• Vercauteren, Suzanne

    Investigator, BC Children's Hospital
    Clinical Associate Professor, Division of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia
    Degrees / Designations
    MD, PhD, FRCPC
    Primary Area of Research
    Childhood Diseases
    Secondary Area(s) of Research
    Lab Phone
    Tamsin Tarling, CCBR BioBank Coordinator
    Assistant Phone
    604-875-200 ext. 6423
    Mailing Address
    BC Children's Hospital
    Room 2K51
    4500 Oak Street
    Vancouver, BC V6H 3N1
    Affiliate Websites
    Research Areas
    • BioBanking
    • Minimal residual disease testing
    The CCBR BioBank Initiative

    Patient's samples are for translational research are analogous to  gas  for a car: the driving force! During my research career I have always been aware of the value of patient samples for research and the difficulty of obtaining these samples in a systematic and ethical manner. This was largely due to an ineffective  and inconsistent process of BioBanking and not the lack of enthusiasm from patients to donate. Therefore, I started the CCBR BioBanking initiative which started storing the first patient samples in September 2011.  This initiative has quickly taken root and other departments at C&W and CFRI have joined. It is our hope to establish institutional BioBanking mechanisms to develop a standardized and ethical method of consenting, processing samples and storing health information.

    For more information about the BioBank initiative you can go to the following website:

    Minimal Residual Disease testing

    Minimal Residual Disease (MRD) is  the name given to small numbers of malignant cells that remain in the patient during or after treatment when the patient has no signs or symptoms of the disease. It is very important to see whether patients still have MRD as it may mean they need more or different treatments. Flow cytometry methods lookat markers on the cell surface of cells or inside the cell. Malignant cells often have a different expression pattern of markers comapred to normal cells and therefore using this method we can distinguish between normal and malignant cells in a large number of patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

    In our laboratory we routinely test all patients with ALL for MRD at day 8 in their blood and Day 29 in bone marrow by a method called flow cytometry. We are currently investigating new markers to detect MRD more specifically  and in more patients with ALL. We are also working on a method to detect MRD in patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).  In addition, we are doing research in collaboration with Dr. Strahlendorf and Dr. Tanya Brown to see whether we can detect minimal disease as well as MRD in the bone marrow of patients with a solid tumor called neuroblastoma.   

    Current Projects
    Selected Publications
    Del Bel KL, Ragotte RJ, Saferali A, Lee S, Vercauteren SM, Mostafavi SA, Schreiber RA, Prendiville JS, Phang MS, Halperin J, Au N, Dean JM, Jewels E, Junker AK, Rogers PC, Seear M, McKinnon ML, Turvey SE. JAK1 gain-of-function causes an autosomal dominant immune dysregulatory and hypereosinophilic syndrome.  J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2017 Jan 19. PMID: 28111307  Impact Factor: 12.485
    Honours & Awards
    Research Group Members