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A Message from the Director

I am pleased to present the IBBME 2012-2013 Annual Report. Over the past year, IBBME has enjoyed tremendous success across all of its initiatives. From the world-class research programs within its four theme areas to its involvement in the University of Toronto’s growing undergraduate biomedical engineering curriculum, IBBME continues to be the leading institute for biomedical engineering research and education in Canada. It is a truly remarkable operation spanning the Faculties of Applied Science and Engineering, Medicine, and Dentistry, and some 200 graduate students and over 100 core and cross-appointed faculty members. The success of IBBME in the past year is a testament to the strength and engagement of our faculty, staff, and students, and especially to the tireless work of IBBME’s past Director, Professor Paul Santerre. It was through Paul’s initiative, guidance, and ceaseless enthusiasm that the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering will be rolling out a new Minor in Biomedical Engineering this coming fall. This minor will provide students with the opportunity to engage in a course of biomedical engineering study starting in their first year and culminating in a unique opportunity for biodesign and lab mentorship experiences in their 4th year. Our faculty’s world-class research activities continue to garner accolades and recognition, not only nationally but internationally, and I invite you to read their stories and follow how their discoveries are helping improve the health of Canadians. With the addition of Professors Rodrigo Fernandez-Gonzalez, Penney Gilbert, Paul Yoo, Jose Zariffa and the appointment of Dr. Dawn Kilkenny as IBBME’s first lecturer, IBBME continues to grow its research and education missions by recruiting leading engineers and scientists to the ranks of its faculty. With this growth, IBBME continues to face numerous challenges, and we are working hard to provide the critical infrastructure, space, and resources needed to support the vibrant programs of our students and faculty. I encourage you to visit IBBME to see our labs, meet our faculty and speak with our students.

professor christopher yip Director, IBBME

“IBBME continues to be the leading institute for biomedical engineering research and education in Canada.” — PROFESSOR CHRISTOPHER YIP DIRECTOR, IBBME


4th year Doctoral Candidate Amir Manbachi proves that you don’t have to wait until graduation to begin building your career. How did he successfully begin turning his doctoral research into an investment opportunity? 2010 Amir Manbachi is the first student to be admitted to IBBME’s PhD Biomedical Engineering (Clinical Engineering concentration). His supervisors are Richard Cobbold and Howard Ginsberg.



MAY 2013

Professor Ginsberg plants the seeds for

“I ran into a few brick walls,” Amir admits. His

Spinesonics, Inc. is awarded another $50,000

Amir’s research, even as many of the student

thesis committee warns Amir that his project

from the Ontario Brain Institute (OBI), and

researchers in Dr. Ginsberg’s lab are working

might be too ambitious, but Amir is adamant

another $15,000 from the Graduate Enterprise

on ultrasound technologies. “I’m standing on

that he wants to create a medical device.

Internship program. Meanwhile, Spinesonics,

the shoulders of other people who were there before me,” Amir argues.

Inc. files 2 patents on the PedicProbe technol-


ogy (currently under review).

Amir learns he has won $50,000 in start-up


funds from the Ontario Centre of Excellence.

Amir returns from spending five months in

SEPTEMBER 2013 Spinesonics, Inc. hires its first full-time paid

Freiburg, Germany, as an intern for Stryker

MARCH 2013

(internship) employee, Catherine Gdyczynski,

International, one of the largest medical

Along with his supervisors, Amir founds spin-off

to act as “Head of Engineering Operations.” Two

device companies in the world. There, he

company Spinesonics, Inc., featuring its premiere

more interns are forthcoming within a month.

learns the first-hand fundamentals of bringing

product, the PedicProbe. The PedicProbe is

a product from the nascent idea stage to the

designed using ultrasound technology to help

design, development, testing, and approval

navigate during difficult spinal surgeries.

stages and sees “real world innovation” in the workplace.

