Kierstin Melo

Kierstin Melo is developing a new imaging method called magnetic particle imaging.

Share

1. Who are you? Tell us about yourself.
My name is Kierstin Melo. I am a second-year master’s student at Western University in the Robarts Research Institute, supervised by Dr. Paula Foster.

2. Why is the TBCRU Studentship Award important to you?
I am incredibly thankful for the support from the TBCRU studentship award. The funding from this award allows me to realize my research project fully. It is an excellent reminder of how our research can impact breast cancer patients.

3. Tell us about your research. What are you doing, and what problems do you hope to solve?
I am developing a new imaging method called magnetic particle imaging (MPI). The new method can help find and track breast cancer cells that have spread (metastasized) to the brain. Specifically, we are interested in monitoring cancer cells that are alive but not growing (dormant cells). These cells can be the cause of recurring breast cancer years after the first diagnosis. Monitoring these cancer cells over time, using MPI, will allow us to study the role of tumour dormancy and much more.

4. Why is your research important? How can your research be applied in the real world?
It’s crucial to understand cancer cell activity better so that we can better understand why metastasis and recurring breast cancer happen. MPI’s ability to assess metastatic breast cancer can provide a powerful new tool for studying metastasis and a robust platform for screening anti-cancer therapies. MPI is a new technology that is not yet available to patients but is expected to be in the future alongside the more commonly used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

5. What inspired your research?
I learned that breast cancer spread to the brain does not hold hopeful outcomes from any treatment options. This motivated me to study how these breast cancer cells behave. Often, brain metastases can occur long after the initial tumour has been treated. I’m excited to track and understand this using different existing tools and possibly developing new tools to refine this process even more.

6. Why are you passionate about breast cancer research?
As an undergraduate student, I had the opportunity to volunteer in Dr. Paula Foster’s lab and learn about all the vital research she and her team conduct in the breast cancer field. Everyone in her lab was excited and passionate about their research, enthusiastic about their projects, and happy to teach me about cancer cell tracking techniques. This experience motivated me to pursue my Master’s in Medical Biophysics to become a part of a team that produces exceptional breast cancer research.

7. Why do you think breast cancer research matters?
Breast cancer is a disease that has touched many people’s lives, whether you’re a breast cancer patient yourself or supporting a family member or friend. The high occurrence of breast cancer makes finding better treatment options and early detection extremely important.

8. What excites you about your work?
I am excited to see how MPI can help fill the gaps in other cancer imaging methods to improve our understanding of breast cancer. It’s not every day you get to be a part of developing an excellent potential for the cancer imaging field and cancer patients. It’s an opportunity that I am grateful for.

9. What do you see yourself doing in the future?
I hope to be able to find a job in medical device sales. I would love to take what I have learned during my MSc research and educate health professionals about new technologies and provide innovative care solutions to their patients.

10. What do you like to do when you aren’t working on research?
I like going to the gym, hanging out with my friends and being outdoors as much as possible, especially in the summer. I also love cooking and trying out new recipes!

Support researchers like Kierstin Melo by considering a donation to the Breast Cancer Society of Canada. Find out how you can help fund life-saving research, visit bcsc.ca/donate  today.

How to

Support an Event

Make a contribution to a fundraiser being held in support of Breast Cancer Canada. You can search for the organization or person you wish to support; or click on the event name to make a general donation to the Raise More initiative of your choice.

How to

Sponsor

Thinking about becoming a corporate partner of Breast Cancer Canada? Amazing. We work with all types of organizations. We’ll help you deliver results which are measurable. National or local.

A partnership with Breast Cancer Canada is a win-win. It improves employee engagement, boosts morale, fosters a tighter culture. It raises your organization’s profile and demonstrates your support for breast cancer research. To customers. To employees. To suppliers. Most of all – it makes a positive impact for those affected directly by breast cancer.

We’ll raise money for life-saving breast cancer research, together.

Let’s talk about building your program!

Contact Charlene Politano today to get started.
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1-800-567-8767 or 416-352-8567

To make an online corporate donation, please click here.

If you would like to explore other ways to give, we invite you to learn more.

How to

Fundraise

Join the Raise More Challenge

The more money we raise, the sooner we can end breast cancer. The more time researchers have in the lab. The more technology they can use. The more support we can get. Advancements in early detection and personalized treatment are in reach, and with your help to raise funds, we can find a cure sooner.

There are many ways to fundraise – whether you want to create a competition or tournament, fundraise with your team, challenge your colleagues, host a pink party, have a bake sale or cook-off, the idea is to raise more for breast cancer research.

Breast Cancer Canada will empower you with all the tools you need for a successful fundraiser, and if you need more information, contact Dawn Hamilton at: [email protected]  

I am a

Corporate Donor

Support life-saving breast cancer research. A corporate donation is a simple and efficient way to demonstrate your corporate support.

To make a one-time or reoccurring corporate donation online, please click here.

Learn more about

Thinking about becoming a corporate partner of Breast Cancer Canada? Amazing. work with all types of organizations. We’ll help you deliver results which are measurable. National or local.

A partnership with Breast Cancer Canada is a win-win. It improves employee engagement, boosts morale, fosters a tighter culture. It raises your organization’s profile and demonstrates your support for breast cancer research. To customers. To employees. To suppliers. Most of all – it makes a positive impact for those affected directly by breast cancer.

We’ll raise money for life-saving breast cancer research, together.

Let’s talk about building your program!

Contact Charlene Politano today to get started.
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1-800-567-8767 or 416-352-8567

To make an online corporate donation, please click here.

