Dr. Fei-Fei Liu appointed Scientific Director of CIHR Institute of Cancer Research

News release

August 4, 2022 — Ottawa, Ontario — Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Today, Dr. Michael J. Strong, President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, announced that Dr. Fei-Fei Liu has been appointed Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Cancer Research for a term of four years, effective September 1, 2022.

Dr. Liu is one of Canada’s leading cancer researchers and clinical research specialists. She has worked for more than three decades as a clinician scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, one of the sites of the University Health Network in Toronto, where she is a Senior Scientist, Chief of the Radiation Medicine Program and Head of the Department of Radiation Oncology. Dr. Liu is also a Professor in the Departments of Radiation Oncology, Medical Biophysics, Otolaryngology, and Institute of Medical Science and Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Toronto. Dr Liu’s research focuses on investigating and developing novel molecular therapeutic strategies that can be delivered in conjunction with radiation therapy for head and neck, breast, and cervical cancers. More recently, Dr. Liu and her team have focused on unraveling the mechanisms and identifying therapeutic strategies for radiation fibrosis and lymphedema, which are two common side effects of cancer treatment that significantly impact cancer survivors.

The Institute of Cancer Research is one of CIHR’s thirteen Institutes. As Scientific Director, Dr. Liu will develop and advance research and training initiatives that address cancer research priorities in Canada while supporting the implementation of CIHR’s Strategic Plan. During Dr. Liu’s term, the Institute will be based at the University Health Network. 


“On behalf of CIHR, I am pleased to welcome Dr. Liu as our newest member of Science Council.  Throughout her distinguished career, Dr. Liu has demonstrated a commitment to research excellence and a strong determination to build research capacity through training.  I look forward to working with her and learning from her experiences as we pursue these goals through our CIHR Strategic Plan.”

Dr. Michael J. Strong
President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

“I am honoured to be appointed as the 4th Scientific Director of the Institute of Cancer Research at CIHR.  With the burden of this disease, wherein 2 in 5 Canadians have a lifetime risk of developing cancer, we will continue to address this challenge together. I look forward to building on the strong foundations of my predecessors, Drs. Philip Branton, Morag Park, and Stephen Robbins, and the work with our stakeholders, including researchers, funding partners, health systems, and in particular, patients, as we continue to support the research excellence that will reduce the burden of cancer through prevention, screening, diagnosis, effective treatments, psycho-social support, and palliation.”

Dr. Fei-Fei Liu
Incoming Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Cancer Research

“The pandemic has underlined for all Canadians the importance of research, critical thinking and the investment in our top scientists. Dr. Liu’s drive to conduct research that benefits patients and her commitment to excellence in research, education and patient care will serve CIHR well and we are very pleased to be able to host the ICR at UHN.”

Dr. Kevin Smith
President and CEO, University Health Network 

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Canadian Institutes of Health Research

At the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) we know that research has the power to change lives. As Canada's health research investment agency, we collaborate with partners and researchers to support the discoveries and innovations that improve our health and strengthen our health care system.

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