Dr. David Hoskin: A BHCRI Founder, Continues to Contribute

Dr. David Hoskin: a BHCRI founder, continues to contribute

By Maria Laura Todesco, Public Relations student, Nova Scotia Community College

Dr. Hoskin’s interest in science began when he was very young. At an early age, he had an improvised laboratory in his basement where he did research with a microscope and a chemistry set that his parents gave him.

To pay forward part of the benefits that he enjoyed from the awards he won as a student, Dr. Hoskin has donated money to establish an undergraduate summer studentship. This studentship allows an Atlantic Canada student primarily interested in breast cancer or prostate cancer to work with leading figures in the research environment during the summer to help advance their career.

“Giving a young student the opportunity to work in a lab is really important,” said Dr. Hoskin. “It can have an impact and shape their career for treating cancer.” 

Since its inception, he has been passionately involved with the Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute, serving on the Working Group for the Institute and its Development Board. He used his previous experience at the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and other institutions to help put together the new Institute’s bylaws and programs. Dr. Hoskin collaborated with cancer researchers and research entities in different areas, which allowed him to help shape one of the most important and unique research centres in the Atlantic region. “I’ve been involved from the beginning without pause,” said Dr. Hoskin. Today he continues to help the Institute by serving on the Membership Committee.  

Dr. Hoskin is now retired, but as part of his career, he has studied natural products that have the potential to treat cancer, as well as investigated cancer cell molecules that suppress the immune response. Today, several of his former trainees continue to work in the natural products line of research or have become physicians, which makes him proud. Even though he no longer runs a research program, Dr. Hoskin is still active in helping former trainees to write papers and research grant applications. 

After more than 40 years of research, he feels satisfied that he has contributed to the body of knowledge. “I created a base for the next generation of researchers to build on, and eventually, someone is going to discover something critical.”