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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Being touched by illness affects us in different ways. Many people want to give back to the community and help others. At UHN, we welcome your contribution and offer different ways you can help so you can find one that suits you.
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Behind the Breakthrough podcast features UHN's award-winning scientists taking us behind the scenes to understand their groundbreaking medical research. This season you'll hear about their world first discoveries that confirmed a third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine significantly boosts protection for transplant patients, and that cancer cells evade chemotherapy by going into "hibernation." Season 3 of the podcast also showcases pioneering investigations into new diagnostic tools such as computer vision to better detect pain and prevent falls in the elderly, as well as the potential of deep-brain stimulation to treat Alzheimer's patients, and the use of nanotechnology to eradicate cancer.
Scientists at UHN are driven to pursue answers and solutions to the most profound health issues and diseases. Their pursuit of better treatments and new cures is personal. Feel their passion and determination in these intimate one-on-one conversations about their work and how they got to where they are today.
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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
In this episode of Behind the Breakthrough, we learn how Dr. Babak Taati's work involves using ambient monitoring systems to assess and analyze the movement and facial expressions of older adults to detect signs of pain and predict the likelihood of future falls, all while they go about their daily lives. He also discusses the ethical considerations of ambient monitoring techniques, from privacy concerns to working to eliminate ageism and ableism in the technology used.
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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
A healthy immune system is ready to fight the body against any potential disease or infection. But when the immune system malfunctions, it may attack healthy cells, tissues, and organs. These autoimmune diseases are unpredictable, which is why genetic and biomarker-based research is key to understanding the risks and progression of the disease. Dr. Joan Wither and her team are working on a series of biological tests that will better predict the progression of systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases, such as Lupus and Sjogren’s Disease. She discusses the importance of studying patients at various points throughout the disease, whether in a disease-dormant or flare-up state, which creates somewhat of an immune response timeline and profile.
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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
Nanotechnology in medicine is having a moment, with the profile and perception of the approach raised since it played a role in the development of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. But for Dr. Gang Zheng, the science of the very small and how it can be harnessed in cancer care has been a pursuit of passion for years. In this episode, Dr. Zheng talks us through his development of a unique nontoxic nanoparticle, a porphysome, made by combining lipid or fat particles with a compound derived from pacific algae. This so-called Swiss army knife of nanoparticles has the potential to significantly improve the way cancers are detected and treated, from targeted drug delivery to ablation of the tumour from within using light.
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
The COVID-19 pandemic shocked everyone around the world - even those who study viruses such as Dr. Jordan Feld. In 2015, Dr. Feld led a groundbreaking international trial that made the breakthrough discovery of a pill that cures Hepatitis C. When the pandemic hit, he shifted gears and led another pioneering investigation into a treatment for the Coronavirus using Interferon Lambda. After a successful phase one and two trial, it is currently in phase three with more patients enrolled. Compounding the urgency, Dr. Feld was juggling the approval process for his trial with the birth of his third son. He touches on the impact the pandemic had on research, how his team maintained a safe environment during the trial and what it means to be a mentor.
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
Dr. Catherine O'Brien and her team at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre were trying to figure out how cancer cells apparently become resistant to chemotherapy when they made the discovery that the cells can enter a state akin to hibernation to avoid the toxic onslaught of the drugs. In this episode, Dr O'Brien discusses how her team made this groundbreaking discovery and how it may lead to unique therapeutic opportunities for patients in the future. She also discusses the importance of making connections between different scientific disciplines, and how a Grade 10 career day spent with a female surgeon inspired her to pursue a career in surgery herself.
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
Transplant patients are among the most vulnerable populations when it comes to COVID-19. A world-first discovery at UHN’s Ajmera Transplant Centre found that a third vaccine dose for transplant patients shows substantially improved protection. Dr. Deepali Kumar, joint-Senior Author on the study, recalls the importance of this groundbreaking discovery. Plus, she discusses the importance of work-life balance, overcoming obstacles and mentorship in research. She draws on her experience of moving from Saharanpur, a city 200 kilometers north of New Delhi in India to Winnipeg, Manitoba at the age of nine, and the bravery her parents had to make that big, life-changing decision.
