Academic Rank:
Professor, UBC
Anatomical Pathology, Vancouver General Hospital
Associate Director, MD/PhD Program, UBC
Vancouver Prostate Centre
Short Bio:

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

Born and raised in North Vancouver, he trained at several institutions in North American and Europe before starting his own laboratory and clinical practice at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in 2003. 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 may help women avoid ineffective treatments by more carefully targeting their therapies to the molecular subtype of their tumor.

Nielsen is a member of clinical trial groups in Canada and the USA, and is also helping train a new generation of clinician-scientists in his capacity as associate director of the UBC 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


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: 

Teaching Interest

Associate Director, UBC MD/PhD program: