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01
Feb 2013
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World President’s Organization Builds Deeper Understanding of Stem Cell Science

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This fall, the Ontario chapter of the World Presidents’ Organization (WPO) invited the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation to lead their members in discussion about the power and promise of stem cell science.…

This fall, the Ontario chapter of the World Presidents’ Organization (WPO) invited the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation to lead their members in discussion about the power and promise of stem cell science.

Canada’s Business Leaders Want to Know More About Stem Cells

The mission of the WPO, whose members lead multi-million-dollar companies, is a simple one: better leaders through education and idea exchange. Clearly, Canada’s leaders want to know more about stem cell science:  the event, held at the Corus Entertainment offices in Toronto, “sold out” almost immediately after it was announced. The more than 120 business leaders and their guests who took more than a half-day out of their busy schedules to attend came away with a deeper understanding of stem cell science, Canada’s strength in the field, and what the future may hold.

A Unique Conversation

Dr. Alan Bernstein (Chair of the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation Board) led the conversation and, with the help of six panelists, walked the WPO participants through the promise, the politics, and the opportunities of stem cell science.

The Promise

Dr. Mick Bhatia, Director of the Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute at McMaster University provided an overview of the current state of the research and how it is being applied in clinics today.

Deborah Sissmore shared her experiences of being diagnosed with diabetes as a child and losing her sight as a result of complications. Ms. Sissmore was one of the first patients to successfully receive an islet cell transplant (also called the Edmonton Protocol) to treat her condition.

The Politics

Prof. Tim Caulfield, Research Director of the Health Law and Science Policy Group at the University of Alberta, walked the participants through the social, ethical, legal and public policy issues that have emerged around stem cells — everything from the use of embryonic stem cells and cloning to stem cell tourism and stem cell fraud.

The Honourable Anne McLellan (former Deputy Prime Minister, Minster of Public Safety, and Federal Minister of Health) shared her perspectives on the political environment and issues that arose as Canada developed the first international framework for stem cell research.

The Opportunities

WPO members also heard about the opportunities and challenges of commercializing stem cell research. Greg Bonfiglio (Chair of the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine in Toronto) helped frame the technical, financial and intellectual property challenges, putting stem cell technology and therapeutics in context with other technology sectors.

Dr. Allen Eaves (Founder & CEO of STEMCELL Technologies) shared his experiences in building STEMCELL Technologies into one of Canada’s most successful biotechnology companies. Dr. Eaves also offered his thoughts on what will be required to help build other strong Canadian companies in the field of stem cell science.

This Was Just The Beginning

Throughout the discussion WPO members asked questions and shared their thoughts about stem cell science, Canada’s strength in the field, the impact it’s having today, and what the future holds. And the event didn’t end there.

Many WPO members participated in tours of stem cell laboratories. Cheryl McEwen, whose husband Rob is a WPO member, welcomed members to the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine and Dr. Gordon Keller, one of Canada’s leading researchers, gave a tour of the facilities, outlining the progress that the Centre has made.

Members also visited Dr. Bhatia’s lab at McMaster’s Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute. He and his team gave the WPO behind-the-scenes access to the work that is underway in the labs today.

We would like to thank the WPO members and guests, as well as the panelists, for their commitment and their focused and engaged discussion. In particular, we would like to offer special thanks for the leadership of WPO members Fred Jacques who chaired the event and Robb Chase who is the WPO education chair. A key role of the Foundation is to help Canadians understand stem cell science. We deeply appreciated the opportunity to provide the World Presidents’ Organization with a trusted, reliable, and grounded view of the power and promise of stem cell science.

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24
Sep 2012
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When Change Happens, It Happens Fast

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As we’ve collectively celebrated the discovery of stem cells over the last year, we’ve witnessed some incredible moments. Moments that demonstrate how quickly the leadership and support for stem cell science are growing.…

As we’ve collectively celebrated the discovery of stem cells over the last year, we’ve witnessed some incredible moments. Moments that demonstrate how quickly the leadership and support for stem cell science are growing.

A Renewed Awareness

In March, we held the Renew the World Gala in Toronto, where stem cells were first discovered. The Gala marked the 50th anniversary of the discovery of stem cells by Drs. Till & McCulloch, and introduced 500 influential Canadians to this extraordinarily important field.

Heather Hiscox of CBC News: Morning hosting the Renew the World Gala
Click on the image to see the CBC coverage.

Canadian Leadership

Like all progress, the Gala succeeded because of the dedication and commitment of individuals and organizations with passion for a cause. 20 major companies demonstrated their support and were joined by 50 leading stem cell scientists who spent the evening sharing their experiences, their breakthroughs, and their aspirations for the future.

The Gala also marked the official launch of the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation. This was supported by our Board of Directors that continues to grow. We are pleased to welcome Mr. Peter MacKinnon to the Board after his recent retirement as President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Saskatchewan. Three more preeminent scientists also joined the distinguished stem cell pioneers on our Science Leadership Council.

