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Otto Sanchez


Associate Dean, Undergraduate Studies and Student Experience

Faculty of Health Sciences

Contact information

Science Building - Room 2008
North Oshawa
2000 Simcoe Street North
Oshawa, ON L1H 7K4

905.721.8668 ext. 2994

Research topics

  • environmental factors of cancer
  • knowledge synthesis and translation in environmental health
  • pathophysiology of cancer


Dr. Otto Sanchez graduated from medical school in Bogota, Colombia in 1983, after which he completed a clinical residency in Pathology at the Colombian National Cancer Institute in 1998. He earned a Master of Science (MSc) degree at the University of Toronto in Ontario in 1990 and a PhD at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario in 1997. His MSc and PhD research focused on cancer cytogenetics and mechanisms of bone metastasis, respectively. From 1996 to 2004 he was a postdoctoral fellow and research associate at the laboratory of Dr. Rama Khokha at the Ontario Cancer Institute, Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, Ontario.

Dr. Sanchez began his teaching career in 1990 at the School of Nursing at McMaster University. After becoming a faculty member, he developed expertise in online teaching while teaching at a distance education program in the Province of Ontario. He was awarded the Teaching Excellence Award by the McMaster's Students' Union in 1996, 1998 and 2000. Inspired by McMaster's problem-based learning educational model, Dr. Sanchez developed an interest in teaching basic health sciences with the use of case studies by adapting them to various educational formats. He joined UOIT in 2003, and was awarded the 2005 UOIT Faculty Teaching Award. 


  • Master of Science University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario 1990
  • PhD McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario 1997

Courses taught

Courses taught (past and present) at the undergraduate level:

  • Advanced Pathophysiology
  • Pathophysiology I
  • Pathophysiology II
  • Cancer Biology

Courses taught (past and present) at the graduate level:

  • Environmental Determinants of Health

Research and expertise

Research area of specialty:

  • Disparities in cancer, with focus on the role of environmental pollutants in human cancer.
  • Educational use of technology in health sciences, with emphasis on online/hybrid education and use of case studies.
  • Mechanisms of cancer tumorigenesis and metastasis.

Research background and interests:

Dr. Sanchez’s cancer research concentrates on systematically evaluating the scientific evidence behind the role of environmental factors in the development and progression of human cancers. It is aimed at the translational implications of this knowledge to public health and the community at large. He co-ordinates The Environment and Cancer Working Group at UOIT.

Additionally, he maintains collaborations with research groups at Princess Margaret Hospital, studying genetic models of human cancer that allow the identification of novel molecular mechanisms of tumorigenesis and cancer progression. This work has resulted in important contributions in the understanding of the pathophysiology of bone metastasis and human osteosarcoma, among others.

Given the rich technological infrastructure at UOIT, his teaching interests focus on:

  • Effective use of educational technology in health sciences.
  • Implementation of blended-learning course formats.
  • Use of case studies to incorporate clinical context through interactive face-to-face and web-based environments. 
  • Dr. Razqallah Hakem - Ontario Cancer Institute, Princess Margaret Hospital
  • Dr. Rama Khokha - Ontario Cancer Institute, Princess Margaret Hospital
  • Master of Health Sciences (MHSc) thesis supervisor for Jeavana Sritharan (2010 to 2012) – Investigating The Relationship Between Modifiable Environmental Risk Factors and Incidence of Colorectal Cancer: A Community Based Study.
  • Teaching Innovation Fund, UOIT. Zitzelsberger H and Sanchez O. The Application and Evaluation of Wiki Technology for Online Collaborative Group Projects.
    • 2013 to 2014 (one year), $6,800
  • UOIT and Durham College. Principal Investigators: LeSage, A and Longo, F. Co-applicants: Goodman, B, Percival, J, Samis, J, Sanchez, O, Hinch, R, DiGiuseppe, M, De La Rocha, A, Rodrigues, A and Raby, P. Barriers to Pathway Completion.
    • 2012 to 2013 (one year), $30,000
  • The J.P. Bickell Foundation. Jones Taggart H and Sanchez O. Environmental Toxins and Breast Cancer.
    • 2008 to 2009 (one year), $62,308
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Hung CK, Vogwill V, Yu ESK, Sanchez OH and Stanyon W. Privacy Access Control Enforcement Model for Mobile Ad Hoc Healthcare Services.
    • 2007 to 2009 (two years), $144,000
  • Bell University Laboratories. Hung CK, Stanyon W and Sanchez O. Requirements to Architecture for Health-care Privacy in Ad Hoc Networks (MANETs).
    • 2007-2009 (two years), $50,000
  • SYNAPSE CIHR/STIHR Youth Mentorship Initiative. Green-Johnson J, Smith W, Forrester S, Jones-Taggart H, Vogel E and Sanchez O. UOIT’s Science Research for Health Day.
    • 2007 to 2008 (one year), $15,000
  • Teaching Innovation Fund University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). Jones-Taggart H and Sanchez O. Development and Use of Online Health Science Case Studies.
    • 2004 to 2005 (one year), $5,000
  • Operation Grants Competition – Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Khokha R and Sanchez O. Molecular Determinants in a Novel Mouse Model of Human Osteosarcoma.
    • 2003 to 2006 (three years), $401,250


