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Otto Sanchez, PhD - University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Oshawa, ON, CA

Otto Sanchez, PhD Otto Sanchez, PhD

Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences | University of Ontario Institute of Technology

Oshawa, ON, CANADA

Prominent cancer researcher has helped identify new drug targets to prevent metastisis


Otto Sanchez, PhD, is still as passionate about cancer research as he was 25 years ago. The professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences has dedicated his career to pushing the boundaries of cancer research in order to better understand its metastatic mechanisms and more recently its suspected environmental triggers.

As a medical student, Dr. Sanchez had a close aunt with cancer and was unable to do anything to help. He completed his post-doctorate fellowship at the world-renowned Ontario Cancer Institute at Princess Margaret Hospital and continues to collaborate with research teams in the labs there on groundbreaking cancer research.

Dr. Sanchez began his teaching career over 20 years ago at the School of Nursing at McMaster University. His teaching focus shifted to blending technology with health sciences when he became an expert in distance education. He joined UOIT in 2003 as an associate professor; in 2006 he was appointed associate dean; and he held the position of director of Research and Partnerships between 2010 and 2013. Dr. Sanchez attributes teaching aspiring health professionals and researchers as his most gratifying work. Each year he meets over 200 new students and hopes to inspire them to follow his path toward making a difference through lifelong learning.

Dr. Sanchez graduated from medical school in Bogota, Colombia in 1983, after which he completed a clinical residency in Pathology at the Colombian National Cancer Institute in 1988. He earned a Master of Science degree at the University of Toronto in Ontario in 1990, and obtained his doctorate at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario in 1997. His graduate research focused on cancer cytogenetics and mechanisms of bone metastasis, respectively.

Industry Expertise (4)



Laboratory Services

Health and Wellness

Areas of Expertise (6)

Educational Technology in Health

Environmental Factors of Cancer

Knowledge Synthesis and Translation in Environmental Health

Pathophysiology of Cancer

Thyroid Cancer


Accomplishments (4)

Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences at UOIT (professional)


Dr. Sanchez’s teaching focuses on the effective use of educational technology in health sciences, and the use of case studies to build clinical context in web-based environments. He is a member of the planning committee for the Annual International Nursing Computer and Technology Conference, Center for Professional Development in collaboration with Rutgers University. In 2005, he received the inaugural UOIT Faculty Teaching Award.

Co-ordinator, Environment and Cancer Working Group, UOIT (professional)


Since 2010, Dr. Sanchez has led an interdisciplinary team of researchers responsible for gathering current scientific evidence to address links between environmental factors and human cancer development and progression. The results of findings are published online at http://tlc.apa.uoit.ca/ecwg/ to provide health practitioners, policy makers and the public with the best available evidence on these links.

Author, Journal Nature (personal)


A prominent cancer researcher, Dr. Sanchez’s collaborative work has been published in the prestigious international journal Nature. His research in identifying critical molecules in the development of cancer broke the impact barrier by supporting the rationale of ongoing clinical trials in bone metastasis prevention and treatment. His research identified a set of molecules important for bone metastases, which provided targets for new drugs to help prevent the spread of cancer.

International speaker (personal)


An internationally noted speaker Dr. Sanchez is often invited to universities in countries such as Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Chile to deliver keynote presentations on his experiences in innovative teaching in his first language of Spanish.

Education (4)

McMaster University: PhD, Philosophy, Biomedical Sciences 1997

University of Toronto: MSc, Department of Pathology 1990

Instituto Nacional de Cancerologia and Pontificia Universidad Javeriana: Awarded in 1991, Especialista en Patologia (Specialist in Pathology) 1988

Universidad Nacional de Colombia: Medico Cirujano (Medical Doctor), Medicine 1983

Affiliations (2)

  • American Society of Investigative Pathology
  • American Association for Cancer Research

Languages (2)

  • English
  • Spanish

Event Appearances (6)

Assessing the environmental factors in two Ontario communities with diverging colorectal cancer incidence rates

104th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research  Washington, DC


The Relationship Between Modifiable Environmental Risk Factors and Colorectal Cancer: A Systematic Review

Fourth AACR Conference on The Science of Cancer Health Disparities  Washington, DC


Technology Use to Enhance Education in Health Sciences Courses: A 7-Year Perspective

Twenty-Ninth Annual International Technology Conference  Boston, Massachusetts


Technology in Education: Advances and Challenges

University of Santiago de Chile and Chilean Society of Health Sciences  Santiago, Chile


Multicultural Perspectives in Educational Activities

University of Santiago de Chile and Chilean Society of Health Sciences  Santiago, Chile


Challenges in Face-to-face and Virtual Evaluations in Health Sciences, and Multiprofessional Work in Health Sciences Education

5th Congress on Medical Education  Valdivia, Chile



Research Grants (2)

The Application and Evaluation of Wiki Technology for Online Collaborative Group Projects

University of Ontario Institute of Technology Teaching Innovation Fund $6800


PI Zitzelsberger, H., CI Sanchez, O. 2013-2014

Barriers to Pathway Completion

UOIT and Durham College $30,000


PI Lesage, A., Longo, F. CI Goodman, B., Percival, J., Samis, J., Sanchez, O., Hinch, R., DiGiuseppe, M., De La Rocha, A., Rodrigues, A., and Raby, P. 2012-2013

Articles (1)

Regulation of cancer cell migration and bone metastasis Nature


By RANKL, Nature 440:692-696. Jones DH, Nakashima T, Sanchez OH, Kozieradzki I, Komarova SV, Sarosi I, Morony S, Rubin E, Sarao R, Hojilla CV, Komnenovic V, Kong YY, Schreiber M, Dixon SJ, Sims SM, Khokha R, Wada T & Penninger JM

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