Provincial support will help further Mount Sinai Hospital’s leadership in proteomics, models of human disease, and stem cell biology.
(Toronto – April 29, 2010) The research teams of Drs. Andras Nagy, Tony Pawson, and Colin McKerlie were awarded new funding from the Ministry of Research and Innovation’s (MRI) Ontario Research Fund, at an event led by the MRI and the Ontario Genomics Institute at the University of Toronto.
The three Lunenfeld scientists received combined funding of approximately $22 million as part of the MRI’s Global Leadership Round in Genomics and Life Sciences (GL2), a program that promotes research excellence in Ontario by supporting transformative, internationally significant research in genomics and gene-related areas of research.
“The Ontario Research Funds will be instrumental in maintaining Lunenfeld expertise and leadership in biomedical research,” said Dr. Nagy. “By investing in world-class research at Mount Sinai Hospital, the provincial government is investing in improved care and health for Ontarians.”
Specifically, the new funds will support Lunenfeld researchers in the exciting areas of proteomics (building on the pioneering work of Dr. Pawson and his research into cell signaling and protein interactions in cancer and other illnesses), as well as enabling the development of precise models of human disease, as led by Dr. McKerlie. The funds will also further new discoveries in stem cell biology, including the innovative work of Dr. Nagy, who discovered a new method last year to create stem cells without disrupting healthy genes.
The new funds are part of the Ontario government’s goal to support personalized medicine, which includes the development of targeted therapies that halt the progression of cancer and other diseases, so that physicians can provide more accurate and effective diagnoses and treatments based on an individual’s unique genetic blueprint.
In making the announcement, the Honourable John Milloy, Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation, also cited the desire to support innovation through scientific discovery that goes from bench to bedside.
“The revolutionary GL2 research projects are being led by some of the greatest minds in our province. Supporting this advanced work will drive the future of healthcare and promote jobs and prosperity in Ontario,” said Milloy.
The Ontario government has committed a total of almost $115 million under the GL2 fund, which is part of the Ontario Research Fund. The funds will support the work of more than 230 researchers taking part in 19 projects at eight research institutions across the province, including the Lunenfeld. GL2 will also help create jobs for graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, research assistants, associates and technicians from across Canada and abroad.