Toronto Centre for Phenogenomics (TCP) set to model the future of human health



    TORONTO, Oct. 1 /CNW/ - The Toronto Centre for Phenogenomics (TCP) today
announced its official opening in the heart of Toronto's Discovery District.
This state-of-the-art facility will enable groundbreaking research and
discovery, with the goal of advancing human health.
    Already acclaimed by researchers worldwide, the TCP, through modeling of
disease, will seek cures and treatments in areas such as diabetes, cancer,
musculoskeletal disease, cardiovascular and renal function, embryonic
development, and learning and memory. "We are enabling research and we are
doing research to make a difference in health care for Canadians," says Dr.
Colin McKerlie, the TCP's Interim CEO, and a researcher who will be taking
advantage of the TCP facilities.
    The largest centre of its kind in Canada, the TCP houses 110,000 gross
sq ft of custom-designed laboratory space. It promises to be a cutting-edge
provider of research tools, technologies and services, delivering
"breakthroughs" such as advanced imaging techniques, and supported by the
newest robotics equipment and technology.
    The TCP is being launched as part of Ontario's response to university
expansions, the growing innovation economy, and the resulting charge to
increase the scientific research capacity of the province.
    The initial concept of the TCP originated with Dr. Janet Rossant, a world
leader in developmental biology. Dr. Rossant led the grant application to the
Canada Foundation for Innovation that quickly became a collaboration among
four founding member research hospitals: Mount Sinai Hospital, St. Michael's
Hospital, The Hospital for Sick Children, and the University Health Network,
which encompasses Toronto General Hospital, Toronto Western Hospital, and
Princess Margaret Hospital.
    "This collaboration is a promising response to increasingly constrained
resources," says Rossant. "In this facility, we are not only collecting and
sharing information, we are sharing decisions and ownership, vision and
responsibility - expanding the capacity of each partner while contributing to
the powerhouse that is Toronto's health research community."
    "Research creates the best medicine, and this exciting four-hospital
membership will bring together some of the brightest minds in science to
improve the quality of clinical care and help keep Toronto and Ontario at the
forefront of health research," reflects Joseph Mapa, President and CEO, Mount
Sinai Hospital.
    Dr. Stephen Lye, Associate Director of the Samuel Lunenfeld Research
Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, agrees on a key strength of the Centre: "The
TCP is a remarkable, world-class resource, providing researchers in our member
institutions a competitive advantage in their search to understand and conquer
disease."
    Funding for this $69 million enterprise was a collaboration among
different levels of government, the Member Hospitals, and industry. Sources
included the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) ($26,771,045), the Ontario
Government through the Ontario Innovation Trust (OIT) ($26,771,045), Member
Hospital contributions ($11,427,717), and industry-based donations in kind
($4,183,717).
    "This new facility defines cutting-edge, and exemplifies partnership,"
says Dr. Eliot Phillipson, President and CEO of the CFI. "The TCP will allow
researchers from multiple institutions and disciplines to transform innovative
ideas into groundbreaking research. The advancements that this facility will
enable are sure to have a real and positive impact on the lives of all
Canadians."
    "I am very pleased and excited that Ontario's investment in the TCP
through the Ontario Innovation Trust, is helping to solidify our province as a
world-class centre for innovative research and scientific discovery," says Dr.
Cal Stiller, Chair of the Ontario Innovation Trust. "This innovative
scientific collaboration among four of our leading research hospitals will
lead to new discoveries faster than individuals or institutions working alone
could achieve. Using models is the shortest bridge to remarkable discoveries
that are relevant to human disease."
    Looking ahead, and as research unfolds, the TCP will provide enormous
added value. It will be a training space for the next-generation of talented
Canadian researchers whose work will help us understand the biology of
disease, help identify and validate new drug targets, assess the genetics of
drug responses, and on many fronts improve the long-term health of our
population. And it will be a leader in the advancement of North American and
global genomics efforts, attracting and retaining pre-eminent Canadian and
international researchers and teams.

