Delivering impact

David Agnew (left) and Dr. Barry McLellan (right)

Photo: Doug Nicholson

At Sunnybrook, delivering the best care to our patients is our top priority. History shows that yesterday’s discoveries are today’s gold standard of care. That is why research and innovation are integral to our vision of inventing the future of health care.

Our researchers are at the forefront of finding health care solutions, and crafting them where none exist. Take, for instance, the findings of a study published last fall by researchers in the Schulich Heart Program.

The team looked at outcomes of patients with diabetes who underwent coronary artery bypass surgery. They found patients who received a radial artery graft from the arm were five times less likely to have a subsequent blockage than those who received a vein graft from the leg. This discovery, about which you will read in this magazine, is poised to transform how bypass surgery, one of the most common heart procedures done worldwide, is performed.

Another major accomplishment last year was a visionary gift of $20 million from the Hurvitz Family Foundation, through which Sunnybrook will strengthen its standing as a hub of cutting-edge research in neurology and psychiatry. Through this landmark investment, we are building the Hurvitz Brain Sciences Centre in which multidisciplinary experts will collaborate to accelerate research and treatment for brain disorders like stroke, dementia, depression and anxiety.

Medical breakthroughs do not happen in a vacuum. They are only possible through the dedication of our staff, and the engagement and generosity of our supporters. Thank you for partnering with us in creating tomorrow’s care.

David Agnew
Chair, Board of Directors
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Barry A. McLellan
President and CEO
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre





Dr. Michael Julius

Photo: Doug Nicholson

Impact: That is the best way to summarize the past year at Sunnybrook Research Institute (SRI).

As a hospital-based research institute, making discoveries and getting them to patients is what drives us. We are committed to achieving an “end-to-end” solution. To do this, we need partners. Last year saw the establishment of two multimillion-dollar partnerships garnered by the scientific excellence of our researchers. Both fall within the framework of image-guided therapeutics, an area in which we lead.

One is a $25-million investment to develop technology that will revolutionize radiation therapy. On-beam magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided radiation delivery promises to get cancer patients treated within days, not months, and reduce treatment length from months to weeks, all while lessening damage to healthy tissue.

The other is a $41-million investment involving 29 private sector partners, which will accelerate the commercialization of SRI medical inventions to the global marketplace.

Both of these projects will ensure that the SRI discovery pipeline remains deep and broad, and will help us move forward in our goal to make care better.

To wit, the Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee provided a strong positive recommendation for the use of MRI-guided ultrasound, pioneered by an SRI scientist in collaboration with industry and clinicians here, to treat uterine fibroids. This incision-less technology transforms a month-long ordeal into an outpatient procedure.

We have many more examples of impact: new advances, new inventions, new solutions for patients. We share some of these with you in this issue of our magazine, which has a special focus on the translational research of the Schulich Heart Program. Enjoy!

Michael Julius
Vice-President, Research
Sunnybrook Research Institute & Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Professor, Departments of Immunology & Medical Biophysics
Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto