Tissue engineering pioneer Michael Sefton to lead Medicine by Design as executive director

Engineering professor Michael Sefton has been appointed executive director of Medicine by Design, a University of Toronto initiative that is accelerating discoveries in regenerative medicine research to improve treatments for conditions such as heart failure, diabetes and stroke.

Sefton, a pioneer in tissue engineering and biomaterials, takes over from Peter Zandstra, who is stepping down to lead a new school of biomedical engineering at the University of British Columbia.

“Regenerative medicine is a key priority for the University of Toronto, and Medicine by Design is strengthening our position as a global centre of excellence and innovation in this area,” said Vivek Goel, chair of Medicine by Design’s Executive Committee and U of T’s vice-president of research and innovation. “Michael is an internationally recognized expert in the field, and I am delighted he has agreed to lead the next phase of Medicine by Design.”

Medicine by Design was established in July 2015 with a $114-million grant — the largest single research award in U of T’s history — from the federal government’s Canada First Research Excellence Fund. The initiative builds on U of T’s rich legacy of contributions to stem cells and regenerative medicine, starting in the early 1960s with the identification of blood stem cells by biophysicist James Till and hematologist Ernest McCulloch.

Read full story.