ORI Team

Staff

Dr. Joseph Dort

Dr. Joseph Dort - Executive Director

Dr. Dort is a head and neck surgeon and professor in the departments of Surgery,  Oncology and Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine. He serves as the Executive Director of the Ohlson Research Initiative, a head and neck cancer translational research program that he founded in 2009. Dr. Dort recently completed a 3-year term as Senior Medical Director of the Alberta Cancer Strategic Clinical Network. Joe also served as the Director of the Office of Surgical Research and during his tenure he led the establishment of the Surgeon Scientist Program, a program that continues to support bright young surgeons in their pursuit of research training. Dr. Dort held a variety of senior executive positions with the Canadian Society of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery and served as its President from 2009 – 2010.

Dr. Dort trained in family medicine and practiced in Manitouwadge, Ontario before returning to residency to study otolaryngology at the University of Manitoba. He completed a clinical fellowship in Skull Base Surgery at the University of Zurich and also holds an MSc in Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health. In addition, Dr. Dort is a graduate of the Intermountain Healthcare Advanced Training Program in Healthcare Delivery Improvement.

Under Joe’s leadership the Ohlson Research Initiative (ORI) has a national and international reputation in head and neck cancer clinical outcomes research, surgical enhanced recovery research and the design and delivery of innovative surgical care for patients with head and neck cancer. The ORI also has established leading programs in head and neck tumour biology and the use of virtual reality to simulate and plan temporal bone surgery.

Joe’s passion and primary academic focus is clinical effectiveness research that will improve the design and delivery of healthcare for patients and families dealing with head and neck cancer.

Publications

Contact Information:
Joseph C. Dort
3280 Hospital Dr. NW
Calgary, AB T2N 4N1
Email: jdort@ucalgary.ca
Tel: 403-220-7168
Fax: 403-270-3145

Michelle Cavanaugh

Michelle Cavanaugh - Administrative Coordinator

Michelle has worked for the University of Calgary for over 30 years and she and Dr. Dort have worked together for over 25 years.  Michelle is respected and valued not only for her knowledge and skill but also for her warm personality and ability to deal with a variety of sensitive and challenging clinical problems.  She brings these skills to serve the Ohlson Research Initiative as our Administrative Coordinator.

Contact Information:
HRIC 2A02
3280 Hospital Drive NW
Calgary AB T2N 4Z6
Email: cavanaug@ucalgary.ca
Tel: (403) 220-7168
Fax: (403) 270-3145

Steve Nakoneshny

Steve Nakoneshny - Research Program Coordinator

Steve has worked for the Ohlson Research Initiative since 2009, initially as a Research Assistant and as a Project Coordinator since 2012. While studying overseas at the University of Canberra, Steve helped teach research methods, methodologies and statistics at the undergraduate level. He brings these skills, amongst others, to serve the Ohlson Research Initiative.

Publications

Contact Information:
HRIC 2A02
3280 Hospital Drive NW
Calgary AB T2N 4Z6
Email: scnakone@ucalgary.ca
Tel: (403) 220-4347
Fax: (403) 270-3145

Megan Peterson

Megan Peterson - Research Assistant

Megan joined the Ohlson Research Initiative team in 2019 as a Research Assistant. Megan also works as a Licensed Practical Nurse on the Head and Neck surgical unit, working directly at the point of care with our patients. She brings a much-needed nursing perspective to the team.

Contact Information:
HRIC 2A02
3280 Hospital Drive NW
Calgary AB T2N 4Z6
Email: megan.peterson@ucalgary.ca
Tel: (403) 220-7672
Fax: (403) 270-3145

Lee Ringham

Lee Ringham - Simulation Software Technician

Lee Ringham is a Simulation Software Technician in the Department of Surgery at the Cummings School of Medicine. He completed his MSc in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Calgary where his research focused on modelling natural phenomenon with reaction-diffusion. In his research, he worked on case studies such as the simulation of flower petal pigmentation patterns as well as the autoimmune disease psoriasis.

Lee is interested in the creation and advancement of high-performance interactive computer graphics applications. Currently, his work focuses on the development of CardinalSim, a software application that combines virtual reality and haptic rendering of volumetric datasets. CardinalSim is used for preoperative rehearsal of complex surgical procedures and to facilitate surgical skill acquisition.

