U of T to transform regenerative medicine thanks to historic $114-million federal grant

By Terry Lavender

The University of Toronto is set to cement its position as one of the world’s leading centres for the design and manufacture of cells, tissues and organs that can be used to treat degenerative disease, thanks to a $114-million grant from the federal government.

“Our government is investing in research and innovation to create jobs, strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life of Canadians,” said the Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology). “This legacy investment in Medicine by Design will harness Canada’s strengths in regenerative medicine to treat and cure serious injuries and diseases that impact every Canadian family while creating new opportunities for Canadian health-related businesses.”

The research grant, the largest in U of T’s history, is the first to be awarded under the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF), established by the federal government last year. Spread over seven years, the funding will allow U of T and its partners, which include the Hospital for Sick Children, the University Health Network, and Mount Sinai Hospital, to deliver a new program called Medicine by Design.The initiative and the new funding build on years of support for U of T’s regenerative medicine researchers from federal granting councils, the Canada Foundation for Innovation and support from the Canada Research Chairs and Canada Excellence Research Chairs programs.

The mandate of Medicine by Design is to undertake transformative research and clinical translation in regenerative medicine, enhance capability in synthetic biology and computational biology and foster translation, commercialization and clinical impacts.

U of T President Meric Gertler thanked the government for its support of the university’s Medicine by Design initiative, and for its leadership in the advancement of globally competitive Canadian research and innovation. He also thanked and congratulated all those involved in the project at the university and its partner hospitals. “Our brilliant researchers and clinicians are doing cutting-edge work that is making Canada a world leader in regenerative medicine. I applaud them, and all those who helped prepare U of T’s successful application for this historic research award.”


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