Lake Superior Centre for Regenerative Medicine Inc.



The Lake Superior Centre for Regenerative Medicine Inc. (LSCRM) is a recently incorporated not-for-profit organization.  Phase One of the LSCRM will be focused on the establishment of a Tissue Bank that stores and distributes donated tissues for transplantation. As LSCRM becomes established, the organization will be in a strong position to move forward with the Phase Two, which will focus on research that will ultimately lead to clinically marketable regenerative medicine therapies for tissue repair. Regenerative medicine is considered the next generation of transplantation medicine and is expected to become a cornerstone of modern medicine. Many research opportunities exist in the field of regenerative medicine, including the development of improved transplantation materials, understanding how the body repairs itself, and harnessing the potential of stem cells to regenerate damaged tissues. The goal of the Phase Two is to generate the knowledge and tools required to bring tissue regeneration therapies to the clinic for the treatment of degenerative diseases that are prevalent in Northwestern Ontario, such as arthritis, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Regenerative medicine has tremendous potential to treat these diseases, and as such, represents a strong biotechnology research niche for Northwestern Ontario.

LSCRM can provide many benefits to the region, including:

  • Attracting highly qualified medically-oriented professionals to the region by offering opportunities for pursuing research in an increasingly important field of medicine
  • Catalyzing the growth of the biotechnology sector in Thunder Bay by adding another component to the emerging biotechnology cluster, this in turn will attract other biotechnology companies to the region
  • Developing intellectual property that may lead to spin-off ventures in biomedicine
  • Strengthening collaborations between academic and industrial researchers with expertise in chemistry, engineering, cell and molecular biology, bioinformatics and medicine through the development of inter-disciplinary research opportunities in regenerative medicine
  • Enhancing the opportunity for local students to be trained in biomedical research and retaining qualified graduates in the region

 

The community has driven the development of LSCRM.  Local professionals have volunteered many hours to serve on the initiative’s Advisory Committee and have provided substantial financial, legal, ethical, and project management expertise over the past two years.  Three local physicians have also served as Advisory Committee members and are enthusiastic about the potential of regenerative medicine and cellular therapies to improve the quality of life in our community.  Furthermore, the City of Thunder Bay’s Health Sector Strategy identified the development of LSCRM as a priority. 

Research collaborations relating to the inter-disciplinary field of regenerative medicine are anticipated between LSCRM and the Lakehead University Biotechnology Program. A key component of regenerative medicine research involves the characterization of cells that can repair or regenerate tissues.  This requires substantial computing capacity to record complex gene expression and it is expected that partnerships would be created with researchers from the Biotechnology Program specializing in biomolecular sciences and bioinformatics.