Exercise Oncology Lab


The Exercise Oncology Lab (EOL) is dedicated exclusively on developing, assessing, and evaluating exercise studies in cancer survivors. It is a multi-purpose laboratory allowing the space to be transformed for a variety of intervention modalities (e.g., distance-based, supervised), as well as physical function and exercise testing.

Mission: to promote physical activity as an essential component in cancer control and survivorship.

We focus on a variety of research questions including:

  • Can exercise help manage treatment-related side effects?
  • What is the role of exercise for cognitive functioning?
  • What is the optimal exercise program for benefits?
  • How do we maintain exercise levels throughout the cancer care continuum?
Exercise Oncology Laboratory 2020


Current Studies

The purpose of this study is to determine the effects of a 12-week intervention (Fitbit + behvioural counselling) vs. Fitbit-only control group in reducing sedentary behaviour among prostate cancer survivors.

This study is designed to examine the relationship between exercise and cognitive function before and after chemotherapy for breast cancer. Understanding the role of physical activity as it relates to cognitive problems will help us to develop physical activity programs to reduce these cognitive defecits in the long term.

The purpose of this study is to examine the association between physical fitness and cognitive function in metastatic kidney cancer survivors receiving immunotherapy to develop tailored physical activity programs.


The Exercise Oncology Lab is funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and is dedicated exclusively to developing, assessing, and evaluating behaviour change interventions in cancer survivors. The Exercise Oncology Lab contains four suites with the Exercise Suite as the main space, which houses the exercise training and testing space to enable the development and testing of exercise interventions. This space is also equiped with objective measures for exercise and sedentary behaviour including Actigraph accelerometers and Activpal inclinometers. The Behavioural Counselling Suite is used for behavioural counselling sessions necessary for long term exercise maintenance. The Analysis Suite contains data processing and analysis software used in behavioural interventions. The Biomarker Suite (directed by Dr. Daniel Santa Mina) is a wet lab dedicated to understanding the mechanisms between exercise and cancer- and treatment-related symptoms.

News & Events

Natalie Cuda (MSc. candidate) presents her research on 'Changes in Physical Activity and Well Being among Cancer Survivors During the COVID-19 Pandemic' at the International Society of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA) Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona.

Natalie ISBNPA Presentation

Denise Bastas (undergraduate student) presents her research presentation on 'Physical Activity Attitudes and Counselling Practices in Oncology Healthcare Providers Working with Kidney Cancer Survivors' at the Eastern Canada Sport and Exercise Psychology Symposium Annual Meeting in March 2019 in Vaughan, Ontario.

Denise ESCEPS  research presentation

Alexis Whitehorn (MSc. candidate) presents her research poster on ‘Motivational Outcomes of a Community-Based Program to Increase Physical Activity in Breast Cancer Survivors’ at the Society of Behavioral Medicine's 40th Annual Meeting in March 2019 in Washington, D.C. 

Alexis SBM research poster

Ally Tabaczynski (MSc. candidate) presents her research poster on ‘Demographic, Medical, Social-Cognitive, and Environmental Correlates of Meeting Strength Training Guidelines in Kidney Cancer Survivors’ at the Canadian Society for Psychomotor Learning and Sport Psychology Annual Conference in October 2018 in Toronto, Ontario.

Ally Scapps research poster

Ally Tabaczynski (MSc. candidate) presents her research poster on ‘Reallocation of Time Spent in Sleep, Activity and Sedentary Behaviour: Associations on Quality of Life in Kidney Cancer Survivors’ at the Society of Behavioral Medicine's 39th Annual Meeting in April in New Orleans, LA.

Ally SBM research poster

Resources for Cancer Survivors

These resources may be helpful if you are a cancer survivor and/or caregiver. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle through exercise and good nutrition is an important step in the journey to recovery.

Get Active, Sit Less! Exercise Guidebook for Kidney Cancer Survivors© in PDF format. This guide book is designed to help kidney cancer survivors increase their physical activity and reduce their sitting time. Download document with this link: Kidney Cancer Guidebook (English) or Kidney Cancer Guidebook (French)

Researchers and practitioners wishing to use this guidebook for research or practice-related purposes, please contact Dr. Linda Trinh: linda.trinh@utoronto.ca

There is no need to contact Dr. Trinh if you are downloading the book for your personal use.

