Owen Hovey

Owen Hovey Studies The Migration Of Breast Cancer Cells

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1. Who are you? Tell us about yourself.

My name is Owen Hovey; I’m a PhD student in Dr. Shawn Li’s Lab in the Department of Biochemistry at Western University. During my undergraduate degree at Carleton University, I spent three years in the biochemistry lab of Dr. Willmore and a year in Health Canada’s stem cell lab under the direction of Dr. Jessie Lavoie. Since then I have completed a Master’s degree at the University of Ottawa in Immunology. While working in the Pineault Lab at Canadian Blood Services during my Masters degree, I developed multiple skills that have helped me in the lab here at Western.

2. Why is the TBCRU Studentship Award important to you?

This award has allowed me to focus on my research and has been crucial in funding my research experiments. I’ve been able to begin my research on the mechanism of breast cancer metastasis at a cellular level.

3. Tell us about your research. What are you doing and what problems do you hope to solve?

Breast cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body (known as metastasis). An essential part of cell migration is a mechanism known as phosphorylation-switch or “P-switch”.  Many aggressive subtypes of breast cancer are missing components of the “P-switch” while maintaining migratory properties. We are working on identifying components that target the “P-switch” pathway and prevent the spread of breast cancer cells.

4. Why is your research important? How can your research be applied in the real world?

Approximately 90% of breast cancer-related deaths are a result of metastasis. Understanding how breast cancer metastasizes will help us target the correct proteins for inhibition. Our lab has already developed peptide inhibitors for Liver Cancer (DLC1), however, many breast cancer cells are missing this component, therefore, different targets need to be identified for many of breast cancer subtypes.

5. What inspired your research?

Dr. Li was influential in the selection of my research topic. Based on my previous research experience and my interests, we decided migration of breast cancer cells would be an excellent direction to pursue.

6. Why are you passionate about breast cancer research?

While I have not felt the impact of breast cancer within my family, I am very aware that this is a devastating disease. One of the teachers that had a major impact on me as a student suffered from breast cancer. Her influence and belief in me helped me to see myself as a capable learner despite a my previous academic struggles. Her determination and faith in her students helped us to believe in ourselves. I am saddened that she had to leave the teaching profession early to continue her fight against breast cancer. While I was fortunate to benefit from her teaching and guidance, her early retirement meant that many other students missed this learning opportunity.

7. Why do you think breast cancer research matters?

Breast cancer is a significant public health problem. It is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of death from cancer for Canadian women. These numbers alone make this disease a devastating loss to our society, as well as a personal loss on people’s lives and their family. Research is the only way to further understand this cancer, including how and why it progresses.

8. What excites you about your work?

I thoroughly enjoy pouring over large datasets, as they have great potential for revealing new targets and therapies for diseases. They are full of untapped potential for me to discover. I can focus in on potential targets to better understand what makes metastatic breast cancers unique.

9. What do you see yourself doing in the future?

The process of research excites and challenges me and has been my aspiration since my undergraduate degree. I hope to continue in academia to help solve cancer and other diseases by identifying potential therapeutic targets.

10. What do you like to do when you aren’t working on research?

When I’m not in the lab or reading articles, I enjoy baking, ice skating, attending yoga classes and participating in intramural sports at Western University a few times a week. While working on my Master’s degree I volunteered with Let’s Talk Science and found talking to young students about science challenging and invigorating. I’ve recently applied to join the Let’s Talk Science program here in London and will be helping with Let’s Talk Cancer in May, teaching high school students about cancer.

Support researchers like Owen Hovey 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

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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.

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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.

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How to Sponsor

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 Dawn Hamilton today to get started.
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1-800-567-8767 

To make an online corporate donation, please click here.

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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.

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Leave a legacy. Plan for a future gift.

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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.”


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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:

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

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

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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]

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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]

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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.

 

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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:

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  • 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]