Transformative research

What a year 2016 was, and what an exciting issue of the SRI Magazine this is. Sunnybrook has achieved notable advances across all of our Programs and Strategic Priorities. As of press time, the world’s first clinical trial testing the use of focused ultrasound to open the blood-brain barrier in people with Alzheimer’s disease is well underway. This noninvasive technology, pioneered by a Sunnybrook scientist, shows promise to transform the treatment landscape, not only for brain diseases, but also for many other diseases. You can read more about this research on page 4, research that was central to our designation as a Centre of Excellence in Focused Ultrasound, the first in Canada.

The Trauma Strategic Priority, the focus of this issue, continues to make care better for the roughly 1,350 patients who rely on us each year to attend to the severest injuries. From clinical trials to determine the ideal transfusion strategy to studies to improve functional outcome, our clinician-researchers are delivering innovative approaches from resuscitation to rehab.

As we say every year, for this is a critically important point, none of the transformative advances our scientists and their talented teams achieve is possible without the support of our community. We extend our gratitude to each person and organization in that diverse community. Among these are the visionary philanthropists and funding agencies that invest in our researchers. Above all, we have our patients and their families to thank: for their support and the trust they place in us when it matters most.

Blake Goldring
Chair, Board of Directors
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Barry A. McLellan
President and CEO
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

"Discovery to clinical impact through the medical market place” is the mantra that fuels the evolution of SRI. A simple concept at first blush, it merits unpacking in preface to the stories in this year’s magazine.

"Discovery" is straightforward. It underpins our ability to invent the future of health care.

The scope of "clinical impact" is broader than perhaps obvious. It highlights our goal to lead in the development and implementation of health care advances that form the foundation of precision medicine, broadly defined as targeted interventions tailored to the person; and image-guided therapeutics. It also captures the world-first innovations we are achieving, as well as the strategic integration of the research and clinical domains of Sunnybrook that make achieving these accomplishments possible.

"Through the medical market place" highlights the dozens of private sector partners through which SRI supports the high risk and high cost of technology development and commercialization, in most cases, the only way to get our discoveries to our patients.

It would not be hyperbole to say that this conceptual foundation uniquely positions SRI within the constellation of hospital-based research institutes. Our accomplishments this past year exemplify the power of this foundation in enabling us to have paradigm-changing impact on clinical care.

Health care is at the precipice of profound change. Here, the journey is well underway and Sunnybrook’s leadership role, validated internationally, is our legacy.

Welcome to SRI Magazine 2017, with its focus on trauma. We hope that you enjoy the captivating stories. As you read, know that we are bringing discovery to life, to ensure our patients will benefit from breakthroughs faster than ever.

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