Toronto, ON – The Ontario Brian Institute (OBI) has received $37.5 million funding over five-years from Ontario’s provincial government to renew and support three major brain research programs. The renewed programs are:
- POND Network (The Province of Ontario Neurodevelopmental Disorders Integrated Discovery Program): $18.75 million over 5 years. “We are learning through the POND Network that many of the genetic and brain changes in autism, ADHD, OCD and intellectual disability are shared between the disorders. Support from OBI puts us in a unique position to look at these disorders from the perspective of a continuum, and develop therapies unique to the individual,” says Dr. Evdokia Anagnostou, program lead for the POND Network.
- CP-NET (The Cerebral Palsy Network Integrated Discovery Program): $7.5 million over 5 years. “CP-NET is focused on improving the lives of individuals with cerebral palsy and their families by connecting them to a network of world-renowned researchers across Ontario. The ongoing support of OBI allows us to expand our network and broaden our impact for those living with cerebral palsy through new lines of research inquiry and innovative treatments,” says Dr. Darcy Fehlings, program lead for CP-NET.
- EpLink (The Epilepsy Integrated Discovery Program): $11.25 million over 5 years. “The EpLink program is allowing us to do the work necessary to answer questions about epilepsy that we encounter in clinical practice, or questions from patients which we currently cannot answer. The continuation of EpLink through OBI facilitates research into these areas and will position Ontario as a world leader in epilepsy research and care,” says Dr. Jorge Burneo, program co-lead for EpLink.
The OBI works with institutions to fund platforms for discovery where OBI contributes 2/3, and its hospital and university partners contribute the remaining 1/3 of the total program costs. These partner contributions strengthen partnerships and provide increased resources to enhance the scope of the research programs.
Brain disorders affect millions of Ontarians and the need to accelerate the pace of discovery and commercialization of treatments is urgent. OBI has brought together diverse groups of experts including researchers, physicians, industry representatives, patients and their advocates.
“Through early engagement of industry, commercialization of the research outcomes becomes a priority as opposed to an afterthought. By engaging clinicians and patient advocacy groups, patient needs are placed at the centre of cutting-edge research in an effort to improve their care. Science has learned that inspiration is a function of collaboration and that new answers come from both new perspectives and new people at the table,” says Dr. Donald Stuss, the OBI’s president and scientific director.