Irene Andrulis

Molecular Genetics


Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute
600 University Avenue, Room 984, Toronto, Ontario Canada M5G 1X5
Research Interests
Cancer genetics, Genetic predisposition to cancer, Molecular alterations in cancer, Population-based studies, Tumour immune microenvironment

My laboratory has been involved in multi-disciplinary studies to identify genetic alterations that may play a role in breast cancer and sarcoma and to determine the clinical importance of these changes. My colleagues and I have recruited and followed clinically two large cohorts of women with breast cancer, one is a group with axillary node negative breast cancer and the other is the Ontario Familial Breast Cancer Registry (OFBCR). The OFBCR is part of the international Breast Cancer Family Registry Cohort funded by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Cancer Institute continuously since 1995. In addition to the breast cancer cohorts, I have also teamed with colleagues to assemble a bone and soft tissue sarcoma collection with corresponding clinical data. These resources have been invaluable for studies on the importance of molecular changes in breast cancer and sarcoma. Currently, a major area of interest for our group is the role of the tumour immune microenvironment. Immune checkpoint therapy is a promising new treatment option that leverages the immune system of the cancer patient to enhance antitumor immune responses. We are studying the interaction of tumour cells and immune cells, particularly tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes, in human breast cancer and sarcoma. Our goals are to explore the clinical importance of genetic alterations, to diagnose individuals early enough to prevent or diminish the effects of cancer, to tailor treatment to increase the likelihood of a cure and to identify novel targets for new cancer therapeutics.

Courses taught

  • MMG 1012H Special Topics - Cancer Genetics


  • Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute