BioCanRx Impact

Cultivating Biotherapeutics Expertise

The BioCanRx mission is to accelerate Canada’s most promising biologically-based cancer therapies into clinical trials. Training the next generation of immunotherapy researchers and addressing knowledge gaps in clinical translational research are key pillars of this goal. BioCanRx is addressing these aims by developing highly qualified personnel (HQP) skilled in all aspects of clinical translation, from the lab bench to the clinic. BioCanRx’s training program targets HQP working in all relevant disciplines (such as virology, immunology, health policy, and implementation and knowledge translation) and at all levels, from high school students and undergraduates to senior research and clinical staff.

Providing Training and Skills Development in Clinical Translation

BioCanRx’s translational training program offers training opportunities for HQP from bench-to-bedside and supports initiatives for high school students through to senior HQP, Network Investigators and Patients

BioCanRx has educated hundreds of HQP through its various training programs and supported 600 HQP as members of Network Investigators’ research teams. The benefits of the BioCanRx HQP experience are clear – 90% of HQP graduates have found employment.

* Statistics add up to 101% due to rounding


BioCanRx’s training program is highly valued by HQP, Network Investigators and employers. This is partly due to the tailored and in-depth educational opportunities that are crafted using feedback gleaned from network surveys, landscape analyses and employers. The training program’s fundamental purpose is to enhance the quantity and quality of Canadian HQP with expertise in the full range of activities required for delivery of novel therapeutics.

Addressing a Biotherapeutics Bottleneck Through Hands-on GMP Experience

Through several initiatives, BioCanRx is supporting hands-on skills development in Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) with the aim of building capacity in the Canadian biomanufacturing ecosystem and create job-ready HQP in the sector.

In support of its Point-of-Care initiative, BioCanRx is leveraging its involvement with an established, first in Canada, hands-on training program at The Ottawa Hospital’s Biotherapeutics Manufacturing Centre (BMC). Known as the Canadian Partnership for Research in Immunotherapy Manufacturing Excellence or CanPRIME, this unique training program brings together the complementary offerings of college (Algonquin College micro-credential certificate program) and university (University of Ottawa) training with invaluable industry expertise, guidance, and funding support from Mitacs. CanPRIME programming offers HQP hands-on training during an eight-month full time internship in GMP. To date, the employment rate of CanPRIME interns is 100%.

Key components of CanPRIME:

Daily mentoring and hands-on training, professional development workshops, and training modules tied together my learning experience as a student and my learning experience as an intern within this program, which ultimately led to full-time employment in my chosen field of study. This program invested in me and enhanced my readiness. My experience in this program was exceedingly positive and had a direct impact on my successful transition. I enthusiastically recommend this program.

- Jessica Hentschel, Past CanPRIME Intern

As a student finishing their studies, preparing to enter the professional world was a daunting task. With partnerships like CanPRIME bridging the gap, those dream jobs I’ve heard about suddenly became more real than ever.

- Reuben Benedict, Past CanPRIME Intern

BioCanRx Training Success Stories

Summer Studentship Program Provides Hands-on Training to Accelerate Careers

Summer studentships provide undergraduate students with $6K in funding to support a 14-week internship to work with network investigators, as well as an opportunity to present at BioCanRx’s Summit for Cancer Immunotherapy.

Summer Studentship Program Alum: Meet Noelle Wilton

2018 Summer Student
“Hello, my name is Noelle Wilton, and in 2017, I received the BioCanRx summer studentship, which supported my research in the Latulippe Lab at McMaster University. Our project focused on the final filtration step involved in the purification of the oncolytic virus Maraba, for use in treatment of non-small cell lung cancer.”
Lab Exchanges: Training on New Technologies

Lab exchanges allow BioCanRx HQP to train in the facilities of other network investigators, collaborators and industry partners. Students and staff learn a new technical skillset, develop partnerships, and bring novel technological know-how to the network.

Addressing Knowledge Gaps through In-depth Workshops

BioCanRx provides comprehensive training in several areas of clinical translation identified through engagement with our network investigators.
Highlighting the Value of Patient Engagement in Research

The Learning Institute is an initiative that brings patients and trainees together at the Summit for Cancer Immunotherapy to support knowledge exchange.

HQP Find Employment in Funded-project Spin-out Companies and Elsewhere

Some BioCanRx HQP have gone on to work with spin-out companies from BioCanRx-funded project innovations. Read this Where are they Now interview with Parvez Vora, a previous PhD Student in Dr. Sheila Singh’s lab turned Site Head of Century research labs in Canada.