Number of partners
University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario
Canada’s rise as an international powerhouse in stem cell research began with a series of breakthrough discoveries in the 1960s by James Till and Ernest McCulloch at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. That foundational research trained a generation of world-class scientists who propelled Canada to the top of the charts in regenerative medicine. A group of those scientists came together in 2001 with the launch of the first national enterprise focused on translating stem cell research into clinical applications, commercial products and public policy. This positioned Canada to be among the first beneficiaries of stem cell therapies for cancer, Type 1 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and many other illnesses.
The Stem Cell Network (SCN) combined Canada’s internationally recognized strength in stem cell biology with world-class expertise in bioengineering, ethics, clinical practice and commercial expertise from industry partners. More than 130 leading scientists, clinicians, engineers and ethicists from universities and hospitals across Canada worked in partnership with government, industry and NGOs to move the most promising research projects towards clinical trials. SCN’s support of research and training of more than 1,800 highly qualified personnel propelled Canada’s global leadership in many areas of stem cell research, including drug discovery, clinical trials, stem cell banking, and ethical, legal and social issues.