Building on Canada’s Strengths in Regenerative Medicine
A Workshop Report
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 regenerative medicine have followed, many by Canadian researchers and practitioners. With these advancements in regenerative medicine, 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 identify the key opportunities and challenges associated with regenerative medicine in Canada.
Released on Thursday March 9, 2017, the report, Building on Canada’s Strengths in Regenerative Medicine, 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. It 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 report confirms that the field of regenerative medicine continues to be strong in Canada. Canadian research is both of high quality and highly cited, and it is the collaborative culture, enhanced by national networks that keeps Canada leading in the field. Maintaining Canada’s leadership position in regenerative medicine requires ongoing efforts including continued stable and strategic investment in researchers, collaborative networks, and infrastructure.
The report identifies several opportunities to strengthen the regenerative medicine community in Canada. Opportunities identified as particularly promising focus on:
The workshop participants also considered several specific opportunities such as:
Figure 1.2: Major Canadian Discoveries in Stem Cell Science