Dr. Ingeborg Zehbe, PhD, DSc

Dr. Ingeborg Zehbe, PhD, DSc

Joined Health Research Institute

2009 (Dr. Zehbe’s lab at the TBRHSC pre-dates the Health Research Institute)


  • BA, Anthropology and Archaeology, University of Uppsala (Uppsala, Sweden)
  • PhD, Molecular Pathology, University of Uppsala (Uppsala, Sweden)
  • DSc, Molecular Pathology, University of Uppsala (Uppsala, Sweden)

Appointments and Affiliations


  • Research Chair, Lakehead University (Biology Department)/Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute (Probe Development and Biomarker Exploration)
  • Associate Professor, Northern Ontario School of Medicine (West Campus)


  • Department of Microbiology, University of Mainz, Mainz, Germany (2002-2004)
  • Deutsches Krebsforschungzentrum, Heidelberg, Germany (1996-2001)





Email: zehbei@tbh.net

Dr. Ingeborg Zehbe, PhD, DSc

Scientist – Biomarker Exploration
Lakehead University/Thunder Bay Regional Research Health Institute Research Chair

A Multidisciplinary Approach to Solving the HPV Problem

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 the TBRHSC.

During her research, Dr. Zehbe found that First Nations 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.