In the last 10 years we have probably learned more about the fundamental biology underlying health and disease than in the previous 100 years put together, but I believe that it is the research of the next 10 years that will use this new knowledge to truly transform health care. The OHRI is at the forefront of this brave new era, with a number of exciting projects now moving forward into clinical studies. Examples include viruses that selectively attack cancer cells while leaving normal cells intact and specific factors that stimulate the growth of stem cells residing in the heart to repair the damage caused by a heart attack.
I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead the OHRI during this exciting time. With the recent opening of new facilities for regenerative medicine, vision and kidney research, and the launch of several important initiatives to support clinical research, I believe we are exceptionally well-positioned to play a leading role in the coming revolution in medicine.
We also have the advantage of strong support from our partners, the University of Ottawa and The Ottawa Hospital, and generous support from the community, through The Ottawa Hospital Foundation. Their commitment to outstanding health research has helped the OHRI grow rapidly over the last decade, such that today we now have more than 1,500 members and more than $100 million in funding, including $85 million in external grants, contracts and salary awards.
Moving forward, I think a key determinant of our success will be creating an environment that encourages the translation of knowledge into better therapy and health care delivery. This will involve strengthening collaborations between basic laboratory researchers, clinicians and health services researchers so that fundamental discoveries can be effectively harnessed to improve patient care. Moving along this path will ensure that the people of Ottawa continue to be among the first to benefit from advances in health research.
Dr. Duncan Stewart
CEO and Scientific Director, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Vice-President, Research, The Ottawa Hospital
Professor of Medicine, University of Ottawa