The Team

Director - Mark Levine


Mark Levine is Chair, Department of Oncology, and Professor in the Departments of Oncology and Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics at McMaster University where he holds the Buffett Taylor Chair in Breast Cancer Research. Dr. Levine received his medical degree from McGill University and completed his residency in internal medicine at McMaster University. He then completed his training in hematology and oncology at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. In addition, Dr. Levine received a Masters degree in clinical epidemiology and biostatistics from McMaster University.

In 1982, Dr. Levine became a member of both the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University and a medical oncologist at the Hamilton Regional Cancer Centre (now known as the Juravinski Cancer Centre Hamilton Health Sciences). At this time he also helped to establish the Ontario Clinical Oncology Group (OCOG). He was CEO of the Cancer Centre between 1992 and 1999 and has for the past 25 years been an active researcher in clinical trials and health services research. His focus is in the areas of breast cancer and venous thromboembolism and a number of the trials he has conducted have made an impact on health-care delivery in both Canada and internationally. He is a past recipient of the O. Harold Warwick Prize (1999) from the National Cancer Institute of Canada. Dr. Levine has over 220 publications in peer-reviewed journals and has brought much research funding to McMaster University. He currently is Director of the Ontario Clinical Oncology at the Henderson Research Centre and also acts as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Clinical Oncology.




Jim Julian


Professor Jim Julian holds degrees in statistics from McMaster University and the University of Waterloo. A statistician and trials methodologist, Professor Julian is an Associate Professor in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics at McMaster University. Jims broad interests are in the area of clinical trial methodology and biostatistical methods, having considerable experience and expertise in occupational exposure compliance testing, quality control, record linkage, registry design, meta-analysis and statistical software. He has co-authored over 100 publications and has been involved in the day-to-day conduct of over 70 clinical trials, most of which have been published in peer-reviewed literature, mainly in the fields of venous thrombosis and cancer. Other areas of research interest include applied statistics, hemophilia, pediatrics, occupational hygiene, air pollution, pesticide exposure in Latin America, and the health risks related to hard-rock mining in Canada. Professor Julian is a popular instructor in the Faculty of Health Sciences Health Research Methodology (HRM) graduate program and supervises many graduate students. He has been nominated every year since 2001 for the full-time faculty teaching excellence award, and has received the award twice, in 2003 and 2006. He also commits his time as a peer reviewer for a number of medical journals and for the Canadian Institutes for Health Research clinical trials panel. He is also an active member on data safety monitoring committees with the National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group, and for a number of granting agency-funded clinical trials.


Timothy Whelan


Dr. Timothy Whelan is currently Director of the Supportive Cancer Care Research (SCCR) Unit, a health services research unit focusing on supportive care needs of cancer patients and the Head of Radiation Oncology Program at the Juravinski Cancer Centre. He is co-Chair of the Breast Disease Site Group for the NCIC Clinical Trials Group. Dr. Whelan obtained his medical degrees at Oxford University Medical School and was a recipient of a Rhodes Scholarship. After receiving training in radiation oncology at the Princess Margaret Hospital, he completed a masters degree in Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics at McMaster University as a Terry Fox Research Fellow. He joined the staff of the Juravinski Cancer centre in 1993 and is currently a Professor in the Department of Oncology at McMaster University. His research interests include clinical management of early breast cancer and physician-patient decision making. He was the lead investigator of a trial which established the efficacy and safety of a novel breast radiation regimen for women who have lumpectomy and is considered one of the top trialists in radiation oncology in the world. Dr. Whelan is currently the principal investigator on two clinical trials evaluating the role of radiation therapy for the treatment of early breast cancer. He has also been involved in the development and evaluation of decision aids to facilitate shared decision making between physicians and cancer patients.


