Piloting a new Learning Institute at Summit4CI

The 2017 BioCanRx Learning Institute Dissemination Report
By The Learning Institute Developers and Organizers


The BioCanRx-Cancer Stakeholder Alliance Learning Institute debuted at this year’s Summit for Cancer Immunotherapy. The pilot model was developed and organized by members of the Cancer Stakeholder Alliance Working Group and HQP community. The Learning Institute brought together patient/public leaders and academic scholars in an interactive and collaborative knowledge exchange program. Participants became familiar with research concepts in immuno-oncology, developed knowledge translation skills, networked, and created partnerships.


The Cancer Stakeholder Alliance (CSA) and BioCanRx identified the Learning Institute as a joint priority, and made it part of the BioCanRx-CSA Joint Action Plan launched in January 2017.


The objectives of the Learning Institute are:

  • To create a model of learning that encourages, supports and creates the integration of patient leaders into the scientific conference, and
  • To ensure that scientific research presented at the conference is translated to patient participants in an understandable way sot that it can be shared with interested partners.


What did the pilot look like?
Inspired by the CATIE-CAHR Learning Institute, the pilot consisted of three main components:

  • a series of high-energy Knowledge Exchange Sessions
  • a “buddy system”, where patient leaders were paired with academic scholars
  • and the collaborative creation of a Dissemination Report based on the participant’s notes and personal reflections.

Participants were also given a workbook and assigned notetaking for the various plenaries, talks and events at the Summit4CI.


Early morning Knowledge Exchange Sessions in action. Every morning over breakfast, participants discussed the previous day’s plenaries, talks and events. These high-energy sessions included small group discussions followed by a report back to the room on key take-aways, scientific content, personal thoughts and overall accessibility of each plenary.


Who participated?
The pilot was tested by seven members of the CSA Working Group and fifteen members of the BioCanRx HQP community. See below for full list of participants. Find participant testimonials here.


2017 BioCanRx-CSA Learning Institute participants. Back row, from left to right: Israel Matos, Madison Turk, Samantha Burugu, Kathy Matuszewska, Allison McNamara, *Kathy Brodeur-Robb, John-Peter Bradford, Chad Irwin, Tammy Northam, Tim Guo, and John Bell. Front row, from left to right: Rebecca Foley, Rachelle Davis, Xining (Linda) Yang, Ksenia Bezverbnaya, Helene Hutchings, *Nicole Forbes, *Louise Binder, Aditi Sood, Gabrielle M. Siegers, *Brittany Umer, and *Renée Leduc. Missing from photo: *Linda Eagen and *Patrick Sullivan. Learning Institute developers and organizers are indicated by “*”.


What’s next?
While the developers and organizers continue to identify best practices and improvements for next year’s Learning Institute at the 2018 Summit4CI in Banff, Alberta, all participants worked together over the summer on the Dissemination Report. The report contains their key take aways and reflections from the 2017 Summit4CI, and serves as a way to report back and share their findings with their respective communities.


If you would like to learn more about the BioCanRx-CSA Learning Institute, please contact Fozia Mohamed Nur, Knowledge Mobilization Intern, by email (fmohamednur@biocanrx.com).


Full List of 2017 Learning Institute participants
CSA Working Group Members who participated as “patient/public leaders” BioCanRx HQP who participated as “academic scholars”

*Louise Binder, Health Policy Consultant, Save Your Skin Foundation


John-Peter Bradford, CEO, Life Saving Therapies Network


*Kathy Brodeur-Robb, Executive Director, C17 – Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders


*Linda Eagen, President & CEO, Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation


Helene Hutchings, CEO/Founder of Hair Donation Ottawa and CEO/Founder of Anal Cancer-A Bum Rap


Tammy Northam, Executive Director, Bladder Cancer Canada


*Patrick Sullivan, President, Team Finn and a Founder & Chairman of Ac2orn


*Renée Leduc (facilitator), Manager of Knowledge Mobilization, BioCanRx

Ksenia Bezverbnaya, PhD Candidate, Jonathan Bramson’s Lab, McMaster University


Samantha Burugu, PhD Candidate, Torsten Nielsen’s Lab, University of British Columbia


Rachelle Davis, MSc Candidate, Yr 1, Craig Jenne’s Lab, University of Calgary


Rebecca Foley, PhD Candidate, Yr 1, Tania Bubela’s Lab, University of Alberta


*Nicole Forbes, Research Associate, Jean-Simon Diallo’s Lab, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute


Tim Guo, PhD Candidate, Yr 5, Naoto Hirano’s Lab, University of Toronto


Chad Irwin, Postdoctoral Fellow, David Evans’ Lab, University of Alberta


Israel Matos, PhD Candidate, Yr 3, Kenneth Harder’s Lab, University of British Columbia


Kathy Matuszewska, PhD Candidate, Yr 2, Jim Petrik’s Lab, University of Guelph


Allison McNamara, MSc Candidate, Yr 2, Kristi Baker’s Lab, University of Alberta


Gabrielle M. Siegers, Research Associate, Yr 3, Lynne-Marie Postovit’s Lab, University of Alberta


Aditi Sood, Postdoctoral Fellow, Yr 2, Heather Melichar’s Lab, Hospital Maisonneuve-Rosemont


Madison Turk, MSc Candidate, Doug Mahoney’s Lab, University of Calgary


*Brittany Umer, PhD Candidate, David Evans’ Lab, University of Alberta


Xining (Linda) Yang, PhD Candidate, Yr 4, Mark D. Scott’s Lab, University of British Columbia