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Dr Desmond Pink, Ph.D.


  • Research Associate, Department of Oncology, University of Alberta



Dr Pink is a Research Associate with Dr John Lewis (University of Alberta). His main work areas include (1) preclinical development of novel biomarkers for prostate cancer screening and diagnosis, (2) small molecule library screening for various cancer therapeutic applications and (3) preclinical development of a liposomal / nanoparticle drug delivery platform.

His main focus is the development of prostate cancer microparticle biomarkers. Together with his co-workers, Dr Pink has identified new markers which are used in a "liquid biopsy" to detect and enumerate microparticles and which are not only prostate cancer specific, but also indicative of disease status (e.g. normal, benign or metastatic).

The team is currently working on both retrospective and prospective sample analyses to further validate this assay but also and in collaboration with others, to identify and develop new prostate cancer specific biomarkers using proteomics, metabolomics and genetics.

While Dr Pink’s main area of interest is the development of a liquid biopsy for prostate cancer microparticle biomarkers, his broad interest lies with assay and platform development for preclinical applications. The Lewis lab utilizes many standard assay protocols, but it is best known for the development and use of the ex ovo chicken embryo model, also known as the chorioallantoic membrane or CAM model. This model system is used for investigating angiogenesis, metastasis, tumour biology, tumour vascular permeability, and nanoparticle, imaging agent and drug delivery.  The system has permitted the team to investigate and develop many imaging agents, biomarkers, antibodies, small molecule drugs with real time, and quantitative analyses under in vivo conditions. Much of Dr Pink’s previous work was spent developing a real time, intravital tumour vascular permeability assay in the CAM model system.

Best publications:

Real-time visualization and quantitation of vascular permeability in vivo: implications for drug delivery.Pink DB, Schulte W, Parseghian MH, Zijlstra A, Lewis JD. PLoS One. 2012;7(3):e33760.


Preclinical assay development, Microparticles, Flow cytometry, Intravital imaging, Small molecule screening.

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