• Lee, Anna


    Investigator, BC Children's Hospital
    Pediatric Pathologist, BC Children's Hospital
    Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia

    Degrees / Designations
    MDCM, PhD
    Primary Area of Research
    Childhood Diseases
    Secondary Area(s) of Research
    Lab Phone
    Mailing Address
    Children's & Women's Health Centre of BC

    Room 2H51
    4500 Oak Street
    Vancouver, BC V6H 3N1

    Affiliate Websites
    Research Areas
    • Investigation of molecular pathways involved in oncogenesis of childhood sarcomas
    • Identification and characterization of potential biomarkers

    Oncogenesis is the process of cancer development, whereby normal cells are transformed into cancer cells. I am interested in applying pathology techniques to learn more about this process, and to determine what triggers oncogenesis in different types of childhood cancers. I am also interested in correlating clinical aspects of disease with changes in diseased tissues, in the hopes of understanding the disease process better.

    Current Projects
    1. Pediatric Personalized Oncogenomics (PedsPOG)
      I am a pathology reviewer for Pediatric Personalized Oncogenomics (PedsPOG), an innovative collaborative project that uses next-generation sequencing technologies to identify molecular pathways in pediatric cancers that could be targeted by pharmaceuticals (Site leaders: Drs. R. Deyell, R. Rassekh, BCCH Oncology; Principal investigators: Drs. M. Marra, J. Laskin, BCCA Oncology). I am also involved in a POG spin-off project led by Dr. I. Schrader (Medical Genetics).
    2. Neurogenesis in Endometriosis
      Endometriosis is a common condition resulting in significant morbidity, pelvic pain and infertility. It commonly presents as deep pain with intercourse (dyspareunia). One mechanism by which endometriosis is thought to produce dyspareunia is through neurogenesis (nerve formation) in pelvic structures.  I am a co-investigator on a study led by Dr. P. Yong (BCWH Obstetrics and Gynecology) to review the pain scores of patients with endometriosis and dyspareunia in comparison with the characteristics of their nerve cells. If we discover that the degree of pain is associated with the density of nerve cells, it may point to potential pharmaceutical targets to treat symptoms of endometriosis. 
    3. Assessment of Liver Injury in Pediatric Fontan Patients
      Patients with congenital heart disease who undergo a Fontan surgical procedure are at risk to develop advanced liver injury. While there are very few published Fontan case series each of limited size, a variety of hepatic abnormalities have been reported ranging from mild elevations in liver biochemistries to advanced fibrosis and cirrhosis. This study, led by Dr. O. Guttman (BCCH Gastroenterology) and K. Harris (BCCH Cardiology), will assess the incidence, prevalence and severity of liver injury and fibrosis and its complications in pediatric patients who have undergone the Fontan procedure.  The utility of noninvasive markers of liver fibrosis in Fontan patients using FibroScan® (transient elastography) will be assessed, and correlated to the degree of histological hepatic fibrosis as measured using standard histological grading scores of liver biopsy tissue.
    Selected Publications

    Gripp, KW, KM Robbins, BS Sheffield, AF Lee, MS Patel, S Yip, D Doyle, D Stabley, K Sol-Church. Paternal uniparental disomy 11p15.5 in the pancreatic nodule of an infant with Costello syndrome: Shared mechanism for hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia in neonates with Costello and Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome and somatic loss of heterozygosity in Costello syndrome driving clonal expansion. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A, 2015 Nov 17, doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.37471

    Williams, C, L Hoang, A Yosef, F Alotaibi, C Allaire, L Brotto, M Bedawi, TL Ng, AF Lee and PJ Yong. Nerve bundles and deep dyspareunia in endometriosis. Reproductive Sciences, 2015, in press.

    Sheffield, BS, HC Hwang, AF Lee, K Thompson, S Rodriguez, CH Tse, AM Gown and A Churg. BAP1 Immunohistochemistry and p16 FISH to Separate Benign From Malignant Mesothelial Proliferations. American Journal Of Surgical Pathology, 2015, 39(7): 977.

