Brad Wouters
Dr. Brad Wouters, UHN EVP of Science and Research launches Season 3 of UHN podcast. (Photo: Visual Services, UHN)

"This virus is going to be here for a very, very long time – forever perhaps."

That is the sobering conclusion of Dr. Brad Wouters on the life cycle of the coronavirus in a special edition episode of UHN's two-time Canadian Podcast Awards nominated podcast "Behind the Breakthrough."

UHN's Executive Vice President of Science and Research kicks off Season 3 on Oct. 12 in a provocative and wide-ranging conversation with podcast host Christian Cote' about the pandemic, and the leading edge COVID-19 investigations being driven by UHN Researchers into new treatments and discoveries.

They discuss the COVID ATTACC trial co-led by Dr. Ewan Goligher, a critical care physician at UHN, which recently published trial results showing heparin prevents deadly blood clots in COVID patients with mild symptoms.

The episode also covers the world-first discovery by clinician investigator Dr. Deepali Kumar and her team at UHN's Ajmera Family Transplant Centre and the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute (TGHRI) that a third dose of the COVID vaccine dramatically improves protection against the virus for immune-compromised transplant patients.


And there's the vital work of scientist Dr. Beate Sander and her TGHRI team, which has been vital to guiding Ontario public health policy throughout the pandemic with their modelling predictions on everything from masking supply to ICU capacity in the province.

Dr. Wouters also speaks to the decades of crucial basic science research that helped develop the COVID-19 vaccines in record time, and, shares what it was like on the morning of Dec. 14, 2020 to share in the historic moment of the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Canada to be administered to a healthcare worker.

"It was very exciting, I do remember that day very clearly," recalls Dr. Wouters, "We've all been really stunned by how great these vaccines are, and how effective they are, and it is a triumph of science, and I think perhaps one of the greatest examples of the importance of investing in science."

First Ontarion Covid Vaccine adminitered at MaRS
Historic first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to be administered to a healthcare worker in Canada at the Michener Institute, Dec. 14, 2020. (Front, L to R): Tamara Dus, UHN Director Health Services, and Anita Quidangen, Rekai Centre personal support worker; (Back L to R) Sue Graham-Nutter, CEO of the Rekai Centres, Emily Musing, UHN VP Quality and Safety & Chief Patient Safety Officer, Rebecca Repa, EVP Clinical Support & Performance, Dr. Kevin Smith, President and CEO UHN, Dr. Brad Wouters, EVP Science and Research UHN. (Photo: UHN)

This season the "Behind the Breakthrough" podcast features an all-star lineup of interviews with world-renowned UHN researchers. They include: the Krembil Brain Institute's Dr. Andres Lozano speaking to the latest on his Phase 3 trial – and 13-year journey – investigating the use of deep brain stimulation to treat Alzheimer's disease; Dr. Catherine O'Brien of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and her discovery that cancer cells evade chemotherapy by going into hibernation; and, an in-depth conversation with Dr. Joan Wither, an award-winning Krembil Research Institute scientist dubbed the "biomarker hunter" for her pioneering research into systemic autoimmune rheumatic disease (SARDS).

"Behind the Breakthrough" is the podcast all about groundbreaking medical research and the people behind it at UHN. This season the show airs every Tuesday, starting Oct. 12 and runs until early December. To learn more about the podcast go to Behind the Breakthrough podcast series page »

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