Nielsen, Torsten

Portrait photo of Torsten  Nielsen


Nielsen, Torsten


Academic Ranks(s):

Professor, UBC, Anatomical Pathology, Vancouver General Hospital, Director, MD/PhD Program, UBC,



Short Bio

Dr. Torsten Nielsen is a clinician-scientist pathologist based at Vancouver General Hospital and BC Cancer, working to translate molecular research findings into clinical care.

Born and raised in North Vancouver, he trained at several institutions in North America and Europe before starting his own laboratory and clinical practice at the University of British Columbia. Professor Nielsen was involved in some of the world’s first genome-wide studies of musculoskeletal tumors (sarcomas), work which has led to the development of several new diagnostic tests, clinical trials of targeted therapies, and breakthroughs in understanding the biology of fusion gene sarcomas affecting young adults. He has also worked to translate the molecular profiles of breast cancer into practical clinical tests that help women avoid ineffective treatments by more carefully targeting their therapies to the molecular subtype of their tumor.

Professor Nielsen works closely with clinical trials groups in Canada, the USA and Europe, and is helping to train a new generation of clinician-scientists in his capacity as director of UBC’s MD/PhD Program.


Academic Background

  • MD/PhD, McGill University. 1997
  • PhD, Experimental Medicine, McGill University. 1996
  • BSc, Biochemistry (1st class honours) University of British Columbia. 1991

Awards and Recognition


Here is my publications list.


Research Interest

  • Translational research in breast cancer – developing clinically-practical predictive biomarkers using tissue microarray and Nanostring technology
  • Molecular oncology of sarcomas afflicting the AYA (adolescent and young adult) population – synovial sarcoma, myxoid liposarcoma, epithelioid sarcoma and related cancers
  • Correlative science support for clinical trials in breast cancer and sarcoma, in association with the Canadian Cancer Trials Group

Dr. Nielsen’s active projects are listed at: 

Current Projects In My Lab Include


Teaching Interest

Director, UBC MD/PhD program: