating cell fragments released by the diseased cell (tumor cell, neuron) that are circulating and abundant in patient blood. These technologies consume minimal reagent, patient sample, and are high-throughput because we rely on nanoscale flow cytometry for enumeration of these cell fragments (also known as extracellular vesicles, microparticles, etc.).