Liver disease takes 5000 Canadian lives every year. Out of around 1200 people on liver transplant waiting lists, approximately one third end up receiving a transplant each year due to a shortage of donor organs.

Medicine by Design has a flagship research program that is working at all levels – from foundational science to bioengineering to early-stage clinical translation – and in many disciplines to develop treatments for liver disease that can one day replace the need for liver transplant.

With a focus on harnessing the potential of stem cells and cutting-edge technologies, Medicine by Design is funding this large-scale, multidisciplinary research to drive breakthroughs in liver disease treatment.

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Using stem cells for liver regeneration

Stem cell pioneer Gordon Keller, director of the University Health Network's McEwen Stem Cell Institute, leads a team of eight labs focused on harnessing the liver’s power to regenerate.  Read more.

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Mapping the liver

The University of Toronto's Gary Bader, along with University Health Network researchers Sonya MacParland, and Ian McGilvray, have collaborated on a world first: generating a “map” of all cells of the human liver. Read more.

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Making a bile duct

The University of Toronto's Axel Guenther’s lab has developed collagen tubes that hold potential to be developed into lab-grown bile ducts, with the aim of being able to replace this part of the organ in a patient. Read more.

Moving liver cell therapy toward the clinic

Shinichiro Ogawa, a scientist at the McEwen Stem Cell Institute, University Health Network, is focused on the early-stage translation of the liver cells from experiment to clinical application. Read more.