Medicine by Design is a strategic hub where scientists, engineers and clinicians converge to conceive and translate regenerative medicine approaches to transforming human health. Our community of researchers is from the University of Toronto and its affiliated hospitals, and we also work with the biotechnology industry, government and not-for-profit partners to integrate discovery and translation with biomanufacturing and clinical implementation.

What is Medicine by Design?

Medicine by Design is a bold initiative that was established in 2015, through an unprecedented investment of $114-million from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF). Since its inception, Medicine by Design has sharpened the peaks of excellence and pushed the frontiers of regenerative medicine through large-scale investments in transformative, interdisciplinary research and translation projects and through the recruitment of world-class faculty and trainees.

By fostering convergence across leading centres in Toronto and supporting high-risk/high-reward research, Medicine by Design has built on the city’s legacy in regenerative medicine — from the discovery of stem cells to the cloning of T-cell receptor genes—to solidify the field as one of the most prolific areas of research across the Toronto Academic Health Sciences Network (TAHSN), which includes the University of Toronto and its affiliated hospitals.

Our key initiatives

  • Strategic Research StewardshipCuration of and funding for high-risk, transformational research that harnesses the world-class expertise of researchers and clinicians from a range of disciplines including the physical and life sciences, medicine, engineering and social sciences across the TAHSN.
  • Translation and Commercialization Support – Offering early-stage translation support through the Pivotal Experiment Fund and Entrepreneur-in-Residence program, as well as strategic partnerships with regional incubators.
  • Talent Development — Providing multidisciplinary regenerative medicine-focused training, mentorship and professional development programs through events and workshops and flagship trainee programs like Summer by Design and Building a Biotech Venture; and recruiting regenerative medicine faculty to the TAHSN.
  • Clinical Implementation Support – Strategic training on topics like regenerative medicine in the clinic or planning early-stage clinical trials; and outreach to patients and communities we serve.
  • Ecosystem Development – Building and promoting the global profile of the Toronto regenerative medicine community through international and national events, strategic partnerships, and public relations.

Our Strategic Vision

VISION: Toronto is a globally leading ecosystem for regenerative medicine innovation.

MISSION: To harness Toronto’s extraordinary expertise across convergent disciplines & institutions to invent, develop, scale & implement living therapies that will transform healthcare for Canada and the world.



Key Initiatives


Research Excellence
Convergent Thinking
Advance transformative research and early-stage translation in regenerative medicine
Enable the commercialization of accessible, living therapies at-scale
Prepare health systems, clinics and communities to implement living therapy innovations
Strategic Research Stewardship
Translation and Commercialization Support
Talent Development
Clinical Implementation Support
Ecosystem Development
Better health across the lifespan for all who live in Canada
A resilient bioeconomy that manufactures for the world
Forward-thinking bioinnovation leaders powering an interdisciplinary approach to human health

Our Commitments

Goal 1.1  Curate, fund and nurture convergent, high-risk, transformative research focused on addressing the scientific, clinical, social, and economic challenges in regenerative medicine.

Goal 1.2  Advance the translation of promising research by supporting investible opportunities in navigating the complexities of early product development, venture creation and clinical trials.

Goal 1.3  Prepare the next generation of regenerative medicine leaders to meet the evolving needs of the bioeconomy by arming them with the diverse perspectives, skills and knowhow required to translate research insights into real world solutions.

Goal 2.1  Shepherd promising innovations through commercialization by offering funding and expertise for technology validation, market assessment and venture scale-up.

Goal 2.2  Connect Medicine by Design innovators with an international network of commercialization partners, investors, clinical key opinion leaders and receptor industries to enable production at scale.

Goal 2.3  Support innovation in biomanufacturing to drive technological breakthroughs that enable the production of affordable and accessible living therapies.

Goal 3.1  Engage with diverse communities to explore unmet needs and disparities in regenerative medicine to ensure our research ultimately serves all end-users.

Goal 3.2  Integrate health system and patient perspectives in the design, development and clinical implementation of living therapies to enhance downstream accessibility and adoption of innovations.

Goal 3.3  Develop policy positions that embolden the Toronto regenerative medicine ecosystem and accelerate the uptake of regenerative medicine innovation.

Our Values

Research Excellence – Transformative regenerative medicine innovation is rooted in world class research in engineering, medicine, and physical and social sciences.

Convergence – Interdisciplinary, multi-stakeholder, cross-sector collaborations are critical to tackling regenerative medicine’s most pressing challenges.

Equity – Overcoming the clinical, social and economic barriers that hinder the adoption of living therapies in all communities is fundamental to unlocking the promise of regenerative medicine.