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
It was Canada’s worst fear in March 2020 — COVID-19 reached the great white north. With increasing case counts and hospital burden throughout the country and in Ontario, government officials were looking to lean on healthcare economists to predict the impact of the pandemic. Dr. Beate Sander’s research highlights the importance of epidemiological modelling and how it guided public policy in Ontario. With the ever-changing data from around the world, her team highlighted the importance of certain measures to stop the spread. She discusses how the pandemic affects certain populations disproportionally. Plus, she expresses the need for better public data infrastructures, reporting, tracking and analytics to be well prepared in the future.
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
A special Covid-19 episode featuring a provocative and wide-ranging conversation with UHN Executive Vice President of Science and Research, Dr. Brad Wouters. Dr. Wouters highlights some of the UHN Research teams' leading-edge Covid-19 treatments and discoveries, including world-first investigations that demonstrated Heparin prevents deadly blood clots in Covid patients with mild symptoms, and, a third dose of the Covid vaccine dramatically improves protection against the virus for immune-compromised transplant patients. Dr. Wouters also discusses the triumph of basic science to create the Covid19 mRNA-based vaccines, and, how and when does this pandemic end. Plus, he speaks to a challenge he sees on the horizon for medical research in Canada — how to maintain the tremendous public profile and support it now enjoys once the pandemic fades away.
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
Dr. John Dick is known internationally for his discovery of blood stem cells. His work has broadened understanding of where and why leukemia starts, and what we could do to prevent it. In this episode of Behind the Breakthrough, Dr. John Dick takes us behind the scenes on his career, building on the pioneering work of Drs. James Till and Ernest McCulloch—the first to define the properties of stem cells. He delves into the pivotal moments that led to discoveries that have changed the face of cancer research, and why science doesn’t happen in a vacuum.
Episode 9 - Dr. Mansoor Husain on a breakthrough drug for diabetes and heart disease
Air Date: November 24, 2020 | Length: 36:58
Almost 20 years ago, a hallway conversation kickstarted Dr. Mansoor Husain’s journey in helping create and test a new diabetes drug that reduces the risk of heart disease. In 2019, the award-winning physician-scientist at the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research and Peter Munk Cardiac Centre published the findings of a landmark trial proving the drug’s safety and reduction in cardiovascular-related mortality, bringing a new therapy into the fold for patients with diabetes – who are two to four times more likely to die from cardiovascular problems than those without it.
Episode 8 – Dr. Alex Mihailidis on helping us live at home longer
Air Date: November 19, 2020 | Length: 45:02
The stories patients and caregivers tell of the difficulties managing day-to-day tasks stay top of mind for Dr. Alex Mihailidis, an award-winning scientist developing smart home systems to care for and promote the well being of older adults. From robots who support common household activities, floor tiles that monitor blood pressure and sensors that can send a reminder to turn off the stove, Dr. Mihailidisis alleviating the responsibility of care from the patient and caregiver and putting it into the home.
Episode 7 – Dr. Ralph DaCosta on a better way to visualize cancer and his serendipitous invention
Air Date: November 17, 2020 | Length: 41:48
In 2007, Dr. Ralph DaCosta was in the Princess Margaret Optics Lab researching molecular imaging to better visualize cancer when he made a serendipitous discovery that could revolutionize wound care. Hear about his groundbreaking work in visualizing cancer, his serendipitous discovery that has turned him into an inventor and entrepreneur, and how Terry Fox was the inspiration for his drive to enter cancer research.
Episode 6 – Dr. Sonya MacParland on developing the world’s first map of the liver
Air Date: November 12, 2020 | Length: 42:52
What attracted Dr. Sonya MacParland to the world of science was the possibility of making a discovery no one else has ever made. It’s exactly what she went on to do – the award-winning scientist at UHN’s Toronto General Hospital Research Institute developed the world’s first transcriptomic map ofthe liver, triggering a paradigm shift in liver research and therapy.
