Dr Maggie Cheang have extensive multidisciplinary experience in cutting-edge fields including biomedical sciences, cancer genomics (bioinformatics), pathology and clinical trials. Her main research focus is in the molecular classification of tumours and the development of multi-parametric (multi-modal) genomics assays by integrative analyses and to identify clinically relevant biomarkers that can be used as intermediate biological endpoints for phase II (platform) trials for targeted therapies. Dr Cheang currently leads a multidisciplinary research group of statistical, computational and translational scientists, strategically within the Clinical Trials and Statistics Unit at The Institute of Cancer Research, to develop novel and efficient computational analytical methods for the application of high-dimensional multi-omics data generated from bio-specimens collected in clinical trials.
Dr Cheang grew up in Vancouver, Canada and obtained her PhD in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine under the supervision of Professor Torsten Nielsen from the University of British Columbia in Canada. She then received a prestigious Canadian Cancer Society/Terry Fox Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship to train with Professor Charles Perou, a pioneer in identifying subtypes of breast cancer, at the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina, US.
She has co-invented several biomarkers which inform the design of biomarker driven trials. Her longstanding research interest is also to determine the clinical utility of new biomarkers to predict sensitivity of therapeutic agents in Phase III clinical trials. She co-invented the 50 genes-based classifier for the intrinsic subtypes of breast cancer, commonly known as PAM50 and is currently licensed by Veracyte as Prosigna®, an assay integrated into multiple international clinical practice guidelines.
Her research achievements have been internationally recognised by numerous awards, grants and memberships. She was a Merit Award recipient at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Meeting in 2011 and received a Clinical Science Scholar Scholarship at the CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in 2011. Dr Cheang was also a recipient of a Career Development Award for Junior Faculty funded by ReThink Breast Cancer Canada in 2011–12; two Novartis Oncology Young Canadian Investigator Awards (2011, 2008); and a National Cancer Institute of Canada Traveling Award for senior graduate students (2007–08).
She consults on several trial management and translational research committees for phase II and III trials. As a mark of her standing in the field, she currently serves as an Associate Editor of BMC Cancer and npj Breast cancer, member of Breast Cancer Now Scientific and UKRI/MRC Clinical Academic Research Partnerships grant panels.
She serves as Chair of the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) CM-Path Clinical Trials Pathology Advisory Group (CT-PAG), chairs the NCRI Next-generation Pathology Working Group. She is a member of the International Breast Cancer Research Foundation Immuno-oncology Biomarker working group and Roche’s imCORE Advanced Analytics Network.
Outside of work, she enjoys playing piano and snowboarding.