Tanya Gillan

Clinical Cytogeneticist and Molecular Geneticist, VGH
Degrees / Designations 


Email Address 
Mailing Address 
Cytogenetics Laboratory Room 1815 JPS1 Vancouver General Hospital 899 W. 12 Avenue Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9


Academic Appointment 
Clinical Assistant Professor
Disorders and Conditions 
Other Areas of Research 
chronic lymphocytic leukemia
hematological malignancies

I obtained my Master’s degree from Dalhousie University and was part of the team that identified the gene responsible for Niemann-Pick Disease Type D (Nova Scotian variant). I then shifted my focus to cancer genetics for my PhD in Oncology at the University of Alberta, where I studied the genetics of Wilms tumor. Upon completion of my PhD, I undertook a three year Fellowship with Canadian College of Medical Geneticists in molecular genetics and cytogenetics. I am currently employed as a Clinical Cytogeneticist and Molecular Geneticist at the Vancouver General Hospital. I provide clinical cytogenetic service for prenatal investigations, adult constitutional investigations and hematological malignancies.

Current Projects 

My primary research interest lies in furthering our understanding of the genetics of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL). I am involved the creation and development of the Provincial CLL Database where our goal is to have comprehensive clinical and laboratory information on all patients diagnosed with CLL in BC. This dataabase will allow us to perform powerful clinical correlative studies, which will increase our understanding of CLL and improve patient management. We have recently used the database to study the clinical significance of IGH translocations in CLL and have shown that these translocations negatively impact patients who carry chromosome 13q deletions, who usually are categorized as having a good prognosis.

Additional research projects underway are:

(1) Evaluation of the clinical significance of clonal evolution in CLL
(2) Assessment of the frequencies of FISH abnormalities in the BC CLL population
(3) Development of IGVH mutational status in CLL as a clinical test
(4) Clinical utility of microarray studies in CLL and other hematological malignancies (AML, ALL, MDS).

News and Awards