null Patricia Tonin, PhD

Senior Scientist, RI-MUHC, Glen site

Cancer Research Program

Centre for Translational Biology

Professor, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, McGill University



ovarian cancer • breast cancer • hereditary cancer • genomics • gene expression

Research Focus

My research focuses on studying the genes that when inherited confer increased risk for ovarian or breast cancer. Over 20 years ago, two such genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, were discovered through a collaborative effort. Genetic tests are now available to identify women at risk for these cancers to offer cancer management and prevention strategies. Although these genes are responsible for a large number of hereditary cancers, there is evidence that other genes are also responsible for hereditary cancer. By researching cancer families new genes are being identified and their role in hereditary ovarian cancer established. Using tumor samples and cell line models, our lab also studies how genes are disrupted in ovarian cancer development. State-of-the art technologies are used to study hundreds of genes at the same time. The long-term goal would be to identify genes that would guide the development or use of therapies for ovarian cancer patients.

Selected Publications

Click on Pubmed to see my current publications list

  • Belanger MH, Dolman L, Arcand SL, Shen Z, Chong G, Mes-Masson A-M, Provencher D, Tonin PN. 2015. A targeted analysis identifies a high frequency of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers in women with ovarian cancer from a founder population. J. Ovarian Research 8(1):1 PMID: 25884701.

  • Gambaro K, Quinn MCJ, Wojnarowicz PM, Arcand SL, de Ladurantaye M, Barres V, Ripeau J-S, Killary AM, Davis EC, Lavoie J, Provencher DM, Mes-Masson A-M, Chevrette M, Tonin PN. 2013. VGLL3 expression is associated with a tumor suppressor phenotype in epithelial ovarian cancer. Molec Oncol. 7(3):513-30 PMID: 23415753.

  • Arcand SL, Akbari MR, Mes-Masson A-M, Provencher D, Foulkes WD, Narod SA, Tonin PN. 2015. Germline TP53 mutational spectrum in French Canadians with breast cancer. BMC Medical Genetics 16(1):24. PMID: 25925845.

  • Wojnarowicz PM, Oros KK, Quinn MCJ, Arcand SL, Gambaro K, Madore J, Birch AH, de Ladurantaye M, Rahimi K, Provencher DM, Mes-Masson A-M, Greenwood CMT, Tonin PN. 2012. The Genomic Landscape of TP53 and p53 annotated high grade ovarian serous carcinomas from a defined founder population associated with patient outcome. PLoS One. 7(9):e45484 PMCID: PMC3447752.

  • Cote S, Arcand SL, Royer R, Nolet S, Mes-Masson A-M, Ghadirian P, Foulkes WD, Tischkowitz M, Narod SA, Provencher D, Tonin PN. 2012. The BRCA2 c.9004G>A (E3002K) variant is likely pathogenic and recurs in breast and/or ovarian cancer families of French Canadian descent. Breast Cancer Res Treat.131(1):333-40. PMID: 21947752.