​​Good afternoon, TeamUHN!

It is a pleasure to connect with you across care, research, and education through this weekly CEO update – all in service of A Healthier World.

Key reminders and updates

  • If you missed UHN Women's event to mark 2024 International Women's Day, be sure to watch a recording Keynote speaker, Dr. Bettina Hamelin, President and CEO of Ontario Genomics, spoke at the BMO Education & Conference Centre at Toronto Western Hospital about to how to have effective mentorship conversations, drawing from her decades-long experience across academia, industry, and the non-profit sector. We thank UHN Women for championing equity across UHN and reminding us of our collective work to build environments where women are empowered, respected, and celebrated. Please also read this UHN News story for IWD, exploring the importance of mentorship in propelling the careers of young scientists. Watch the full recording and learn more about UHN Women online.
  • Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, UHN welcomed Ontario's Minister of Health and Deputy Premier Sylvia Jones and Minister of Energy Todd Smith last week as the Ontario government unveiled plans to produce a nuclear medical isotope to help cancer patients. Laurentis Energy Partners, a subsidiary of Ontario Power Generation, will lead production of the medical isotope yttrium-90 (also known as Y-90) at the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station, along with industry partners. Y-90 is a life-saving isotope primarily used to treat liver cancer; it benefits patients at the UHN and around the world. This development is good news for our domestic supply of this life-saving treatment. The choice of the Princess Margaret to host such an announcement underscores the esteem to which Canada's biggest cancer centre is held by government and industry partners. Learn more.
  • A new collaboration between UHN's KITE Research Institute and the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto will help scientists more quickly transform technology research into practical medical applications. This new partnership between UHN and U. of T. seeks to break down barriers and create opportunities for collaboration, incorporating more ideas from the engineering faculty into hospital-based research. Dr. Milos Popovic, serving as both KITE Director and Director of the Institute of Biomedical Engineering, is already dreaming big, hoping that within five years, this collaboration “will have 200-plus scientists attached to it, a ridiculous number of graduate students and an influx of philanthropic cash." This is yet another example of how UHN is breaking down silos in research and health care, and thinking differently about how to best serve patients. Read more on KITE's website.
  • A new study from UHN's Donald K. Johnson Eye Institute (DKJEI) offers valuable insights into the significant connection between the liver and the brain. Published in Nature Communications, the study led by Dr. Phillipe Monnier, a Senior Scientist at DKJEI, discovered that molecules secreted by the liver help maintain blood vessels in the brain. Clinical observations have long suggested the liver plays a key role in brain function, as those with liver disease often experience neurological symptoms. These findings could help improve treatments for a range of conditions, including brain tumours and Alzheimer's disease. Read more in UHN News. Read the full study online. 

Closing Notes

Dr. Susy Hota, Division Head of Infectious Diseases, appeared on CBC News' flagship program "The National" last week to discuss measles and how Canadians protect themselves through immunization. Watch the clip, linked in the image below, to hear Susy explain how two doses of the vaccine will protect more than 98 per cent of people from this disease. My thanks to her and others across UHN who share their expertise with the media so that Canadians can have accurate and reliable health information about the effectiveness of vaccines. Please watch for more information this week from Health Services and Safety Services about requirements for health care workers.

And now… our video of the week. This clip shines a light on Social Workers at UHN who create new and empowering pathways for the people they support.


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Have a good week,


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