    About:

    The Toronto Centre for Phenogenomics is a $69 million, state-of-the-art
facility in the heart of Toronto's Discovery District, that enables
groundbreaking research and discovery, with the goal of advancing human
health. Through the modeling of disease, the TCP seeks cures and treatments in
areas such as diabetes, cancer, musculoskeletal disease, cardiovascular and
renal function, embryonic development, learning and memory. The TCP is a
unique collaboration among four founding member research hospitals: Mount
Sinai Hospital, St. Michael's Hospital, The Hospital for Sick Children, and
the University Health Network. www.phenogenomics.ca

    The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), affiliated with the University
of Toronto, is Canada's most research-intensive hospital and the largest
centre dedicated to improving children's health in the country. As innovators
in child health, SickKids improves the health of children by integrating care,
research and teaching. Our mission is to provide the best in complex and
specialized care by creating scientific and clinical advancements, sharing our
knowledge and expertise and championing the development of an accessible,
comprehensive and sustainable child health system. For more information,
please visit www.sickkids.ca. SickKids is committed to healthier children for
a better world.

    Mount Sinai Hospital is an internationally recognized, 472-bed acute care
academic health centre affiliated with the University of Toronto. It is known
for excellence in the provision of compassionate patient care, innovative
education and world-leading research. Our Centres of Excellence are the Samuel
Lunenfeld Research Institute; Women's and Infants' Health; Surgery and
Oncology; Acute and Chronic Medicine; and Laboratory Medicine and Infection
Control. Mount Sinai Hospital brings together people with Bright Minds and Big
Hearts to provide The Best Medicine. www.mtsinai.on.ca

    The Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital, a
University of Toronto affiliated research centre, established in 1985, is one
of the world's leading centres in biomedical research. 32 principal
investigators lead research in diabetes, cancer biology, epidemiology, stem
cell research, women's and infants' health, neurobiology and systems biology.
For more information on the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, please visit
www.mshri.on.ca

    The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is an independent corporation
created by the Government of Canada to fund research infrastructure. The CFI's
mandate is to strengthen the capacity of Canadian universities, colleges,
research hospitals, and non-profit research institutions to carry out
world-class research and technology development that benefits Canadians. Since
its creation in 1997, the CFI has committed more than $3.75 billion in support
of 5,400 projects at 128 research institutions in 64 municipalities across
Canada.

    The Ontario Innovation Trust was created in 1999 by the Government of
Ontario to invest in research equipment and facilities at Ontario's
universities, colleges, hospitals and other non-profit research institutions.
The Trust is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, according to the
terms of a Trust agreement established by the Ontario government. A small
permanent staff looks after day-to-day operations. Since its inception, the
Trust has committed more than $844 million to strengthen Ontario's position in
the global marketplace of ideas. This represents more than a third of the
$2.44 billion in total funding that has been invested in Trust-supported
projects.

    University Health Network incorporates Toronto General, Toronto Western
and Princess Margaret Hospitals. The scope of research and complexity of cases
at University Health Network have made it a national and international source
for discovery, education and patient care. It has the largest hospital-based
research program in Canada, with major research in cardiology,
transplantation, neurosciences, oncology, surgical innovation, infectious
diseases, and genomic medicine. University Health Network is a research and
teaching hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto.

    St. Michael's Hospital is a large and vibrant Catholic teaching and
research hospital in the heart of Toronto. Fully affiliated with the
University of Toronto, St. Michael's Hospital leads with innovation, and
serves with compassion. Renowned for providing exceptional patient care, St.
Michael's Hospital is a regional trauma centre and downtown Toronto's
designated trauma centre for adults.





For further information:

For further information: Janet LeClair, Communications Specialist,
Toronto Centre for Phenogenomics, Toronto, Ontario, T: (647) 837-5841, Email:
janet.leclair@phenogenomics.ca; Shelley Romoff, Public Affairs, The Hospital
for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, T: (416) 813-5046

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TORONTO CENTRE FOR PHENOGENOMICS (TCP)

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