van Niekerk, Dirk

Portrait photo of Dirk  van Niekerk


van Niekerk, Dirk

MB, ChB, (Univ Of Pritoria, South Africa), Mmed (Univ of Stellenbosch), FFPath (South African College of Medicine), LMCC, FRCPC

Academic Ranks(s):

Clinical Assistant Professor, UBC, Cervical Cancer Screening Program Medical Leader at BC Cancer Agency


BC Cancer Agency

Short Bio

Dirk van Niekerk’s research while affiliated with BC Cancer Agency


Academic Background

  • FFPath, Anatomy, South African College of Medicine. 1989
  • Mmed, Anat Pathology, University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch. 1989
  • MBChB, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa. 1982

Awards and Recognition



Research Interest

  • The role of spectroscopy in cervical cancer screening. Participating in a PO1 study with the Cancer Imaging department of BC Cancer Agency and the MD Anderson Cancer Institute in Houston, TX. Along with Dr. Matisic we are the Vancouver Pathologists who evaluate the cervical biopsies for this project. We have also evaluated the role of the molecular markers p16 and Ki67 in the objective classification of cervical dysplasia. Co-author of two peer reviewed articles from this project.
  • Molecular markers in invasive cervical cancer. Constructed a tissue microarray of invasive cervical carcinomas from patients diagnosed in Leipzig, Germany. Partly supervised a Post Graduate student (Dr. Hamid Masoudi) in evaluating various cell cycle proteins and proliferation markers in the prognosis of cervical carcinoma. First author of a peer reviewed paper that was submitted for publication (Am J Surg Pathol). Senior Author on another paper soon to be admitted. Senior author of a platform presentation, presented at the 2004 USCAP meeting in Vancouver by Dr. Masoudi.
  • The automation of cervical cancer screening. Was a member of the committee to evaluate the FocalPoint automatic screener in the Cervical Cancer Screening Program. A report detailing the findings has been issued. There was also a poster presentation highlighting our findings at the 2003 BC Cancer Agency Research day.
  • Anal cancer screening. Conducted a trial with the HIV centre for excellence at St. Pauls hospital, evaluating anal cancer screening by cytology. A total of 400 patients were enrolled. Two anal smears were submitted on each patient (one self sampled). The project is complete and the findings are being documented. At least two peer reviewed papers are expected from this study.
  • Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) in urine cytology specimens. Did a preliminary assessment of the FISH assay (Vysis corp.) for urine specimens. Literature search showed promising results. Discussion with clinicians (Dr. Martin Gleave at VGH in particular) identified that the high cost of the assay and the relatively low cost of cystoscopies in BC will severely limit the use of this technology in BC.
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) testing in cervical cancer screening

Current Projects In My Lab Include


Teaching Interest