Medicine by Design Symposium Podium

Translation Talks is a weekly webinar series for trainees that will cover key concepts in translation and commercialization of regenerative medicine. (Photo by Neil Ta)

Translating research discoveries into new products, therapies or companies isn’t something most graduate programs in regenerative medicine-related fields cover.

The University of Toronto’s Medicine by Design initiative, in partnership with CCRM and Stem Cell Network, is launching a webinar series this week that aims to fill that gap. Translation Talks will introduce participants to key concepts required to move regenerative medicine discoveries from the lab toward health impact, including intellectual property, regulatory affairs, early-stage investment and manufacturing.

Running weekly until the end of July, the series touches on some of the same topics as Medicine by Design’s popular Summer by Design workshop, which has been cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 2017, Summer by Design, a two-week, intensive, in-person program, has drawn a total of 70 high-performing graduate students and post-doctoral fellows from U of T, its affiliated hospitals and select international partner institutions.

“Even though we cannot offer Summer by Design this year, we are thrilled to provide a new opportunity for a broader audience of emerging researchers to explore translation and commercialization in regenerative medicine,” said Allison Brown, Director, Strategy & Translation at Medicine by Design. “Now more than ever, these skills are crucial for young researchers, whether they pursue careers as academics, entrepreneurs or investors. Translation Talks are just one more way Medicine by Design is supporting their development and ensuring they have the expertise they need to drive regenerative medicine forward.”

Interest in Translation Talks has been strong, with more than 60 graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and research/scientific associates confirmed to participate. In addition to U of T and its affiliated hospitals, participants are based at universities and institutes across Canada and around the world, including: the University of British Columbia; l’Université de Montréal; the National Research Council; Hannover Medical School in Germany; Erasmus University Medical Centre in the Netherlands; Monash University in Australia; and the National University of Singapore. Invited subject-matter experts from CCRM, Torys LLP and Healios NA, Inc. will lead the sessions.

The series will culminate on July 30 with a panel discussion about the Canadian regenerative medicine ecosystem, highlighting connections between academia, industry and the innovation space. Panel members will be Shana Kelley, a University Professor at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy and an experienced entrepreneur; Mara Lederman, professor of strategic management at the Rotman School of Management and site lead for Creative Destruction Lab-Toronto; Cate Murray, executive director of the Stem Cell Network; and Michael Scott, senior vice-president, product development, at BlueRock Therapeutics.

Translation Talks are currently at capacity.