Medical Oncology

Dr. Jan-Willem Henning, Interim Division Head

Lori Wishart, Administrative Assistant

Medical Oncologists have a number of leadership roles within the Department of Oncology and Provincial cancer system.

Safiya Karim  Fellowship Director, Medical Oncology
Jan-Willem Henning  Program Director, Medical Oncology  Residency Training Program
Nimira Alimohamed  Assistant Program Director, Medical Oncology   Residency Training Program
Jay Easaw  Southern Alberta Leader, Neuro-Oncology Tumor  Group, Southern Alberta
Gwyn Bebb Medical Leader, Clinical Research Unit (TBCC)
Sasha Lupichuk  Medical Director, High Risk Breast Cancer Program;  Southern Alberta Leader,
Breast Tumor Group
Don Morris Director, Translational Research Laboratories
Dean Ruether Southern Alberta Leader, Endocrine/Neuroendocrine Tumor Group
Daniel Heng  Southern Alberta Leader, Genitourinary (GU)   Tumor Group
Doug Stewart  Leader, Provincial Hematology Tumor Team
Patricia Tang  Southern Alberta Leader, Gastrointestinal  Tumor Group

Strategic Plan:

Strategic planning retreats take place every one to two years. Division members and trainees develop academic strategies for research and teaching, and work with a broader group (administrators, nurses, pharmacists, support staff) from our Systemic Treatment Program to develop clinical strategies.

Academic goals:

  • to increase our research productivity
  • to increase the production of locally trained medical oncologists to address a current and projected shortage of medical oncologists in Alberta and nationally

Clinical goals:

  • to reduce wait times for medical oncology consultations across all tumor groups
  • to improve availability and quality of systemic program information
  • to improve quality and safety of chemotherapy delivery
  • to provide patient focused care
  • to expand clinical capacity to keep pace with growth in volumes


Medical Oncology is one of 8 Oncology Training Programs available through the Department of Oncology, University of Calgary.  All are accredited by the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada, the most recent review being in February 2009.  Applications to our Medical Oncology Training Program are welcome (contact Dr. Safiya Karim – – telephone: 403-521-3166).

Short rotations in Medical Oncology are provided for a large number of medical students, Internal Medicine and Oncology subspecialty residents/fellows, from both the University of Calgary and other centres in Canada and abroad. Dr. Cindy Card ( – telephone 403 521 3446) and Dr. Vincent Tam ( – telephone 403 521 3706) have developed a streamlined program design to meet the needs of trainees, and ensure the quality of the educational experience.

As part of the Alberta Clinical and Surgical Assistants Program (ACSAP), International Medical Graduates are provided with supervised graduated clinical experience in Oncology inpatient floors, to enhance their integration into Canadian practice.

All our clinical assistants (13 to date) have obtained residency training program positions after 6-24 months experience.


Drs. Don Morris and Gwyn Bebb run successful Translational Research laboratories, working in the areas of brain, breast and lung cancer, as well as reovirus oncolysis and immunology/transplantation.  These laboratories are funded by multiple active and new grants from several peer-review funding agencies (CIHR, NCIC, ACF, CBCRA, PCRFC).  Other medical oncologists (Drs. V. Bramwell, D. Hao, J. Easaw, D. Stewart, S. Lupichuk, S. Paterson, D Heng, P. Tang, B. Walley. J. Monzon, M. Vickers) have received external peer-review funding for clinical and translational research projects.

Medical oncologists are active in clinical research, recruiting approximately 7% of new patients seen onto prospective clinical trials sponsored by Cooperative Groups (NCIC CTG, NSABP, CIRG, RTOG) and Industry.  Increasing the number of investigator-initiated studies, enhancing provincial collaboration, and development of a phase I investigational new drug program are ongoing high priorities for our group.


Over the past 10 years, the Division has doubled in size, with 12 additional medical oncologists (6 replacement, 6 new positions). With a growing and aging population, and an historical and projected 4% annual increase in patients referred for consultations, there will be a need for further medical oncologists in Calgary and Southern Alberta. Enquiries from suitably qualified applicants (FRCPC Internal Medicine and certificate of special competence in Medical Oncology; or equivalent international training and qualifications) are welcome, and should be directed to  Lori Wishart, Administrative Assistant.