Western establishes pioneering $4M endowed chair for urologic cancer research

Bob hardie and Joseph Chin

By Prabhjot Sohal

Elevating its legacy of cutting-edge cancer research and patient care, Western has established the Chin-Hardie Chair in Urologic Oncology at Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry.

The $4-million endowed chair, funded in partnership with Western and London Health Sciences Foundation (LHSF), will focus on driving innovation in research, enhancing patient care and transforming how cancers of the urinary tract and the male reproductive system are diagnosed and treated. The chair is a tribute to the contributions of two remarkable individuals who have had an extraordinary impact on cancer research and patient care for more than four decades, Dr. Joseph Chin and Bob Hardie.

Chin, a leader in urologic oncology and professor emeritus of surgery in the Division of Urology at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry, is widely respected for his exceptional leadership in innovative medical procedures, including advanced surgery of the prostate using robotic technology and surgery using extreme cold produced by liquid nitrogen or argon gas to destroy cancer cells and abnormal tissue. Hardie, a retired research associate in the same division, has been a valued donor and LHSF partner for more than three decades. After winning the lottery, Hardie generously donated $1 million to establish the Hardie Chair in prostate cancer research. Hardie also spearheads the Hardie Family Foundation, established in 2003 to support families affected by prostate cancer.

“Dr. Chin and Mr. Hardie have devoted their careers to improving the lives of men and families affected by prostate cancer,” said Western President Alan Shepard. “This new chair honours their legacy by ensuring that Western continues to be a leader in urologic oncological research. We are grateful for the partnership with LHSF that has made this possible.”

John Yoo Bob
From left, Dr. John Yoo, Mr. Bob Hardie, Deborah Wiseman, Dr. Joseph Chin and Alan Shepard. (Photo: Rachel Lincoln)


Urologic cancers, which include cancers of the bladder, kidney, prostate, and the male reproductive system, affect thousands of Canadians every year. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Canadian men, with one in nine males receiving a diagnosis in their lifetime.

“This Chair is pivotal in supporting Western’s scientists who spearhead the development of innovative diagnostics and therapies for formidable cancers. By bringing together top-tier researchers and driving breakthroughs, Schulich Medicine & Dentistry will reshape the urologic cancer research landscape and continue to profoundly impact patients and families,” said Dr. John Yoo, dean, Schulich Medicine & Dentistry.

Schulich Medicine & Dentistry’s urology program is one of the most advanced in Canada with access to state-of-the-art equipment at all hospital sites in London, including the da Vinci Robot surgical platform and one of only three full-time shock wave lithotripsy units in Ontario.

Besides the generous support of Dr. Chin, Mr. Hardie and other community partners, the funding for the chair also includes support from other community partners and local businesses.

“It is through the generosity of Dr. Chin and Mr. Hardie, alongside community partners Lexus of London Golf Classic and Dash 4 Dad that this new research chair is possible. With additional start-up support from Keith Samitt and CANUSA/APC Auto Parts Centres, ground-breaking research to deepen our understanding of uro-oncologic diseases can begin immediately,” said John MacFarlane, president and CEO at LHSF.