UTM is home to a wide range of centres and institutes that address local and global research questions. From urban environmental issues to the development of cancer-fighting drugs, to building a more holistic understanding of child development, UTM’s research centres are sites of groundbreaking cross-disciplinary research and training.
Centre for Urban Environments
Founded in 2018, the Centre for Urban Environments (CUE) is a transdisciplinary research centre committed to local, national and global leadership in research, education and outreach on urban environmental issues. Directed by Dr. Marc Johnson (Biology), CUE’s vision is to promote healthy urban environments that are sustainable for all life. CUE is achieving this vision by supporting research and collaboration, training and education, community engagement and public policy. The shift from rural to urban dominated societies has produced unprecedented developments in the social, infrastructural and environmental conditions of city life. Rapid urbanization also accounts for roughly two-thirds of all resource extraction, energy use and carbon emissions, driving global changes in climate change, ecosystem health and biodiversity loss. As cities continue to expand, municipalities around the world are grappling with how to build cities that are resilient, adaptable and sustainable. The Centre for Urban Environments was created to address these problems.
Centre for Medicinal Chemistry
Funded by a major donation from the Mississauga-based Orlando Corporation, the Centre for Medicinal Chemistry (CMC) is an EDU-C that builds upon Dr. Patrick Gunning’s (Chemical and Physical Sciences) research developing compounds with the potential to become cancer-fighting drugs. The centre integrates a national network of leading health care institutions and researchers. It is unique in Canada with its focus on developing cancer therapeutics from initial computational design right through to definitive animal trials. Research at the CMC has led to the formation of four new start-up companies: Dalriada Drug Discovery; JanPIX BIO, which has been bought by Centessa Pharmaceuticals; Dunad Therapeutics, which in 2021 entered into a collaboration with Novartis; and HDAX Therapeutics. By 2023, the CMC will be based in the New Science Building (currently in construction) and will be expanded with the hiring of four new faculty members (2 in Biology and 2 in Chemical and Physical Sciences).
Centre for Child Development, Mental Health, and Policy
The CCDMP's vision is to foster every child’s healthy development and potential for kindness, both locally and globally. To achieve this vision, the Centre conducts research that advances a holistic understanding of children and generates services and practice solutions to enhance their potential and healthy development. Directed by Dr. Tina Malti (Psychology), the Centre unites child development and child mental health specialists from diverse backgrounds in an environment that inspires innovations in research, practice, and policy. Current projects include Supporting Prosociality and Resilience in Newcomer Transitions (SPRINT), a project dedicated to developing and implementing training for refugee caregivers and practitioners; Research and Practice Partnership: Building Awareness and Increasing Social-Emotional Capacity in the Early Years (RAISE), a multidisciplinary collaboration between the CCDMP research team and community partners in the Early Years sector in the Peel region; Adversity and the Development of Affective and Prosocial Trajectories (ADAPT), a study to understand the emergence and predictors of kindness across varying contexts of adversity; and Longitudinal Study of Emotions, Aggression, and Physiology (LEAP), a four-year longitudinal study examining children’s physiological activity and self-reported emotions in response to hypothetical social conflicts.
Centre for South Asian Civilizations
UTM created the multi-disciplinary Centre for South Asian Civilizations to address the need for greater engagement with and study of South Asia. Led by the Departments of Historical Studies, Language Studies and Political Science, the Centre educates students in history, religion, languages and cultures. With the rise of the political, economic and cultural influence of South Asia, knowledge of this region and its history is of increasing global relevance, and the Centre supports a wide range of activities related to the countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, including colloquia, public lectures, creative performances, research affiliations and study abroad opportunities. It also emphasizes distinctive university-community partnerships and building robust student-faculty relationships with South Asian communities locally and overseas. Directed by Dr. Ajay Rao (Historical Studies) the Centre draws on the unique research strengths of UTM faculty. UTM is one of only two universities in the English-speaking world to have a position in Zoroastrianism and the only university in Canada with a faculty member teaching and researching South Asian Archaeology. UTM is also home to the Yehan Numata Program in Buddhist Studies, one of the world’s most prestigious international academic lecture and conference programs for the study of Buddhism.
ICUBE is part of the University of Toronto’s Innovation network and home to Social Entrepreneurship and early-stage start-ups at UTM. Headed by Faculty Lead and Acting Director Duncan Jones (Institute for Management and Innovation) ICUBE offers resources, programs, workshops and mentorship for students and researchers alike. With a focus on experiential learning, ICUBE helps prepare the next generation of leaders to contribute to our communities, and solve problems through the discovery, application, and communication of knowledge. ICUBE is part of the University of Toronto’s Innovation network, a selection of diverse accelerators and incubators that serve students and faculty from all disciplines and levels of experience.
Institute for the Study of University Pedagogy
The Institute for the Study of University Pedagogy (ISUP) was established in 2020 and is the centre for research on teaching and learning at UTM. In collaboration with faculty, staff, and students across UTM, ISUP supports the development of students’ academic skills through courses, consultations, workshops and programs. ISUP also supports faculty pedagogy and the scholarship of teaching and learning through programming and one-on-one consultations. ISUP is interdisciplinary, with its faculty members coming from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds, including Anthropology, Ethnomusicology, Geography, Mathematics, Paleontology, Psychology, Religious Studies, Rhetoric, English, and Education, and is also committed to access, offering programming with a universal design for learning (UDL) perspective. Through consultation and training of faculty and staff across the UTM campus, ISUP strives to make learning inclusive and accessible. ISUP partners with the Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre (RGASC) to provide a full range of individual consultations, workshops, and programs to help students in all stages of their academic career identify and develop the academic skills they need for success in their studies. Funding data has not been provided for ISUP as its core faculty are mostly teaching faculty and it does not have a research program comparable to that of other units.