Cypel, Humar, Monnier and Wallace
UHN researchers who are leading projects recently awards funding by the Canada Foundation for Innovation are, (clockwise from top left), Drs. Marcelo Cypel, Atul Humar, Philippe Monnier and Valerie Wallace. (Photo: UHN Research Communications)

By UHN Research Communications

UHN researchers have been awarded $6.3 million in funding for four projects, including two led by UHN and two led by collaborating institutions, as part of an announcement from the Government of Canada.

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) will be investing more than $515 million to support researchers across Canada through essential research facilities and equipment.

Two UHN-led teams received funding for large-scale infrastructure to support research projects on advanced organ transplantation strategies and retinal disease assessment and therapeutics.

Drs. Marcelo Cypel and Atul Humar, Senior Scientists at Toronto General Hospital Research Institute and the Ajmera Transplant Centre, received $2.8 million for a project to develop advanced strategies for modifying organs outside of the body – ultimately increasing the pool of available donor organs and improving outcomes for patients. The team will also develop customized donor organs to help improve long-term organ acceptance by the recipient.

Dr. Cypel is a professor of the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto (U of T) and Dr. Humar is a Professor in the Department of Medicine at U of T. Team members from UHN include Drs. Sarah CromeSiba Haykal, Stephen Juvet, Shaf KeshavjeeDeepali KumarSonya MacParland, Trevor Reichman and Markus Selzner

Drs. Valerie Wallace and Philippe Monnier, Senior Scientists at UHN' Donald K. Johnson Eye Institute, received $2.5 million to develop a facility for assessing degenerative eye diseases and developing therapeutics. Their multidisciplinary research team with expertise in retinal biology, stem cell biology and regenerative medicine will resolve the mechanisms underlying retinal connectivity and disease to preserve and restore vision.

Dr. Wallace is a professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at U of T and Dr. Monnier is a professor in the Department of Physiology at U of T. The team also includes UHN Drs. Brian BalliosMichae​l ReberKarun SinghJeremy Sivak as well as investigators from U of T and The Hospital for Sick Children. 

Two other UHN teams received a total of $1 million in funding through projects led by other institutions: one to automate the high-throughput imaging of structural features in biological samples (led by Sinai Health System) and the other to establish a Diagnostic Horizons Lab to accelerate the development of diagnostic tests, initially for sepsis and heart failure (led by U of T).

UHN researchers on these teams include Drs. Gary BaderAna KonvalinkaMarianne KoritzinksySonya MacParlandValerie WallaceBo WangPhyllis BilliaAzadeh Yadollahi and Heather Ross

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