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Dr. Calum MacAulay

Clinical Associate Professor

Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Faculty of Medicine

BC Cancer Research Centre

Dr. Calum MacAulay, PhD serves as Head, Cancer Imaging Department, B.C. Cancer Research Centre, BCAA. Dr. MacAulay serves as Advising CSO of LED Dental, Inc. Dr. MacAulay is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology and an Associate Member of the Physics Department at the University of British Columbia. Dr. MacAulay works on the quantitative imaging of early cancers at both the macroscopic and microscopic level using light and its interaction with tissue. He serves as Member of Scientific Advisory Board at Remicalm, LLC. His research interests include reflectance and fluorescence spectroscopy and other techniques of optical imaging in the diagnosis of pre-cancers and cancers, as well as the development of computer-assisted image cytometry for the reading of cellular and tissue specimens. His projects have focused on reducing the mortality of lung cancer through early detection using quantitative automated sputum analysis, light induced fluorescence endoscopy for detection and localization within the bronchial tree, quantitative analysis of biopsy tissue and chemoprevention. In addition to Dr. MacAulay’s academic appointments, he is also a member of numerous scholarly societies, organizations and editorial boards. He is an inventor and/or co-inventor in 18 granted patents and 35 pending patents with numerous provisional patents recently filed. Dr. MacAulay is responsible for over 200 peer-reviewed publications and 13 book chapters. He has played an integral role in a team effort to establish the genetic damage involved in the development of early lung cancer. It is, in part, his strong desire to see the results of research in clinical use that has led to the successful transfer of technology into four spin-off companies. He has been awarded i) The B.C. Lung Association Scholar (1990-1995), ii) The Friesen-Rygiel Prize for outstanding Canadian academic discovery leading to uniquely positioned commercialization opportunities (1999), and iii) The Young Innovator Award, B.C. Science and Technology Award, Science Council of B.C.(1999). Dr. MacAulay’s research continues to be focused on the early detection of cancer of the lung, cervix and breast. Dr. MacAulay received his Ph.D in 1989 from the University of British Columbia in Physics, and his M.Sc. in 1985 from Dalhousie University in Physics, and an Engineering Physics B.Sc. in 1982 from Dalhousie.

Current Research Focus

Dr. MacAulay’s research focuses on the research and development of new means for the detection, grading, and treatment of early, non-invasive cancer and to see these means used clinically. It has long been recognized that all cancer can be successfully treated at an early stage, including cancer of the lung, breast, cervix, colon and prostate. Towards this goal the multi-disciplinary research in which he participates, has developed several new devices employing solid state sensors and advanced light sources coupled with computer technology. These devices make previously invisible early cancers readily detectable. His team has developed a device called the Light Induced Fluorescence Endoscope (LIFE), enabling a more than 2X improvement in early lung cancer detection.

Example Project

“Co-Registered Multimodal Optical Imaging for the Early Detection and Management of Cancers of the Vulva and Cervix” Cancer is most treatable when detected early by screening. Cervical cancer, is currently the only gynecologic cancer with an accepted screening test. The goal of this research project is to further develop and evaluate an imaging device for the detection and localization of other gynecologic cancers including vulvar, cervical and endocervical canal. The device - which uses light in a variety of unique ways - has already shown promise for the localization of small nodules in the lung. This proposal will use light to make images similar to ultrasound with 3D depth information, red, green and blue light to make extremely high resolution (~100th of a mm) white light images and blue illumination with green detection of tissue autofluorescence images (similar to a white shirt under black light [UV]). The research will enable the development of new tools to visualize the gynecologic tract at very high-resolution providing clinicians with the ability to see abnormal tissue and tissue changes not seen before. In other tissue sites this approach has enabled improved cancer management and we expect to generate similar results for these gynecologic cancers.

Research Keywords

Prostate Cancer, Digital / Molecular Pathology, In Vivo Tissue Imaging, Lung Cancer, Confocal Imaging