BC Cancer Agency

Short Bio:

I obtained my combined MD-PhD degree at UBC in 1999. My PhD thesis, under the supervision of Julia Levy, was on the use of a photosensitizer for the purging of contaminating leukemic cells in autologous bone marrow transplantations. I was then accepted into the neurosurgery training program at VGH and completed four years of residency training before switching to the neuropathology program at VGH and obtained my FRCPC certification in 2006. Next, I completed two years of Royal College- funded CIP fellowship in molecular neuro-oncology at the Massachusetts General Hospital under the supervision of David Louis. Dr Louis, chief of pathology at MGH, through his description and characterization of 1p19q chromosomal loss in oligodendroglioma, propelled the field of molecular diagnostics in neuro-oncology. My research was focused on the molecular characterizations of recurrent glioblastomas specifically somatic mutations in the mismatch repair gene MSH6. I then completed fellowship training in molecular genetics pathology at Harvard Medical School under the supervision of John Iafrate at MGH. This one year clinical training consisted of rotations in different clinical molecular diagnostic laboratories affiliated with Harvard Medical School. I was exposed to different advanced molecular diagnostic techniques and was involved in trouble- shooting clinical molecular diagnostic problems.

Upon my return to Vancouver in 2009 I was initially appointed clinically at the BC Cancer Agency and performed brain tumour consultations. I am also affiliated with the Centre for Translational and Applied Genomics (CTAG) and involved in the developments of novel molecular diagnostic assays. My current research interests are in the genomic and epigenomic profiling of cancers especially primary brain tumours, taking advantage of the local expertise at the Genome Sciences Centre, BCCRC, and CTAG. Currently I am using 2nd generation sequencing technology to study brain tumours. Ultimately I want to take novel genomic/epigenomic discoveries to the clinic – by developing clinical molecular assays and than be used to better stratify cancer patients and to identify those that might respond to novel molecular targeting agents. I am also associated with the development of BrainCare, a local effort to develop multidisciplinary seamless care for brain tumour patients in this province and also in the establishment of a local neuro-oncology research network which includes the development of a brain tumour tissue bank. I am the course director for Oncology 502 (Concepts in Oncology) that is offered under the Interdisciplinary Oncology Program (IOP) and am a member of the IOP executive committee as well as the UBC M.D.-Ph.D. admission and advisory committee. I moved to Vancouver General Hospital in February 2012 and took on a full time neuropathology position and will maintain my research at CTAG which currently involves dissecting the role of CIC in the molecular pathogenesis of oligodendrogliomas and practical application of mid-size sequencing platforms such as the Ion Torrent PGM and Illumina MiSeq for sequence validation and clinical sequencing.

