David Huntsman, MD, FRCPC, FCCMG
Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UBC
Medical Director, Centre for Translational and Applied Genomics, BCCA
Co-Director, OvCaRe, VCHRI, VGH, BCCA
Co-Director, Genetic Pathology Evaluation Centre, VCHRI, VGH, UBC
Associate Director and Genetic Pathologist, Hereditary Cancer Program, BCCA
Research Affiliate, Prostate Cancer Research Centre, VGH
MD – Memorial University of Newfoundland, 1988
Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada (FRCPC), 1995
Fellow of the Canadian College of Medical Genetics (FCCMG), 1997
Research Fellow, Clinical Oncology and Cancer Genetics, University of Cambridge, 1999
Dr. David Huntsman is an Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at The University of British Columbia (UBC) and a Genetic Pathologist and co-Director of the Hereditary Cancer Program (HCP) at the British Columbia Cancer Agency (BCCA).
Dr. Huntsman attended medical school at the Memorial University of Newfoundland from 1984–88 and after completing a rotating internship, practiced family medicine in Labrador for two years. Following his experience in family medicine, he entered and completed a pathology residency and training program in clinical molecular genetics at UBC and went on to study cancer genetics at Cambridge University, UK.
He is the Director of the Centre for Translational and Applied Genomics (CTAG), a Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) Laboratory at the BCCA and co-Director of the Genetic Pathology Evaluation Centre (GPEC) at the Jack Bell Research Centre, Vancouver Hospital and Health Sciences Centre. He is also the co-Director and co-founder of OvCaRe, a multidisciplinary, multi-institutional ovarian cancer research team in BC.
Dr. Huntsman has active research programs which are focused on hereditary gastric cancer and the development of predictive and prognostic tissue-based cancer biomarkers for a wide variety of tumor types. His gastric cancer research has resulted in the discovery of over half of known CDH1 (a hereditary diffuse gastric cancer susceptibility gene) mutations. In addition, his pathologic study of specimens from prophylactic gastrectomies uncovered the common presence of occult gastric carcinomas; this alerted the medical community to the lack of sensitivity of standard endoscopic screening for diffuse gastric cancer detection. Dr. Huntsman was also a member of the research team that discovered EMSY, a BRCA2 interacting protein. The amplification of the EMSY gene is clinically significant in breast and possibly ovarian cancers and overexpression of a truncated form of EMSY results in dramatic chromosomal instability.
Through the development of CTAG and GPEC Dr. Huntsman has combined a unique business opportunity for therapeutic and diagnostic research.
As collaboration is critical for effective translational research, Dr. Huntsman is happily engaged with a number of multidisciplinary research groups, including the Prostate Centre at Vancouver General Hospital.