Research and teaching
Area of Focus
- Lymphona/CLL and inherited Heme malignancies
Summary of Research
Dr. Owen's research/academic contributions are in several areas including clinical trials in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), molecular genetics of inherited hematological malignancies and outcomes research for lymphoma. Dr. Owen has been the principal investigator for multiple clinical trials in CLL and NHL. Through Dr. Owen's leadership, they have steadily increased their enrolment in these studies such that the TBCC is now recognized as a leading centre for hematology clinical trials in Canada. They have enrolled more CLL patients into clinical trials than any other centre in Canada for the last several years and they have been among the global top 5 enrollers on several multicentre international trials. These efforts have led to Dr. Owen's authorship on 3 New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) publications (1 provisionally accepted) investigating the use of novel agents in CLL and NHL (obinutuzumab in CLL, ibrutinib in CLL and obintuzumab in NHL). She was also selected as the national principal investigator for the National Cancer Institute of Canada’s (NCIC) participation in a large cooperative group clinical trial of frontline therapy for elderly CLL. Dr. Owen also continues to expand her research into the molecular genetics of familial myelodysplasia (MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and other hematological malignancies. In collaboration with the University of Chicago, they are also investigating young patients with MDS for germline predisposing variants. Dr. Owen also works in collaboration with Dr. Tara Beattie (of the Charbonneau Institute) in investigating genetic causes of inherited hematological malignancies and on a project that will examine telomere lengths in families with inherited RUNX1 mutations to assess if telomere length is predictive of development of malignancy.
Dr. Owen's previous research has focused largely on the molecular basis of familial MDS and AML and she continues to investigate families with inherited hematological malignancies. Despite her research interest in myeloid neoplasms, her clinical work is focused on lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia and she has a research focus on clinical trials with significant national leadership in CLL clinical trials.