Right Turn: Sad news about regenerative medicine funding in Ontario

It was announced publicly this week that the Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine’s (OIRM) funding will not be renewed after March 2020. Closing OIRM would be a significant loss to the regenerative medicine community in Ontario, where so many of Canada’s stem cell and regenerative medicine researchers are located. Kate Allen, Toronto Star, reported the news on May 14. Ironically, this was one day before OIRM hosted its biggest event of the year: OIRM Symposium.…

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CCRM’s Inaugural Investor Symposium: Recap and Key Takeaways

Matthew Mistry is a Market and Equity Analyst at CCRM, where he conducts investment diligence, market analyses, participates in company creation activities and supports strategic business development. He joined CCRM from the Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization (OBIO) where he was involved in supporting health science companies gain access to private and public capital, providing strategic business advice, investor readiness coaching, and pitch review and evaluation of high potential health science technologies in the province of…

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Navigating the regulatory complexity of regenerative medicine in Canada

Siofradh McMahon is Senior Manager, Clinical Translation and Regulatory Affairs at CCRM. Síofradh works with academic and industry partners to advance promising products and technologies to commercialization. Having worked worldwide, Síofradh brings more than a decade of experience in pharmaceutical and biotech regulatory affairs and policy. She is an active member of the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine’s Regulatory and Value & Access working groups and lends her expertise to groups in Canada too. Image credit:…

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How to use Instagram to communicate real science really well

Scott Gardner is on a communications placement at CCRM to complete his post-graduate program at Centennial College. He has experience in corporate communications for educational institutions in Ontario. A former journalist in Belleville Ontario, you can find Scott avidly following and tweeting local news, politics and business @gardner_pr.    JaneTheLabRat is fictional and comes from the mind of CCRM’s intern Scott Gardner. If you like the handle, grab it while you can! The landscape of digital…

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Study reveals large differences at the molecular level between stem cells grown on different biomaterials

This article was first published here. It is reprinted with permission of the Donnelly Centre. Depending on the type of surface they adhere to in a lab dish, stem cells can exhibit vast differences at the molecular level with implications for research and therapy. The genes required for growth and survival of stem cells are influenced by the biomaterials they are cultured on, Donnelly Centre investigators have found. Different substrates, which are used to coat…

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Right Turn: A letter to Joe Rogan about stem cells

Dear Joe, My worlds collided the other day when I stumbled upon your many, highly viewed stem cell videos on YouTube. You see, my husband is a huge fan of yours. He regularly watches UFC, he practices mixed martial arts and he boxes. He loves your podcast and watches your videos regularly (religiously?). He talks about your show often. I confess to not being a listener/viewer of yours, but I blog about stem cells. As…

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How manmade liver pieces could help patients with cystic fibrosis

Molecular structure of the CFTR ion channel with circles marking positions of some disease-causing mutations (from Zhang and Chen, 2016). As the most common genetic disorder, cystic fibrosis (CF) has been at the forefront of genetic research since the gene responsible for it was discovered 40 years ago. But with more than 300 known disease-causing mutations, or variants of the CF gene, disease severity and treatment options can vary a great deal from one patient…

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Raman spectroscopy for monitoring therapeutic cell manufacturing – Part 2

In this month’s installment of the “Bioprocess and Bioanalytics” blog, we get part II from Drs. Robin Turner and James Piret on Raman spectroscopy and how this method can be utilized to tell us new information about cell therapy products. Both are Professors in the Michael Smith Laboratories at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Robin Turner has a cross appointment in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Dr. James Piret is in…

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Right Turn: Stem cells, elite athletes and adventurous eaters

I’m sold. I just watched a fantastic documentary called The Game Changers and I am ready to significantly reduce my meat intake. It may take time to be completely animal-free, but I can certainly consume less meat and farmed fish. I predict that when this documentary gets worldwide distribution, probably in September 2019, it will have an impact on meat consumption patterns and stem cell meat will gain notoriety, again. The Game Changers is a…

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Retinal degenerative diseases theme of StemCellTalks 2019

StemCellTalks 2019 at the University of Toronto Eleni Kanavas is a science communicator with more than eight years of work experience in the academic and health science fields. She is the Acting Communications Specialist at CCRM. She completed her Honours Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism at the University of Toronto and previously worked at Sunnybrook Research Institute and the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus. The first time I heard about macular degeneration was over a decade…

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