PhD, Biochemistry, University of British Columbia, 1990
MD, University of British Columbia, 1984
Johal Chair in Childhood Cancer Research
Professor, Department of Pathology, University of British Columbia
Distinguished Scientist, BC Cancer Research Centre
Senior Research Scientist (Honorary), Vancouver Prostate Centre
Dr. Poul Sorensen is a molecular pathologist and cancer biologist specializing in the genetics and biology of pediatric cancers. Dr. Sorensen holds the Johal Endowed Chair in Childhood Cancer Research at the University of British Columbia (UBC), and is Professor of Pathology at UBC. Dr. Sorensen is a founding member of the AACR Pediatric Cancer Working Group. He is a principal investigator on the recently awarded Stand Up 2 Cancer Pediatric Cancer Dream Team grant focused on immunotherapeutic approaches to targeting high-risk childhood cancers. His group runs several major components of this prestigious award, including the Pathology Core.
Dr. Sorensen’s laboratory, located at the BC Cancer Research Centre, focuses on using both genetic approaches (such as next-generation sequencing) and biochemical methods (e.g. proteomics) to identify deregulated signaling cascades in childhood cancer cells. His group has discovered many novel translocation associated alterations in childhood cancer (e.g. Knezevich et al, Nat Genet, 1998, Tognon et al, Cancer Cell, 2002). Moreover, the group has extensive renown in utilizing genetic findings as a means to characterize relevant cancer biology (e.g. Evdokimova et al, Cancer Cell, 2009, Mendoza-Naranjo et al, EMBO Mol Med, 2013, Leprivier et al, Cell, 2013, Daugaard et al, Nat Comm, 2013, Somasekharan et al, J Cell Biol, 2015, and El-Naggar et al, Cancer Cell, 2015).
Current work is focused on how cancer cells respond to acute stress. The overarching hypothesis is that adaptation to such stresses through altered mRNA translation and protein synthesis leads to tumour cell clonal selection and metastasis. The group therefore utilizes a variety of proteomic and other techniques to probe the “translatome” of stressed tumour cells to identify new targets for therapy in aggressive human solid tumours.