May 25, 2016

OICR partners with Israeli university to create new cancer genomics and immunity program

Kathleen Wynne and Jeff Courtney

On May 18 an Ontario delegation led by Premier Kathleen Wynne visited Israel and signed several Memoranda of Understanding aimed at facilitating collaboration between Israeli and Ontario institutions.

OICR participated in the Ontario delegation and signed a Memorandum of Understanding valued at $5 million with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to create the Joseph and Wolf Lebovic Cancer Genomics and Immunity Research Program. The program will support tumour immunology and genomics postdoctoral researchers and students, helping them to make cancer therapies more effective. The ultimate goal of the partnership is to create a collaborative environment that will accelerate the pace of cancer research, allowing for new advances that would not be possible with each institution working alone.

Mr. Jeff Courtney, Chief Commercial Officer of the Fight Against Cancer Innovation Trust, OICR’s commercialization partner, attended and signed the agreement on behalf of OICR.

Ontario and Israel have been collaborating on projects that advance discovery, leading to new breakthrough treatments, cures and technologies

The partnership was announced at an innovation roundtable at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The goal of the roundtable was to help to promote Ontario’s leadership in innovation and draw attention to the province’s exceptional postsecondary institutions. McMaster University, the University of Guelph and the University of Toronto also signed collaboration agreements with the Hebrew University, expanding research and understanding in other fields beyond cancer, including autism, bioengineering, veterinary medicine and agriculture.

In a statement, Ontario’s Minister of Research and Innovation, Reza Moridi said: “For many years, researchers from Ontario and Israel have been collaborating on projects that advance discovery, leading to new breakthrough treatments, cures and technologies that offer the potential to improve lives locally and globally. The agreements announced today build on that legacy of results-based partnerships and illustrate the ever-deepening innovation, economic and cultural connections between Ontario and Israel.”