News Releases

Ottawa Hospital Research Institute's Stem Cell Centre chosen for prestigious U.S. challenge grant

Community support vital in meeting Kresge Foundation condition

Ottawa - September 29, 2005

The Ottawa community has been issued a challenge: to raise $2 million by November 2006 to support the construction of the new Centre for Stem Cell and Gene Therapy at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI), the research arm of The Ottawa Hospital. The OHRI must raise the money as a condition to receive a challenge grant of $800,000 from The Kresge Foundation.

"Stem cells have the potential to revolutionize medicine and possibly lead to cures for diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and diabetes," said Dr. Ron Worton, CEO and Scientific Director of the OHRI. "The new Centre for Stem Cell and Gene Therapy will mean untold benefits for people in our community, now and in the future."

The funding will allow the Hospital to complete construction and equip the Centre as well as support ongoing operational and research expenses.

"This challenge grant is an incredibly prestigious honour from an institution known for supporting projects that improve the lives of people around the world," said Susan Doyle, President and CEO of The Ottawa Hospital Foundation. "I am confident that our community will rise to this challenge and support this crucial project at The Ottawa Hospital."

The Kresge Foundation, one of the largest foundations in the United States, is an independent, private foundation created by personal gifts of founder Sebastian S. Kresge. It seeks to strengthen the capacity of charitable organizations to provide effective programs of quality. In 2004, the Foundation awarded 179 grants totaling more than $119 million to organizations in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and France.

The Centre for Stem Cell and Gene Therapy is among the many capital projects currently underway at the Hospital's three campuses that are funded largely by community donations to The Ottawa Hospital Foundation's Legacy Campaign. This five-year, $100-million campaign supports facilities upgrades, new equipment and lifesaving research at the Hospital.

The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) is a multi-campus, academic health sciences centre, serving 1.5 million residents of Ottawa and Eastern Ontario, both in English and French. It provides care for more patients than any other hospital in Canada, and boasts specialty centres in cancer, heart, kidney and vision care, as well as rehabilitation services. Working together with the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, the University of Ottawa, and other partners, TOH is gaining national recognition for high-quality patient care, teaching and research. It ranks as one of the most efficient teaching hospitals in the country. For more information, visit The Ottawa Hospital Web site at

The Ottawa Hospital Foundation's mission is to inspire and enable people to support the highest quality health care at The Ottawa Hospital and world-class research at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. For more information, visit The Ottawa Hospital Foundation Web site at


For more information, please contact:

Carl Martin
Vice-President, Communications & Marketing, The Ottawa Hospital Foundation
Tel.: (613) 798-5555, ext. 17840
Cell: 762-3432

Danielle St-Aubin
Director of Marketing, The Ottawa Hospital Foundation
Tel.: (613) 798-5555, ext. 12972
Cell: 614-8755

Jennifer Paterson
Communications Manager, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Tel.: (613) 798-5555, ext.19691

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