Publications

Contact Information:
University of Calgary 
Mathematical Sciences 631
2500 University Drive NW 
Calgary AB T2N 1N4
Email: laringha@ucalgary.ca
Tel: (587) 227-5466


Collaborators

Dr. Bose

Dr. Pinaki Bose

Dr. Bose is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Oncology, and Surgery. Dr. Bose is also the Scientific Lead for the Precision Oncology and Experimental Therapeutics (POET) program and the Director of Tumour Biology and Translational Research for the Ohlson Research Initiative.

His research goals are in the development of tailored therapies for head and neck cancer patients and improving prognosis and disease free survival.

Publications

Contact Information:
 HMRB 328
3330 Hospital Drive NW
Calgary AB T2N 4N1
Email: pbose@ucalgary.ca
Tel: (403) 220-8507

Dr. Chan

Dr. Sonny Chan

Dr. Sonny Chan is an Assistant Professor of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Calgary. Dr. Chan's mission is to research and develop advanced interactive computing technologies to improve medical education and healthcare delivery. His lab’s primary objective is to investigate computational methods in image analysis, computer graphics, medical visualization, haptic rendering, and immersive simulation to give physicians and trainees a new dimension for utilizing medical image data. This includes developing immersive virtual environments for patient-specific simulation of skull base surgery.

Publications

Contact Information:
Math Science 634
618 Campus Place NW
Calgary AB T2N 1N4
Email: sonny.chan@ucalgary.ca
Tel: (403) 210-9474

Dr. Chandarana

Dr. Shamir Chandarana

Dr. Chandarana is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Departments of Surgery and Surgical Oncology. He maintains a busy practice treating cancers of the head and neck. He also treats conditions of the salivary gland and thyroid/parathyroid. His research interests include optimizing care for patients affected by head and neck cancer, and exploring practice pattern variation in the management of thyroid cancer.  

Publications

Contact Information:
1012 North Tower
Foothills Medical Centre
1403 29th Street NW
Calgary, AB T2N 2T9
Email: shamir.chandarana@ucalgary.ca
Tel: (403) 944-3954
Fax: (404) 210-9828

Dr. Culos-Reed

Dr. S. Nicole Culos-Reed

Dr. Culos-Reed is a Professor in Health and Exercise Psychology and the Associate Dean Graduate in the Faculty of Kinesiology; Adjunct Professor in the Department of Oncology, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary. She also holds a Research Associate appointment with the Department of Psychosocial Resources, Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Cancer Care, Alberta Health Services.

As the Director of the Health & Wellness Lab, her research group primarily examines the role of physical activity on the quality of life of cancer survivors. Putting research into practice, she is also the Director of the Thrive Centre, a free fitness facility for cancer survivors at the University of Calgary. The Thrive Centre is 100% supported by a group of passionate, trained, student volunteers to serve the local cancer survivor community and bring wellness into the cancer journey.

Publications

Contact Information:
KNB 140
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary AB T2N 1N4
Email: nculosre@ucalgary.ca
Tel: (403) 220-7540
Fax: (403) 284-3553

Dr. Hart

Dr. Rob Hart

Dr. Hart is a Professor in the Department of Surgery. His research interests include head and neck squamous cell carcinoma treatment, reconstruction and oncogenesis. He is also interested in biomarkers and treatment of well differentiated thyroid cancer.

Publications

Contact Information:
1007 North Tower
Foothills Medical Centre
1403 29th Street NW
Calgary, AB T2N 2T9
Email: robert.hart@albertahealthservices.ca
Tel: (403) 944-3162
Fax: (404) 991-7070

Dr. Hyrcza

Dr. Martin Hyrcza

Dr Hyrcza is a molecular biologist and an anatomical pathologist. He completed the MD/PhD program at the University of Toronto with the PhD thesis focusing on the transcriptional regulation of the type I interferon responses in HIV infection. He then completed anatomical pathology training at the University of British Columbia and a fellowship in Head & Neck and Endocrine Pathology at UofT. He is currently the consultant pathologist in Head and Neck, Ophthalmic & Endocrine Pathology at the Foothills Medical Centre and Rockyview General Hospital.

