Dec 2017

What people are saying about the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation

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“When I first heard about the plan to launch the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation, I had some private doubts. A champion for stem cell research that wouldn’t fund any such research directly? However, people that I respected were involved in the plans, so I kept my doubts to myself. I’m glad that I did. At the time, support for stem cell research was inadequate relative to the potential of the research. Not quite a decade later, the situation has improved dramatically. Thanks to skillful advocacy of the kind championed by the Foundation, research on stem cells and regenerative medicine has a much higher profile and has increasing levels of support. The main need now is for talented people to get the job done.”

— Dr. James Till, University of Toronto Professor Emeritus and co-discoverer of stem cells

“Quite honestly, the Foundation was a big part of saving my life.  It was a great source of information for me as a patient and it led to meeting Dr. Harry Atkins at the Ottawa General Hospital and receiving a stem cell transplant to treat my scleroderma.  And since I’ve had the treatment, I know of six other scleroderma patients who have had the transplant in Ottawa, largely because of the work the Foundation did in helping raising awareness through its newsletter and as a result of a feature broadcast on CTV National News.”

— Dan Muscat, scleroderma patient and stem cell transplant recipient from St. Thomas, Ontario

“The Foundation certainly deserves a big round of congratulations for an amazing effort that has galvanized many sectors into supporting one of Canada’s strongest  but not widely appreciated  areas of science.” 

 Dr. Connie Eaves, Professor of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia; Distinguished Scientist, the Terry Fox Laboratory

“The field of stem cell and regenerative medicine research has witnessed remarkable advances over the past decade. Made-in-Canada cell therapy clinical trials for a range of illnesses, such as septic shock, heart and cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and osteoarthritis are a reality, with more research on the cusp of reaching clinical testing. Our future is incredibly bright and we are thankful for the role the Foundation played in moving it forward.”

 Dr. Duncan Stewart, CEO & Scientific Director, Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine; CEO & Scientific Director, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

“When the Foundation was launched, it created an international affirmation of the importance of stem cell science to humanity.  It is striking how the principles of the Stem Cell Charter remain as important and relevant today as they were in 2009. Realizing the promise of stem cell science is now possible: gene editing technologies are poised to both accelerate research and therapeutic, clinical applications by 2020. The Charter is based on the World Health Organization’s constitutional declaration that ‘enjoyment of the highest attainable state of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being.’ It’s time for a renewed call to action for stem cell science  as originally set out in the Charter.”

— Prof. Bartha M. Knoppers, Director of the Centre of Genomics and Policy, McGill University

“The Canadian Stem Cell Foundation has played a key role in promoting Canadian leadership in stem cell science and regenerative medicine to the public and to policy-makers.  Building on the legacy of Till and McCulloch, Canadian scientists are now poised to translate discoveries into new treatments for serious diseases using stem cell-derived products. The Foundation has helped bring the whole community together across the country to tell that story.”

— Dr. Janet Rossant, Senior Scientist, The Hospital for Sick Children and President of the Gairdner Foundation

“The Foundation has successfully raised awareness for stem cell research with the public and decision-makers. Today, there is not only increased support for stem cell research but a strong public interest to better understand stem cells and access regenerative medicine therapies.  We thank the Foundation for their efforts over the past seven years and believe that with stable and predictable funding for stem cell research, Canada will continue to be a global leader.”

 Dr. Michael Rudnicki, CEO & Scientific Director, Stem Cell Network

“The Canadian Stem Cell Foundation has helped to build the awareness, understanding and momentum in the stem cell community.  Their efforts have shown how stem cells have incredible potential to improve a number of diseases, and their approach fostered collaboration amongst many charities and organizations to advance science.”

— David Prowten, President & CEO, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Canada

“The Canadian Stem Cell Foundation has been the voice for the implementation of innovative cellular therapies that are revolutionizing the practice of medicine in Canada.  Their efforts have shone a spot-light on new life-saving treatments as front-line therapies that were not available to patients only a few years ago. Without their focused, national approach to prioritizing regenerative medicine in Canada, the sector would not have developed into the strong ecosystem that it is today. The Foundation was instrumental in the alignment of broad federal support and engagement towards major funding initiatives in regenerative medicine clinical trials.  CellCAN will work tirelessly to ensure the legacy of the Foundation lives on.”

— Dr. Denis Claude Roy, CEO, CellCAN Regenerative Medicine and Cell Therapy Network

“The Canadian Stem Cell Foundation launched in 2010 with a gala fundraiser and lots of fanfare and it has continued to raise awareness for the stem cell field in Canada ever since.  With a mandate to educate the public and influence government, the Foundation has paved the way for stem cell organizations in Canada to flourish.” 

— Dr. Michael May, President & CEO, Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine


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