ENABLE FACULTY PROMOTIONS Jonathan Rocheleau – granted tenure, promoted to Associate Professor NEW CORE APPOINTMENTS Jose Zariffa, Assistant Professor Dawn Kilkenny, Lecturer NEW CROSS-APPOINTMENTS H.L.Margaret Cheng Benjamin Hatton Josh Milstein Tom Waddell Thomas Willett Kazuhiro Yasufuku Edmond Young CHAIRS Warren Chan, Canada Research Chair of Biotechnology, Tier 2 Tom Chau, Canada Research Chair in Rehabilitation Engineering, Tier 2 Alex Mihailidis, Barbara G. Stymiest Research Chair in Rehabilitation Technology, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute Milica Radisic, Canada Research Chair in Functional Cardiovascular Tissue Engineering, Tier 2 Molly Shoichet, Canada Research Chair in Tissue Engineering, Tier 1 Craig Simmons, Canada Research Chair in Mechanobiology, Tier 2 Aaron Wheeler, Canada Research Chair in Bioanalytical Chemistry, Tier 2 Peter Zandstra, Canada Research Chair in Stem Cell Bioengineering, Tier 1 FACULTY AWARDS Joseph Cafazzo Peoples’ Choice Award, World Congress mHealth Innovation Conference. Warren Chan E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship, NSERC Tom Chau Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal 2012 Product Utilization Support and Help (PUSH) Award – Center on Knowledge Translation for Technology Transfer (K4TT), University of Buffalo Rodrigo Fernandez-Gonzalez Connaught New Researcher Award – University of Toronto Canada Foundation for Innovation Award Axel Guenther Inventor of the Year Award, University of Toronto

Geoffrey Fernie Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal – Bernhard Ganss IADR/GlaxoSmithKline Innovation in Oral Care Awards – International Association of Dental Research Penney Gilbert Connaught New Researcher Award – University of Toronto Canada Foundation for Innovation Award Leadership Opportunity Fund Dawn Kilkenny Annual Graduate Faculty Teaching Awards, Early Career Excellence Award – Faculty of Medicine Eugenia Kumacheva University Professor Bioinspired Energy Conversion Technologies, Connaught Global Fund Canada Research Chair in Advanced Polymer Materials Andreas Mandelis Inventor of the Year – University of Toronto Alex Mihailidis Kinect Accelerator Program - Microsoft / Techstars Milos Popovic 2012 University of Toronto Inventors of the Year Award – University of Toronto Morris (Mickey) Milner Award for outstanding contributions in the area of Assistive Technologies/The Health Technology Exchange, Toronto, C anada Milica Radisic Inventor of the Year Award – University of Toronto Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal Paul Santerre Fellow, Canadian Academy of Health Sciences Synergy Innovation Award, NSERC Michael V. Sefton Biomaterials Achievement Award, New Jersey Center for Biomaterials The Gold Medal - Professional Engineers of Ontario Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science R. S. Jane Award, Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering Molly Shoichet Fellowship - International Fellows of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Fellowship - Canadian Academy of Engineering Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal Fellow: International Fellows of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (FTERM) Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine U of T Inventor of the Year - University of Toronto D.A. Steinman Fellow, American Society of Mechanical Engineers Catriona Steele Dysphagia Research Society First Place New Investigator Award Dysphagia Research Society Poster Plenary Session Award Mentorship Award, Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal Best Paper Canadian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, 35(3), 214-277. Aaron Wheeler McBryde Medal - Canadian Society for Chemistry

Paul Yoo Connaught New Researcher Award - University of Toronto Canadian Foundation for Innovation Award Leadership Opportunity Fund STUDENT AWARDS

ibbme scientific day awards Podium Presentation - Winner: Kenneth Ng Podium Presentation - Honorable Mention: James Stewart Biomaterials,Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Best Poster: Nika Shakiba Honorable Mention:Yasaman Delaviz Neural, Sensory Systems and Rehabilitation Best Poster Jaclyn Obermeyer Honorable Mention: Elias Abou Zeid Nanotechnology, Molecular Imaging and Systems Biology Best Poster: Jessica J. Li Honorable Mention: Gillian Vanderlee and Petro Czupiel Engineering in a Clinical Setting Best Poster: Charlie Wu Honorable Mention: Katherine Chan

