Dr. Benjamin K. Tsang
Chronic Disease Program
Winner of the Dr. J. David Grimes Research Career Achievement Award 2005
Dr. Benjamin K. Tsang has worked tirelessly for more than 30 years investigating the cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern the process of ovulation. He has made key discoveries about the factors that control whether ovarian cells live or die and he has found that these factors play a role in infertility and in determining the responsiveness of ovarian cancer to anti-cancer agents. He is currently studying ways to develop drugs or techniques to overcome chemo-resistance, a major therapeutic problem for ovarian cancer patients.
Ottawa is a hub of reproductive biology largely because of Dr. Tsang's incredible leadership. He is the Director of the Reproductive Biology Unit in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Ottawa, and a Senior Scientist at the Ottawa Health Research Institute. Since his appointment 25 years ago, Dr. Tsang has organized the annual Ottawa Reproductive Biology Workshop, an important meeting place for reproductive biologists from across Canada and the United States. He is also the President of the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society.
In addition to being an outstanding scientist, Dr. Tsang is considered a captivating teacher and generous mentor. He is committed to giving back to the University of Ottawa, where he received his PhD in 1976, and is now a cross-appointed professor in two departments: Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Cellular and Molecular Medicine. Throughout his career, he has trained 19 graduate students and 39 postdoctoral fellows and visiting scholars. He has also acted as a mentor for several scientists starting their careers, and many of his students have won awards for their work under his mentorship with several going on to become independent researchers. In addition to being a recipient of the University's Faculty of Medicine Award of Excellence for his research, Dr. Tsang was recently honoured for his teaching efforts with a Recognition Award for Outstanding Contributions in Medical Education.
Dr. Tsang is an ambassador for the University and the Research Institute. He was Director of Research at the former Ottawa Civic Hospital and worked with Dr. David Grimes to create the Loeb Medical Research Institute at the Civic. In addition to his extensive research collaborations abroad, he has been instrumental in establishing bilateral institutional collaborative programs and research consortia involving several universities in Canada, China and Japan. He is also an Honorary Professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and at Jinan University in China.