A Multidisciplinary Approach to Solving the HPV ProblemDecember 7th, 2018 by Marcello Bernardo
Dr. Ingeborg Zehbe is a Scientist with the Health Research Institute, a Lakehead University / Health Research Institute Research Chair and an Associate Professor with the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.
As a Cancer Biologist, Dr. Zehbe’s research focuses on human papillomavirus (HPV)-related cancer. Her personalized health approach brings basic research, tumour model engineering, patient-targeted, non-invasive treatments, as well as screening and prevention under the same umbrella.
Cervical cancer is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), a common infection that most men and women get at some point during their lives. Usually the body can successfully fight off the virus, but sometimes the infection persists leading to more serious conditions including cervical cancer and cancers of the head and neck.
Cervical cancer is preventable, and it is curable when caught in its early stages. Dr. Ingeborg Zehbe has spent her professional career investigating ways of reducing cervical cancer deaths through basic research, testing non-invasive therapeutics, and improving current cancer screening. She collaborates with experts in a wide range of fields including physics, engineering, computer science, chemistry, virology, epidemiology, public health, sociology, and ethical philosophy as well as clinicians at our Hospital.
During her research, Dr. Zehbe found that Indigenous women are at a much higher risk of dying from cervical cancer than the national average – in some cases as much as 20 times higher. This is due to several factors including cultural sensitivities, geographical barriers, and access to care. Dr. Zehbe leads a team that launched the Anishinaabek Cervical Cancer Screening Study (ACCSS) to encourage screening among women from 10 First Nations in Northwestern Ontario and to compare the results of two types of cervical screening designed to overcome the barriers to screening.
To learn more about Dr. Zehbe, her research, and the members of her research lab, visit https://www.zehbelab.com/