I am a

Legacy Donor

Over the last 30 years, many generous donors have left a legacy to Breast Cancer Canada in efforts to advance breast cancer research.

No matter what the form of your gift, you will be remembered by your legacy which will live on through each of the lives you touch with your gift.

Learn more about

Leave a legacy. Plan for a future gift.

  • Leave a gift in your will
  • Donating a life insurance policy
  • Donate a TFSA, RRSP, or RRIF

 

Support Breast Cancer Canada with a future gift to create a better future for breast cancer patients. Your gift helps to save lives through early detection and improve outcomes with better treatments.

 

or more information, please contact Natalina Hamilton: [email protected]

 

LEAVE A GIFT IN YOUR WILL

This is often called a bequest. It’s the simplest way to make a legacy gift. A gift in your will has no effect on your current income and your estate receives a charitable donation tax receipt. Here’s a sample of simple bequest wording : “To pay the sum of $_________ OR _______% of the residue of my estate to Breast Cancer Canada.”

 


DONATING A LIFE INSURANCE POLICY

Life insurance is a way to provide financial security for your family. If the needs of your family are already taken care of, a life insurance policy is a smart way to donate to charity including tax savings for your estate. Speak to your financial advisors for your personalized advice and learn how a gift of life insurance can work for you. Here’s the top-line on ways of leaving gifts of life insurance:

 


Bequeath your policy to Breast Cancer Canada for the future:

  • Name Breast Cancer Canada as the beneficiary of your policy. BCC will receive your insurance proceeds tax-free. Your estate will receive a donation receipt.

 


Transfer ownership of a paid-up policy to Breast Cancer Canada now:

  • Want to gift us your existing, paid-up policy right now? Make Breast Cancer Canada the beneficiary and owner of your policy. You will receive a donation receipt for the fair market value of the policy. BCC may redeem the policy now, or hold it and receive the face value in the future – however your gift can be put to best use.

 


Transfer ownership of a policy on which premiums are still owing to BCC now:

  • Premiums still owing? You can still opt to transfer your policy ownership to BCC. You’ll receive a donation receipt for the policy’s fair market value. Want to make it an ongoing gift? Transfer the ownership to BCC, and still continue to pay the premiums owing. You’ll receive donation receipts for those payments too.

 


DONATE A TFSA, RRSP, RRIF

Register a significant difference in the lives of those affected by breast cancer. Donate the proceeds of a registered account: Tax-free savings account (TFSA); Registered retirement savings plan (RRSP); Registered retirement income fund (RRIF). It’s a smart way to make a major contribution. Without reducing your current assets. Without subjecting the funds to probate fees. While reducing taxes on your estate through a donation receipt.

 

Making a gift like this is easy. Designate Breast Cancer Canada as the beneficiary of your registered account.  You benefit from the full use of your account(s) during your lifetime. We receive any remaining funds after your passing.

For more information, contact Natalina Hamilton: [email protected]

I am a

Individual Donor

When you support Breast Cancer Canada, you are helping to improve and save lives through better treatments and early detection of breast cancer.

Learn more about

Donating securities is becoming more popular, and supports Breast Cancer Canada just like cash donations. Gifts of publicly traded securities (stocks, bonds, mutual funds) are an easy, tax-effective way to make a contribution towards life-saving research that helps with early detection, better treatments, and ultimately  Securities can be of any size and given immediately, or you can bequeath them to Breast Cancer Canada in your will. Just like a cash donation, you’ll get a donation tax credit for your gift of securities.

Today, most securities are held electronically and are easily transferred from your brokerage account to our BCC brokerage account. Your Financial Advisor can make all the arrangements.

For more information, contact Natalina Hamilton: [email protected]

Bravery is beautiful. That’s why we encourage you to make a donation in honour of a loved one’s own experience with breast cancer. With your donation, we’ll send a email to acknowledge the dedication to the individual or family.

Make a donation with  eCard by dedicating your donation:

Let’s get started

Multiply the impact of your donation

Fact: thousands of companies will match donations made by employees.

It’s true, and it’s very generous. Want to know if your company will match your donation to BCC? Use the search tool below. It also has access to all the forms, guidelines, and instructions you need to submit a company-matchable gift donation today.

Search Tool

Support life-saving breast cancer research every month of the year.

 

When you make a monthly contribution to Breast Cancer Canada, you provide stable funding for year-round campaigning and allow us to continue to support research projects across Canada.

 

To join, simply pre-authorize a monthly deduction from your credit card.

  1. Online:  Donate Now
  2. By Phone: Sign up as a monthly donor by calling Toll Free: 1-800-567-8767
  3. By Mail


Breast Cancer Canada, National Office
415 Exmouth Street Unit # 101
Sarnia, ON N7T 8A4

You will need to provide us the credit card type, number and expiry date, and the amount you would like to give each month.

How to

Volunteer

Volunteers are Breast Cancer Canada’s most important resource, and the backbone of our organization. From helping build our PROgress research to helping breast cancer patients, to supporting events, special fundraising projects and administrative tasks, our volunteers are dedicated to making a positive, life-changing impact.

We ensure our volunteers have the best possible experience and apply the Canadian Code for Volunteer Involvement.

You can help us end breast cancer by:

  • Volunteering with one of our fundraising campaigns. Or a BCC signature event
  • Helping with local community events where you live
  • Joining our PROgress research at a local hub
  • Assisting us with virtual office tasks

Learn more about our volunteer driven Regional Hubs.

Regional Hubs are an integral part of Breast Canada Canada. We connect communities and those committed to our mission to make the goal local. Together, we can save lives through advancing breast cancer research, coast to coast.

Connect to learn more about what is happening in your area: [email protected]