Leveraging Australia’s existing foundation for impact

Dr. Chih Wei Teng, CCRM Australia Dr. Chih Wei Teng is Chief Operating Officer for CCRM Australia. Regulatory reforms, significant investments into infrastructure and focused grand challenge programs are very much like an economic and science arms race to develop the next blockbuster or vaccine, such as the current race to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Countries around the world are making bets on homegrown market leaders, creating favourable conditions to be the first therapy/vaccine to…

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Scientists turned book authors: insights into the world of publishing

Photo by Alex Zamora, Unsplash Recently, I’ve become more curious about books as a form of science communication. In May, I reviewed a book about the science of Game Of Thrones for Massive Science. It prompted a few questions on my end. For example, how have scientists entered the world of book publishing? Was it intentionally, or was it an accidental journey? When do you decide that a single piece, such as a blog post…

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The secret sauce of lab-grown meats

Cells growing in large petri dish in medium containing FBS, from the author’s lab Canada is among the 10 largest meat consumers per capita in the world, totalling approximately 155 lbs of meat per person per year. Globally, the environmental burden of current livestock farming practices is untenable: Livestock is a major cause of greenhouse gases, a chief consumer and polluter of water at every step in the meat-production chain, and responsible for the destruction…

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Science communication tips for scientists from the COVID-19 pandemic

Dr. Amy Greer. Photo credit: University of Guelph Science communication involves educating and informing the public about scientific research and facts in a way that resonates with them. With growing public interest in promising cell and gene therapies, those working in the field can expect that mastering science communication will become increasingly important. In the talk called “Science Communication During Crisis,” Amy Greer shared examples of science communication related to the COVID-19 virus and public…

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Access and affordability of gene therapies at TMM2020

Janet Rossant, PhD. Photo sickkids.ca We heard it first. If you attended the virtual Vancouver version of the 2020 Till & McCulloch Meetings, you had the opportunity to hear from Dr. Janet Rossant, Chair of the Expert Panel on the Approval and Use of Somatic Gene Therapies in Canada, giving us a preview of the “From Research to Reality” report just issued this week by the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA). Her talk was part…

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Toronto researchers awarded $1 million from Medicine by Design to advance bold new ideas in regenerative medicine

This article was authored by Julie Crljen, Coordinator, Communications and Outreach at Medicine by Design, a strategic initiative that harnesses the expertise at the University of Toronto and its affiliated hospitals to undertake transformative research in regenerative medicine and cell therapy, power Toronto’s bioscience sector, and strengthen Canada as a global leader in the field. Julie has several years of experience in communications and marketing in the public and non-profit sectors, with a focus on…

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CRISPR gets a Nobel Prize and its own day

Nobel Prize Winners (L-R) Drs. Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna I read somewhere, probably Twitter, that today is World CRISPR Day. I’m willing to play along since now is an excellent time to think about CRISPR. After all, Drs. Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna received the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry earlier this month for their revolutionary work that has influenced basic, plant and medical science. That brings the number of women who have won…

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Right Turn: Observable progress for people with eye diseases

The news that Health Canada has approved gene therapy Luxturna to treat blindness couldn’t come at a better time, as October is Blindness Awareness Month. You don’t have to look far to find other high impact research on blindness happening right here in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Molly Shoichet, University of Toronto (UofT), is a world renowned bioengineer with expertise in the areas of polymer synthesis, biomaterials design and drug delivery in the nervous system. Her…

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First ever ComSciConGTA held virtually this fall

In 2019, Canada’s first Communicating Science workshop (ComSciConCAN) series took place. I attended and later shared tips and tools I learned there, which you can read here. Now, one year later, ComSciConCAN alumni have hosted events across Canada, including ComSciConGTA, which took place virtually last week for 50 graduate students based in the greater Toronto area (GTA). In this post, I’ll share what I learned while co-organizing ComSciConGTA, and a few tips on transitioning your event…

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Right Turn: Focusing on EDI to break down barriers in STEM

In a year during which systemic racism is a talking point and Black Lives Matter is a rallying cry, the ideals of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) should be a priority in everyone’s organization. Earlier this week, Centennial College hosted “STEM Reimagined: Fostering Inclusion and Cultivating Success.” The free, online event featured an excellent panel followed by a networking session for students and other participants. Dr. Paula Demacio, a biotechnology professor at Centennial, moderated the…

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