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Rebecca Auer, MD, MSc, FRCSC

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The Ottawa Hospital appoints new leader for research and innovation
April 2, 2024 - The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Rebecca Auer as Executive Vice-President of Research and Innovation at TOH and CEO and Scientific Director of the hospital’s research institute (OHRI).
Catching cancer at its sneakiest moment
November 9, 2023 - Dr. Rebecca Auer is receiving the Chrétien Researcher of the Year Award from The Ottawa Hospital for her research on cancer surgery and immunotherapies
Greener lab research: our cancer researchers are leading the way
April 18, 2023 - “The most successful initiatives begin with a group of engaged individuals coming together and simply getting started. So that’s what we decided to do in our cancer research program.”
Bringing cellular immunotherapy to solid tumours: made-in-Canada approach to be pioneered in biliary tract cancers thanks to $7.4M grant
April 13, 2023 - Canadians with biliary tract cancer (cholangiocarcinoma and gallbladder) will have the first chance to benefit from a new made-in-Canada approach to personalized cellular immunotherapy, thanks to a $7.4 million grant from the Canadian Cancer ...
Potential colorectal cancer treatment combines immunotherapy and viral therapy in a powerful new way
February 16, 2023 - Immunotherapy is revolutionizing the treatment of many kinds of cancer, but for colorectal cancer, success has been limited to patients with rare genetic mutations. To tackle this challenge, researchers at The Ottawa Hospital engineered a new ...
Outside-the-box thinking saves young man with colorectal cancer
January 11, 2023 - When Dr. Auer left the exam room after meeting Haydn for the first time, she remembers feeling heartbroken, thinking about this young man’s life, his future, and the diagnosis he faced.
Bench to bedside: the quest to prevent cancer from coming back after surgery
October 20, 2022 - Researchers at The Ottawa Hospital have made another important step forward in their quest to find innovative ways to stop cancer from coming back after surgery. While surgery often provides the best option for removing all or most of a tumour, ...
Arginine supplement prevents cancer spread after surgery in mice, but more research in humans is required
September 1, 2022 - Two new papers from Dr. Rebecca Auer’s group are shedding light on how cancer spreads after surgery and how we might stop it.
Cancer-fighting viruses soften up their victims before attacking
April 7, 2022 - A research team based at The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa has developed a virus that infects and kills cancer cells without harming normal cells, while also sending out signals to prepare nearby uninfected cancer cells for viral ...
Researchers at The Ottawa Hospital awarded five grants for high risk, high reward and interdisciplinary research
April 4, 2022 - The New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF) 2021 Exploration competition has awarded $25 million to support 102 research teams across Canada that bring diverse disciplines together in pursuit of breakthrough ideas and high-reward outcomes.
Researchers honoured for outstanding work in anesthesiology, blood disease and cancer
June 4, 2021 - A number of outstanding researchers and research teams have been honoured through The Ottawa Hospital’s Excellence Awards program for 2021.
Cancer team awarded $5M for cell-based immunotherapy research
March 3, 2021 - Researchers at The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa are partnering with colleagues across the country to expand Canada’s capacity to develop new cell-based immunotherapies for cancer with a $5.2 million grant from the Canada ...
World-first clinical trial aims to protect cancer patients from COVID-19
December 9, 2020 - Our researchers are leading the way in a world-first clinical trial to protect vulnerable cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ottawa Hospital and uOttawa launch new cancer immunotherapy research projects with funding from BioCanRx
September 22, 2020 - BioCanRx, Canada’s Immunotherapy Network, today announced funding of $10M for 14 cancer immunotherapy research projects and eight core and biomanufacturing facilities across the country. Researchers at The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) and the University ...
Protecting cancer patients from COVID-19
July 8, 2020 - In the race to find new ways to prevent and treat COVID-19, Canadian researchers have launched an innovative clinical trial focussed on strengthening the immune system for one of the most vulnerable populations – cancer patients.
Researchers and research staff honoured for outstanding work in cancer clinical trials, emergency medicine, cell sorting and tissue collection
April 29, 2020 - A number of outstanding researchers and research teams have been honoured through The Ottawa Hospital’s Excellence Awards program for 2020. They include the Rethinking Clinical Trials (REaCT) program, Senior Clinical Research Associate in ...
Could biotherapeutics be the next revolution in cancer treatment?
February 20, 2020 - From helping the body’s own immune system better detect and fight cancer, to treating cancer with immune cells, viruses and vaccines, The Ottawa Hospital is conducting cutting-edge research that could transform cancer care right here at home and ...
From surgery to discovery: innovative tissue collection process to fuel breakthroughs
September 26, 2019 - The Ottawa Hospital is rolling out “Global Tissue Consenting and Collecting” (GTC). As part of the operative consent process, surgeons will ask all patients if they agree to have their surplus tissue from the OR used for research. This new ...