Please contact the Exercise Oncology lab at exercise.oncology@utoronto.ca or (416) 946-5856 if interested in participating in the current studies.

The Exercise Oncology Lab is currently recruiting breast cancer survivors between 18-65 years old who are scheduled to receive adjuvent chemotherapy to participate in a study investigating exercise and cognitive function. 

Breast Cancer and Cognitive Function Flyer

The Exercise Oncology Lab is currently recruiting metastatic kidney cancer survivors (aged 18+) to participate in a study investigating the relationship between exercise cognitive function.

Kidney Cancer and Cognitive Function Flyer

The Exercise Oncology Lab is currently recruiting prostate cancer survivors (aged 18+) to participate in a 12-week program focused on moving more and sitting less. Watch the iSTRIDE video and view the flyer below for more information.




Graduate students

The EOL is currently recruiting highly motivated graduate students at the MSc and PhD level. Please contact Dr. Linda Trinh (linda.trinh@utoronto.ca) with a CV and cover letter outlining your research interests in exercise oncology.


Undergraduate students

If you are interested in a research experience with the EOL, please contact Dr. Linda Trinh (linda.trinh@utoronto.ca) with a resume and brief paragraph outlining your interest in exercise and cancer.

Want to hear about a day in the life at the EOL? Read an excerpt by one of the undergraduate students in our lab here.  

Contact Us

The Exercise Oncology Laboratory (EOL) is located in the Warren Stevens Building at the University of Toronto.

55 Harbord Street, Toronto ON.

M5S 2W6

Telephone: 416-946-3624

Scientific Team

Principal Investigator

Linda Trinh


Headshot of Emma

Emma Tung is a researcher in sports and clinical biomechanics. She completed her Master's at the University of Waterloo in Biomechanics and her research looked at using muscle quality, and physical capacity indicators to measure frailty in older adults. For the past two years, Emma worked for the Texas Rangers MLB organization where she led research activities to improve player performance. Now, as a Research Officer for the EOL, Emma is excited to coordinate and organize current and future studies looking at how specific exercise and behavioural interventions affect cancer survivorship and quality of life.

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Headshot of Hui

Hui is an emerging cancer rehabilitation researcher, with leadership in the field of prostate cancer prevention through exercise-supportive adjuvant therapy. His work combines quantitative and qualitative methodologies to bridge public health with men's health, driving forward effective prostate cancer research initiatives. He has previously delved into the supportive care needs of men with prostate cancer and pioneered a novel healthy ageing model for men by examining the factors that shape their supportive care needs and healthy ageing capabilities. Hui's interests are across interdisciplinary areas, including public health, exercise science, health rehabilitation, translational health, men's health, and cancer survivorship research.

Graduate Students

Ally's headshot

Allyson (Ally) Tabaczynski is a PhD Candidate in the Exercise Oncology Lab at the University of Toronto. Her research interests include physical activity behaviour change in those living with and beyond cancer. She is interested in understanding the factors leading to physical activity adoption and maintenance. Her work is guided by behavioural theory to develop evidence-based interventions to aid cancer survivors in making lasting physical activity behaviour change. Ally's research recognizes social environment to be a critical component for behaviour change, and therefore seeks to mobilize survivors' natural and peer support networks for changing physical activity behaviour.

Alexis Whitehorn

Alexis Whitehorn graduated from the University of Toronto with a Master of Science in Kinesiology and previously from  the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology in 2018. She is currently working in the Exercise Oncology Lab as a first year PhD student at the University of Toronto. Her research interest involves home-based functional fitness testing with cancer survivors. Alexis is committed to owning her own personal training studio in the future. She plans to motivate clients to become physically active and maintain a healthier lifestyle. 

Headshot of Golnaz

Golnaz Ghazinour is a second year Master's student working in the Exercise Oncology Lab at the University of Toronto. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology and Physical Education. Golnaz is interested in investigating the role of sedentary behaviour in cognitive and physical function of older breast cancer survivors post-treatment. She hopes to use her findings to develop effective physical activity interventions to reduce sedentary behaviour and improve the well-being of cancer survivors.

Michelle Ha

 Michelle Ha is a recent graduate from the University of Toronto holding an Honours Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience. She is currently working in the Exercise Oncology Lab as a research assistant and is interested in the impact of reducing sedentary behaviour on cognition and cardiovascular health. Michelle hopes to minimize comorbidity incidence and increase quality of life in cancer survivors by encouraging sustainable lifestyle changes.

