Where Are They Now: Oliver Varette

At BioCanRx, we are incredibly proud of our HQP and their dedication to cancer immunotherapy research. Whether they are working on viruses in the lab or examining the socioeconomic barriers to adopting certain treatments in Canada, each one plays a unique role in strengthening our network and expertise in immunotherapy.


BioCanRx is invested in our HQP by providing them with both the training and skills they need to be leaders in academia and industry.


1. Tell us about yourself. Give us a brief background. Who are you? Where did you go to school and what is your association to BioCanRx?


My name is Oliver and I first became associated with BioCanRx during my time as a graduate student working with Dr. Jean-Simon Diallo at the OHRI. I have a BSc in Life Science from McMaster University and an MSc in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Ottawa, and a large portion of my academic work was focused on oncology and cancer immunotherapies. I was fortunate to attend several BioCanRx conferences and HQP workshops that have greatly contributed to my professional development and have also received BioCanRx research funding for my projects as well as Travel Awards. I am from Ottawa originally and having the opportunity to contribute to advancing cancer research in my hometown and throughout the country was an incredible experience.


2. Where do you work now, and what is your position?


I work at the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technology in Health (or CADTH for short) as a Research Analyst on our recently formed Real-World Evidence Team.


3. What does a typical workday look like for you?


CADTH is a not-for-profit agency that plays a critical role in Canada’s healthcare decision-making landscape. We offer health technology assessment services and provide recommendations on new drugs and health technologies for Canadians. The new RWE program focuses on the use of real-world data to inform decision-making related to the reimbursement and optimal use of these technologies. We are in the process of conducting our first collaborative learning projects focused on RWE. A typical day includes interacting with stakeholders and identifying and assessing sources of real-world data and how this data might help support their decision-making needs.


4. How has your experience with BioCanRx contributed to your career development?


In my opinion, the greatest strength of BioCanRX is the wealth of brilliant people working towards a common goal of making cancer a disease of the past. My interactions with BioCanRx have allowed me to network and interact with some of Canada’s top scientists and has provided numerous resources to drive my personal and professional development.


5. What advice do you have for career development that you would pass on to other BioCanRx trainees?


It is important to find something that you truly enjoy and that will motivate you to continue developing each and every day. A piece of advice I would give to my younger self would also be that there are so many different career options out there for science students and researchers, especially with the continuing need for data analytics and evidence-based decision making across many major industries.