Inspiring Commitment

This year, we initiated our first major gifts leadership campaign. And we have already  recruited 10 prominent Canadian business leaders and philanthropists as Founding Members of the Till & McCulloch Leadership Circle and as part of that secured our first $1,000,000 donation as a multi-year gift.

The Future is Emerging Now

We’re continuing to build on the inspiring year we have experienced so far. Awareness of the importance of stem cell science is growing. Canadian leadership is growing. Support for stem cell science is growing.

An important step we are taking is growing our team. We have begun looking for a Director of Development, and we will be adding a Program and Communications Officer later this year. These are important additions to the Foundation, particularly as we look to the future when we will be:

    • Increasing our impact with new programs and outreach initiatives
    • Expanding our Board of Directors
    • Securing the support of prominent Canadians in the Leadership Circle campaign
    • Further establishing our offices in Ottawa and Toronto
    • Building our leadership in Western Canada
    • Extending our presence in Quebec and Atlantic Canada
    • Developing our long-term strategic plan

The inspiring progress that has been achieved in the last year is the result of a shared sense of purpose. Canada’s leadership in stem cell science is globally respected, and we’re proud of that. But more importantly, we can see that continued advances hold the potential to rid the world of heartbreaking disease.

In the year ahead, we ask you to lend your support and commitment. Together we are laying the groundwork for the next 50 years.

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07
Mar 2012
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CBC’s Metro Morning Interviews Dr. Till and Dr. Bernstein

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Discovering Stem Cells

Listen to Matt Galloway of CBC’s Metro Morning” and his conversation this morning with Dr. James Till (who discovered stem cells with his close colleague Dr.…

Discovering Stem Cells

Listen to Matt Galloway of CBC’s Metro Morning” and his conversation this morning with Dr. James Till (who discovered stem cells with his close colleague Dr. Ernest McCulloch) and Dr. Alan Bernstein (Chair of the Board of Directors for the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation).

They talk about the discovery, and how stem cell transplants are saving lives today.

A great listen.

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07
Mar 2012
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If Canada’s game is hockey, its science is stem cells

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In today’s Globe and Mail, Dr. Alan Bernstein, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation, helps put Canada’s capabilities in stem cell science in to perspective.…

Dr. Alan BernsteinIn today’s Globe and Mail, Dr. Alan Bernstein, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation, helps put Canada’s capabilities in stem cell science in to perspective.

“Canada founded the entire field of stem-cell science. We have done much of the heavy lifting for decades: discovering neural stem cells, skin stem cells and cancer stem cells. If hockey is Canada’s game, stem-cell science is Canada’s science. Not knowing about Dr. Till and Dr. McCulloch is not knowing about Maurice Richard and Wayne Gretzky.”

Dr. Bernstein goes on to explain that, not only do we have extraordinary talent and have achieved tangible results, we have made our accomplishments as a nation despite very modest funding. Here’s how he puts it:

“What’s even more remarkable is that Canada does such groundbreaking research on a dime. The “all in” investment in stem-cell research in Canada – public, private and charitable funding – is about $75-million. This support is provided by Canadians through taxes, donations to health charities and the generosity of community leaders – individuals such as Robert and Cheryl McEwen of Toronto and the late Harley Hotchkiss of Calgary. But we still seriously lag behind California, which, with roughly the same population as Canada, has committed $3-billion over 10 years for stem-cell research.”

You can read the entire article here.

Alan Bernstein is chair of the board of directors of the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation. He was founding president of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and former head of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise in New York, and is incoming president of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.

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06
Mar 2012
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Marking a Milestone

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50 Years After Canada Discovers Stem Cells A Foundation Is Launched

Samaritan Magazine, that covers the good deeds of individuals, charities and businesses, has profiled the Foundation and the Renew the World Gala.…

50 Years After Canada Discovers Stem Cells A Foundation Is Launched

Samaritan Magazine, that covers the good deeds of individuals, charities and businesses, has profiled the Foundation and the Renew the World Gala.

Drs. Till & McCulloch“Fifty years after Dr. James Till and the late Ernest McCulloch discovered stem cells at the Ontario Cancer Institute, the research division of the Princess Margaret Hospital, comes the launch of The Canadian Stem Cell Foundation.”

The Gala brings together 50 of Canada’s top scientists, including Dr. Till, as well as 50 celebrities who are lending their voice to the support of stem cell science.

They will be joined by leading Canadian philanthropists, leaders, researchers, and business people. This special evening will celebrate Canada’s extraordinary 50 year legacy as a leader in the field of stem cell science, and begin to prepare Canada for the 50 years to come.

You can read the entire article here.

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10
Jan 2012
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The Night We Make History, Again

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In just two months, we will hold the exclusive Renew the World Gala in Toronto.

This one-time event will take place on Wednesday, March 7th and mark the 50th anniversary of the discovery of stem cells by two Canadian scientists, Drs.…

In just two months, we will hold the exclusive Renew the World Gala in Toronto.