The Ottawa Hospital awarded 13 grants worth $11.2 million from Canadian Institutes of Health Research
July 26, 2019 - Researchers at The Ottawa Hospital have been awarded 13 grants worth a total of $11.2 million from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). The new projects focus on areas such as cancer immunotherapy, hepatitis C infection, blood ...
Clinical trials offer strong foundation for better patient care
May 16, 2019 - Clinical trials are an important step toward developing new treatments and learning more about diseases and conditions. In honour of International Clinical Trials Day, read how some of the researchers at The Ottawa Hospital are making huge ...
Clinicians at The Ottawa Hospital launch 14 innovative projects to improve health-care delivery, thanks to funding from TOHAMO and The Ottawa Hospital’s Research Institute
March 22, 2019 - The Ottawa Hospital Academic Medical Organization (TOHAMO) has awarded $1.169 million in Innovation Grants to 14 teams, with supporting funds provided by the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute.
Award-winning immunology research shows how cancer surgery paralyzes part of the immune system
January 11, 2019 - Surgery is very effective in removing solid cancers, but it also suppresses the immune system in a way that makes it easier for remaining cancer cells to survive and spread. New research led by Dr. Rebecca Auer shows that surgery paralyzes immune ...
Top Research Papers from The Ottawa Hospital 2015-2017
June 7, 2018 - Did you know that researchers at The Ottawa Hospital publish an average of four new scientific papers every single day? Our research is advancing science and improving health on a massive scale – both at home and around the world. The list below ...
Sex, viruses and cancer: Erectile dysfunction drugs and flu vaccine may work together to help immune system fight cancer after surgery
May 17, 2018 - A new study suggests that a common treatment for erectile dysfunction combined with the flu vaccine may be able to help the immune system mop up cancer cells left behind after surgery. The study, published in OncoImmunology, shows that this unconvent
Patients a “source of strength” for The Ottawa Hospital’s new head of cancer research
April 19, 2018 - Meet Dr. Rebecca Auer. Some days she wears scrubs and removes tumours in the operating room. Other days she wears a lab coat and investigates the secrets of cancer cells. In between all this, she runs clinical trials, trains students and residents, p
Cancer-fighting viruses: Canadian team to accelerate research with $7.4 million from Terry Fox Research Institute
September 27, 2017 - Imagine a tiny army of viruses entering a tumour, making thousands of copies of themselves and busting up cancer cells as they spread. Now imagine the body’s immune system coming in to fight off the virus and eliminate the remaining cancer cells at
Ottawa cancer researchers to play lead role in new immunotherapy initiative, worth $4 million
May 25, 2017 - The Ontario Institute of Cancer Research (OICR) has awarded $4 million to a team of researchers working to harness the immune system to attack cancer. Called cancer immunotherapy, this area of research was dubbed “breakthrough of the year” by Science
Cobra venom helps hybrid virus evade immune response and repeatedly attack tumours
March 24, 2017 - Viruses have shown promise in treating cancer, but it can be challenging to get multiple doses to a tumour because our immune system quickly learns to recognize and attack viruses. Two of our main antiviral defenses include antibodies that attach t
Triple-threat viral vaccine cures abdominal cancer in animal models
March 2, 2017 - A study led by Dr. Rebecca Auer found that a personalized viral vaccine can effectively fight the spread of abdominal cancer in animal models. This spread, called peritoneal carcinomatosis (PC), is a leading cause of death in patients with abdomina
Ottawa researchers to play lead role in new cancer immunotherapy studies
February 15, 2017 - BioCanRx funds research into CAR-T and virus-infected cell therapy Researchers from The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa will play a lead role in cutting-edge research on cancer immunotherapy, thanks to five new peer-reviewed researc
Decision aid helps people with rectal cancer make tough choices
July 6, 2016 - The good news about rectal cancer is that it is often curable through surgery. The bad news is that depending on which kind of surgery is performed, patients can either end up with a significant risk of incontinence or a permanent colostomy (in w
Surgery can prevent the immune system from attacking cancers
June 29, 2016 - Surgery is one of the main treatments for cancer, but the disease often comes back or spreads after the operation. A study led by Dr. Rebecca Auer suggests that this may be because major surgery suppresses the immune system, particularly the ...
Could a vaccine prevent cancer from spreading after surgery?
September 16, 2015 - A researcher in Ottawa has received a grant from the Canadian Cancer Society to investigate whether a vaccine could stop cancer from spreading after surgery. Dr Rebecca Auer, a scientist and surgical oncologist at The Ottawa Hospital, received a $450
Dr. Rebecca Auer awarded $450,000 to develop novel immunotherapy for pancreatic cancer
April 15, 2015 - Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly cancers. Surgery provides the best chance of a cure, but even then, more than 80% of patients will die of their disease. However, immunotherapies, which harness the body’s own immune system to attack cancer