Academic Backgrounds:
  • HMS – Molecular Genetic Pathology fellowship. 2009
  • MGH – Molecular neuro-oncology research fellowship (FRCPC certification – CIP). 2008
  • VGH – Neuropathology residency (FRCPC certification). 2006
  • VGH – Neurosurgery residency (year 1-4). 2003
  • BC – MD-PhD (Microbiology & Immunology). 1999
  • UBC – BSc (Microbiology & Immunology). 1991
Selected Publications
  • Jamshidi, F., Pleasance, E., Li, Y., Shen, Y., Kasaian, K., Corbett, R., Eirew, P., Lum, A., Pandoh, P., Zhao, Y., Schein, J. E., Moore, R. A., Rassekh, R., Huntsman, D. G., Knowling, M., Lim, H., Renouf, D. J., Jones, S. J., Marra, M. A., Nielsen, T. O., Laskin, J., & Yip, S. (2014). Diagnostic value of next-generation sequencing in an unusual sphenoid tumor. Oncologist, 19(6), 623-630. doi: 10.1634/theoncologist.2013-0390.
  • Taylor, K. R., Mackay, A., Truffaux, N., Butterfield, Y. S., Morozova, O., Philippe, C., Castel, D., Grasso, C. S., Vinci, M., Carvalho, D., Carcaboso, A. M., de Torres, C., Cruz, O., Mora, J., Entz-Werle, N., Ingram, W. J., Monje, M., Hargrave, D., Bullock, A. N., Puget, S., Yip, S., Jones, C., & Grill, J. (2014). Recurrent activating ACVR1 mutations in diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. Nat Genet, 46(5), 457-461. doi: 10.1038/ng.2925.
  • Snuderl M, Triscott J, Northcott PA, Shih HA, Kong E, Robinson H, Dunn SE, Iafrate AJ, Yip
    S. Deep Sequencing Identifies IDH1 R132S Mutation in Adult Medulloblastoma. J Clinical
    Oncology. Mar 2014. [PMID:24616312.
  • Das S, Yip S, Hukin J, Cochrane, Dunham C. Pleomorphic Xanthoastrocytoma of the Spinal
    Cord: Case Report and Literature Review. Clinical Neuropathology. Feb 2014.
  • Chittaranjan, S., Chan, S., Yang, C., Yang, K. C., Chen, V., Moradian, A., Firme, M., Song, J., Go, N. E., Blough, M. D., Chan, J. A., Cairncross, J. G., Gorski, S. M., Morin, G. B., Yip, S., & Marra, M. A. (2014). Mutations in CIC and IDH1 cooperatively regulate 2-hydroxyglutarate levels and cell clonogenicity. Oncotarget, 5(17), 7960-7979.
  • Cohen, A. S., Townsend, K. N., Xiang, Q. S., Attariwala, R., Borchers, C., Senger, C., Picker, W., Levi, J., Yewchuk, L., Tan, J., Eydoux, P., Lum, A., Yong, S. L., McKinnon, M. L., Lear, S. A., Everett, R., Jones, S. J., Yip, S., & Gibson, W. T. (2014). Somatic mosaicism for the p.His1047Arg mutation in PIK3CA in a girl with mesenteric lipomatosis. Am J Med Genet A, 164A(9), 2360-2364. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.36622.
  • Shih, F., Yip, S., McDonald, P. J., Chudley, A. E., & Del Bigio, M. R. (2014). Oncogenic codon 13 NRAS mutation in a primary mesenchymal brain neoplasm and nevus of a child with neurocutaneous melanosis. Acta Neuropathol Commun, 2(1), 140. doi: 10.1186/PREACCEPT-1057694632138125.
  • Tone, A. A., McConechy, M. K., Yang, W., Ding, J., Yip, S., Kong, E., Wong, K., Gershenson, D. M., Mackay, H., Shah, S., Gilks, B., Tinker, A. V., Clarke, B., McAlpine, J. N., & Huntsman, D. (2014). Intratumoral heterogeneity in a minority of ovarian low-grade serous carcinomas. BMC Cancer, 14(1), 982. doi: 10.1186/1471-2407-14-982.
  • Snuderl M, Batista A, Kirkpatrick ND, Ruiz de Almodovar C, Riedemann L, Walsh EC…Yip S… Jain, R. Targeting placental growth factor/neuropilin 1 pathway inhibits growth and spread of medulloblastoma. Cell. 2013;152(5):1065-76.
  • Di Maio S, Kong E, Yip S, Rostomily R. Converging paths to progress for skull base chordoma: Review of current therapy and future molecular targets. Surgical neurology international. 2013;4:72.
  • Bashashati A, Ha G, Tone A, Ding J, Prentice LM, Roth A… Yip S, Huntsman DG, McAlpine JN, Shah SP. Distinct evolutionary trajectories of primary high-grade serous ovarian cancers revealed through spatial mutational profiling. The Journal of pathology. 2013;231(1):21-34.
  • Triscott J, Lee C, Foster C, Manoranjan B, Pambid MR, Berns R… Yip S, Northcott P, Singh SK, Dunham C, Dunn SE. Personalizing the Treatment of Pediatric Medulloblastoma: Polo-like Kinase 1 as a Molecular Target in High-Risk Children. Cancer research. 2013;73(22):6734-44.
  • Lee CH, Hoang LN, Yip S, Reyes C, Marino-Enriquez A, Eilers G, et al. Frequent expression of KIT in endometrial stromal sarcoma with YWHAE genetic rearrangement. Modern pathology : an official journal of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, Inc. 2013.
  • Huse JT, Wallace M, Aldape KD, Berger MS, Bettegowda C, Brat DJ… Yip S, Yen K, Costello JF, Chang S.. Where are we now? And where are we going? A report from the Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure (ABC2) Low-grade Glioma Research Workshop. Neuro-oncology. 2013.
  • Neuropathology, clinical neuroscience, molecular genetic pathology, molecular genetics and biology, cancer genetics, next generation sequencing
  • I strongly believe in the integration of molecular genetics with clinical pathology and the rapid translation of cancer genomic discoveries in medicine.