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Otto Sanchez


Associate Dean, Undergraduate Programs

Faculty of Health Sciences

Contact information

Shawenjigewining Hall - Room SHA425
North Oshawa
2000 Simcoe Street North
Oshawa, ON L1G 0C5

905.721.8668 ext. 2994

Research topics

  • Disparities in Cancer, with focus on environmental carcinogenesis
  • Knowledge synthesis in environmental health and cancer
  • Cancer biology: Mechanisms of tumorigenesis and metastasis
  • Teaching of basic health sciences with clinical context using case studies
  • Effective use of educational technology in health sciences

Research and expertise

  • Background and interests

    Dr. Otto Sanchez graduated from Medicine at Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogota, Colombia in 1983, after which he completed in 1988 a clinical residency in Pathology at the Colombian Instituto Nacional de Cancerologia. In Canada, he earned a Master of Science (MSc) in Pathology at the University of Toronto in 1990 and a PhD in Biomedical Sciences 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 and has, since then, continued collaborating with the laboratory of Dr. Razqallah Hakem at the Ontario Cancer Institute, Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, Ontario.

    His teaching career began as a Teaching Assistant and Sessional Lecturer in 1990 with the School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. After becoming a faculty member at McMaster University in 1996, he taught Pathophysiology for Nurse Practitioners, developing expertise in online teaching in this distance education program. 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 and pre-clinical health sciences with the use of case studies by adapting them to various educational formats. He joined the Faculty of Health Sciences at Ontario Tech University as a founding faculty member in 2003 and received the university's Faculty Teaching Award in 2005. During the last 20 years he has focused on teaching Pathophysiology and Cancer Biology, contributing in different leadership roles and advancing international academic partnerships with Latin American universities.

  • 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
  • Courses taught

    Courses Taught (Last 5 years)

    • HLSC 2460U Pathophysiology I
    • HLSC 2461U Pathophysiology II
    • HLSC 3464U Cancer Biology
  • Publications

    For a comprehensive list of publications, visit PubMed.

    Publications (Last 5 years)

    Krishnan R et al. (2023). RNF8 ubiquitylation of XRN2 facilitates R-loop resolution and restrains genomic instability in BRCA1 mutant cells. Nucleic Acids Research 51(19):10484-10505. 

    Maniyali F, Sanchez O, Papaconstantinou E, Barakat C (2023). Determinants of health care needs in relation to vision correction among adolescents in the United Arab Emirates: A cross-sectional study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 20(16):6547. 

    Hill DC, Gombay C, Sanchez O, Woappi B, Romero Velez AS, Davidson S, Richardson EZL (2022). Lost in Machine Translation: The promises and pitfalls of machine translation for multilingual group work in global health education. Discover Education 1(1):3 

    Grove R, Sanchez O (2022). Human exposure to environmental pollutants and associations with non-Hodgkin lymphoma: A review. Exposure and Health 14, 99-109. 

    Kayvani K, Sanchez O, Gamble B, Mohammed S, Barakat C (2021). Prevalence and predictors of tonsil surgery among adolescents who reside in the United Arab Emirates. American Journal of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery 4(4):1131. 

    Patel PS et al. (2021). RNF168 regulates R-loop resolution and genomic stability in BRCA1/2-deficient tumors. Journal of Clinical Investigation 131(3):e140105. 

    Kayvani K, Sanchez O, Gamble B, Mohammed S, Barakat C (2020). Frequency and predictors of tonsil surgery: A systematic review of evidence. Archives of Health Science 4(1):1-11. 

    Saw S et al. (2019). Metalloprotease inhibitor TIMP proteins control FGF-2 bioavailability and regulate skeletal growth. Journal of Cell Biology 218(9):3134-3152.

    Publications 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
  • 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

    Grants (Last 5 years) 

    Co-Investigator, “Aha” moments using artificial intelligence and simultaneous translation in online international global health education, Emma Richardson (Principal Investigator). Other Co-Investigators: Hill D, Gombay C. 1 year, $3,987.75, Priority Areas for Learning and Teaching (PALAT) grant, Paul R. MacPherson Institute for Leadership, Innovation and Excellence in Teaching, McMaster University 

    Co-Investigator, The development of multi-course case studies for Faculty of Health Sciences students, Laura Banks (Principal Investigator). Other Co-Investigators: Partosoedarso E, Balogh R, Cole A, Nonoyama M. 2 years, $7,540.00, Teaching Innovation Fund, Ontario Tech University