​ WINNER 2022 Canadian Podcast Award: 'Outstanding Science Series'
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A podcast about the people behind world-leading research at UHN

Fresh off it's 2022 Canadian Podcast Award win for "Outstanding Science Series" the production team at Behind the Breakthrough is busy at work on a brand new season of the podcast dedicated to showcasing groundbreaking medical research and the people behind it at UHN.

Season 5 is set to launch October 10, 2023 and features an all-star cast of award winning UHN researchers including Princess Margaret Senior Scientists Dr. Gelareh Zadeh, who achieved a world first when her lab successfully mapped the biology of meningiomas, the most common form of brain tumour, and, Dr. Laurie Ailles, who also scored a research first when she discovered the origin cell of head and neck squamous carcinoma.

Listeners will also hear about some of the outside-the-box research UHN champions in an effort to expand the mission of Canadian hospitals and lead in a collaborative way to generate solutions that address the root causes of health problems. This includes in-depth conversations with Dr. Andrew Boozary, a pioneer of the concept of social medicine and a driving force in this country to improve the health outcomes of disadvantaged populations, and, Dr. Howard Abrams, a leader in the establishment of naturally occurring retirement communities (NORCS) for seniors.

Join us on this acclaimed podcast and come on a journey of discovery this season with UHN's Behind the Breakthrough!

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 Current Episode

Dr. Shaf Keshavjee

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Episode 10 – Dr. Shaf Keshavjee takes us behind the breakthrough of his lung transplant discoveries

Air Date: December 14, 2022 | Length: 59:06 | Download the transcript

UHN surgeon scientist Dr Shaf Keshavjee sits down with Behind the Breakthrough host Christian Coté and takes us on a behind-the-scenes journey of his groundbreaking medical discoveries – two of which have had a profound impact on lung transplant around the world. For his Master's thesis in the late 1980's he developed a lung preservation solution – LDP – which is now the standard for lung preservation worldwide. Twenty years later he followed that up with the invention of a lung perfusion machine that preserves and treats damaged donor lungs outside the body – or ex vivo. The Toronto Ex Vivo Lung Perfusion System has doubled the number of lungs available for transplant and is now in use around the world. Today the system is being tested to treat other damaged organs including the liver, kidney, and heart. In this wide-ranging and revealing conversation, Dr. Keshavjee speaks to the importance of mentorship, the qualities necessary to be a successful scientist, and, the importance of scientists learning about patenting and commercializing their work. Dr. Keshavjee also talks about a big personal motivation in his career trajectory - the inspiration he derives from his parents sacrifice. When he was just 12 years old they sold their dream house and quit their jobs in Nairobi, Kenya to move to Canada and start over in the hopes of giving their son and daughter better educational and life opportunities. Don't miss this compelling episode featuring an up-close conversation with Dr. Shaf Keshavjee.

Learn more about Dr. Keshavjee

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Dr. Michael Reber

Episode 9 – Dr. Michael Reber and pioneering the use of virtual reality devices to restore vision
Air Date: December 7, 2022 | Length: 41:54

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Dr. Rama Khokha

Episode 8 – Dr. Rama Khokha on her breakthrough to map the biology of pancreatic cancer
Air Date: November 30, 2022 | Length: 34:50

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Dr. Lorraine Kalia

Episode 7 – Dr. Lorraine Kalia and a promising new treatment for Parkinson's Disease
Air Date: November 23, 2022 | Length: 41:54

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Dr. Eleanor Fish

Episode 6 – Dr. Eleanor Fish on therapeutic benefit of interferons against viruses
Air Date: November 16, 2022 | Length: 31:49

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Dr. Jonathan Irish

Episode 5 – Dr. Jonathan Irish and augmented reality in cancer surgery
Air Date: November 9, 2022 | Length: 46:54

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Dr. Carmela Tartaglia

Episode 4 – Dr. Carmela Tartaglia and pioneering a diagnosis for CTE
Air Date: November 2, 2022 | Length: 43:57

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Dr. Andrea Iaboni

Episode 3 – Dr. Andrea Iaboni and a new toolkit for LTC to help care of residents during an outbreak
Air Date: October 26, 2022 | Length: 33:56

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Dr. Gordon Keller

Episode 2 – Dr. Gordon Keller on his groundbreaking research to advance stem cell-based therapies
Air Date: October 19, 2022 | Length: 43:23

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Dr. Andrea Furlan

Episode 1 – Dr. Andrea Furlan on groundbreaking new treatments for chronic pain
Air Date: October 12, 2022 | Length: 1:01:41

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Episode Information: Seasons 1 to 3

Dr. Angela Cheung

Episode 10 – Dr. Angela Cheung pioneers research on the symptoms and treatment for long-hauler COVID patients
Air Date: December 14, 2021 | Length: 40:56

Learn more about Dr. Cheung & listen to the episode

Dr. Andres Lozano

Episode 9 – Dr. Andres Lozano on investigating DBS to treat Alzheimer's disease
Air Date: December 7, 2021 | Length: 38:35

Learn more about Dr. Lozano & listen to the episode

Dr. Babak Taatia

Episode 8 – Dr. Babak Taati on pioneering the use of computer vision to help seniors live safer, healthier lives
Air Date: November 30, 2021 | Length: 34:36

Learn more about Dr. Taati & listen to the episode

Dr. Joan Wither

Episode 7 – The 'Biomarker Hunter' – searching for the genetic and immune system abnormalities that lead to systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases
Air Date: November 23, 2021 | Length: 37:58

