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Dr. Deborah Saunders, BSc, DMD 

Medical Director, Department Dental Oncology 
Regional Program Lead, Clinical Tobacco Intervention Program 
Program Lead, Oral Maxillofacial Rehabilitation Program 
Co-lead , Cancer Solutions, Heath Sciences Research Institute, 
Assistant Professor, Northern Ontario School of Medicine 

Dr. Saunders is the medical director of the dental oncology department at the Northeast Cancer Centre (NECC) as well as the program lead for the Northeast Cancer Centre (NECC) Clinical Tobacco Intervention Program, which ranks among the top in the province. Dr. Saunders is a member of the Ontario Health Tobacco Initiative Research Committee and the Canadian Dental Association, Committee on Clinical and Scientific Affairs. She is the president of the International Society of Oral Oncology. Dr Saunders has been top accrual of clinical trials at HSNRI since 2017.  Her research efforts have led to the publication of 35 peer-reviewed papers in reputable journals; including the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Cancer, and Supportive Care in Cancer.  She is a global speaker on Oral Complications in Cancer Therapy presenting in over 7 countries abroad and Global Advisor for three pharmaceutical companies.  Locally,   she serves on the Board of Directors for the Northern Ontario Angels of Ontario (NOA) representing the area of Medical Tech start-ups and is a longstanding mentor and research supervisor for Research Students/ Residents and Learners in the North.  

Gene therapy, Oral mucosal disease, Knowledge translation, Guideline development through systematic review, Head and Neck Survivorship, Genomic studies in addiction, Bone pathology, Clinical Tobacco Intervention, Health Economics in Supportive Care in cancer


NOAMA, Northern Cancer Foundation, Industry and Academic-funded clinical trials, CIDR, IARC


Assistant Professor, Northern Ontario School of Medicine

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