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Phase I: Years 2000-2009. The McLaughlin Centre for Molecular Medicine (MCMM).

The Phase I objective of the McLaughlin Centre for Molecular Medicine (MCMM) was to position the University of Toronto health sciences community as a global leader in the application of molecular discovery to clinical care. MCMM was founded in 2001 by a $50M bequest from the R. Samuel McLaughlin Foundation, and is a joint initiative of the University of Toronto and four partner hospital institutions, University Health Network, Hospital for Sick Children, Mount Sinai Hospital and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. The endowment was leveraged with partner contributions and matching funds from the Ontario Innovation Trust to enable a variety of infrastructure projects. The Founding Director was Dr. Keith Stewart (2001-2005), followed by Dr. Duncan Stewart (2005-2007), with Dr. Stephen Scherer serving as an Interim Director (2007-2009).

In the first phase of the MCMM, priority areas for investment included research operations, medical education, ethics, policy, outreach, as well as recruitment of new scientists and establishing infrastructure to support research activities. The specific areas of biomedical research encompassed computational genomics, drug discovery, global health, immunogenomics, and regenerative medicine. There were numerous successes in all areas of operation. For example, MCMM investments in The McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health, the McEwan-McLaughlin Stem Cell Seminar and the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine MD/PhD Program, amongst others, were critical in initiating or advancing their respective agendas. Phase I activities are documented through annual meetings and reports to the External Advisory Board, Executive Committee, Oversight Committee and partner-granting agencies.

Phase II: Years 2010-present. The McLaughlin Centre.

In 2010, The University of Toronto appointed Dr. Stephen Scherer as the new Director of the McLaughlin Centre (previously, MCMM). This new phase of the McLaughlin Centre, which were further build on the original $50 million dollar bequest from the R. Samuel McLaughlin Foundation, will emphasize the advancement of genomic medicine through research and education.

Genomic medicine is defined as "diagnosis, prognosis, prevention and/or treatment of disease and disorders of the mind and body, using approaches informed by knowledge of the diploid genome and the molecules it encodes".

A. Goals of the McLaughlin Centre:

  1. To support new research projects in genomic medicine emphasizing excellence,
  2. To educate clinicians, scientists, and health care professionals in genomic medicine,
  3. To initiate and promote inter-institutional research activities between McLaughlin Centre partners,
  4. To build an enterprise of the highest international reputation and brand,
  5. To ensure the Toronto health-research community leads Canada and the world in delivering 21st-century genomic medicine.

B. Development of the Phase II goals:

The evolution of MCMM and congruent developments in Toronto including changes in administration, availability of resources, funding opportunities, and importantly the needs of the biomedical researchers, necessitated an updating of the Phase I MCMM model of operation.

Five new focus areas in phase II include (i) the need to enhance the McLaughlin Centre brand including co-branding and leveraging with the partner institutions, (ii) funding new competitive time-limited projects that preferably operate at the interface of McLaughlin Centre partners with majority ownership by the McLaughlin Centre, (iii) building the most competitive environment to attract and retain a Director of international standing, (iv) maintaining ability to move quickly in new areas and to increase the McLaughlin Centre ability to attract involvement of new scientists and projects, and (v) to operate effectively and responsibly under a fixed-budget model.

C. Implementation of McLaughlin Centre Phase II:

Governance: The Director reports to the McLaughlin Centre Executive Committee, which is chaired by the Dean of Medicine and includes senior leaders from the partner institutions with expertise in genomic medicine and who do not necessarily represent their home institutions. The McLaughlin Centre Oversight Committee ensures faithful pursuit of the original purpose of the grant and that any major Centre changes remain authentic to this. Membership is via nomination by the President and appointment by Governing Council.

Funding: McLaughlin Centre research-grant funding follow a competitive review-process. The fundamental platform for any project must remain "genomic medicine" as defined by the Director and advisors.

All grants will be funded on a short-term basis (preferred 1-2 years) and fall into one of two categories, (i) seed or accelerator-type grants or (ii) higher-impact grants. There are also funding for special workshops, travel and fellowships.

Following the original principles of the MCMM, Phase II funding also promote inter-institutional grant applications from investigators representing multiple McLaughlin Centre partners, which also bring new co-funding to the projects.

2020 Accelerator Grants
2019 Accelerator Grants
2018 Accelerator Grants
2017 Accelerator Grants
2016 Accelerator Grants
2015 Accelerator Grants
2014 Accelerator Grants
2013 Accelerator Grants
2012 Accelerator Grants
2011 Accelerator Grants

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