    Sheffield, BS, S Yip, ED Ruchelli, CP Dunham, E Sherwin, PA Brooks, A Sur, A Singh, D Human, MS Patel and AF Lee. Fatal congenital hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and a pancreatic nodule morphologically identical to focal lesion of congenital hyperinsulinism in an infant with Costello syndrome: case report and review of the literature. Pediatric And Developmental Pathology, 2015, 18(3): 237.

    Lee, AF, AD Krahn, S Sanatani and DE McFadden. Postmortem genetic diagnosis of long QT syndrome in a case of sudden unexplained death of a young child: A case report and overview of regional guidelines for genetic testing. BC Medical Journal, 2014, 56(10): 486.

    Lee, AF, BR Pawel and LM Sullivan. Significant immunohistochemical expression of human chorionic gonadotropin in high-grade osteosarcoma is rare, but may be associated with clinically elevated serum levels. Pediatric And Developmental Pathology, 2014, 17(4): 278.

    Lee AF, Gown AM, Churg A. IMP3 and GLUT1 immunohistochemistry for distinguishing benign from malignant mesothelial proliferations. American Journal of Surgical Pathology, 2013; 37(3):421. 

    Heravi-Moussavi A*, Anglesio MA*, Cheng SG*, Senz J, Yang W, Prentice L, Fejes A, Chow C, Tone A, Kalloger SE, Hamel N, Roth A, Ha G, Wan ANC, Maines-Bandiera S, Salamanca C, Pasini B, Clarke BA, Lee AF, Lee CH, Zhou C, Young RH, Aparicio SA, Sorensen PHB, Woo MMM, Boyd N, Jones SJM, Hirst M, Marra MA, Gilks B, Shah SP, Foulkes WD, Morin GB**, Huntsman DB**. Recurrent somatic DICER1 mutations in non-epithelial ovarian cancers. New England Journal of Medicine, 2012; 366(3):234.

    Lee AF, Chiasson DA, Smythe JF, Sanatani S. Recurrent congestive heart failure in a child due to probable myocarditis. Pediatric Cardiology, 2012; 33(1):176.

    Lee AF, Yip S, Smith AC, Hayes MM, Nielsen TO, O’Connell JX. Low-grade fibromyxoid sarcoma of the perineum with heterotopic ossification: case report and review of the literature. Human Pathology, 2011; 42(11):1804.

    Wiegand KC, Lee AF, Al-Agha OM, Chow C, Kalloger SE, Scott DW, Steidl C, Wiseman SM, Gascoyne RD, Gilks B, Huntsman DG. Loss of BAF250a (ARID1A) is frequent in high-grade endometrial carcinomas. Journal of Pathology, 2011; 224(3):328.

    Lee AF, Hayes MM, Lebrun D, Espinosa I, Nielsen GP, Rosenberg AE, Lee CH. FLI-1 distinguishes Ewing sarcoma from small cell osteosarcoma and chondrosarcoma. Applied Immunohistochemistry and Molecular Morphology, 2011; 19(3):233.

    Lee AF, Rees H, Owen DA, Huntsman DG. Periodic acid-Schiff is superior to hematoxylin and eosin for screening prophylactic gastrectomies from CDH1 mutation carriers. American Journal of Surgical Pathology, 2010; 34(7):1007.

    Honours & Awards
    2012 Best Resident Research in Breast Disease, International Society of Breast Pathology. For top resident research abstract in breast pathology at USCAP 2012

    2011 Best Resident Oral Presentation, UBC Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Annual Pathology Day

    2011 Gross Photo Award, UBC Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. Annual award for best gross specimen photo as judged by UBC Pathology faculty

    2010 A. James McAdams Short-Term Study Stipend, Society for Pediatric Pathology. For short-term study at an institution offering an ACGME-accredited pediatric pathology fellowship program

    2001-2007 Canadian Institutes of Health Research MD/PhD Studentship, McGill University, Montreal, QC. Doctoral research stipend.

    Research Group Members