Charting a course for tomorrow's medical breakthroughs

News Release

Government of Canada invests $12 million in stem cell research

November 24, 2016 – Ottawa – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

The Government of Canada is supporting innovative research projects that have the power to dramatically improve the health of Canadians. Stem cells are being researched for the treatment of many conditions: spinal cord injuries, diabetes, arthritis, ALS, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, macular degeneration and even hair loss and skin aging. This research holds great promise for millions of people with chronic diseases.

To support Canada's leading role in stem cell research and regenerative medicine, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, today announced $9 million for projects and clinical trials that will be funded through the Stem Cell Network (SCN). This funding is part of $12 million provided to the network in Budget 2016.

Canada is globally recognized as a leader in stem cell research with respect to patents, publications and collaboration. Regenerative medicine—harnessing the power of stem cells to repair, regenerate or replace damaged cells, tissues and organs affected by disease or illness—has emerged as a promising approach to disease prevention and treatment. In fact, stem cells have long been used to treat leukemia and other blood cancers and have tremendous potential to treat many other chronic, debilitating diseases that affect millions of Canadians every year.

The funding announced today supports 31 projects and clinical trials across Canada that are developing real-world therapies, products and treatments and are contributing to evidence-based policies on regenerative medicine.


"For years, Canadian researchers have been leaders in regenerative medicine. The funding announced today will support projects that encourage important partnerships between universities, hospitals and businesses so they may collaborate on bold, new stem cell technologies and health innovations that will improve the lives of Canadians. I am confident that, through the Stem Cell Network, Canadians are gaining a better understanding of this promising research, the results of which contribute to a strong and healthy population.

– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science

"We are a nation of leaders and innovators; it is in our DNA. The regenerative medicine research sector is fueled by stem cells and today it is at a tipping point, with the potential to see breakthroughs in our generation. I am thrilled that SCN is able to power the foundation of scientific excellence that exists within Canada's universities, research hospitals and institutes."

– Dr. Michael Rudnicki, Scientific Director and CEO, Stem Cell Network

Quick facts

  • The $12-million contribution announced in Budget 2016 will support three funding programs—Impact, Disease Team and Clinical Trial research agreement programs—as well as training, workshops and administrative costs.
  • The funding supports research to improve the health of Canadians and provides training for the next generation of researchers. There are 106 stem cell research investigators and upwards of 190 trainees involved in the 31 projects supported by today's funding.
  • Stem cells are undifferentiated biological cells that are unique due to their capacity to develop into any cell and repair any damaged and diseased tissue or organ in the human body.
  • Stem cells have long been used to treat leukemia, multiple myeloma and other blood cancers. They also have tremendous potential to treat other cancers, respiratory diseases, heart disease, diabetes, spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease, auto-immune disorders and Parkinson's disease and to reverse tumor growth.
  • The Stem Cell Network is a national not-for-profit corporation dedicated to enabling the translation of stem cell research into clinical applications, commercial products and public policy. The network links to more than 30 Canadian universities and hospitals and was first established in 2001 as one of the Networks of Centres of Excellence.

Associated link

Prime Minister announces support to Canadian Centre for Advanced Therapeutic Cell Technologies

Follow Minister Duncan on social media.
Twitter: @ScienceMin
Instagram: sciencemin


Véronique Perron
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Science

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and
Economic Development Canada

Search for related information by keyword
Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: