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Dr. Jason Berman

Dr. Berman (back, right) with Olivia, brother, Matthew, and her parents Barry and
Tammy Mason

Olivia’s “neat” doctor receives important research award

Olivia Mason’s favorite sport is swimming. The 11-year-old Bedford youngster* also likes soccer and horseback riding. Soon, when her six-month round of treatment for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is over, Olivia plans to enjoy all three activities once more. In the meantime, she’s getting healthier – and she’s learning a little about zebrafish.

Her oncologist at the IWK Health Centre, Dr. Jason Berman, does research on blood cancers using the see-through animals. “We can use the fish to better understand the development of these diseases,” he says. “We have seen how cancer causing genes affect normal blood development.”

“The goal is to better understand how cancer develops then test different drugs to see if the cancer cells change,” says Dr. Berman.

* Olivia will turn 12 in June.

The Peggy Davison Clinician Scientist Award is funded by Cancer Care Nova Scotia and administered by the Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute. It  is named in recognition of Peggy Davison, CCNS’s inaugural board chair.

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