  • Recent publications
    • El Ghamrasni S, Cardoso R, Halaby MJ, Zeegers D, Harding S, Kumareswaran R, Yavorska T, Chami N, Jurisicova A, Sanchez O, Hande MP, Bristow R, Hakem R, Hakem A (2014). Co-operation of Blm and Mus81 in development, fertility, genomic integrity and cancer suppression. Oncogene, May 26.
    • LeSage A, Samis J, Hinch R, Longo F, DiGiuseppe M, Goodman W, Percival J, De La Rocha A, Rodrigues A, Raby P, Sanchez O (2014). Pathways from college to university: A social science example from Ontario. College Quarterly 17(1).
    • Sritharan J, Kamaleswaran R, McFarlan K, Lemonde M, George C,Sanchez O (2014). Environmental factors in an Ontario community with disparities in colorectal cancer incidence. Global Journal of Health Science 6(3):175-185.
    • Bohgaki M, Hakem A, Halaby MJ, Bohgaki T, Li Q, Bissey PA, Shloush J, Kislinger T, Sanchez O, Sheng Y, Hakem R (2013). The E3 ligase PIRH2 polyubiquitylates CHK2 and regulates its turnover. Cell Death and Differentiation, 20(6):812-822.
    • Halaby MJ, Hakem A, Li L, El Ghamrasni S, Venkatesan S, Hande PM, Sanchez O, Hakem R (2013). Synergistic interaction of Rnf8 and p53 in the protection against genomic instability and tumorigenesis. Public Library of Science Genetics, 9(1):e1003259.
    • Hakem, A, El Ghamrasni, S, Maire, G, Lemmers, B, Karaskova, J, Jurisicova, A, Sanchez, O, Squire, J, Hakem, R (2012). Caspase-8 is Essential for Maintaining Chromosomal Stability and Suppressing B-cell Lymphomagenesis. Blood, 199(15), 3495-3502.
    • Sugamori, KS, Brenneman, D, Sanchez, O, Doll, MA, Hein, DW, Pierce, WM Jr, Grant, DM (2012). Reduced 4-aminobiphenyl-induced Liver Tumorigenicity but not DNA Damage in Arylamine N-acetyltransferase Null Mice. Cancer Letters, 318(2), 206-213.
    • Bohgaki, T, Bohgaki, M, Cardoso, R, Panier, S, Zeegers, D, Li, L, Stewart, GS, Sanchez, O, Hande, MP, Durocher, D, Hakem, A, and Hakem, R (2011). Genomic Instability, Defective Spermatogenesis, Immunodeficiency, and Cancer in a Mouse Model of the RIDDLE Syndrome. Public Library of Science Genetics, 7(4):e1001381.
  • Recent conference presentations
    • Sanchez O, Zitzelsberger H, Service D, Campbell K (2014). Use of Educational Technologies in an Online Pathophysiology Course Based on Case Studies. At the Sixth Ibero-American Joint Conference on Technologies and Learning, July 24, 2014, Miami, Florida.
    • Sritharan J, Kamaleswaran R, McFarlan K, Lemonde M, George C and Sanchez O (April 10, 2013). Assessing the environmental factors in two Ontario communities with diverging colorectal cancer incidence rates. At 104th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, Washington, D.C.
    • Sritharan J, McFarlan K, Sanchez, O (September 29, 2011). The Relationship Between Modifiable Environmental Risk Factors and Colorectal Cancer: A Systematic Review. At the Fourth AACR Conference on The Science of Cancer Health Disparities, Washington D.C.