This one-time event will take place on Wednesday, March 7th and mark the 50th anniversary of the discovery of stem cells by two Canadian scientists, Drs. James Till and Ernest McCulloch. The Gala will also officially launch the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation.

Below is the recent full page ad that ran in the Globe and Mail about the Gala. And keep your eyes open this coming Saturday when the Gala will be promoted again in the Globe on the back cover of the Focus Section.

We would like to thank the many organizations who are generously supporting the Renew the World Gala. Your commitment and leadership are building great momentum for what will be a truly extraordinary event.

To find out more about the Gala, visit www.renewtheworld.ca.

Renew the World Globe and Mail Ad

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03
Jan 2012
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A Sad Loss of a Friend and Advisor

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We have lost a great Canadian and the Foundation has lost a friend.

Mr. Milton Wong passed away on December 31st of pancreatic cancer at the age of 72. …

We have lost a great Canadian and the Foundation has lost a friend.

Mr. Milton Wong passed away on December 31st of pancreatic cancer at the age of 72. Milton was a dear friend and trusted advisor to me personally and to the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation as a member of our President’s Advisory Council.

He was also one of the Founding Directors of the Stem Cell Network and was one of the earliest champions and inspirations for establishing the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation.  He will be deeply missed.

As a business leader and philanthropist, Milton was creative, a big thinker, and an inspiration to so many.  More importantly he cared for people, had time for people, and touched everyone and anyone that he met.  His legacy lives on in his family, his many close friends, and the important “ideas” and “organizations” that he brought to life with his energy and compassion.

You can read more about Milton, his leadership, and his many contributions to Canada here.

James Price
President & CEO
Canadian Stem Cell Foundation

(Photo by Jon Sinal)

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06
Dec 2011
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“The Story of Two Scientists Who Discovered Stem Cells”

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From CBC’s “The Current”

“It was one of those Sundays, where one scientist was spelling off the other, checking the lab mice in a project that was all about using radiation for cancer treatment.…

From CBC’s “The Current”

“It was one of those Sundays, where one scientist was spelling off the other, checking the lab mice in a project that was all about using radiation for cancer treatment. So imagine their surprise when the two scientists realized what was really happening to those mice. They were growing stem cells. The year was 1960. The scientists were right here in Canada. Today, the story of James Till and Ernest McCulloch, two of Canada’s most accomplished and least heralded scientists.”

Click here to listen to the full interview that Anna Maria Tremonti conducted with Dr. James Till and Joe Sornberger, author of “Dreams & Due Diligence”.

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03
Dec 2011
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Jim Till & Joe Sornberger on CBC’s “The Current”

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Host of “The Current”, Anna Maria Tremonti

This coming Tuesday (December 6th), tune in to CBC’s The Current as Anna Maria Tremonti sits down for a candid conversation with Dr.

Host of “The Current”, Anna Maria Tremonti

This coming Tuesday (December 6th), tune in to CBC’s The Current as Anna Maria Tremonti sits down for a candid conversation with Dr. Jim Till and Joe Sornberger.

Together, they will share their thoughts about the new book, Dreams & Due Diligence, that has been written by Joe Sornberger and published by UofT Press.

The Current is a meeting place of perspectives, ideas and voices, with a fresh take on issues that affect Canadians today. The program brings new insight to stories that Canadians are talking about now, and uncovers stories they’ll be talking about next week and next year.

Take the time to listen in on their candid and thoughtful conversation about Canada’s 50 year stem cell legacy, the impact it has had, and what the future holds.

The program will air Tuesday, December 6th between 8:30-9:30 am and will be re-broadcast that evening. You will also be able to download the podcast from The Current’swebsite.

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30
Nov 2011
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Charting the Future

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Today, Dr. Michael Rudnicki of the Sprott Centre for Stem Cell Research and Dr. Peter Zandstra who is a Canada Research Chair in Stem Cell Bioengineering were featured in the Globe and Mail for their roles in charting the future of regenerative medicine.

Today, Dr. Michael Rudnicki of the Sprott Centre for Stem Cell Research and Dr. Peter Zandstra who is a Canada Research Chair in Stem Cell Bioengineering were featured in the Globe and Mail for their roles in charting the future of regenerative medicine.

Dr. Michael Rudnicki in his regenerative medicine lab at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute’s Sprott Centre for Stem Cell Research. Photo Dwayne Brown/Ottawa Hospital

In describing his work related to the growth and repair of normal muscles, Dr. Rudnicki says, “What we’re doing is harnessing the stem cells that remain in our body to behave as if they’re in a young individual. We want to stimulate the intrinsic repair processes that are already there, but have become quite dormant as we age.”

Stem cells are already used in therapies such as bone-marrow transplants and cartilage repair, though many future opportunities have been identified where stem cells can be used.

Dr. Zandstra sums up the commitment and focus of Canada’s stem cells nicely: “What we all hope is that there will be new curative treatments for debilitating diseases.”

You can read the full article here.

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