Lisa Porter speaks with Gemma Grey-Hall.Cancer researcher Lisa Porter speaks with Gemma Grey-Hall, manager of resource development for the Windsor-Essex United Way, at a forum Tuesday on collaboration between academic researchers and clinical practitioners.

Forum opens campus doors to cancer collaboration

Windsor-Essex is tremendously supportive of cancer research conducted locally, biology professor Lisa Porter told a public forum on the subject Tuesday.

“Not every place has a program like Seeds4Hope,” created by the Windsor and Essex County Cancer Centre Foundation to award grants in support of local researchers, said Dr. Porter, scientific director of the Windsor Cancer Research Group. The group brings together clinicians and academics to collaborate on research programs.

She pointed out several advantages of local research, including improved outcomes for patients and the diversification of the regional economy.

In her presentation, Porter traced the history of human understanding of cancer, from the discovery of DNA to the mapping of the human genome. The University now has equipment that can sequence an individual’s genome in about two hours.

“We have to understand the biology of what makes cancer happen,” Porter said.

Students and interested members of the community turned out for the forum, entitled “Made in Windsor: Advances in Cancer Research Right in Our Community.” The event was part of “Open Doors / Open Knowledge,” a national series organized by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada celebrating university-community engagement.

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