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Province Funds Imaging Consortium

June 30, 2009

The Ministry of Research and Innovation has awarded $7.4 million to Sunnybrook Research Institute to fund the Ontario Preclinical Imaging Consortium (OPIC) through its Ontario Research Fund-Research Excellence program. Dr. Stuart Foster, senior scientist in imaging at SRI, and professor at the University of Toronto, leads the project.

The consortium brings together seven universities and research institutes, including SRI, from across the province. In addition, 20 private-sector partners are involved.

The main aims of OPIC are to use preclinical imaging technologies to discover the origins of disease, to identify new biomarkers and to evaluate novel treatment strategies. Led by Foster, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Ultrasound Imaging, the researchers will pursue these aims using small animal models. Targeted applications are in cancer; lung, musculoskeletal and cardiovascular disease; and arthritis. The OPIC team will also push candidate treatments and therapies to the next level of human clinical trials. Moreover, results are expected to have strong commercialization potential.

The program funds one-third of the cost of a project, with the remaining two-thirds coming from the participating institutions and industry.

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