February 3, 2021
OICR and Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS @ Toronto launch the OICR-JLABS Cancer Symposium Series, featuring leaders, innovators and trail blazers in cell therapy
On January 28, OICR and JLABS @ Toronto hosted the inaugural symposium of their Cancer Symposium Series, focused on horizons and controversies in cell therapy for cancer treatment. Invited speakers from around the world took a deep dive into the promise of gene therapy and the key challenges that they’re working to overcome.
The event was hosted by the Regional Head of JLABS Canada, Allan Miranda, and OICR’s President and Scientific Director, Dr. Laszlo Radvanyi. Guest speakers included Dr. James Yang from the National Cancer Institute, Dr. Emily Titus, Vice President at Notch Therapeutics, and Dr. Michael Maguire, CEO of Avectas.
- Dr. Yang reviewed the notable advancements made in Adoptive T cell Therapy (ACT) for certain cancers, like melanomas. Despite these advancements, he emphasized the importance of further research since most of the common cancers that kill people have yet to be addressed using immunotherapy. His presentation outlined some key scientific and biological challenges in developing effective ACT for epithelial cancers, highlighting that epithelial cancers, which represent the vast majority of cancer cases, have a lower mutational burden relative to melanomas, often have a limited number of tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes, and are difficult to mimic in experimental models.
- Dr. Titus presented Notch Therapeutics’ platform for generating T cells and other immune cells from stem cell lines. The team at Notch, which has expanded from Toronto to Vancouver and Seattle, is leveraging their platform to build a pipeline of sophisticated T cell therapeutic products.
- Dr. Maguire shared Avectas’ automated GMP engineering platform, SOLUPORE, which is built to enable the ex-vivo manufacture of gene modified cell therapy products. He emphasized the importance for improved complex engineering solutions to address solid tumours.
The event highlighted the potential of cancer cell therapy and the technologies that will advance the field of cell therapy in the future. The event recording can be accessed here.
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August 10, 2018
Join the OICR community in having fun and raising funds for the Terry Fox Foundation at the Great Canadian Hair “Do”
On Friday, September 14 at noon, a team of OICR staff members and others from the community will once again take part in the one-of-a-kind Great Canadian Hair “Do” in support of The Terry Fox Foundation. The team will have their heads shaved or have their hair styled in an outrageous fashion in the atrium of the south tower of the MaRS Centre. As part of the event, the crowd will hear from a cancer survivor and a cancer researcher to learn about the importance of cancer research fundraising and funding.
Last year the team raised more than $8,500. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to make a difference! If you are interested in participating in an unforgettable event, while helping a good cause, visit the OICR team website to register. MaRS is a community partner for the Great Canadian Hair Do.
To join the team or to donate, visit: http://www.terryfox.ca/OICRHairDo2018
May 23, 2018
Researchers, specifically those studying cancer, require expertise to tackle increasingly complex, large datasets that are generated by rapidly developing sequencing technologies. Bioinformatics.ca has launched their 2018 Canadian Bioinformatics Workshops (CBW) series to train Canadian and international scientists on cutting-edge topics in bioinformatics – preparing them to harness the potential of big data.
September 15, 2017
Since 2008 OICR staff members and others from the community have come together each year for the Terry Fox Great Canadian Hair Do, to raise money for important cancer research. This year the team raised more than $8,800 in support of the Terry Fox Foundation by shaving their heads or having their hair styled and brightly coloured. With these generous contributions the event has now raised more than $120,000 since its inception, and the team is still accepting donations.
April 26, 2017
On April 22 (Earth Day), 3,000 people joined the March for Science, gathering at Nathan Philips Square and marching to Queen’s Park where they heard from a number of speakers representing the breadth of research here in Canada. Speakers talked of the impact of actions in United States, which affect the global scientific community, but also why having a voice for Canadian science and evidence-based policy, at home, is important for scientists and the public they serve. Marchers also heard how the scientific community can do better to represent all perspectives in that voice and why the practice of science cannot be divorced from the people who conduct it or the context in which it sits.
March 28, 2017
At the OICR Scientific Meeting about 20 attendees started the final day of the meeting off early with a little fun, all in the name of a good cause. This year the OICR Charity Challenge was in support of the Canadian Cancer Society, which provides research funding as well as support services to cancer patients. Together the participants raised more than $1,500 to support the Society’s activities. Participants ran a mini-Relay For Life which entailed competing in five different “challenges”: accuracy, trivia, creativity, physical and teamwork.
March 17, 2017
On International Women’s Day, OICR scientists attended the first-ever Metamorphosis Girls STEM Conference at John Polanyi Collegiate Institute in Toronto. There, the researchers helped expose female grade seven and eight students to the various fields and career opportunities within science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) – with an emphasis on encouraging the next generation of female scientists to pursue a career in STEM fields.
February 3, 2017
Cancer is a global concern. Cancer Research UK estimated that in 2012 there were 14.1 million new diagnoses of cancer worldwide and 8.2 million deaths could be attributed to the disease. While these staggering numbers alone may paint a bleak picture, it is important to remember that around the world scientists are improving methods to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. Their efforts have drastically increased cancer survival over the last few decades.
OICR is proud to contribute to this global cause through its provincial, national and international research projects. Cancer is too large and complex an issue to be tackled by one organization alone. Below we’re sharing a selection of stories from the last several months highlighting the progress that has been made by researchers at the Institute, working together with our partners, to help reduce the impact of cancer on the lives of people around the world.
December 6, 2016
Dr. Ahmed Aman, Principal Research Scientist and Group Leader, Analytical Chemistry and ADME in OICR’s Drug Discovery Program, recently demonstrated that his commitment to cancer research goes beyond his work in the lab. For the sixth straight year Aman participated in Movember by growing a moustache to raised funds and awareness for men’s health issues, including prostate cancer. This year Aman exceeded his fundraising goal of $500 by collecting $770 in donations and has now raised $3,445 since beginning in 2011.
More information about Movember can be found here: https://ca.movember.com/
November 23, 2016
On November 16 OICR and the Ontario Molecular Pathology Research Network (OMPRN) joined other organizations around the world celebrating International Pathology Day.
November 16, 2016
Today is International Pathology Day. Around the world and here in Ontario events will be held to raise awareness of the field and its contributions to modern medicine. The work of the Transformative Pathology Program, coupled with the launch of the Ontario Molecular Pathology Research Network (OMPRN), has made for a very successful year thus far for OICR’s efforts in pathology research. Here are some of the highlights. Continue reading – International Pathology Day 2016
November 4, 2016
Dr. John Bartlett, from the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, and Dr. Michelle Downes, from Sunnybrook Health Science Centre, will take you into a world of pathology beyond crime scene investigation and into puzzles more complex than an escape room. They will talk about the future of pathology and how this is changing the face of medicine and why a pathologist is considered ‘the doctor’s doctor’.
The Duke of York Pub – November 16, 6-8 p.m.
39 Prince Arthur Avenue, Toronto
near St. George subway station