Dr. Martin Yaffe

  • Director (Imaging)
  • Director, IVC (Imaging)
  • PI, Sunnybrook Research Institute (Heterogeneity in Space)
  • PI, Sunnybrook Research Institute (Masking Risk)


  • martin.yaffe at sri.utoronto.ca

Dr. Martin Yaffe’s research is directed toward development and improvement of imaging techniques for the earlier detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer, with a strong focus on breast cancer. His team is also interested in methods for analyzing image patterns to predict breast cancer risk and using these as tools to study the causes of breast cancer and to help develop preventive measures.

His team has established a comprehensive program in biomarker imaging research, which includes development of new techniques for 3D pathology including whole mount large format tissue slides development and analysis. These techniques are used for validation of new in vivo imaging methods, as well as for investigating approaches to improving accuracy of pathology, and adding prognostic and predictive information in management of cancer.

Currently the effort of the laboratory is largely focused on developing biomarker multiplexing techniques in cancer studies to examine molecular changes in different areas of the tumours and to define the extent of cancer heterogeneity by characterizing each clone with biomarker signatures, as well as investigating potential functional relationships between them. This information could also be used to further delineate subtypes of cancers for developing treatments that can target heterogeneous tumours. In this area we are currently involved in collaborative projects developing biomarker panels for ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), ovarian cancer and immune checkpoint inhibitors.

The two main foci of Yaffe’s research are integrated in a number of radiomics and radiogenomics studies that compare biomarker and molecular signatures of tumour cells and microenvironment with imaging biomarkers derived from medical breast images.

Yaffe’s lab made fundamental contributions to the technical development and clinical evaluation of digital mammography and to the establishment of mammographic density as risk predictors both for breast cancer and for the likelihood that a cancer will be missed at mammography screening. Yaffe is part of the leadership team of TMIST, a randomized trial of digital breast tomosynthesis for earlier detection of potentially lethal breast cancers.

Current Affiliations
  • Program Director, Imaging Program, OICR
  • Director, The Imaging Validation Core (IVC), Imaging Program, OICR
  • Principal Investigator, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Assessing Tumour Heterogeneity in Space
  • Principal Investigator, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Stratified Breast Cancer Detection Based on Masking Risk in Mammography
  • Tory Family Chair in Cancer Research
  • Professor, Departments of Medical Biophysics and Medical Imaging, University of Toronto
  • Senior Scientist, Sunnybrook Research Institute (SRI)