University of Toronto

15
Nov 2017
0 Comments

Dr. Janet Rossant

Janet Rossant wins L’Oréal-UNESCO Women in Science Award

Posted by

Dr. Janet Rossant, a long-time friend of the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation, has been chosen by UNESCO and the L’Oréal Foundation as one of five outstanding female scientists from around the world.…

Dr. Janet Rossant, a long-time friend of the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation, has been chosen by UNESCO and the L’Oréal Foundation as one of five outstanding female scientists from around the world.

Dr. Rossant is being recognized for contributing to the understanding of how tissues and organs are formed in the developing embryo, according to a news release from the University of Toronto. Her research is helping combat birth defects and other serious medical conditions.

“I am extremely honoured to receive this award in the company of the other amazing laureates from around the world,” says Dr. Rossant. “I hope to use this opportunity to encourage more girls globally to take up careers in science, math, engineering and medicine. The future is theirs to grasp.”

Along with her duties as a U of T professor, Dr. Rossant is a senior scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children and is president of the Gairdner Foundation. Originally from the United Kingdom, she trained at Oxford and Cambridge universities before coming to Canada in 1977.

“Janet has been a world leader in advancing the therapeutic potential of stem cells,” says James Price, President and CEO of the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation, where Dr. Rossant chairs the Science Leadership Council. “Having done so much for science, she is completely deserving of this honour.”

The Women in Science Awards ceremony takes place in Paris in March. The other recipients are:

  • Heather Zar, Professor, Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital and Director, Medical Research Council Unit, University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • Meemann Chang, Professor, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology and Member of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • Caroline Dean, Professor, John Innes Centre, Norwich, United Kingdom
  • Amy T. Austin, Professor, Agricultural Plant Physiology and Ecology Research Institute, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina

Dr. Rossant is the second Canadian woman to be honoured with the award in recent years. Dr. Molly Shoichet, a University of Toronto biomedical engineering professor, was named a laureate in 2015.

 

Click to read more Close
17
Mar 2016
1 Comment

Dr. William Stanford

Team shows stem cells reverse osteoporsis in mice

Posted by

A single injection of stem cells can reverse age-related osteoporosis in mice, a team of Canadian researchers has shown.

The discovery provides hope of some day developing a treatment for the crippling disease that affects 200 million people worldwide.…

A single injection of stem cells can reverse age-related osteoporosis in mice, a team of Canadian researchers has shown.

The discovery provides hope of some day developing a treatment for the crippling disease that affects 200 million people worldwide.

The Ottawa Hospital’s Dr. William Stanford, senior author of the study published in Stem Cells Translational Medicine, had observed that mice with age-related osteoporosis tend to have low levels of healthy mesenchymal stem cells. He theorized that injecting the diseased animals with mesenchymal stem cells from healthy mice should ease the condition.  Six months after injecting the mice, the team found that osteoporotic bone had given way to healthy, functional bone.

“We had hoped for a general increase in bone health,” co-author Dr. John E. Davies said in a University of Toronto news release. “But the huge surprise was to find that the exquisite inner ‘coral-like’ architecture of the bone structure of the injected animals — which is severely compromised in osteoporosis — was restored to normal.”

About one-quarter of Canadians will suffer a fracture because of osteoporosis at some point in their lives, costing the health-care system more than $2.3 billion each year.  There are few treatment options for the condition.

Mesenchymal stem cells can extracted fairly easily from bone marrow, adipose (fat) tissue, skeletal muscle, umbilical cord blood, placenta, and other sources. A large part of their appeal is they can be transplanted from person to person without being rejected by the body’s immune system. Research also suggests they have anti-inflammatory qualities.

“We stumbled into the bone research field completely by chance a number of years ago, but we felt it was very important to pursue this because age-related osteoporosis takes a huge toll on people and the health-care system,” said Dr. Stanford in an Ottawa Hospital news release. “Obviously we have a lot more work to do, but I’m very excited by the potential that this research could one day help a lot of people.”

Click to read more Close
08
Dec 2014
1 Comment

Teenager tackles tough subjects with videos

Posted by

The amazing thing about two new videos that explain how wounds heal and scars form isn’t just that they convey these complex physiological processes so clearly that almost anyone can understand them.…

The amazing thing about two new videos that explain how wounds heal and scars form isn’t just that they convey these complex physiological processes so clearly that almost anyone can understand them.

The videos — which have almost 285,000 viewings combined — were created by someone who, just months ago, was a high school student in his hometown of Calgary.

Sarthak Sinha

Sarthak Sinha

Sarthak Sinha, now an 18-year-old freshman in the University of Toronto’s life sciences program, wrote the videos after getting the go-head from the people who run TED Ed, an educational website extension of the popular TED Talks series.

Sarthak has been fascinated with wound healing since age 14, when he started volunteering after school, on weekends and during summers in the University of Calgary laboratory of Dr. Jeff Biernaskie.  Dr. Biernaskie, who was featured in our blog on stem cells and baldness, helped in looking over the editorial content for the videos. Other than that, it was all Sarthak.

“The biggest challenge was to translate the knowledge in a scientifically accurate way that can be understood at a readership level of a Grade 6 student,” says Sarthak “Not a lot of people are able to get past the jargon and access the information. It was a simple attempt at bridging that gap.”

Working with animators over three-and-a-half months to produce the videos was a rewarding experience, says Sarthak. “Bringing the ideas to life, that’s the real beauty of it,” he says.

 

Click to read more Close
Back to Top