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Ask an Expert

The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation's Ask an Expert day, presented by CTV, proudly connects you with breast cancer experts from coast to coast during a one day live chat event. If you have questions about breast cancer and your breast health, our experts have the answers!

Ask an Expert day is two-fold.

1. Tune into Canada AM on the morning of Wednesday, October 15th, to watch live interviews with local CBCF-funded researchers as they discuss various topics in the field of breast cancer research. Dr. Martin Yaffe, University of Toronto/Sunnybrook Research Institution, will be interviewed on Canada AM.

Check local listings for air times and channels. Dr. David Hoskin, Dalhousie University, will also be interviewed live on the October 8th Canada AM broadcast. See biographies below.

​​2. Take part in the live, online chat. Connecting Canadians to breast cancer experts from coast to coast, the online chat will take place at www.ctvnews.ca/askanexpert* from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm EDT. During the online discussion, participants will hear from a panel of four experts: Dr. Martin Yaffe (Ontario Region); Dr. Stephen Chia (BC/Yukon Region); Dr. Alan Underhill (Prairies/NWT Region); and Dr. David Hoskin (Atlantic Region). See their biographies below.

The online chat is designed to provide insight across the spectrum of breast health and breast cancer, providing important information and encouraging an interactive discussion.


Meet the Experts to be Interviewed on CTV ​

Dr. Kristin Campbell

BC/Yukon Region (University of British Columbia)

Dr. Kristin Campbell is a physical therapist and cancer scientist. Her research interests are focused on the role of physical activity across the cancer experience, namely in prevention, rehabilitation from cancer treatments and cancer survivorship. She has investigated the role of physical activity in cancer prevention by examining the effect of exercise on proposed biomarkers of breast and colon cancer risk, such as sex hormones, inflammatory markers and tissue protein expression.  In terms of rehabilitation from cancer treatment and cancer survivors, her research has focused on examining the benefits of physical activity on physical function, quality of life, fatigue and lymphedema, and is interested in starting to examine the emerging evidence for the role of physical activity in lowering risk of cancer recurrence.  

 Dr. David Brindley 

Prairies/NWT Region (University of Alberta)

Dr. David Brindley obtained his BSc, PhD and DSc from the University of Birmingham, UK.  After performing postdoctoral fellowships in Birmingham and Harvard University, he worked at the University of Nottingham, UK. His research concentrated on metabolism in obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease and he was promoted to become a Full Professor. Dr. Brindley was recruited to the University of Alberta in 1988 as a Professor of Biochemistry. His research interests focus on how lipid molecules regulate whether cells live or die. He investigates signals that promote the growth and spread (metastases) of breast tumours and why breast cancer patients often fail to respond to treatment. Being able to overcome these problems would provide major advances in breast cancer treatment. David is the Director of the Signal Transduction Research Group. He has published 271 research articles and his work was acknowledged by being elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He is presently on the executive committee, which is organizing the establishment of the new Cancer Research Institute of Northern Alberta.

Dr. Francisco Cayabyab 

Prairies/NWT Region (University of Saskatchewan)

Dr. Francisco Cayabyab is an Assistant Professor at the University of Saskatchewan’s Department of Physiology. As a 2013 Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation research grant recipient, Dr. Cayabyab is using cutting-edge imaging technology, biochemical and electrophysiological techniques, and human breast cancer cells to determine how estrogen triggers HERG expression and cancer cell growth to ultimately identify new anti-cancer drug targets that inhibit breast tumors.

 Dr. James Davie 

Prairies/NWT Region (CancerCare Manitoba/University of Manitoba)​

Leading a team based out of the University of Manitoba, Dr. Davie and his lab are researching alternative RNA splicing, which contributes to the genesis of breast cancer, through this Foundation-funded project. Understanding the epigenetic – splicing relationship and the impact of epigenetic modifiers will lead to the genesis of improved therapies in breast cancer. 

Meet the Online Experts/Researcher Panel


Dr. Martin Yaffe

Ontario Region


r. Yaffe is a Professor in the departments of Medical Biophysics and Medical Imaging at the University of Toronto and a Senior Scientist at the Sunnybrook Research Institute where he holds the Tory Family Chair in Cancer Research in the Imaging Research program. He is Director of the Smarter Imaging Research Program of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. He also has led the Physics Consulting Group for The Ontario Breast Screening Program since its inception in 1990.  His research on digital mammography helped move this new modality into clinical evaluation and widespread use internationally. He was part of a team that drove the development of digital mammography and was a co-author of the 2005 publication that demonstrated its superior accuracy in detection breast cancer in young women and those with dense breasts. He is a co-author of the book: Digital Mammography with Dr. Etta Pisano. His current work is directed towards optimization of breast screening, breast tomosynthesis, image quality assessment, breast density and breast cancer risk, and quantitative imaging biomarkers in pathology to inform choices for precision therapy.


Dr. Stephen Chia

BC/Yukon Region

Dr. Stephen Chia is an Associate Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine, UBC and a staff oncologist with the BC Cancer Agency (BCCA). Dr. Chia serves as Chair for the BC Breast Tumour Group and is a physician coordinator for both the breast cancer and head and neck cancer clinical trials at BCCA. He is currently the Chair of CBCF BC/Yukon Region’s Research Grants Committee. Dr. Chia was awarded a CBCF postgraduate fellowship in breast cancer research in 1998. He credits the fellowship program to helping him establish his career in becoming one of the most prominent breast cancer researchers in the province.


Dr. Alan Underhill

Prairies/NWT Region

Dr. Alan Underhill is an Associate Professor in the Department of Oncology/Division of Experimental Oncology at The University of Alberta. He holds the Mary Johnston Chair in Melanoma Research. The Underhill Laboratory examines “chromatin”- this is what the genetic material we inherit from our parents is packaged as to fit within a cell. This packaging ensures genetic material is properly used and maintained. Cancer cells have come up with numerous ways to use the chromatin packaging material to their own end, exploiting some to promote uncontrolled growth and getting rid of those that resist this process. Dr. Underhill and his team conduct experiments to figure out how breast cancer cells re-write this chromatin material using biochemical, genetic, molecular, and cell-imaging approaches. Dr. Underhill also works closely with medical specialists to evaluate the clinical significance of his team’s research findings.


Atlantic Region