OTTAWA, February 16, 2023 – Shining a light on the important contribution of women stem cell scientists is on full display on Parliament Hill this week. Canadian women scientists are powering the field of regenerative medicine, a field fueled by stem cell-based technologies, and a science pioneered by Canadians.
Canada’s Stem Cell Network (SCN) has gathered researchers from across the country who represent all career stages and types to meet with Parliamentarians to discuss their work and how they are making strides in combatting illness and disease such as type 1 diabetes, muscular dystrophy, sepsis and blood cancer. Their message is simple – stem cell and regenerative medicine research will change the face of healthcare while generating economic gains and job creation for Canada. Now is the time for Parliamentarians to take notice and champion this game-changing field.
This event, held on the heels of International Day of Women and Girls in Science, is an opportunity to showcase the highly skilled and talented women who make up Canada’s stem cell research community. Over 25 women will be on Parliament Hill and take part in meetings and events, which commenced the evening of Wednesday, February 15. They are officially being welcomed and hosted by Valerie Bradford, MP for Kitchener South-Hespeler, and a member of the Standing Committee on Science and Research.
“Over the past two decades, governments of all stripes have supported Canada’s life sciences community and, this week, we are gathering on Parliament Hill to recognize that support and showcase the work of the talented women who are not only leading the field but developing the health innovations of tomorrow,” said Cate Murray, President and CEO, Stem Cell Network. “Regenerative medicine is the next frontier of health and an important economic driver. Globally, 2020 and 2021 were record investment years for the cell and gene therapy sector, and Canada is well placed to capture international ventures and leverage them for a thriving national industry.”
For over 20 years the Stem Cell Network has empowered leading researchers and trainees from coast to coast, while collaborating with charity, industry and government partners to drive the field of regenerative medicine forward. Canada has been a world leader in regenerative medicine from the start. From the definitive confirmation of stem cells by Drs. James Till and Ernest McCulloch in the 1960s, Canadian researchers have continued to make significant contributions globally. SCN has supported hundreds of research teams and thousands of trainees as they work to translate discoveries into the therapeutics of tomorrow.
About the Stem Cell Network:
The Stem Cell Network (SCN) is a Canadian not-for-profit that supports stem cell and regenerative medicine research; training the next generation of highly qualified personnel; and knowledge mobilization and transfer of stem cell and regenerative medicine research. From the lab to the clinic, SCN’s goal is to power life-saving therapies and technologies through regenerative medicine research for the benefit of all. Created in 2001, with support from the Government of Canada, the Network has grown from a few dozen labs to more than 230 world-class research groups, supporting over 225 research projects and more than 25 clinical trials. Since its inception, over 20 biotech companies have been catalyzed or enhanced and more than 5,000 highly qualified personnel have been trained. In 2021, the Government of Canada demonstrated its continuing trust and support in SCN with an investment of $45 million for the 2022–2025 period.
Samantha Rae Ayoub
Vice President, Communications & Knowledge Mobilization
Stem Cell Network