map Summer by Design 2024, featuring eight days of intensive learning about the commercialization of regenerative medicine, begins next week. The program will welcome participants from all over the world to the University of Toronto (U of T).

“This year’s cohort of graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and clinician scientists were accepted into the program from 21 international, cross-Canada and local institutions to learn about the core concepts involved in commercializing research,” says Allison Brown, executive director of Medicine by Design. “Past participants have valued not only the in-depth knowledge they gained from the program, but also the opportunity to build their peer networks beyond their local institutions.”

Read Summer by Design participant stories

Read Alex's story

Summer camp for scientists

Alex Kozlov“I grew up going to…summer camp, an experience that constantly challenged me to step outside my comfort zone, taught me new skills, and introduced me to a network of amazing people…Summer by Design was a lot like a summer camp for scientists.”
-Alexandra Kozlov, PhD Candidate, Western University

Read Alex's story
Read Tyler's story

The two biggest (unexpected) takeaways from Summer by Design 2023

Tyler Wenzel“The friendships I made…were invaluable. The content itself was geared towards people without much prior knowledge of patents, commercialization, reimbursement and regulatory policies, and mostly had a Canadian or North American perspective, [which is useful as it’s] the biggest market for regenerative medicine products.”
-Tyler J. Wenzel, Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Saskatchewan

Read Tyler's story

Brown adds that in addition to the program’s commercialization focus, it’s also designed to expose participants to the many career opportunities within the cell and gene therapy industry. For instance, Summer by Design Ecosystem Day will feature a panel of three regenerative medicine industry leaders who will discuss the topic, “Accelerating Research and Building a Regenerative Medicine Innovation Ecosystem” from the perspectives of their unique professional experiences.

The Ecosystem Day panelists are Mathew Platt, global venture recruitment lead, Creative Destruction Lab, Stacey Ivanchuk, director, Alliance Management, BlueRock Therapeutics and Yasaman Soudagar, co-founder and CEO, Neurescence.

Summer by Design’s 35 accepted participants are from a broad range of research areas including stem cell biology, pharmacy, health economics, biomedical engineering and immunology.

Summer by Design’s global institutions

The participants who were accepted into the program are affiliated with the following institutions:

Program run by Medicine by Design with contributing partners

The program, which began in 2016, is run by Medicine by Design, a regenerative medicine convergence hub that spans U of T and its affiliated hospitals. At Summer by Design, Medicine by Design coordinates a comprehensive program that covers a range of topics that are critical for commercialization including intellectual property and technology strategy, preclinical derisking, early-stage investment strategy, clinical translation and biomanufacturing. A workshop on  scientific storytelling will be led by Talk Boutique, a full-service speaker representation and coaching company.

CCRM, Medicine by Design’s strategic partner, also plays a key role in developing and delivering learning content in the program.

“Summer by Design is an excellent way to contribute to global talent development in the cell and gene therapy sector and to introduce participants to the local ecosystem in Toronto and area,” says Michael May, president and CEO, CCRM. “Efforts like these are crucial to ensuring that Canada’s leadership in cell and gene therapy continues.”

CCRM is a public-private partnership that provides resources, expertise, and infrastructure to help researchers and entrepreneurs advance their regenerative medicine discoveries from the laboratory to the marketplace.

Another partner, the Stem Cell Network — an organization that supports stem cell and regenerative medicine research, training and outreach — is supporting the program by providing travel grants to Canadian trainees not located in Toronto.

The Rotman School of Management at U of T is also a partner in the program and is providing mentorship meetings to participants. Rotman School faculty members are also leading educational sessions in technology strategy and marketing.

Follow Medicine by Design on LinkedIn or Twitter/X @MbD_UofT to see updates from the #SummerbyDesign program.