Regenerative medicine holds the promise of revolutionizing treatments for diseases such as heart failure, diabetes and stroke. But key questions and hurdles remain. To realize the extraordinary potential of this field, we need a new approach.

Medicine by Design harnesses the exceptional expertise at the University of Toronto and its affiliated hospitals at the convergence of physical and life sciences, engineering, mathematics and medicine to undertake transformative research in regenerative medicine and cell therapy. It fosters unique multidisciplinary collaborations and uses engineering design principles and quantitative biological modelling to accelerate breakthroughs. Through strategic investments and partnerships, Medicine by Design is powering Toronto’s burgeoning biomedical ecosystem, strengthening Canada as a global centre for regenerative medicine and improving health outcomes.

Photo of Michael Sefton, new executive director of Medicine by Design

University Professor Michael Sefton is executive director of Medicine by Design. (Photo by Neil Ta)

Created in 2015, Medicine by Design is made possible thanks in part to a $114-million grant from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund, the largest single research award in the University of Toronto’s history. It builds on decades of discovery in regenerative medicine at the University of Toronto, beginning in the early 1960s with the demonstration of the existence of stem cells by James Till and Ernest McCulloch.

Peter Zandstra and James Till

University Professor Peter Zandstra (left), who served as founding director of Medicine by Design from 2015 to 2017, with University Professor Emeritus James Till. (Photo by James Poremba)