Feb 2014

The doctors are in

Posted by

For a Canadian stem cell strategy to succeed it must make sense to the people who work in the front lines of health care. That’s why many of Canada’s most respected medical practitioners gathered in Toronto yesterday to discuss the development of the Canadian Stem Cell Strategy.

The Clinician Forum, which included such notable clinician/researchers as Dr. Hans Messner (who was featured in our recent news article) from Toronto, who pioneered stem cell bone marrow transplants in the early 1970s; Dr. Ivar Mendez, the Unified Head of Surgery of the Province of Saskatchewan, and Dr. Duncan Stewart, CEO and Scientific Director of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, was the latest event in a series of national stakeholder consultations. Previous sessions have brought together the country’s top researchers, executives from Canada’s major health charities, biotech leaders and industry experts.

“The clinic is really where the rubber hits the road in terms of health care delivery,” says James Price, President and CEO of the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation, which is championing the Campaign for a Canadian Stem Cell Strategy. “It’s crucial to hear what the clinicians have to say about how to boost clinical trials and speed up the translation of stem cell research to new therapies as quickly and safely as possible..”

Dr. Denis Claude Roy, Scientific Director of Montréal’s Centre de Recherche De L’Hôpital Maisonneuve Rosemont, and a member of the Joint Strategy Working Group, helped organize the forum to discuss the Strategy, which he sees as increasingly important in finding new treatments. “We have learned to harness the potential of stem cells and are now building on these major developments,” says Dr. Roy. “Tissue repair and even cures are now within reach for a multitude of diseases.”

The Clinician Forum, which also included officials from Health Canada who are responsible for the regulatory framework for clinical research, focused on what actions can be taken to advance clinical research and transform stem cell discoveries into improved health outcomes for patients.

The Participants:

François Auger

Director, Laboratoire d’Organogénèse Expérimental, Full Professor, Surgery Department, Faculty of Medicine, Université Laval, Québec, QC

Peter Ganz

Director, Biologics & Genetic Therapies Directorate, Health Canada, Ottawa, ON

Lucie Germain

Scientific Director, Laboratoire d’Organogénèse Expérimental, Professor, Department of Surgery and Associate Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, Université Laval, Québec, QC

Liz Anne Gillham-Eisen

Acting Director, Office of Policy and International Collaboration, Biologics and Genetic Therapies Directorate, Health Canada, Ottawa, ON

Donna Hogge

Senior Scientist, Terry Fox Laboratory, Clinical Professor, Medicine, University of British Columbia, Member, Leukemia Bone Marrow Transplant Program of BC, Vancouver, BC.

Dominique Johnson

Director, Montréal Health Innovations Coordinating Center, a Division of the Montréal Heart Institute, Montréal, QC

Armand Keating

Director, Cell Therapy Program and Philip S. Orsino Facility for Cell Therapy, Princess Margaret Hospital/Ontario Cancer Institute, Senior Scientist, Division of Experimental Therapeutics, Toronto General Research Institute, University Health Network, Director, Division of Hematology, Department of Medicine; Epstein Chair in Cell Therapy and Transplantation, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON

Michael May

Chief Executive Officer, Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine, Toronto, ON

Jeffrey Medin

Senior Scientist, Ontario Cancer Institute, Senior Scientist, Toronto Western Research Institute, Toronto, ON

Ivar Mendez

Fred H. Wigmore Professor of Surgery, University of Saskatchewan and Unified Head of Surgery for the Province of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK

Hans Messner

Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto, University Health Network, Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, ON

Nicolas Noiseux

Cardiac surgeon, Associate Professor of Surgery, Director of Research Cardiovascular Surgery, Hôtel-Dieu du Centre hospitalier de l’université de Montréal, Montréal, QC

James Price

President & Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Stem Cell Foundation, Ottawa, ON

Michael Rosu-Myles

Associate Director, Centre for Biologics Evaluationm, Senior Research Scientist, Stem Cell Research Laboratory, Biologics and Genetic Therapies Directorate, Health Canada, Ottawa, ON

Denis Claude Roy

Director, Cellular Therapy Laboratory, Scientific Director, Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont. Professor at the University of Montréal, Montréal, QC

Michael Rudnicki

Senior Scientist and Director of the Regenerative Medicine Program and the Sprott Centre for Stem Cell Research, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Professor, Department of Medicine and Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Scientific Director, Stem Cell Network, Ottawa, ON

Khalid Sabihuddin

Program Lead, HUB Health Research Solutions, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, ON

Duncan Stewart

CEO & Scientific Director and Senior Scientist in the Regenerative Medicine Program and Evelyne and Rowell Laishley Chair, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Vice-President, Research, The Ottawa Hospital, Professor, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON

Sowmya Viswanathan

Associate Director Cell Therapy Program, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto, ON

Donna Wall

Professor, Pediatrics and Child Health, Immunology, and Internal Medicine, Pediatric Hematology, Oncology, Transplantation, Director, Manitoba Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, CancerCare Manitoba, University of Manitoba. Winnipeg, MB

Philip Welford

Executive Director, Stem Cell Network, Ottawa, ON

Lori West

Professor of Pediatrics, Surgery and Immunology, Director, Canadian National Transplant Research Program, Director (Acting) and Research Director, Alberta Transplant Institute, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB

David Young

Chair, Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization, Chief Executive Officer, Actium Research Inc., Toronto, ON

Peter Zandstra

Scientific Director, Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine, Professor, Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON

4 thoughts on “The doctors are in”

  1. Donnie gross says:

    I had knee surgery 1989 replaced cartlage and crucial ligament.now mostly disinter rated.would stem cell be a option?

    1. Joe Sornberger says:

      Thank you for your comment. Here is the latest we have published re stem cell treatments for damaged knees and hips: http://stemcellfoundation.ca/en/2016/09/20/jury-still-out-on-bmac-treatment-for-knees/?hilite=Shapiro
      I hope you find it helpful.

  2. Judy says:

    I am wondering if stem cell treatment will be available for treatment of autism. It is available internationally but I am reluctant to take that route. Easy to find the success stories but very hard to find studies with data.

    1. Joe Sornberger says:

      While we’re not aware of a current Canadian trial, researchers are working with industry to develop a clinical therapy. Please visit our Toward Treatment page on Autism on our website for more information and a link to current clinical trials.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

If you are a human, do not fill out this field