    • Sanchez, O, Partosoedarso E, Kumar K (June 26, 2011). Technology Use to Enhance Education in Health Sciences Courses: A 7-Year Perspective. At the Twenty-Ninth Annual International Technology Conference, Boston, Massachusetts.
    • Sanchez, O. (August 16 to 18, 2010). Technology in Education: Advances and Challenges. University of Santiago de Chile and Chilean Society of Health Sciences, Santiago, Chile.
  • Publications since 2007
    • Molyneaux, SD, DiGrappa, MA, Beristain, AG, McKee, TD, Wai, DH, Paderova, J, Kashyap, M, Hu, P, Maiuri, T, Narala, SR, Stambolic, V, Squire, J, Penninger, J, Sanchez, O, Triche, TJ, Wood, GA, Kischner, LS, and Khokha, R (2010). Prkar1a is an Osteosarcoma Tumor Suppressor that Defines a Molecular Subclass in Mice. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 120, 3310-3325.
    • Li, L, Halaby, MJ, Hakem, A, Cardoso, R, El Ghamrasni, S, Harding, S, Chan, N, Bristow, R, Sanchez, O, Durocher, D, and Hakem, R (2010). Rnf8 Deficiency Impairs Class Switch Recombination, Spermatogenesis, Genomic Integrity and Predisposes for Cancer. Journal of Experimental Medicine, 207, 983-997.
    • McPherson, JP, Sarras, H, Lemmers, B, Tamblyn, L, Matysiak-Zablocki, E, Hakem, A, Azami, SA, Cardoso, R, Fish, J, Sanchez, O, Post, M, and Hakem, R (2009). Essential Role for Bclaf1 in Lung Development and Immune System Function. Cell Death and Differentiation, 16, 331-339.
    • Pamidi A, Cardoso R, Hakem A, Matysiak-Zablocki E, Poonepalli A, Tamblyn L, Perez-Ordonez B, Hande MP, Sanchez O, and Hakem R. (2007). Functional Interplay of p53 and Mus81 in DNA Damage Responses and Cancer. Cancer Research, 67, 8527-8535.
  • Conference presentations since 2007
    • Sanchez O, Ladouceur M, Mujica I, Thibeault L, Bracken S, Wahoush O, Skoko K and Gabriele N. (August 16 to 18, 2010). Multicultural Perspectives in Educational Activities. University of Santiago de Chile and Chilean Society of Health Sciences, Santiago, Chile.
    • Sanchez, O (January 13 to 14, 2010). 1) Challenges in Face-to-face and Virtual Evaluations in Health Sciences. 2) Multiprofessional Work in Health Sciences Education. The 5th Congress on Medical Education, Valdivia, Chile.
    • Sanchez, O (April 25, 2009). An Interdisciplinary Online Advanced Pathophysiology Course: A Three-Year Experience. Twenty-Seventh Annual International Nursing Technology Conference, Washington, D.C.
    • Sanchez, O (May 7, 2008). Is the Environment Related to Cancer Risk? Prevent Cancer – Be Informed Take Charge Canadian Cancer Society, Durham Region Unit, Oshawa, Ontario.
    • Sanchez, O (June 26, 2007). Case Study Development and Strategies for Effective Internet-Based Learning.  9th Annual Global Seminar International Conference, Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara, Guadalajara, Mexico.
    • Sanchez, O and Jones Taggart, H (June 17, 2007). Advancing the Educational Use of Case Studies Across a BScN Program in a Mobile Learning Environment. Twenty-Fifth Annual International Nursing Technology Conference, San Francisco, California.
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