2013 ibbme underg raduate summer research prog ram (usrp) 1st Place – Kramay Patel (Popovic lab) 2nd Place – Priya Anandakumaran (Shoichet lab) 3rd Place – Mei Wen (Davies lab)

2012-13 queen elizabeth ii ontario g raduate scholarship in science & technology Padina Pezeshki, Thomas Noakes Award Winnie Fung, Heart & Stroke Foundation

sally & paul wang distinguished scholarships Alan K.Lam Albert Lam

seong lim gooi/ogs award Song Kim

ibbme international scholars prog ram Nooman Mufti

loo geok eng foundation scholarship Jian Feng Qiu

wildcat g raduate scholarships Faezeh Heydari Khabbaz James Poon

canadian breast cancer foundation – ontario reg ion fellowship Leo Chou

toronto rehabilitation institute student scholarships Harris Lo Steven McGie Varun Ohri Daniel Vena Takashi Yoshida

nserc - vanier canada g raduate scholarships Nika Shakiba Kim Tsoi

nserc - postg raduate scholarships Mirna Guirgis Andrew Myrden Lewis Reis Jenna Usprech

nserc - canada g raduate scholarship Bryan Quan

cihr master’s awards (frederick banting and charles best canada g raduate scholarships) Joshua Bernick Hamid Ebrahimi Andrea Kwong Jason Miklas

ontario g raduate scholarship awards Alexandre Albanese Maria C ecilia Alvarez Veronesi Kyle Battiston Justin Besant Brianne Burton Tabitha Chiu Kelsey Downie Song Kim Chao Liu Mohammadsadegh Mansouri Arianna McAllister Amir Rez Pakdel Sefidgar Justin Pang Wenlian Qiao Maneesha Rajora Elizabeth Rok Navid Samaviti Larissa Schudlo Laila Shaffaf Agnes Soos Peter Tang Sabrina Tang Jonathan Tumken Anup Tuladhar Alexandra Lisovsky Tim Zeyl

Scientific Day Poster competition, May 2013

“Sometimes in academia we don’t necessarily know what the market needs. The process of getting involved with commercialization helps improve and guide academics towards socially relevant concerns.” — BRIAN WANG Co-Founder, Cogni-Wave & U of T MASc student and Exhibitor at IBBME 50th Anniversary Tomorrow’s Technology Showcase


International Collaborator. Future Educator and Role Model

EDUCATE CURRICULUM UPDATES bme 479/489 biodesign course Under the direction of Assistant Professor Rodrigo Fernandez-Gonzalez, Professor Moshe Eizenman and Professor Jan Andrysek, the Biodesign Capstone course has taken shape. Stretching over a full year, the course pushes students to tackle a hands-on design project. Eleven projects were submitted for the first course – which kicked off in the September 2013 session – from industry, hospitals, and University of Toronto staff. More information on the course can be found on the Biodesign website:

bme underg raduate minor The Steering Committee working on the Biomedical Engineering Undergraduate Minor was rewarded for all their hard work in 2012-13: the minor was adopted in late fall 2013. To be administered by the Faculty of Engineering & Applied Science Minors Office, the Biomedical Engineering Minor will be a rigorous direct entry program distinguished from the Biomedical Systems Engineering Option (Engineering Science) and the Bioengineering Minor. Congratulations to the Steering Committee, and in particular Professor Paul Santerre, who worked tirelessly to ensure the success of this endeavour.

new full-time lecturer position IBBME has made important strides in creating a teaching stream in the past year with the hiring of Dawn Kilkenny to the Institute’s first-ever full-time lecturer position. Dr. Kilkenny, who won a Faculty of Medicine University Teaching Award this year, and has been co-chair of IBBME’s Health & Safety Committee for the past several years, will continue to be a major asset within the Institute’s teaching faculty. UNDERGRADUATE SUMMER RESEARCH PROGRAM (USRP) – HIGHLIGHTS 23 students from Guelph, Windsor, Western, McMaster, McGill, Queen’s and the University of Toronto attended IBBME’s 2013 Undergraduate Summer Research Program, running from May 3 – August 21, 2013. The program pursues three main goals: • to expose participants to the various research theme areas in IBBME; • to improve scientific communication skills of the participants, with emphasis on oral presentations; and • to introduce career options to the participants. The program culminates with a mini-symposium judged by IBBME faculty members and co-organizers, Associate Professors Eli Sone and Jon Rocheleau. (A list of the winners can be found on page 4.)