Learn more about Dr. Wither & listen to the episode

Dr. Gang Zheng

Episode 6 – Dr. Gang Zheng on harnessing the promise of nanotechnology for the detection and treatment of cancer
Air Date: November 16, 2021 | Length: 52:10

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Dr. Jordan Feld

Episode 5 – Dr. Jordan Feld on shifting from discovering a pill that cures Hepatitis C to investigating a treatment for mild COVID
Air Date: November 9, 2021 | Length: 53:10

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Dr. Catherine O'Brien

Episode 4 – Dr. Catherine O'Brien on the world-first discovery that colorectal cancer cells hibernate like bears to evade chemotherapy
Air Date: November 2, 2021 | Length: 44:44

Learn more about Dr. O'Brien & listen to the episode

Dr. Deepali Kumar

Episode 3 – Dr. Deepali Kumar on world-first discovery that third COVID-19 vaccine dose significantly boosts protection for transplant patients
Air Date: October 26, 2021 | Length: 28:05

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Dr. Beate Sander

Episode 2 – Dr. Beate Sander on the economics of infectious diseases and guiding public health policy during the COVID-19 pandemic
Air Date: October 19, 2021 | Length: 47:21

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Dr. Brad Wouters

Episode 1 – UHN's world leading COVID-19 research; the triumph of basic science in creating the vaccine; and when will the pandemic end?
Air Date: October 12, 2021 | Length: 54:52

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Dr. John Dick

Episode 10 – Dr. John Dick on his famous discovery of cancer stem cells, and the puzzle of research
Air Date: November 26, 2020 | Length: 1:15:06

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Dr. Mansoor Husain

Episode 9 — Dr. Mansoor Husain on a breakthrough drug for diabetes and heart disease
Air Date: | Length:

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Dr. Alex Mihailidis

Episode 8 – Dr. Alex Mihailidis on helping us live at home longer
Air Date: November 19, 2020 | Length: 45:02

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Dr. Ralph DaCosta

Episode 7 – Dr. Ralph DaCosta on a better way to visualize cancer and his serendipitous invention
Air Date: November 17, 2020 | Length: 41:48

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Dr. Sonya MacParland

Episode 6 – Dr. Sonya MacParland on developing the world's first map of the liver
Air Date: November 12, 2020 | Length: 42:52

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Dr. Heather Baltzer

Episode 5 – Dr. Heather Baltzer on pioneering hand trauma treatment
Air Date: November 10, 2020 | Length: 31:26

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Dr. Pamela Ohashi

Episode 4 – Dr. Pamela Ohashi on treating cancer with immunotherapy
Air Date: November 5, 2020 | Length: 28:05

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Dr. Taufik Valiante

Episode 3 – Dr. Taufik Valiante invents computer chip designed to monitor and stop epileptic seizures
Air Date: November 3, 2020 | Length: 52:27

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Dr. Stephanie Protze

Episode 2 – Turning stem cells into pacemaker cells, with Dr. Stephanie Protze
Air Date: October 29, 2019 | Length: 30:27

Learn more about Dr. Protze & listen to the episode

Dr. Brad Wouters

Episode 1 – Dr. Brad Wouters on leadership during the pandemic, COVID-19 research, and anti-vaxxers
Air Date: October 27, 2020 | Length: 46:35

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Dr. Donald Weaver

Episode 11 – Beating back Alzheimer's, one poem at a time, with Dr. Donald Weaver
Air Date: December 17, 2019 | Length: 37:14

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Dr. Michael Hoffman

Episode 10 — Using computers to understand cancer with Dr. Michael Hoffman
Air Date: December 10, 2019 | Length: 31:00

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Dr. Kristin Musselman

Episode 9 — Pioneering research by UHN's Dr. Kristin Musselman is designed to get spinal cord injured patients mobile
Air Date: December 3, 2019 | Length: 30:22

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Dr. Valerie Wallace

Episode 8 — Reversing blindness and the serendipity of science, with Dr. Valerie Wallace
Air Date: November 26, 2019 | Length: 35:04

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Dr. Michael Laflamme

Episode 7 – Repairing broken hearts with stem cells, with Dr. Michael Laflamme
Air Date: November 19, 2019 | Length: 28:22

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Dr. Jennifer Campos

Episode 6 – Overcoming 'imposter syndrome' and helping the elderly live well, with Dr. Jennifer Campos
Air Date: November 12, 2019 | Length: 40:02

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Dr. Mathieu Lupien

Episode 5 – Meet the cancer codebreaker, Dr. Mathieu Lupien
Air Date: November 5, 2019 | Length: 47:38

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Dr. Milos Popovic

Episode 4 – Robotics, rehabilitation therapy and learning from failure, with Dr. Milos Popovic
Air Date: October 29, 2019 | Length: 32:03

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Dr. Camilla Zimmermann

Episode 3 – Challenging the meaning of palliative care, with Dr. Camilla Zimmermann
Air Date: October 22, 2019 | Length: 43:20

Learn more about Dr. Zimmermann & listen to the episode

Dr. Karen Davis

Episode 2 – Chronic pain and scientific baseball, with Dr. Karen Davis
Air Date: October 15, 2019 | Length: 34:56

Learn more about Dr. Davis & listen to the episode

Dr. Heather Ross

Episode 1 – Dr. Heather Ross on heart failure, artificial intelligence and a near-death experience
Air Date: October 8, 2019 | Length: 42:07

Learn more about Dr. Ross & listen to the episode​​

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