Publications

Contact Information:
Rm #7566 McCaig Tower 
3260 Hospital Drive NW
Calgary AB T2N 4Z6
Email: martin.hyrcza@cls.ab.ca
Tel: (403) 944-4757

Dr. Matthews

Dr. Jennifer Matthews

Dr. Jennifer Matthews completed medical school in 2007 and completed her plastic surgery residency at the University of Calgary in 2013.  Subsequently, she completed her fellowship training in microsurgery at McMaster University focusing on complex reconstruction for trauma, head & neck cancer, and breast cancer patients.  Her research interests include improvement of outcomes and quality of life for patients following head and neck reconstruction as well as breast reconstruction.

Publications

Contact Information:
200 - 2004 14th St NW 
Calgary AB T2M 3N3
Email: jennifer.matthews@albertahealthservices.ca
Tel: (403) 474-0113

Dr. Matthews

Dr. T. Wayne Matthews

Dr. Matthews is an Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery and the Division Chief, Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery at the Foothills Medical Centre.

He is interested in prognostic indicators in head and neck cancer and their role in treatment selection, functional outcomes after treatment of head and neck cancer, the role of FEES (fibre-optic evaluation of swallowing) in evaluating swallowing after treatment of head and neck cancer.

Publications

Contact Information:
1011 North Tower
Foothills Medical Centre
1403 29th Street NW
Calgary, AB T2N 2T9
Email: wmatthew@ucalgary.ca
Tel: (403) 944-4501
Fax: (404) 210-9752

Dr. McKenzie

Dr. David McKenzie

Dr. McKenzie completed his residency in Plastic Surgery at the University of Calgary in 2002. He went on to further fellowship training in adult craniofacial reconstruction and Head and Neck cancer reconstruction at  Sunnybrook Hospital and Toronto General Hospital. He is currently the Program Director for the Plastic Surgery Residency Training Program at the University of Calgary.

His areas of clinical interest include microsurgical reconstruction, craniofacial reconstruction, and reconstruction of defects following removal of skin cancer.

Publications

Contact Information:
200 - 2004 14th St NW 
Calgary AB T2M 3N3
Email: charles.mckenzie@albertahealthservices.ca
Tel: (403) 571-3131

Dr. Sauro

Dr. Khara Sauro

Dr. Sauro is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Community Health Sciences, Surgery, and Oncology. As a Health Services Researcher, her research focuses on improving the quality and safety of care for patients to optimize the health of these patients.

Dr. Sauro has a particular interest in leveraging routinely collected administrative data to evaluate the quality of healthcare and the application of knowledge translation and quality improvement methodologies for improving healthcare delivery. She uses diverse methodologies (qualitative and quantitative) in order to ask and appropriately answer clinically relevant research questions.

Publications

Contact Information:
TRW 3D41
3280 Hospital Dr NW
Calgary, AB T2N 4Z6
Email: kmsauro@ucalgary.ca
Tel: (403) 210-5463

Dr. Schrag

Dr. Christiaan Schrag

Dr. Schrag completed his residency in plastic surgery at the University of Calgary.  He completed a fellowship in Head and Neck Reconstruction at the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taipei working with Dr. Fu Chan Wei.  Areas of special clinical interest include reconstruction of the jaw, facial reanimation and brachial plexus surgery. Every year Dr. Schrag volunteers his time in Zimbabwe with Operation of Hope performing cleft lip and palate repairs and burn reconstruction for children needing these life saving surgeries.

His research interests include improvement in post-operative outcomes for patients undergoing head and neck reconstruction, vascularized composite tissue allotransplantation and microsurgery.

Publications

Contact Information:
200 - 2004 14th St NW 
Calgary AB T2M 3N3
Email: christiaan.schrag@albertahealthservices.ca
Tel: (403) 215-5155

Dr. Twomey

Dr. Rosemary Twomey

Dr. Twomey is a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Ohlson Research Initiative, O'Brien Institute of Public Health and Department of Surgery, Cumming School of Medicine. Dr. Twomey completed her doctoral research in exercise physiology in the UK. She joined the Faculty of Kinesiology to focus on the role of tailored exercise for cancer-related fatigue, and resistance training after head and neck cancer treatment, before joining the ORI in 2019.

Dr. Twomey is interested in the role of exercise prehabilitation to support recovery from major head and neck cancer surgery. She is also interested in measuring patient-reported outcomes and physical activity across the surgical timeline, and using a patient-oriented approach to improve care for people undergoing surgery for head and neck cancer.

Publications

Contact Information:
HRIC 2A02
3280 Hospital Drive NW
Calgary AB T2N 4Z6
Email: rosemary.twomey@ucalgary.ca
Tel: (403) 919-2061