# of students enrolled in the CARE (Create Academic Rehabilitation Engineering) program since its inception in 2009.

# of posters presented at conferences by the CARE program (2009-2013).

# of major awards won by students enrolled in the CARE program (2009-2013).

# of papers published by the CARE program (20092013).

# of grants & awards held by IBBME STUDENTS in 2012-13 academic year.

besa - highlights The Biomedical Engineering Students’ Association (BESA), headed by returning President Albert Lam, worked hard to achieve two main goals for this year’s council: to increase connections among students, labs, and their Student Association, and to offer greater professionalization activities. To accommodate this new agenda, BESA adopted a new position in the council: “Professional Development and Outreach Officer,” and more than doubled the number of events they hosted, raising engagement by a massive 140% over previous years. BESA hosted three speakers throughout the year, as well as a half-day Career Networking day to their Scientific Day activities. More on this particular event can be found in the Scientific Day highlights on page 14.

cube - highlights This year, the Club for Undergraduate Biomedical Engineering (CUBE), which boasts upwards of 200 active members, pursued a number of professional activities related to biomedical engineering interests, including: Biomedical Engineering Competition (BMEC) 2013 (judged by Paul Santerre, Mary Nagai and Benjamin Hatton) MaRS Research Lab Tour CUBE/IET Guest Lecturer: Neil Godara, R&D Manager, Baylis Medical Grad/Med School Seminar

CLASS OF 2012-13 PhD Hisham Alshaer “Acoustic Monosomnography For Portable Monitoring of Sleep Apnea.” Supervisor: Geoffrey Fernie Sam Au “Development and Characterization of Cell culture Processes on Digital Microfluidics Platforms.” Supervisor: Aaron Wheeler Payam B. Bijari “Investigation of Arterial Geometry as a Local Risk Factor for Carotid Atherosclerosis.” Supervisor: David Steinman Kelly Chen “Matrix Mechanical and Biochemical Regulation of Mesenchymal Stromal Cell Differentiation.” Supervisor: Craig Simmons Irwin Eydelnant “Digital microfluidics for biology.” Supervisor: Aaron Wheeler Lindsay Fitzpatrick “Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of the Angiogenic Effect of Poly(Methacrylic Acid-Co-Methyl Methacrylate) Beads.” Supervisor: Michael Sefton Alan Kwan-Shing Lam “Advancing Dynamic Imaging For Microfluidic-Stimulated Tissues: Biology, Techniques, And Applications.” Supervisor: Jonathan Rocheleau Saba Moghimi “Detecting Emotional Response to Music Using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy of the Prefrontal Cortex.” Supervisor: Tom Chau


funding (in millions)








External 2010-11




$992K Internal



$4.9M Total






Earnings of 39 Clinical Engineering interns across 20 diverse companies and institutions, including hospitals, private US-based companies such as Imprivata, and the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2012-13.