Kathy Pritchard


Dr. Pritchard is one of Sunnybrook & Women's best-known academic physicians and is co-Director of the Ontario Clinical Oncology Group (OCOG). Dr. Pritchard graduated from Medicine at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and trained in internal medicine and medical oncology at the University of Toronto. Dr. Pritchard is on staff at the Toronto-Sunnybrook Regional Cancer Centre (TSRCC) where she was Head of Medical Oncology for 10 years. She is currently a Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto and has a part-time appointment in the Department of Oncology, McMaster University. Dr. Pritchard's interests in clinical trials are in breast cancer, in the career development of oncologists and in the establishment of practice guidelines. Her level of expertise is demonstrated by her over 250 publications and many invited lectures across Canada, North America, as well as internationally. She has been Chair of the Breast Cancer Site Group of the NCIC Clinical Trials Group since 1984. Dr. Pritchard was awarded the O. Harold Warwick Prize for Cancer Control in Canada in 2005 by the Canadian Cancer Society and the NCIC for her work in clinical and translational trials in breast cancer. This past February, Dr. Pritchard was elected to the American Society of Clinical Oncology Board of Directors.


Clive Kearon

GregDr. Clive Kearon is currently a Professor in the Department of Medicine, an Associated Member in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at McMaster University, a Consultant with the Clinical Thromboembolism Service at the Henderson General Division of Hamilton Health Sciences, and Program Director of the Clinician Investigator Program, at McMaster. He was a Career Investigator of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and is now an Investigator of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Dr. Kearon is the recipient of two awards from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research for providing mentorship in the design and conduct of randomized controlled trials, and he is the recipient of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis 14th Biennial Investigator Recognition Award (2009). Dr. Kearon is involved in the critical appraisal of the medical literature, the development of practice guidelines, and is the chairperson for the current American College of Chest Physicians guidelines for the treatment of venous thromboembolism.


Dr. Kearons research focuses on clinical trials designed to optimize the diagnosis and treatment of thromboembolic disease. Dr. Kearon is also undertaking studies to identify the clinical importance, and the management implication, of the presence of biochemical abnormalities that are known to be associated with thromboembolism (thrombophilia). Additional studies will elucidate, and compare, the pharmacology of different heparin preparations, and will, try to refine how patients with venous thromboembolism are selected to long-term therapy so as to maximize benefit and minimize harm from bleeding.

Greg Pond


Dr. Gregory Pond is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Oncology with an Associate Appointment with the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Dr. Pond received his Ph.D. in Biostatistics from the University of Toronto and earlier received degrees from Simon Fraser University and Brock University. Having previously worked at the Mayo Clinic, Princess Margaret Hospital and in industry, Greg joined the OCOG team in 2008. He has co-authored over 90 peer-reviewed publications and is accredited as a Professional Statistician by the Statistical Society of Canada. Since 2006, he has also been a faculty member at the annual ECCO-AACR-ASCO Methods in Clinical Cancer Research workshop in Flims, Switzerland. Dr. Ponds research interests are primarily in cancer clinical trial methodology, however he is broadly interested in applications of regression models, statistical education, stochastic processes and biostatistical methods.


The activities of the research group are overseen by a team of dedicated managers. Donna McCarty oversees trial execution, quality control, education and operating procedures. Alex Ostrovsky, the manager of information technology, is responsible for the development and implementation of the groups data management system, which has electronic data capture capabilities.


Physician Research Associates 

OCOG works with networks of Investigators, many of whom are outside of Hamilton. Physician Research Associates: Dr. Bindi Dhesy, Medical Oncologist at the Juravinski Cancer Centre, Dr. Jim Wright, Radiation Oncologist at the Juravinski Cancer Centre and Dr. Clive Kearon, Division of Thrombosis at the Hamilton Health Sciences, Henderson site, work closely with the team at OCOG in the development and approval of protocols as well as helping with the day to day activities of OCOG.


Research Staff

OCOG also consists of a group of dedicated staff including Statisticians, IT Programmers, Research Coordinators, Data Monitors, Data Management Assistants and Administrative Assistants who all contribute to the success of the research studies coordinated at OCOG.