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Advanced research in Northern Ontario gets funding boost


Thunder Bay, ON – Two research institutes in Thunder Bay are receiving a total of $900,000 in funding from the province’s Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC). The projects will allow the institutes to purchase equipment and hire extra staff to help them pursue advanced technology in their respective fields.

The Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute (TBRRI) is receiving nearly $650,000 to fund research using a new technology in early stages of molecular imaging, using a MicroPET scanner. The findings will help to earlier diagnose diseases like cancer and allow doctors to monitor the effectiveness of prescribed treatments. This project will create two new positions in addition to 11 existing positions. Dr. Chris Phenix is the lead scientist, and the new positions will be filled within the next 12 months.

“With the MicroPET scanner, TBRRI scientists can investigate advanced treatments for cancer and other diseases that most affect patients in Northwestern Ontario,” said Andrée Robichaud, president and CEO of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, and acting CEO of the TBRRI. “Research is already underway using the MicroPET to find new ways of diagnosing certain cancers earlier and more precisely for better, more personalized care.”

The Lake Superior Centre for Regenerative Medicine (RegenMed) is receiving over $241,000 to buy equipment used to process bone tissue for use in orthopaedic surgeries and dental procedures. RegenMed produces top-quality allograft tissue for surgery and offer specialized allografts for various clinical applications, such as fracture management, joint and spine surgery, sports medicine and dental surgery. The new project will create four new positions in addition to 10 existing positions.

“This project will allow us to purchase the equipment, hire and train staff to become the only tissue bank in Canada to provide bone grafts for dental surgery,” said David Stezenko, executive director, RegenMed. “We are thrilled to be part of health care research in Northwestern Ontario and are excited to reach this next step.”