Building a SMARTER Ontario: Dr. Janet Rossant’s Story
Ontario research hospitals contribute to a smarter Ontario by attracting, training and retaining some of the world’s most highly skilled researchers that help to establish our province as a destination for discovery and research development while building our knowledge-economy. Among these researchers is Dr. Janet Rossant, who proved the pluripotency of embryonic stem cells, in collaboration with Dr. Andras Nagy, in 1993 right here in Ontario.
Discovery Breeds Discovery
In our Building a SMARTER Ontario video, Dr. Rossant motivates and inspires us by sharing the story of how discovery breeds discovery.
“A health research hub like the one we have in Ontario is about developing a network of the best and brightest minds to advance the research that will lead to the next breakthrough,” said Dr. Rossant. “In my case, that breakthrough happened when my colleague Dr. Andras Nagy and I, supported by a team of researcher associates and students, proved the pluripotency of embryonic stem cells. That discovery contributed to later stem cell discoveries worldwide.”
Collaboration is fundamental to the success of health research. It takes teams of people with different ideas and expertise to really drive innovation, from discovery to translation, for impact on the economy. Ontario continues to foster this type of collaboration, that’s part of what’s making our province—and Canada and the world—smarter.
Quick Facts: Dr. Janet Rossant
- She served as the Chief of Research at SickKids Research Institute for ten years and is now a Senior Scientist there
- She is the Director of the Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine
- Her area of research is developmental biology, stem cell research and regenerative medicine
- She is a recipient 2015 Canada Gairdner Wightman Award
- She was appointed Companion of the Order of Canada in 2015
Canada and Stem Cell Research
The field was born in Toronto in 1961 when Dr. James Till and Dr. Ernest McCulloch of the Ontario Cancer Institute proved the existence of stem cells. That discovery positioned Ontario as a hotbed for stem cell research and created an important foundation for multiple stem cell innovations and discoveries. Through teams of researchers, international collaboration and investment in this area of health research, Toronto, Ontario and Canada has grown into a major player in the stem cell and regenerative medicine field, with hundreds of scientists based here.
To learn more about Canada’s contribution to stem cell research, watch the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation’s video, which highlights 50 years of groundbreaking discoveries that have come from this country.
To learn more about the pluripotency of embryonic stem cells and what that can mean for patients, check out this video, narrated by Dr. Rossant herself.
Discover more about how Ontario’s research hospitals contribute to a smarter Ontario by downloading the Healthier, Wealthier, Smarter Policy Platform.