A collaborative research program led by Professor Milica Radisic (IBBME, ChemE) has received a major grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council.
Through the Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) grant, worth $1.65 million over six years, Professor Radisic’s research program will help train a new generation of experts in leading-edge treatments for disease based on lab-grown human tissues.
“This support will help us nurture a new generation of engineering leaders who can bring solutions from the laboratory into the marketplace,” says Professor Ted Sargent, vice-dean of research in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering.
Radisic and her team (which includes Professors Alison McGuigan (ChemE, IBBME) and Arun Ramchandran (ChemE) just to name a few PIs) focus on growing human tissues outside the body. The team recently unveiled the AngioChip, a system for growing realistic vascularized heart and liver tissues in the lab. These engineered tissues offer an effective way to test potential drug molecules and determine their effect on these organs, an application that is already being commercialized through the spin-off company TARA Biosystems. Eventually, they could be implanted into the body to repair or replace damaged organs.
The new funding will leverage the success of AngioChip’s commercialization. “In contrast to other CREATE programs that provide training through industrial internships, our training here will focus on developing a company,” said Radisic. “Our students will learn how to apply for patents, develop a business plan, make an effective fundraising pitch and more.”