OIRM site visits promote collaboration

This spring, the OIRM team took part in its annual road show visits to three member sites. These visits allow the organization to engage with the regenerative medicine community across the province and learn more about the ground-breaking research taking place in Ontario labs. At each location, OIRM met with member and non-member scientists to discuss their work and find out ways the Institute might be better able to support them.

“Our 2018 visits to Queen’s University, McMaster University and Ryerson University were inspiring and engaging, as the calibre of science taking place in these institutions is incredible,” says OIRM’s Senior Manager, Science and Industry Relations, Jodi Garner, “At McMaster it was exciting to hear about the newly announced Fraunhofer-McMaster Project Centre for Biomedical Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing, which will be a huge advantage for researchers there and across the province.”

During the visit to Queen’s on March 23, OIRM met with seven investigators and learned about the work that many of their scientists are doing on bioengineering in the context of regenerative medicine. “There is a lot of work on cell and materials interaction, investigating biodegradable and biocompatible materials that can be used in conjunction with many cell-based therapies,” explains Garner. “These are being studied for different research disciplines including soft tissue regeneration, wound healing and ophthalmic uses.”

At McMaster in Hamilton on March 27, OIRM met with investigators at both at the SCC-RI and Juravinski Hospital. While the emphasis here was on investigating stem cells in the context of cancer, “many of the researchers I met were looking at disease modelling and using stem cells to treat diseases such as Fabry disease and muscle related degeneration caused by type 2 diabetes,” says Garner.

On March 15, OIRM visited Ryerson University in Toronto and gave a lunch and learn seminar to share more about OIRM’s mission and how the organization can support researchers. At Ryerson, there is extensive work being done in both clinical and basic research and having iBEST there has produced an entrepreneurship environment to build novel discoveries into commercial products.  

These road shows, which are in addition to the ongoing engagement OIRM does with its investigators, are a great opportunity to learn about the regenerative medicine work being done around the province. If you would like to learn more about OIRM or arrange a visit for your institute or organization, contact jodi.garner@oirm.ca to learn more.