Jonathan Irish MD M.Sc. FRCSC FACS

Provincial Head, Surgical Oncology, Cancer Care Ontario/Ontario Health

Dr. Jonathan Irish is currently a Professor of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery and the Head of the Head and Neck Oncology and Reconstructive Surgery Division at the University of Toronto. He is a head and neck surgical oncologist and reconstructive surgeon with particular expertise and interest in oral cancer, melanoma and skin cancer, thyroid cancer as well as salivary gland tumors and malignancies. 

As the Kevin and Sandra Sullivan Chair in Surgical Oncology at the University of Toronto, Irish leads a multidisciplinary program in Guided Therapeutics at UHN and is currently leading the Guided Therapeutics Core, and is the Director of Clinical Faculty for the TECHNA Institute at UHN. In that capacity, he leads a multidisciplinary team of surgeons, engineers, physicists, and nanoparticle biochemists in the development of novel nanomedicine-based contrast agents, which, in combination with near real-time navigation and tracking systems, can create innovative solutions for minimal-access surgical approaches in cancer therapy.  

Irish served as the Chief of the Department of Surgical Oncology at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre from 2000 to 2016. Since 2004, he has been a major health policy advisor and responsible for access to care, quality improvement, and health care funding for the Surgical Oncology Program at Cancer Care Ontario. In 2004, he became the Clinical Lead for Access to Care and Strategic Funding Initiatives for the Surgical Oncology Program at Cancer Care Ontario and is responsible for the Cancer Surgery Wait Times portfolio. He was the Provincial Clinical Lead for Access to Services and Wait Times for the province of Ontario from 2008-2012. In 2008, Dr. Irish was appointed as the Provincial Head of the Surgical Oncology Program at Cancer Care Ontario where he has provided leadership and oversight linking volume funding to quality improvement.

Irish served as the President of the American Head and Neck Society (AHNS) for 2017-2018. He is a double recipient of the American Head and Neck Society Presidential Citation with distinction. He is a recipient of the Honorary Membership Award with distinction from the Israeli Society of Head and Neck Surgery and Oncology, and the Honour Award with distinction from the Canadian Society of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery for his long-term contributions to otolaryngology – head and neck surgery in Canada.  Irish has received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Toronto, Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. Irish graduated with an MD from the University of Toronto. He then completed residency training at the University of California in Los Angeles and the University of Toronto. He completed his Master of Science degree in Molecular Biology under Dr. Alan Bernstein in the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto where he studied the molecular biological characteristics of head and neck cancers.