Our UHN programs and services are among the most advanced in the world. We have grouped our physicians, staff, services and resources into 10 medical programs to meet the needs of our patients and help us make the most of our resources.
University Health Network is a health care and medical research organization in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The scope of research and complexity of cases at UHN has made us a national and international source for discovery, education and patient care.
Our 10 medical programs are spread across eight hospital sites – Princess Margaret, Toronto General, Toronto Rehab’s five sites, Toronto Western – as well as our education programs through the Michener Institute of Education at UHN. Learn more about the services, programs and amenities offered at each location.
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More than 50,000 people around the world receive blood stem cell transplants every year
[Editor's Note: Link is no longer available] to treat leukemia and other blood disorders, making the procedure "inarguably the most successful and most widely used treatment in regenerative medicine," says Dr. John Dick.
In some cases, these transplants can be done with a patient's own cells. But those who need donor cells to replace their damaged blood still face a significant hurdle.
"The problem is that you need a transplant match and about two-thirds of people who would benefit from a transplant don't have a match," says Dr. Dick, a senior scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and a professor of molecular genetics at the University of Toronto (U of T).
Dr. Dick leads one of two collaborative
team projects funded by U of T's Medicine by Design initiative that are trying to overcome this critical barrier. His team, which includes more than a dozen biologists, computational scientists and engineers from seven laboratories, is taking the small number of stem cells that can be harvested from the umbilical cord and placenta when a baby is born and trying to expand them in the lab to create a plentiful supply of transplant tissue.
The project builds on Dr. Dick's life's work of trying to understand how blood develops and how miscues in this process lead to disease, including his ground-breaking discovery 20 years ago of cancer stem cells as the source of leukemia.