Major Boost to Cancer-Treatment Research at U of T Mississauga

Professor Patrick Gunning
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 - 8:11am
Carla DeMarco
A research initiative led by Professor Patrick Gunning in Chemical & Physical Sciences has received $5.9 million in combined funds from the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Ontario Research Fund and the U of T Mississauga (UTM) to establish a Centre for Cancer Stem Cell Therapeutics.

“Our research team is delighted with this funding and the work ahead,” says Gunning, the principal investigator for the project. “We are a dedicated group of researchers who, along with clinicians from various health centres across the GTA, we have devised an interdisciplinary, multi-pronged public health and biomedical strategy to develop new cancer treatments.”

The aim of the research project is to develop new therapeutic compounds that will be targeted to treat some of the deadliest cancers, such as Leukemia (blood cancer) and Glioblastoma (brain cancer), that are thought to originate from cancer stem cells.

The core research team includes numerous experts from UTM, University of Calgary, McMaster University, the University Health Network, The Hospital for Sick Children and Trillium Hospital. The funding will help to support research infrastructure, including new chemistry, microscopy & cell biology, high performance computing equipment. The research conducted will create intellectual property and spin-off companies, as well as provide students and highly qualified personnel with exceptional research training and job opportunities. Most importantly the work will hopefully contribute to effective treatment for some of the Canadians currently living with cancer, now numbering nearly 1 million.

“We are tremendously grateful for this support of research from the federal and provincial governments. The injection of funds will bring state-of-the-art infrastructure to our campus and enable regional and national research collaborations” says Bryan Stewart, UTM’s Vice-Principal, Research

“This partnership brings together a host of world-class researchers, and we are optimistic that this unique Centre will be one of the leading cancer stem cell drug discovery programs in the world, with the overarching impact being improvements in healthcare for Canadians.”