# of students enrolled in CREATE MATCH (Microfluidic Applications and Training in Cardiovascular Health) in 2012-13.

# of MATCH student publications (refereed journals) to date.

# of awards won by IBBME students enrolled in the MATCH program in 2012-13.

Steve Shih “Automating Digital Microfluidics – Towards High-Throughput Screening.” Supervisor: Aaron Wheeler Daniel Wong “Effects of Unilateral and Bilateral Cochlear Implantation on Cortical Activity Measured by an EEG Neuroimaging Method in Children.” Supervisor: Robert Harrison Stanley Wong “Expanding the Uses of Split-Intein Through Protein Engineering” Supervisor: Kevin Truong MASc – master of science Spencer Bell “The Comparative Performance of Micro- and Nano-topographically Complex Endosseous Implant Surfaces in Normoglycemic and Hyperglycemic Subjects.” Supervisor: Axel Guenther Josh Bernick “A Preclinical Assessment of Lithium to Enhance Fracture Healing.” Supervisor: C ari Whyne Brianne Burton “Improving the Mechanical Properties of Irradiation-Sterilized Bone.” Supervisor: Marc Gynpas Kelsey Downie “Live Cell Imaging of CEACAM1 Dynamics and Self-Association during Bacterial Binding.” Supervisor: Christopher Yip Anne Gaspar “Beyond Bone Mineral Density: Detecting Changes in Fracture Risk in the Absence of Mineral Loss with the Mechanical Response Tissue Analyzer.” Supervisor: Marc Gynpas Song Kim “Multimodal Quantification of Interpersonal Physiological Synchrony between Non-verbal Individuals with Severe Disabilities and their Caregivers during Music Therapy.” Supervisor: Tom Chau Mark Li “Elucidating the Effects of Integrin-Linked Kinase Modulation on Sarco/Endoplasmic Reticulum Calcium ATPase Function in Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes.” Supervisor: Milica Radisic Lucy Lu “Transcranial Doppler Ultrasonography-Driven Online System.” Supervisor: Tom C hau Jason Miklas “In Vitro Human Engineered Myocardium: A Study into both Pathological and Physiological Hypertrophy.” Supervisor: Milica Radisic Varun Ohri “Developing Test Methods for the Evaluation of Scooter Performance in Winter Conditions.” Supervisor: Geoffrey Fernie Sanaz Rezai “Physiological Synchrony as Manifested in Dyadic Interactions.” Supervisor: Tom C hau

Maneesha Rajora “Development of Self-Assembled Tri-Segmented Fluorinated Oligomers as Cardiovascular Drug Delivery Platforms.” Supervisor: Paul Santerre Gillian Vanderlee “Visualizing Protein Interactions at Supported Bilayer Surfaces.” Supervisor:C hristopher Yip MHSc Idris Aleem “Online Environmental Control of Multiple Devices Using Functional Transcranial Doppler.” Supervisor: Tom Chau Caroline Chen “Evaluation of Prosthetic Alignment Methods for Improving Biomechanics and Mobility of Individuals with Transtibial Amputations.” Supervisor: Jan Andrysek Christopher Flewwelling “No Fault Found Reporting and its Relation to Human Factors Related Design Faults of Medical Devices.” Supervisor: Joseph Cafazzo Geoffrey Frost “Decellarization of Porcine Lungs.” Supervisor: Tom Waddell Lata Grover “The Effects of Altering Discharge Policies to the Patient Flow of Alternate Level of Care Patients.” Supervisor: David Urbach Ajmal Khan “The Design and Evaluation of an Interactive Musical Staircase on Physical Rehabilitation Therapies for Children.” Supervisor: Elaine Biddiss Melanie Peladeau-Pigeon “Simulation of Perfusion Flow Dynamics for Contrast Enhanced Imaging.” Supervisor: Catherine Coolens Emily Rose “The Effectiveness of Checklists Versus Bar-codes Towards Detecting Medication Planning and Execution Errors.” Supervisor: Joseph Cafazzo Jenny Wang “Development and Clinical Validation of a New Handheld Optical Imaging Device (PRODIGI) and Workflow for Real-Time Intra-Operative Margin Assessment: A Clinical Engineering Analysis.” Supervisor: Ralph DaCosta Peter Weinstein “The Evaluator Effect in Heuristic Evaluation: a Preliminary Study of the Impact Of End-Users as Evaluators.” Supervisor: Edward Etchells Rossini Yue “Using Simulation Experiments to Improve the Safety of Multiple Line Infusions.” Supervisor: Patricia Trbovich

BOLDLY GOING: INTERFACE BIOLOGICS, INC. The past year was very good for Interface Biologics, Inc., the company co-founded by Professor (and former IBBME Director) Paul Santerre.

