​​​Image of Deputy Minister shaking hands with Dr. Shaf Keshavjee
Dr. Shaf Keshavjee, (R) Director of the Toronto Lung Transplant Program and UHN Surgeon-in-Chief, greets Giles Gherson, Ontario’s Deputy Minister of Research and Innovation, during a tour of the Latner Thoracic Research Laboratories in the MaRS Discovery District. (Photo: UHN)

Showcasing how research hospitals make Ontario "healthier, wealthier and smarter," UHN hosted the Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario's (CAHO) Innovation Tour.

Senior UHN executives, including President and CEO Dr. Peter Pisters and Dr. Chris Paige, the Vice-President of Research, toured Giles Gherson, Deputy Minister of Research and Innovation, through three facilities to underscore the leading role Ontario research hospitals play in a knowledge-based economy.

The tour, which also included a stop at the Hospital for Sick Children, was part of CAHO's on-going Healthier, Wealthier, Smarter campaign featuring Ontario's 24 research hospitals, including UHN.

The Deputy Minister, his colleague, Allison Barr, Director, Research and Innovation, and Karen Michell, Executive Director of CAHO, visited the the lab of Dr. Shaf Keshavjee, UHN Surgeon-in-Chief and Director of the Toronto Lung Transplant Program in the MaRS Discovery District.

Image of Two UHN doctors in lab coats, Deputy Minister and CAHO staff
(L to R) Karen Michell, Executive Director, CAHO, Giles Gherson, and Allison Barr, Director, Ministry of Research and Innovation, tour the STTARR Innovation Centre with the help of its Research Program Manager, Dr. Justin Grant, and Dr. Trevor McKee, Imaging Analysis Manager. (Photo: UHN)​

Dr. Keshavjee demonstrated the world-first Toronto EX VIVO Perfusion System developed in his lab, which allows from 30 to 40 per cent more donor lungs to be used safely, and sets the stage for more sophisticated molecular and cellular repair techniques to be applied in the Toronto System so that transplant outcomes can be further improved.

Also at MaRS, the entourage visited the STTARR Innovation Centre. It is the largest pre-clinical imaging centre in the world, providing state-of-the-art imaging technology for cellular studies at the level of DNA and proteins. It is self-sustaining, with private-sector collaboration and development of unique imaging equipment, as well as new contrast agents, molecular probes and radiotracers.

Earlier at Toronto Rehab (TR), Dr. Paige and Dr. Geoff Fernie, TR's Director of Research, led the Deputy Minister in a tour of WinterLab and StreetLab in the iDAPT Centre for Rehabilitation Research.

WinterLab simulates typical Canadian winter conditions and allows researchers to test and develop new winter footwear, outerwear and improvements to mobility aids in cold, snowy conditions. StreetLab allows scientists to study participants as they safely navigate through simulated, 3D streetscapes as a novel way to test mobility devices, hearing aids and other technologies.

Image of Drs. Geoff Fernie and Chris Paige with trio at Toronto Rehab
(L to R) Karen Michell, Allison Barr, Giles Gherson, and Dr. Chris Paige, UHN’s Vice-President of Research, are introduced to the iDAPT Centre for Rehabilitation Research by Dr. Geoff Fernie, the Director of Research at Toronto Rehab. (Photo: UHN)
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