Thanks to the federal government’s $114-million grant, Toronto has been firmly established as the leader of the pack when it comes to centers for the design and manufacture of cells, tissues and organs used to treat degenerative disease.
The Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology) said, “Our government is investing in research and innovation to create jobs, strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life of Canadians.” This pledge of support was awarded under the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF), established by the federal government last year.
The initiative and the new funding will be spread out over the next seven years – allowing U of T and its partners (including the Hospital for Sick Kids, the University Health Network, and Mount Sinai Hospital) to come together to provide a new program called Medicine by Design.
The program will allow Canada to “lead the global medical industry and become a major international supplier of regenerative medicine technologies and therapeutics which is expected to grow to $50 billion by 2019.”
Meric Gertler, U of T President, congratulated all those involved in the project and thanked the government for its support of the initiative. The program took root at U of T thanks to the university’s long-standing leadership in the field of regenerative medicine.
The program will break down into three divisions: 1) Cells by Design – cells whose function can be manipulated to improve safety and efficiency in treatment of disease), 2) Tissues by Design – the creation of complex tissues for use in research and the replacement of damaged or lost human tissue, and 3) Organs by Design – the creation and repair of organs outside of the human body for transplant.