Episode 5 – Dr. Heather Baltzer on pioneering hand trauma treatment
Air Date: November 10, 2020 | Length: 31:26
Hand trauma sends more Canadians to the emergency room each year than any other injury, something this episode’s guest refers to as an “unrecognized public health issue.’ Dr. Heather Baltzer joins us to discuss her pioneering research to improve both the treatment and outcomes for people suffering hand trauma, as well as the effect such traumas can have on both the patient and the healthcare system at large.
Episode 4 – Dr. Pamela Ohashi on treating cancer with immunotherapy
Air Date: November 5, 2020 | Length: 28:05
In this episode, Dr. Pamela Ohashi takes listeners on a journey through groundbreaking advances in immunotherapy, a treatment that activates or triggers your body’s own immune cells to seek out and kill cancer. Dr. Ohashi has witnessed the field blossom into the next frontier in cancer treatments, in part thanks to some of her own discoveries. Listen in to find out what barriers her lab is tackling next, her approach to mentorship, and what she thinks about patients that decide to take part in immunotherapyclinical trials.
Episode 3 – Dr. Taufik Valiante invents computer chip designed to monitor and stop epileptic seizures
Air Date: November 3, 2020 | Length: 52:27
What if a tiny computer chip could be implanted into the brain to look out for epileptic seizures and then stop them before they ever occur? Sounds like science fiction – and yet – Dr. Taufik Valiante’s lab at the Krembil Research Institute has done just that. His chip is called ‘NURIP’ – the acronym for neural interface processor and it’s inspiration came from the engineering concept of control theory and applied to the brain.NURIP “is this idea that we can modulate, alter brain activity in a way to push the brain away from states that are bad for it, and epilepsy is just an example,” explains Dr. Valiante. NURIP is entering the animal model testing phase and if successful would be a game changer in the treatment of epilepsy.
Episode 2 – Turning stem cells into pacemaker cells, with Dr. Stephanie Protze.
Air Date: October 29, 2019 | Length: 30:27
In this episode of Behind the Breakthrough, we sit down with Dr. Stephanie Protze, Scientist at UHN’s McEwen Stem Cell Institute, to hear the story of a high school class field trip to Dresden, Germany, led her to become an award-winning scientist pioneering the creation of new heart cells to restore the heart's pacemaker function. The ultimate goal -- to develop biological pacemakers that one day work better than the electronic devices that are the current standard of care.
Episode 1 – Dr. Brad Wouters on leadership during the pandemic, COVID-19 research, and anti-vaxxers
Air Date: October 27, 2020 | Length: 46:35
Season Two of Behind the Breakthrough kicks off with a special Covid-19 edition featuring a provocative and wide-ranging interview with UHN Executive Vice President of Science and Research Dr. Brad Wouters. Dr. Wouters takes listeners on a revealing behind-the-scenes journey to learn how UHN Research dealt with the fallout of the world-wide pandemic declared in March 2020 due to the spread of COVID-19.
Episode 11 – Beating back Alzheimer’s, one poem at a time, with Dr. Donald Weaver
Air Date: December 17, 2019 | Length: 37:14
In the final episode, we hear from Dr. Donald Weaver, director of the Krembil Research Institute. Dr. Weaver talks about his groundbreaking research into Alzheimer’s disease, and explains how drug research works and the challenges of getting to a clinical trial. He also tells us why his response to questions of “What next?” is a cheery “More failure!,” the purpose of his weekly story-telling in team meetings, and talks about his poetry career.