AngioDynamics and Fresenius, two medical device companies, entered into extensions of licensing agreements with Interface for use of their premier product, Endexo™, a permanent and non-eluting polymer which, once blended with medical materials has been proven extremely effective at preventing blood clots in catheter applications – without the need for other blood-thinning agents such as Heparin. The AngioDynamics agreement now covers CVCs (Central Venous Catheters) in addition to PICCs (peripherally inserted central catheters), ports and dialysis catheters. Fresenius now has the right to extend its agreement to include acute as well as chronic dialysis systems. Since receiving US regulatory approval in August of 2012, AngioDynamic’s BioFlo PICC catheter with Endexo™ now accounts for over 30% of AngioDynamic’s PICC revenues. The BioFlo Port was approved in September 2013 by the US FDA, and AngioDynamics has succeeded in signing several single source hospital contracts for use of BioFlo catheters based on the strength of the Endexo™ technology. According to Santerre, current Endexo™ applications only represent “a fraction of the total intellectual property the company has at its disposal.” Interface is also in the process of further developing two of its other platform technologies: an anti-microbial catheter cuff with EpidelÔ and a drug coated balloon with Kinesyx. With this success, Interface Biologics has already received national recognition for its commercialization efforts. In February 2013, Dr. Santerre and Interface Biologics were awarded the prestigious NSERC Synergy Innovation Award in recognition of the integral partnership forged between industry and academia. But for Santerre, the true value of Interface Biologics, Inc., lies with its potential impact on Canada’s role in the future of health care technologies. In his ideal future, “Interface counts as one of a handful of local companies that becomes a role model to others with entrepreneurial spirit. We need to have more role models who demonstrate that this can be done and here is a possible road to doing it successfully.”

“We’re building more than just a start-up company here.” — THOMAS REEVES President & CEO

As the company’s President and CEO, Thomas Reeves, related in a recent statement, “We’re building more than just a start-up company here.” Professor Paul Santerre

ADVANCE SPOTLIGHT ON INNOVATION – IBBME START-UP COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS Avertus is a new company recently begun by Professor Berj Bardakjian. The company is developing a device for the home monitoring of epileptic patients. CellAegis Devices, Inc, the company began by IBBME Cross-appointed Professor Christopher Calderone in 2008, has reached a number of milestones: CE Mark and Canadian regulatory approval has been obtained for their Remote Ischemic Conditioning (“RIC”) technology. The company’s first patented product – with many more patents pending – has been submitted for FDA approval, with US trials expected to be completed in early 2014. I & J Ideations is the brainchild of recent Doctoral graduate Irwin A. Eydelnant and Jarlath Byrne Rogers (Systems Neurobiology). The partners describe their company as food, technology, and design, the results of which have spawned BEVLAB, a public space in which the community is able to experiment with the creation of new and exotic forms of beverages, among other culinary experiments. MyndTec, Inc., received one of the largest angel investments in recent provincial history in 2012, allowing the company to move their FES (Functional Electric Stimulation) Therapies to the final stages of development. The product underwent testing to meet with Health Canada approvals in 2012-13, with the goal of launching their product in early 2014. Founded in 2008, the fledgling company has grown to 8 employees in the past year, and was awarded the 2013 Business Award of Excellence - Technology and Innovation Award by the Mississauga Board of Trade. Spinesonic, Inc. is the company incorporated by Professor Richard Cobbold, Professor Howard Ginsberg, and PhD student Amir Manbachi in 2013. Read a profile on this student-led start-up on page 3. Tissue Regeneration Therapeutics was awarded a Canadian patent for its platform cell technology, adding to TRT’s growing patent portfolio. The past year saw this innovative stem cell company, begun by

