Fundamental & Translational Research

Discovering cancer’s complexities through research innovation

Cancer is a very complex disease with many variations and variables that hinder diagnosis and treatment. One fundamental research goal is to take a broad view and identify ways to simplify cancer and understand the basic rules that cancer cells follow, including at the molecular level, that can then be exploited for new treatments.

The foundational building blocks of cancer research

Fundamental research is curiosity-driven laboratory research where much of our fundamental scientific investigation is informed by real-world challenges and questions raised by Manitoban oncologists working with cancer patients.

Meanwhile, translational research provides the crucial pivot point bridging the gap between fundamental science and clinical research. The discoveries and theories of fundamental science are critical to patient care because they inform clinical trials as part of the research continuum to improve patient treatment and outcomes.

Integration between fundamental scientists and oncologists is a common reason our scientists choose CCMB over other institutions.

Brilliant minds collaborating across disciplines

Today, about 20 Institute scientists study how cancer changes the ways cells function. Their research seeks to discover the causes of cancer and blood disorders, like leukemias and lymphomas, as well as how these diseases develop, progress, and respond to treatments. Our scientists come from many disciplines, including anatomy, biochemistry, cell biology, immunology, medical genetics, medical microbiology, molecular biology, neuroscience, physiology, and pharmacology. They conduct experiments in laboratories, both in vitro (in test tubes) and in vivo (in organisms).

The tools and technology for scientific discovery

Fundamental scientists rely heavily on infrastructure, laboratories, platform resources and up-to-date technologies, as well as skilled support staff to conduct their work. Up-to-date infrastructure directly contributes to the volume and quality of scientific research conducted.

In 2023, the Paul Albrechtsen Foundation donated $27 million to CancerCare Manitoba Foundation. The donation is the largest philanthropic contribution given to a healthcare organization in Manitoba’s history. This investment is now funding new state-of-the-art laboratory space as well as cutting-edge technical equipment that will advance our science and attract world-class researchers.

The 3 Interrelated Research Disciplines at the Institute: