OICR Diagnostic Development

Developing diagnostic assays to support rapid implementation of precision medicine.

About Our program

OICR’s Diagnostic Development Program is charged with the mission to initiate, disseminate and nurture expertise in the development of diagnostic assays and support its rapid implementation of precision medicine through personalized diagnosis and treatment. A key component of our mission is to extend support and expertise to the cancer research community through an active collaborative approach across Ontario and beyond.

OICR’s Diagnostic Development is focused on the development and validation of objective clinical assays to improve therapeutic selection for early cancers. Alongside the program’s core research, we support or have supported research in breast, prostate, ovarian, bladder and pancreatic cancers, amongst others. The program has over 100 publications with more than 150 collaborators.



Our vision is to accelerate the delivery of personalized medicine and adaptive oncology through the development of clinically informative and validated molecular diagnostic assays.


Our mission is to initiate, disseminate and nurture expertise in the development of diagnostic assays, supporting implementation of precision medicine through personalized diagnosis and treatment.


  1. Accelerate the development of discoveries into diagnostic assays; 

  2. Increase access to technologies and expertise for tissue-based cancer research and for diagnostic development;

  3. Actively engage with a network of clinical, academic and commercial partners to enhance diagnostic assay development; and

  4. Train the next generation of molecular pathologists and clinician scientists.

Our Services and Expertise

Researchers in OICR’s Diagnostic Development are focused on the development, evaluation and dissemination of technologies to both researchers and diagnosticians in the most challenging, but also most informative, research space – clinical diagnostic anatomical pathology samples – i.e. formalin fixed paraffin embedded tissues and, more recently, cfDNA/RNA.

Over the past 5 years, we have provided support to multiple research programs across the spectrum of research from innovative approaches to sample management (laser capture microdissection, small volume tissue RNA/DNA extraction), targeted sequencing, expression profiling using diagnostic ready platforms such as NanoString, Ion Gene studio S5, multiplex PCR, fluorescent and light microscopy based image analysis and conventional diagnostic pathology technologies (IHC/FISH etc.). In addition, we have acted as a point of contact for clinical trials groups (CCTG/CURC/OCOG) and OICR initiatives (OCTANE, PanCuRx, GECCO) on optimal sample management, collection and extraction. 

OICR’s Diagnostic Development now offers key research support services to the Ontario community and beyond through OICRs Collaborative Research Resources program. For an extensive list of OICR’s Diagnostic Development services available, please see our CRR page.

Collaborate with Us

Our Services and Expertise are widely available to researchers in Canada and internationally.

Our Team

Sarah Barker

  • Program Manager

Our Research Output

Event Dates:

Zoom, Toronto, Ontario