Dr. Martin Ester

Dr. Martin Ester

M.Sc. Computer Science, University of Dortmund, Germany
P.hD. Computer Science, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH)

Clinical and Research Scientists

Director, School of Computing Science, Simon Fraser University
Senior Research Scientist, Vancouver Prostate Centre


Dr. Martin Ester is Co-Director of SFU’s Data Mining Research Lab  in the School of Computing Science. He has more than 20 years of research experience in the areas of data mining and machine learning and is regarded as an international leader in his field. The highly-regarded Digital Library Aminer ranked Dr. Ester as the Top Most Influential Scholar in 2016 in the area of data mining.

As one of the foci of his research, Dr. Ester has explored the potential of data mining to support Precision Medicine. His lab has in particular worked on cancer marker discovery, patient stratification, and drug-target interaction prediction, all in collaboration with Drs. Collins and Cherkasov. In terms of computational methods, he has mainly used probabilistic graphical models, and more recently Deep Neural Networks.

Dr. Ester is not only interested in basic research, but also in the translation of research results into industrial or clinical applications. A successful way of knowledge translation is the development of open source tools. For instance, PSORTb, developed together with Dr. Fiona Brinkman’s lab at SFU several years ago, is still widely used as state-of-the-art tool for protein subcellular localization prediction in bacteria.

Another effective way of knowledge translation is the interdisciplinary training of graduate students, who have co-senior supervisors from the life sciences and are embedded in both the Data Mining Lab and a life science lab. Examples of such students who were trained together with Dr. Cenk Sahinalp are Phuong Dao (research scientist first at the NIH, now Memorial Sloan Kettering), Fereydoun Hormozdiari (assistant professor at UC Davis) and Faraz Hach (research scientist at the VPC).


A World Class Centre

The Vancouver Prostate Centre (VPC) has a track record of success that has earned it a reputation as one of the world’s most respected cancer facilities. It is a National Centre of Excellence and a designated Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research.


2016 Step Up team

Step Up Challenge fundraiser: February 25, 2018

The annual Step Up Challenge, raising funds for Prostate Cancer Canada, takes place in Vancouver on Sunday February 25. Click here to sponsor our relay team as they climbs 379 floors. Click here to volunteer to help with the event.

It's a Snow Day poster

It's A Snow Day at Mt. Seymour: March 9

Mt. Seymour is hosting It's A Snow Day, a fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC, on Friday March 9. The event will include slope time, a reception, and a silent auction. Click here for more details including how to register, donate and/or sponsor.




Work at the Vancouver Prostate Centre

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Discovery of a promising new medication to block "master key" of cancer growth

Dr. Chris Ong
Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Drs. Wyatt and Chi: ctDNA predicts resistance to AR-targeted therapy

VCHRI News article on study of ctDNA predicting resistance to AR-targeted therapy

Make A Difference

Help the Vancouver Prostate Centre fund research to find better treatments and a cure.