Dr. Hon Leong, PhD 

Dr. Hon LeongSMHon-Leong

I recieved my PhD in 2008 at the University of British Columbia through the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.  This was research focused on platelet microparticles, autoantibodies, and transplant vasculopathy.  I subsequently did my Post-doctoral Fellowship in the laboratories of Dr. Ann Chambers (2008-2014) and Dr. John Lewis (2008-2012).  This was research focused on translational prostate and translational breast cancer research.  I’ve held fellowships awarded by the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (update here) and DoD CDMRP Prostate Cancer Research Program (update here).  For a description of what kinds of research we do, head over to the Research Projects tab.


Dr. Karla Williams, PhD – Post-Doctoral Fellow in Translational Breast and Prostate Cancer Research (2014-present) 


A rising star in breast cancer biology, Dr. Karla Williams was recruited from the University of Guelph and completed her PhD in Dr. Marc Coppolino’s lab.  She’s published extensively on invadopodia, (first authorships in MBC, JBC, and J Cell Sci) the parts of the tumor cell that are responsible for invasion – which leads to metastatic disease.  She is a TBCRU-funded Post-doctoral Fellow and gets to have two supervisors, Dr. Ann Chambers and Dr. Hon Leong (lucky her?).  She will be developing novel blood tests for improved clinical followup of breast cancer patients.  She will also continue her studies on invadopodia in the chick embryo and nude mouse.


Dr. Patrick Telmer, PhD – Research Associate -NTH/eLIFT and (2015-present)

Pat Telmer

I’ve known Pat for many years and I’m pleased to have him on the team now – he’s working half the time on the PCC Movember NTH initiative called eLIFT, an electronic library for prostate cancer patients facing prostatectomy.  He’s also working on imaging prostate cancer cell intravasation using the chick embryo and mouse model.  Looking good so far!  When he’s not busy in the lab, we’s busy in the studio/bar.  He’s guitarist for a band called Buttonfly (  Check them out!


Slavic Fedyshyn, MSc- Patient Derived Xenografts (PDX) and shRNA/CRISPR library Project Manager


Slavic (Yaroslav) Fedyshyn is a recruit from the Jason Moffat Lab (UofToronto), and is an expert on the development of shRNA/CRISPR libraries.  He is in charge of the PDX project for Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC) and works with both Dr. Leong and Dr. Nicholas Power.  Slavic is a technical powerhouse, having published in PNAS (co-first author) and is an important link between our lab group and Dr. Moffat’s.  Slavic’s goal is to predict drug resistance in patients prior to administration of targeted therapy.

Johanna Garzone


Sabine Brett – Graduate Student (2014-present)


Sabine is from Toronto, and recieved her BSc from Trent University.  After spending two years doing clinical research in Toronto, she now wants to make an impact on prostate cancer patients.  She is now enrolled in Graduate Studies at the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at Western University.  Sabine will bring her experience in clinical research in exchange for the opportunity to develop blood tests for improved prognostication of prostate cancer and the opportunity to perform functional genomics screens for drug discovery.

Yohan Kim PhD student, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Western University

Matthew Lowerison PhD student, Department of Medical Biophysics, Western University

Hamad Aldafaeeri, PhD student, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Western University

Sohrab Ali

Florence Keng

Matt Arora

Rachel Kim

Vivian Lac

Andrew Poon





Laboratory Alumni

Colleen Biggs – Tumor Microparticle Project Manager (2012-2015)


One of two gurus in the lab – Colleen is the technical lead for all things microparticle related.  She already has two patents under her belt with more on the way!  One of her projects is to develop a blood test that enumerates prostate cancer cell fragments (called prostate cancer microparticles – PCMPs) in patient blood – we think this test is superior to PSA – but only time will tell!


Carson Gavin – Summer and Co-Op Student (2014 – 2015)


Carson (aka “Bonecrusher”) is a Summer turned Co-Op student from the University of Guelph (Department of Physics) and is currently focused on developing novel diagnostic tests for urolithiasis and osteolytic processes.  He is also developing drug delivery systems for treatment of metastastic prostate cancer.  He used to be interested in computer programming but he’d rather research on nanoparticles and microparticles now.  Smart move Carson!


Connor MacMillan, MSc – Research Associate (Summer of 2013 and Summer of 2014)


Connor recieved his MSc at Western University in 2013 and was a research associate the following two summers.  He is focused on breast cancer biology and translational cancer research in colorectal cancer and pancreatic cancer.  His goal is to develop microparticle-based blood tests for colorectal cancer and pancreatic cancer screening.

Siddika Pardhan – Animal Maintenance and Prostate Cancer Research Project Manager (2012-2015)


The second guru – Siddika is responsible for “cracking” eggs for all of our experiments (“chick lady”) and leads our prostate cancer animal experiments in the lab.  She is working on developing a drug delivery system for prostate cancer metastases that relies on the chicken embryos she prepares for the lab.  She is also leading a combinatorial peptide library project for the discovery of novel probes for prostate cancer imaging.  Without her, we can’t do any animal experiments!  She also brings chocolate to those who are good!


Chantalle Willie – Metastasis Assays and Testicular Cancer Project Manager (2012-2015)


Chantalle is from Welland, ON and is working towards her Clinical Trials Diploma at Western University.  She is in charge of all cancer research collaborations and is an expert at PDX onplants and extravasation assays.  She is also developing PDX models for testicular cancer to personalize chemotherapy for these patients.  Her goal is ultimately to be a Clinical Trials coordinator in Toronto, ON.  Not a matter of how anymore – but when!


Dr. Khurram Siddiqui, MD – SUO Clinical Fellow (2012-2016)

ks lab khurramsiddiqui

Dr. Siddiqui is an SUO Fellow (2014-2016) who will spend his first year in the laboratory working on a variety of projects related to prostate cancer microparticles (PCMPs) as well as beginning a new project funded by CUOG to understand the role of Tks4/5 in prostate cancer metastasis.  Khurram is no stranger to wet lab science, he spent one year doing full-time research with us and has represented Western University at SUO (2013) and at AUA (2014) with podium presentations on his translational cancer research on PCMPs.


David DeSantis

DaJung Kim

Sean Leith (Western University, 3.5/2 MSc)

Andrew Chien (Queens University, LLB)

Curtis Chin – (Western University, 2/4 MD)

Zuhaib Mir – (UofOttawa, 3/4 MD)

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