Globe-Trotting Surgeon

May 03, 2018

Dr. Muriel Brackstone is setting out on a globe-trotting, three-continent expedition to share her world-class expertise in breast cancer surgery. The surgical oncologist and breast surgery lead with the Breast Care Program of St. Joseph's Health Care London is the recipient of the prestigious James IV Travelling Fellowship awarded by the James IV Association of Surgeons.

The association was established in 1957 to promote surgical collaboration across the Atlantic by awarding fellowships for young, outstanding surgeons to visit other departments. The travelling fellowship is distinguished award with only one being available in Canada each year. It is designed to promote communication and collaboration in the surgical community. Travellers, who have been setting off with the fellowship from all corners of the globe since 1962, are both ambassadors representing their home countries, and conduits for the dissemination of knowledge.

Dr. Brackstone is an associate professor of surgery and oncology at Western University's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, and an executive member of the Canadian Cancer Clinical Trials Group, Cancer Care Ontario's breast disease site team, and the international NRG Oncology clinical trials group. A renowned clinician and researcher, Dr. Brackstone initiated the Canadian locally advanced breast cancer consortium for national initiatives in advanced breast cancer treatment and is the lead author on a number of national clinical guideline documents for breast cancer care. She also spearheaded, and is Director of, London's first tumour biobank, which provides scientists across the city with access to patient tumour samples and blood in order to test their theories and translate discoveries into new treatment.

Dr. Brackstone co-created a hands-on oncoplastic surgery course, which trains breast surgeons across Canada in improved breast surgical techniques. She is the Fellowship Director of London's Oncoplastic Breast Surgery Fellowship, the first in Canada, and one of only two that formally train breast surgeons in oncoplastic surgery, which combines the latest plastic surgery techniques with breast surgical oncology.

With funding from the fellowship, Dr. Brackstone is planning trips to Europe, Israel and the United States to profile her research program, clinical trials in preoperative treatment of breast cancer and ground-breaking oncoplastic techniques using radioactive seeds.

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