Karla Williams

Canada Research Chair in Oncology

Tier 2 - 2018-01-04
Renewed: 2023-04-01
The University of British Columbia
Canadian Institutes of Health Research


Research involves

Defining the key mechanisms that regulate cancer cell metastasis and developing cancer diagnostics though small-particle analysis.

Research relevance

This research could lead to new cancer treatments as well as diagnostic tools to direct patient treatment.

Research summary

Finding cancer in its earliest stages can significantly improve a patient’s prognosis and quality of life. As Canada Research Chair in Oncology, Dr. Karla Williams is working on new ways to detect and diagnose cancer accurately and to discover better treatments.

She and her research team are studying the use of small particles, called extracellular vesicles, to detect and report on cancer. They are also trying to identify new molecular targets that could be pursued to prevent cancer from spreading and to successfully treat it once it has. They are developing non-invasive, blood-based tests to support early cancer detection and learn more about how tumours grow and spread (metastasize). Overall, their work could lead to new ways to detect, diagnose and treat cancers.