Headshot of Sarah

Sarah O’Rourke is a first year master's student working in the Exercise Oncology Lab at the University of Toronto. She graduated from Western University with a Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology. Sarah is interested in the role of resistance training in cognitive and physical function of prostate cancer survivors. She hopes to use her findings to develop effective exercise interventions to improve quality of life and health outcomes of cancer survivors. 

Research Assistants

Headshot of Sofia

Sofia is a research assistant at the Exercise Oncology Lab, bringing clinical expertise as a Resident Physiotherapist based in Toronto. She earned her undergraduate Honours Bachelor's in Science from the University of Guelph before pursuing her Master's of Science in Physical Therapy at Queen's University. Sofia's passion for health promotion and behavior change underscores her commitment to empowering individuals to achieve their best lives. Her work in the lab aligns with her mission to advance knowledge and practices that enhance quality of life, particularly in the context of oncology and exercise science. Through her research and clinical experience, Sofia is dedicated to supporting individuals in leading fulfilling and meaningful lives.

Lamis Syed

 Lamisa Syed is a reseach assistant working in the Exercise Oncology Lab at the University of Toronto. She graduated from McMaster University with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and a minor in psychology. Her research interests in the lab are how to explore cancer survivors' quality of life and psychosocial factors can impact their physical activity levels and sedentary behaviour. In the future, Lamisa hopes to work with cancer survivors to help achieve their physical activity and functional goals with adaptable and evidence-based solutions.

Jada Roach is a recent graduate with a Bachelors of Kinesiology and a current first-year medical student at the University of Toronto. She is currently working in the Exercise Oncology lab as a research assistant. She is passionate about promoting the benefits of exercise for people of all walks of life and is specifically interested in how having an exercise identity impacts behaviour in cancer survivors.

Natalie Cuda

Natalie Cuda is a second year Master's student in the Exercise Oncology Lab. She graduated with a Bachelor of Kinesiology from the University of Toronto. Natalie is interested in examining the relationship between physical activity behaviour and mental health in breast cancer survivors. She hopes to use her findings to develop interventions that will optimize both physical and mental health in the cancer survivor population.

Undergraduate students

Headshot of Christy

Christy is a fourth-year undergraduate student at the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education, University of Toronto, and she is currently working as a research assistant at the EOL. Christy's research interest lies in exploring the role of physical activity in alleviating treatment-related side effects in cancer survivors. In the future, she aspires to be part of a multidisciplinary team in cancer care, where she can collaborate with cancer survivors and patients to minimize the disease's impact and improve their overall well-being. 

Headshot of Ina

Ina is in her fourth year of undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto, completing a Bachelors in Kinesiology and Physical Education. Currently, she is completing a Directed Research course, KPE390, under Dr. Trinh's supervision with her research project focused on profiling sedentary behavior patterns in prostate cancer survivors. Her research interests are in exploring interventions to reduce sedentary behavior amongst cancer survivors.


University of Toronto alumni

Natalie Cuda, MSc (2021-2024)

Lauren Voss, PhD Candidate (2021-2023)

Lucas Arago, BKin (2021-2022)

Alyssa Neville, MSc (2020-2022)

Sarah Ryan, BKin (2021-2022)

Adam Di Salvo, BKin (2020-2021)

Denise Bastas, MSc (2019-2021)

Shumeng Duan, BKin (2019-2020)

Cherry Manzano, BKin (2019-2020)

Princess Ulona, BKin (2018-2019)

Marlena Petrakis, BKin (2018-2019)


University of Illinois Graduate AlumnI

Dominick Strom, MSc (2017-2018)

Jaime Wong, MSc (2016-2018)


University of Illinois underGraduate AlumnI

Joshua Lee, BSc (Winter 2018)

Ashley Raehsler, BSc (Winter 2018)

Marianna Zalova, BSc  (Winter 2018)

Maddie Forouhi, BSc (2017-2018)

Madeline Gagnon, BSc (2017-2018)

Sophia Kim, BSc (2017-2018)

Jacqueline Surd, BSc (2017-2018)

Samantha Gibbons, BSc (2015-2018)

Waleed Aldadah, BSc (2016-2017)

Adrian Tellez, BSc ​(2016-2017)

Michelle Wilson, BSc (2016-2017)




University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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University of Victoria


Carle Cancer Center

University of British Columbia