Professor Madanlal T. Wasan Memorial Prize awarded to Dr. Gillian Vandekerkhove

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Dr. Gillian Vandekerkhove

The second annual Professor Madanlal T. Wasan Memorial Prize in Urologic Sciences Award has been awarded to Dr. Gillian Vandekerkhove. Dr. Ninadh D’Costa​ received the first annual award in 2021.

Dr. Vandekerkhove is a Postdoctoral Fellow specializing in urologic cancer genomics in Dr. Wyatt's laboratory. Utilizing circulating cell-free tumour DNA and tumour tissue, her research aims to explore the molecular landscape of genitourinary cancers and develop minimally-invasive biomarkers for guiding therapy selection. 

Both VCHRI and the VPC had news stories about the Nature Communications publication that arose from Dr. Vandekerhove's PhD work. 

Dr. Vandekerkhove's other academic accomplishments include:

Awards and recognition

  • VCHRI 2022 Top Graduating Doctoral Student Award
  • CIHR Doctoral Award (2018-2022)
  • UBC Four Year Fellowship (2018-2022)
  • UBC Faculty of Medicine Graduate Award (2017-2019)
  • VCHRI Rising Star Award (2018)
  • AACR Scholar-in-Training Award (2019)
  • UBC Nettie Polischuk Memorial Cancer Research Fund (2019)

Contributions to science and GU cancers

  • Demonstrated that ctDNA analysis reproduces the somatic driver genome in metastatic urothelial carcinoma as described from tissue-based cohorts, and is a viable minimally-invasive biomarker source for guiding therapy selection.
  • Performed the first investigation of ctDNA in patients with de novo metastatic castration-sensitive prostate cancer, demonstrating that ctDNA can recapitulate somatic profiles derived from matched prostate biopsies.

First-author publications during PhD

  • Vandekerkhove G, et al. (2021). Plasma ctDNA is a tumor tissue surrogate and enables clinical-genomic stratification of metastatic bladder cancer. Nature Communications. 12(1): 184
  • Vandekerkhove G, Wyatt AW. (2020). Circulating tumour DNA as a biomarker source in metastatic prostate cancer. Société Internationale d’Urologie Journal. 1(1): 39-48
  • Vandekerkhove G, et al. (2019). Circulating Tumor DNA Abundance and Potential Utility in De Novo Metastatic Prostate Cancer. European Urology. 75(4): 667-675
  • Sundahl N*, Vandekerkhove G*, et al. (2019). Randomized phase 1 trial of pembrolizumab with sequential versus concomitant stereotactic body radiotherapy in metastatic urothelial carcinoma. European Urology. 75(5): 707-711
  • Chedgy ECP*, Vandekerkhove G*, Herberts C*, et al. (2018). Biallelic tumour suppressor loss and DNA repair defects in de novo small-cell prostate carcinoma. The Journal of Pathology. 246(2): 244-253
  • Vandekerkhove G*, Todenhöfer T*, Annala M*, et al. (2017). Circulating tumor DNA reveals clinically-actionable somatic genome of metastatic bladder cancer. Clinical Cancer Research. 23(21): 6487-6497
  • Vandekerkhove G, Chi KN, Wyatt AW. (2017). Clinical utility of emerging liquid biomarkers in advanced prostate cancer. Cancer Genetics. 228-229:151-158



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