TR Talks

Geared to an inter-professional community of clinicians, researchers, and trainees, the series is intended to provoke discussion and community building. The Talks, are intended to provide an overview of the health innovation landscape while introducing the ‘tools and competencies’ needed to systematically ‘translate’ science more effectively.


As part of the graduate seminar, MSC 1000: Fundamentals of Translational Research, the discussion series is hosted by Faculty of Medicine’s Translational Research Program (TRP) and the five collaborating Departments participating in the development of the Toronto Translational HUB (Department of Psychiatry, Medicine, Imaging, Surgery and Paediatrics).

Each seminar in the series is two hours. During the first hour, TRP first-year students will facilitate a discussion among all the panel discussants and audience about Translational challenges and opportunities. During the second hour, each of the discussants will meet in smaller groups with attendees to continue the conversation and network.

The Politics of Funding Research

January 15, 2019
Auditorium, Old Administration Building, 263 McCaul, Toronto

The ability to apply scientific knowledge to improve health is dependant on securing funding to support experimentation and intervention. Governments have priority areas of research, but how are those priority set? How do they change or are changed?  How do they relate to the future of funding translation?  This week TR Talks will explore the relationships between government priorities and funded research.  Guests will provide insights based on their experiences on how politics, funding, government priorities and research agendas interrelate as well as touch on strategies on how to position research for more effective results.  

Carol Slama, Director, Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP)

Gilbert Sharpe, Professor, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation

Sean Rourke, Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto


Department of Medicine Presents: Translating to Humans

January 29, 2019
5 -7 pm
Auditorium, Old Administration Building, 263 McCaul, Toronto

You’ve worked tirelessly to understand the nature of the disease and after years of research, you’ve been able to demonstrate the effective use of a new potential treatment or therapy using animal models.  But is your innovation effective in humans? 

Or you’ve noticed something that might help better identify a potential outcome for a patient.  Where do you start?  What does it take to translate observations or discoveries into interventions for actual patients in the clinic? 

This week in conversation TR Talks explores the opportunities and obstacles of moving research into patients.


Dr. Gillian Hawker, Sir John and Lady Eaton Professor and Chair of Medicine, University of Toronto

Dr. Martin Offringa, Neonatologist and Clinical Epidemiologist, SickKids

Dr. Etienne L. Sibille, Deputy Director and Senior Scientist at Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute, CAMH

Dr. Ramsey Foty, Chief, Division of Surgical Sciences at Rutgers

Challenges and Promises in Clinical Trials for Orphan Populations

February 12, 2019
5 -7 pm
Auditorium, Old Administration Building, 263 McCaul, Toronto

Successful progression through clinical trials requires not only the generation of evidence but also the ability to navigate regulations and associated administrative requirements. This week TR talk brings together a panel of experts to share their experiences from the front lines of clinical trials. Their failures, successes, and everything they learned along the way.


Ms. Pat Furlong, Founding President and CEO, Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD)

Dr. Daniel Morgenstern, Director, New Agent and Innovative Therapy Program (NAIT); Hematology/Oncology at SickKids

Dr Richard Sugarman, Chair, Ontario Cancer Research Ethics Board

Dr Mark Kieran, Clinical Trial Lead, Pediatrics Program, Oncology Clinical Development, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Regulatory Jurisdictions in Medical Devices

February 26, 2019
5-7 pm
Auditorium, Old Administration Building, 263 McCaul, Toronto

Widgets, gadgets, doodads, and whatsits. The term healthcare innovation is often descriptive of a device or technology. Understanding regulatory requirements specific to devices is crucial to improving health. Join TR talks this week to learn from device experts who can show you which roads to take, and which to avoid.


Dr. Brian Courtney, Clinician Scientist, Sunnybrook and Executive Chairman, Conavi Medical

Dr. Bradley Strauss, Chief, Schulich Heart Program and Head, Cardiology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

Mr. Lahav Gil, CEO, Relay Medical Corp.

Knowledge Translation

March 12, 2019
Auditorium, Old Administration Building, 263 McCaul, Toronto

Research has, historically, been a core focus of Universities.  However, the production of knowledge and its application outside academe are not synonymous.  In publicly funded institutions, especially, do researchers have a social imperative to share the knowledge produced with the broader society?  Is mobilizing or communicating knowledge for broader social, economic or political benefit an obligation of (publicly funded) institutions? Let’s discuss the relationship between research, translation and innovation.

Prof. Vivek Goel, Vice-President, Research and Innovation, University of Toronto

Ms. Melanie Barwick, Psychologist and Health Systems Research Scientist, Child and Youth Mental Health Research Unit, SickKids

Implementing Innovations

March 26, 2019
5 -7 pm
Auditorium, Old Administration Building, 263 McCaul, Toronto

Translating knowledge into new or better ways of doing things does not mean that they will be used.  Innovations that are not used, defused or scaled, that don’t produce change or impact, are they still innovations?  What are the challenges and opportunities in implementing new ideas?  How do we implement and manage change? 


Prof. Norman Rosenblum, Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes

Julia Hanigsberg, President and CEO, Holland Bloorview

Dr Gary Levy, Professor of Immunology and Surgery, University of Toronto 

Frontiers in Translation

April 9, 2019
5 -7 pm
Auditorium, Old Administration Building, 263 McCaul, Toronto

The future is now.  How do we look at the present and the future of innovation?  What are the opportunities, challenges and obligations for improving the future of health, medicine and care in Ontario, Canada and the world?  


Dr. Felix Ratjen, Division Chief, Respiratory Medicine, SickKids

Dr. Ulrich Krull, Vice-President and Principal, UTM

Dr. Catharine Whiteside, Executive Director, Diabetes Action Canada