The University of Toronto, the Hospital for Sick Children, and University Health Network have announced a $115.6 million (C$130 million) gift from the family of Ted Rogers, the late president and CEO of Rogers Communications, to create a new heart research center.
The largest monetary gift ever for a Canadian healthcare initiative will fund the creation of the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research, which, with facilities located in each of the three institutions, will bring together, under one umbrella, research, education, and innovation in genomic medicine, stem cell research, bioengineering, and cardiovascular treatment, with a focus on improving heart health across the entire human lifespan.
Each partner in the effort will take the lead in a particular area. The Hospital for Sick Children, for example, will work to decode the genetic foundations of cardiac disease and will support individualized therapies for children and adults based on the unique genome of each patient; UHN will focus on translating research findings into care delivery; and the University of Toronto will work to combine stem cell technology with novel approaches in cellular and tissue engineering for the regeneration of heart muscle, coronary vessels, and heart valves. In addition, a portion of the gift will be used to establish an innovation fund aimed at driving the discovery and development of next-generation therapies for heart failure, as well as an education fund to attract top students and postgraduates.
"The Toronto region is home to one of the world's largest biomedical science and health education clusters," said University of Toronto president Meric Gertler. "This exceptionally powerful network of researchers and educators is translating exciting ideas, innovations and therapies in stem cell research and regenerative medicine into clinical settings where they will address the most challenging problems across the spectrum of heart disease."