Laura Dawson

Laura Dawson


Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto, Ontario


  • MD, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 1993.

Postgraduate Education

  • Fellow, Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1998-1999.
  • Resident, Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 1993-1998.

Academic Appointments

  • Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2010-present.
  • Member, Institute of Medical Science Graduate Faculty, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2005-present.
  • Associate Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2005-2010.
  • Assistant Professor, Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2003-2005.
  • Assistant Professor, Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1998-2003

Hospital Appointments

  • Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2003-present.
  • University of Michigan Hospitals and Health System, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1999-2003.
  • Alpena General Hospital, Alpena, Michigan, 1999-2003.
  • Foote Hospital, Jackson, Michigan, 1999-2003.
  • The Veterans Administration Hospital, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1999-2003.

Service to ASTRO

  • Member, Gold Medal Awards Committee, 2017-present.
  • Member, International Education Subcommittee, 2017-present.
  • Member, Fellows Selection Committee, 2016-present.
  • Vice-chair, Conflict of Interest Review Committee, 2018-present.
  • Member, Conflict of Interest Review Committee, 2015-2018.
  • Chair, GI Resource Panel, 2018-present.
  • Member, GI Resource Panel, 2014-2018.
  • Member, Annual Meeting Track – GI, 2013-2017.
  • Ex-officio, Annual Meeting Steering Committee, 2012-2014.
  • Member, as Chair of the Education Council/Board of Directors, Nominating Committee, 2012-2014.
  • Member, Clinical Affairs and Quality Committee, 2012-2013.
  • Member, International Task Force, 2011-2013.
  • Chair, Education Council, Board of Directors, 2012-2014.
  • Vice-chair, Education Council, Board of Directors, 2010-2012.
  • Author, IGRT Q/A White Paper, 2010-2011.
  • Member, International Conference on Metastases, 2009-2011.
  • Member, PRO Editor Search Committee, 2009-2010.
  • Member, Emerging Technology Monitoring Subcommittee, 2008-2010.
  • Member, Membership Committee, 2006-2011.
  • Vice-chair, Annual Meeting Education Committee, 2009-2010.
  • Co-chair, ASTRO IGRT Symposium, 2008-2010.
  • Member, Annual Meeting Education Committee, 2003-2009.
  • Member, Education Committee, 2004-2008; 2009-2011.
  • Vice-chair, Journal Committee, 2009-2010.
  • Member, Membership Committee, 2006-2010. 
  • Vice-chair, Journal Committee, 2009-2010.
  • Member, Journal Committee, 2003-2009.
  • Member, Education Sessions Subcommittee, 2004-2009.
  • Member, Publications Committee, 2003-2009.
  • Reviewer, Annual Meeting Abstracts, 2003-2006.

Service to Other Oncology or Radiology Organizations

  • Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG)/NRG
    • Member, GI Translational Research Committee, 2007-present.
    • Member, GI Steering Committee, 2006-present.
    • Member, RTOG Executive Committee, 2011-2013.
    • Member, Advanced Technology Integration, 2006-2013.
  • National Cancer Institute (NCI)/National Institute of Health (NIH)
    • Member, Hepatobiliary Task Force, 2006-present.
    • Member, Hepatocellular Carcinoma Workshop, 2018.
    • Member, State of the Science Hepatocellular Carcinoma Workshop, 2008.
    • Member, Biomedical Informatics Infrastructure for Clinical Trials Cooperative Cancer Group Imaging Workshop, 2006.
    • Member, Workshop on Operations Research Applied to Radiotherapy, 2002.
  • Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium
    • Immediate Past Chair, Steering Committee, 2019.
    • Chair, Steering Committee, 2018.
    • Member, Steering Committee, 2017.
    • Member, Program Committee, 2007-2015.
    • Co-chair, Fellows Mentorship Luncheon, 2008.
    • Member, News Planning Team, 2017-2019.
    • Poster Walk Leader, 2018-2019.
    • Reviewer, abstracts, 2017-2015, 2017-2019.
  • Canadian Association of Radiation Oncology (CARO)
    • Member, Research Advisory Council for Canadian Radiation Oncology Foundation, 2009-2010.
    • Co-program Director, Adaptive Therapy Symposium, Annual Meeting, 2007.
    • Chair, History and Archives Committee, 2004-2006.
    • Member, History and Archives Committee, 2003-2007.
  • American Association of Physicists in Medicine
    • Member, TCP, NTCP Abdominal Working Group on Biological Effects of Hypofractionated Radiotherapy/SBRT, 2013-present.

Biographical Statement

After finishing her radiation oncology residency at the University of Toronto, Dr. Dawson completed a fellowship in high precision radiation therapy at the University of Michigan, where she developed an interest in liver cancer radiation therapy. Today, she is an active radiation oncologist and the upper gastrointestinal cancer multi-disciplinary site lead at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, and Professor of Radiation Oncology at the University of Toronto. She leads the palliative radiation oncology program (PROP) and treats patients with gastrointestinal malignancies and patients with oligo-metastases from a variety of malignancies. Her primary clinical and research focus continues to be on liver cancer patients, who historically were not candidates for radiation therapy.

Dr. Dawson’s scholarly activities involve the implementation and evaluation of technological developments in radiotherapy, such as IGRT and SBRT/SABR. She is an active trialist, and has led numerous phase I, II and more recently phase III, potentially practice changing clinical trials of personalized SBRT/SABR for liver cancer. She enjoys teaching, and has mentored many radiation oncologists, physicists and radiation therapists from around the world who have gone on to develop their own oligo-metastases and liver cancer SBRT/SABR programs.

Outside of oncology, Dr. Dawson enjoys playing hockey and spending time at her cottage with her husband and three boys, who are avid hockey players.