On behalf of the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA), I am pleased to announce the release of a new workshop report, Building on Canada’s Strengths in Regenerative Medicine. The report is an insightful, high-quality, independent study that overviews the current strengths and weaknesses in regenerative medicine in Canada, and identifies key opportunities for success in the field.
Regenerative medicine has the potential to transform healthcare by treating previously incurable chronic diseases and genetic disorders. Since the discovery of stem cells in the early 1960s by Canadian scientists Drs. James Till and Ernest McCulloch, significant advancements in this field have followed, many by Canadian researchers and practitioners. With these advancements, and other countries investing heavily in stem cell science, it is vital for Canada to take stock of the field and better understand the current state of regenerative medicine science in the country.
Recognizing this need, the Minister of Science, on behalf of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, asked the CCA to convene an expert workshop to identify the key opportunities and challenges associated with regenerative medicine in Canada. To lead the development of the workshop and complete the necessary background research, the CCA appointed a four-member Steering Committee, chaired by Dr. Janet Rossant, C.C., FRS, FRSC, President & Scientific Director, Gairdner Foundation. Other steering committee members were Dr. Tania Bubela, Professor, School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Dr. Allen C. Eaves, O.B.C, President and CEO, STEMCELL Technologies, and Dr. Michael Rudnicki, O.C., FRSC, Senior Scientist and Director, Regenerative Medicine Program and Sprott Centre for Stem Cell Research, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, and CEO and Scientific Director, Stem Cell Network.
The workshop, held October 13-14, 2016 in Toronto, brought together perspectives from academia, medicine, funding agencies, industry, and patient advocacy and was informed by a literature review and bibliometric research. The resulting workshop report is intended to contribute to a national dialogue and serve as a tool to help inform policy decisions related to advancing the field of regenerative medicine in Canada.
The full report is available for download, free of charge, on the CCA’s website (www.scienceadvice.ca).
Eric M. Meslin, PhD, FCAHS
President & CEO, Council of Canadian Academies