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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Otto Sanchez


Associate Dean, Undergraduate Programs

Faculty of Health Sciences

Contact information

Shawenjigewining Hall - Room 425
North Oshawa
2000 Simcoe Street North
Oshawa, ON L1G 0C5

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 Ontario Tech University in 2003, and received the university's Faculty Teaching Award in 2005.


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


  • 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.

Research and expertise

  • Background and interests

    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.

    Additionally, he maintains collaborations with research groups at the Ontario Cancer Institute, studying genetic models of human cancer that allow the identification of novel molecular mechanisms of tumorigenesis and cancer progression.

    Given the rich technological infrastructure at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, 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.
  • Publications

    For a comprehensive list of publications, visit PubMed.

    Publications in the last five years (2013 to 2018):

    • Li L, Guturi KKN, Gautreau B, Patel PS, Saad A, Morii M, Mateo F, Palomero L, Barbour H, Gomez A, Ng D, Kotlyar M, Pastrello C, Jackson HW, Khokha R, Jurisica I, Affar EB, Raught B, Sanchez O, Alaoui-Jamali M, Pujana MA, Hakem A, Hakem R (2018). Ubiquitin ligase RNF8 suppresses Notch signalling to regulate mammary development and tumorigenesis. Journal of Clinical Investigation 2018 Sep 17. 
    • O’Neill C, Burgomaster K, Sanchez O, Dogra S (2017). The acute response to interval and continuous exercise in adults with confirmed airway hyper-responsiveness. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport 20(11):976-980.
    • Jones Taggart H and Sanchez O (2016). Integrating basic sciences in the medical laboratory sciences curriculum: a case study of strategies and approaches. AMEE MedEdPublish.
    • Ghamrasni SE, Cardoso R, Li L, Guturi KK, Bjerregaard VA, Liu Y, Venkatesan S, Hande MP, Henderson JT, Sanchez O, Hickson ID, Hakem A, Hakem R (2016). Rad54 and Mus81 cooperation promotes DNA damage repair and restrains chromosome missegregation. Oncogene 35(37):4836-4845.
    • Percival J, DiGiuseppe M, Goodman B, LeSage A, Longo F, De La Rocha A, Hinch R, Sanchez O, Samis JA, Rodrigues A, Raby P (2016). Exploring factors facilitating and hindering college-university pathway program completion. International Journal of Educational Management 30(1):20-42.
    • Defamie V, Sanchez O, Murthy A, Khokha R (2015). TIMP3 controls cell fate to confer hepatocellular carcinoma resistance. Oncogene 34(31):4098-4108.
    • 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 (2015). Cooperation of Blm and Mus81 in development, fertility, genomic integrity and cancer suppression. Oncogene 34(14):1780-1789.
    • Ghori A, Bartfay W, Bartfay E, Sanchez O (2015). Exposure to video display terminals and associated neuromuscular pain and discomfort in male and female undergraduate university students. Health Tomorrow 3:105-126.
    • Jackson HW, Hojilla CV, Weiss A, Sanchez OH, Wood GA, Khokha R (2015). Timp3 deficient mice show resistance to developing breast cancer. Public Library of Science One March 25 10(3):e0120107.
    • Percival J, DiGiuseppe M, Goodman B, LeSage A, Longo F, De La Rocha A, Hinch R, Samis JA, Sanchez O, Rodrigues A, Raby P (2015). Exploring student and advisor experiences in a college-university pathway program: A study of the Bachelor of Commerce pathway. Canadian Journal of Higher Education 45(4):400-422.
    • Zitzelsberger H, Campbell K, Service D, Sanchez O (2015). Using wikis to stimulate collaborative learning in two online health sciences courses. Journal of Nursing Education 54(6):352-355.
    • 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.
  • Research collaborators
    • Dr. Razqallah Hakem - Ontario Cancer Institute, Princess Margaret Hospital
    • Dr. Rama Khokha - Ontario Cancer Institute, Princess Margaret Hospital
  • 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
  • Graduate student research
    • Master of Health Sciences (MHSc) thesis supervisor for Megalai Thavakugathasalingam (2014 to 2016) – Reconstructing experience of childhood cancer: A narrative inquiry
    • 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.
  • Grants

    Research funding in the last five years (2013 to 2018):

    • Teaching Innovation Fund, University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Sanchez O and Malachowski C. Blended Learning: An Instructor Perspective of Facilitators and Barriers Across Two Universities. 2016 to 2017 (one year), $8,000.
    • Teaching Innovation Fund, University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Zitzelsberger H and Sanchez O. The Application and Evaluation of Wiki Technology for Online Collaborative Group Projects. 2013 to 2014 (one year), $6,800.
    • University of Ontario Institute of Technology 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.
  • Education
    • Medical Doctor, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogota, Colombia, 1983
    • Specialist in Pathology, Instituto Nacional de Cancerologia and Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogota, Colombia, 1988
    • Master of Science, Department of Pathology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, 1990
    • PhD, Biomedical Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, 1997