Episode 10 - Using computers to understand cancer with Dr. Michael Hoffman
Air Date: December 10, 2019 | Length: 31:00
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
Episode 8 - Reversing blindness and the serendipity of science, with Dr. Valerie Wallace
Air Date: November 26, 2019 | Length: 35:04
Episode 7 – Repairing broken hearts with stem cells, with Dr. Michael Laflamme
Air Date: November 19, 2019 | Length: 28:22
Episode 6 – Overcoming ‘imposter syndrome’ and helping the elderly live well, with Dr. Jennifer Campos
Air Date: November 12, 2019 | Length: 40:02
Episode 5 – Meet the cancer codebreaker, Dr. Mathieu Lupien
Air Date: November 5, 2019 | Length: 47:38
Episode 4 – Robotics, rehabilitation therapy and learning from failure, with Dr. Milos Popovic
Air Date: October 29, 2019 | Length: 32:03
We sit down with Dr. Milos Popovic to hear about his transformational shift from aerospace engineering to rehabilitation research, and how it led to his invention of a medical device that delivers electrical stimulation to restore upper limb mobility to people with paralysis caused by spinal cord injury and stroke. Originally from Belgrade, Dr. Popovic shares how he narrowly escaped Yugoslavia’s brutal civil war as military soldiers banged on doors looking for conscripts.
Episode 3 – Challenging the meaning of palliative care, with Dr. Camilla Zimmermann
Air Date: October 22, 2019 | Length: 43:20
Dr. Camilla Zimmermann talks about how her research has helped change the practice of palliative care from end-of-life care to a more wholistic approach that answers the question, “What do you want to do with the rest of your life?” Dr. Zimmermann also reveals how the death of her parents when she was a teenager shaped her career, her initial reluctance to admit to colleagues her desire to be a palliative care specialist, and how stigma still hangs on the concept of what is palliative care.
Episode 2 – Chronic pain and scientific baseball, with Dr. Karen Davis
Air Date: October 15, 2019 | Length: 34:56
In this episode, neuroscientist Dr. Karen Davis talks to us about pain. What is it? Can we predict it? What does personality-type have to do with it? While the complexity of pain is still not well understood, the uncertainty doesn’t stop Dr. Davis and her team. “We all have doubts,” she says. “But what drives most of us is a very fundamental curiosity … and the more we interact with patients the more it motivates us to think outside the box.”
Episode 1 – Dr. Heather Ross on heart failure, artificial intelligence and a near-death experience
Air Date: October 8, 2019 | Length: 42:07
In this episode of Behind the Breakthrough, we hear from cardiologist Dr. Heather Ross about her pioneering work with artificial intelligence, how she handles failure—especially after two rejections from medical school—and how a brush with death brought her closer to her patients than ever before.
You will be contacted with information about your first appointment.
Please bring the following to your appointment. Not all of these items may be needed for your appointment. Our clinic or your referring doctor will let you know what you must bring.
Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment.
When you arrive, you will sign in with the receptionist. You will need your health card (OHIP card) to sign-in. If you do not have an OHIP card, please bring another form of government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport.
You may be given a Measuring Health Equity Questionnaire to fill out. This form contains questions about your background. We collect this information to find out who we serve and what unique needs you may have. The form is voluntary and you can choose ‘prefer not to answer’ to any or all questions. However, the information you choose to give us will help us improve the quality of care for you and others.
First appointments take longer than follow-up appointments. Your first appointment can take 2 hours or more. Follow-up appointments usually take 15 to 30 minutes. We do everything we can to stay on time but sometimes unforeseen circumstances may delay your appointment.
At the end of your first appointment, the nurse or doctor will give you a contact list for your health care team. If you don’t get a contact list, feel free to ask for it.
After every appointment, a member of your health care team will tell you about your next visit. Be sure you understand what is going to happen next. For example, know the time and place of your next visit or if someone will call you with this information.
If you are unsure about what your next steps are, don’t be afraid to ask a member of your team. We are here to help you.
We understand that reaching us by phone can sometimes be difficult. Often our phone lines are busy or are turned over to the message centre so our staff can prepare for clinic visits or help other patients. We make every effort to return your call within 24 hours. Our staff will try to reach you 2 times. If we are not able to reach you directly you may need to call us again.