Leading cancer researcher awarded new provincial chair

Researcher specializing in women's cancers secures $2.1M AIHS Translational Health Chair.


(Edmonton) Lynne Postovit couldn’t be happier about her time and work at the University of Alberta. The institution, she says, is a place of opportunity. “I find it’s a little more forward-thinking than a lot of places. It’s highly collaborative, and the U of A has a fight in it. The university wants to be better and will continue to be better because it can.”

The cancer researcher and associate professor in the Department of Oncology has already been highly decorated with a multi-chair appointment since being recruited to the university last July. Her reputation continues to grow after being named this July as the Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions Translational Health Chair in Cancer. The chair brings with it $2.1 million over seven years.

“It’s an amazing opportunity,” Postovit says, “because the monies are there to think big. We can be really innovative and take the type of risk that you need in order to make big discoveries.”

Postovit’s work focuses on women’s cancers. One of her goals is to find a biomarker for earlier detection of ovarian cancer. “More than half of the women who are diagnosed with the disease will not survive past five years, which is a lot, because we are really poor at detecting it early on.”

”Understanding and identifying ovarian cancer earlier is a critical first step to beating this disease,” says Cy Frank, CEO of Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions. “Dr. Lynne Postovit brings a wealth of experience to Alberta, and we are confident she will make a real difference to those battling cancer.”

With the latest funding, Postovit hopes to hire five new people to fill major research positions. Postovit says hiring top researchers will lead to better and more impactful research, which in turn will lead to more funding.

Ultimately, she says, the money will help lay a foundation for future success.

“It is foundational and a catalyst for truly exponential growth,” she explains. “It just allows you to be on a completely different level. When you’re conservative, you have to drive a Buick. You can only go so fast in a Buick.

“This funding allows us to get into a Lamborghini and go.”