Dr. Coburn is a surgical oncologist at Sunnybrook’s Odette Cancer Centre, senior scientist at ICES and professor of surgery at the University of Toronto, with a clinical practice completely devoted to hepato-pancreatico-biliary and upper gastrointestinal cancers. She has been on staff at the Odette Cancer Centre since 2004, and has served in many leadership roles including head of the division of general surgery, chief examiner for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada’s surgical oncology fellowship examination, and the clinical lead in patient-reported uutcomes and symptom management at Ontario Health Cancer Care Ontario. She now holds the Sherif and Mary-Lou Hanna Chair in Surgical Oncology Research.
Dr. Coburn’s research is focused on evaluating and improving the outcomes for patients who have gastrointestinal tract cancers. The major techniques utilized in her research are assessment of outcomes through examination of administrative databases, such as those at ICES. Following evaluation of patient outcomes, she has engaged knowledge translation researchers to examine the gaps in physician knowledge that result in gaps in patient care, so that the quality of patient care can be improved by providing physicians with training to reduce the gaps in their knowledge.
Dr. Coburn has led several major and multi-million dollar grants examining patterns of care for treatment of gastrointestinal cancers within Ontario and the U.S., and has contributed internationally to guideline creation to improve processes of care. She has published many landmark papers in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, BMJ, JAMA, Cancer, and Annals of Surgery.