UHN's McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health will be the host organization of Grand Challenges Canada, a national initiative that will help redefine Canada's role in solving persistent health challenges facing poor countries.

Grand Challenges Canada is led by a world-class Scientific Advisory Board and Board of Directors - including Chairman Joseph L. Rotman and UHN's Dr. Peter Singer – who will identify challenges that, if solved, will significantly improve health. A goal is to improve the diagnosis of diseases afflicting millions in the developing world by bringing diagnostic tools to the patient's bedside.

Peter Singer image"Innovation saves lives," says Dr. Peter A. Singer, Chief Executive Officer of Grand Challenges Canada and Director of the McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health, University Health Network and University of Toronto. "Diagnosis is the prelude to effective treatment. Bringing diagnostic tools to the patient's bedside is better, faster, and cheaper than sending a sample to a laboratory 100 km away."

Diagnostic improvements could save more than 100,000 lives annually from malaria-related deaths alone and could reduce more than 365 million unnecessary treatments, which can lead to wasted resources and drug resistance.

Says Mr. Rotman, one of Canada's most philanthropic business leaders and Chairman of Grand Challenges Canada, "once these innovative solutions are created, it is up to a collaboration of business, academia, government and philanthropy to invest in and develop these advances and make them available and affordable to all who need them. It's gratifying to see that the Canadian Government has the far-sighted vision to support this extraordinary venture which will make such a difference in the world and to Canada's role in international development."

About the Centre
The McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health is an academic centre at the University Health Network and University of Toronto.  The centre is made up of an international and multi-disciplinary team.   The vision is to illuminate the path towards a world where everyone benefits from new diagnostics, vaccines, drugs and other life science solutions.  The mission is to conduct translational research in global health and help researchers and companies get their life sciences technologies to those who need them in the developing world.  The focus is from 'lab to village' and programs include developing grand challenges, providing ethics consultation, developing models of commercialization, and conducting translational research

During the past years, the Centre has assisted in the following:

  • The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to launch the Grand Challenges in Global Health Initiative
  • The Canadian Government's commitment
    — ​in a throne speech and economic update
    — to devote 5% of research and development funding to health and environmental technologies that are relevant to the developing world
  • The United Nations Secretary General's Office in understanding the linkage between development and security issues in the biosciences, leading to a speech by Kofi Annan at the University of St Gallen in Switzerland in late 2006
  • The African Union High-Level African Panel on Modern Biotechnology's report, "Freedom to Innovate: Biotechnology in Africa's Development"
  • The United Nations Millennium Development Project Science, Technology and Innovation Task Force report on "Innovation: Applying Knowledge in Development"

  • Source: www.tgwhf.ca/campaigns/mrcgh/index.asp

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