Professor J.E. Davies, license its platform cell technology to private cord blood banks in both Australia and Brazil, and has seen thousands of parents across North America store their umbilical cord mesenchymal cells through the services of TRT licensees ViaCord (USA) and Create Cord Blood Bank (Canada). TRT also completed a non-dilutive $3.25M Royalty Purchase Financing based on revenues generated from its private sector cell storage licensees, and added a new IT employee to its ranks. Xagenic spun out from cross-appointed Professor Shana Kelley’s company in 2010. In the past two years, the company has grown to 22 employees, and has raised $20M in venture capital in 2013, in a Series B round led by the US Venture Capital Domain Associates. Xcellpure is the new company incorporated by Associate Professor Milica Radisic and Postdoctoral Researcher Dario Bogojevic in July 2013. The company has a patent pending for technology that enables for the first time the rapid, label-free separation of cardiomyocytes from heterogenous cell populations. RESEARCH OFFICE HIGHLIGHTS Throughout November of 2012 Associate Director, Research Molly Shoichet hosted a series of panel discussions: writing a successful NSERC Strategic Project Grant, attracting US Government funding, culminating with a reception for industry partners. On February 25, a reception in CCBR’s Yip/Friesen Red Seminar Room was the meeting place for representatives from the Centre for the Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM), TECHNA, and IBBME. Called “First Date,” the reception allowed for a casual meeting of minds between the commercialization ventures and the biomedical engineering community at the University of Toronto. The 2nd annual “Lyon Sachs Beyond Borders Symposium in Biomedical Engineering” was held at the Technion Institute in Haifa, Israel, following on the success of the 2011 symposium held at the University. This series of seminars in tissue engineering and biomaterials was attended by 7 IBBME researchers, and allowed budding collaborations to continue.

$13,684,800 184



In grants held by IBBME Core faculty during the 2012-13 academic year.

# of patents filed in in the past 5 years by IBBME core faculty (20082012) (3rd highest total in FASE).

# of patents filed by IBBME in 2012.

# of publications by IBBME core and cross faculty, 2012-13.


A one-day conference held at the Bahen Centre for Information Technology on April 22, 2013, brought together nearly 100 students and professors from across the University to discuss an issue of global proportions: health.

The conference, co-organized by core faculty Professor Peter Zandstra and cross-appointed faculty, Professor Yu-Ling Cheng, invited speakers whose talks crossed numerous health boundaries. What emerged was a snapshot of the thoughtful, innovative solutions that University of Toronto professors are engineering, with the help of community partners, to help developing nations achieve cost-effective, lasting solutions to some of the world’s greatest health challenges: from solving the sanitation problem in developing nations to tackling mental health issues in countries with very little medical infrastructure. IBBME was well-represented in the event: Cross-appointed Professor Yu-Ling Cheng presented on the non-flush toilet project, funded by the Gates Foundation, while IBBME Professor Jan Andrysek discussed his Low Cost Artificial Knee, which provides a flexible and low-cost solution for lower limb prostheses. Cross-appointed Professor Shana Kelley, on the other hand, introduced audiences to a 5$ microchip platform that can detect up to 20 different pathogens and 10 types of antibiotic resistance. (More details on the success of Shana Kelley’s start-up company can be found on page 11.) According to Professor Cheng, one important outcome of the symposium was that “Our researchers became more aware of global health challenges, potentially interesting biomedical engineering research questions, and funding opportunities available to them [in this arena].” Professor Zandstra suggested that the symposium indeed made an indelible impression: “Certainly, the event catalyzed new Grand Challenges applications from my group,” he related.

“Our researchers became more aware of global health challenges, potentially interesting biomedical engineering research questions, and funding opportunities available to them [in this arena].” — PROFESSOR YU-LING CHENG


ibbme 50th annive r sary symposium Wednesday, October 10, 2012 Defining Tomorrow: Advancing the Integration of Engineering & Medicine Held at the Chestnut Conference Centre, this Symposium capped off IBBME’s 50th Anniversary events with a remarkable day of lectures by outstanding researchers from the University of Toronto and around the world. Berj Bardakjian Professor, IBBME, University of Toronto James Fawcett Professor and Chairman, Centre for Brain Repair, Cambridge University Geoffrey Hinton University Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto Derek van der Kooy Professor, Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto Michael Levin Vannevar Bush Chair and Professor, Department of Biology and Director, Centre for Regenerative and Developmental Biology, Tufts University Andres Lozano MD, Professor and Chairman, Neurosurgery, Canada Research Chair, Neuroscience, University of Toronto and University Health Network James McClelland Lucie Stern Professor in Social Sciences, Chair, Department of Psychology, and founding Director, Centre for Mind, Brain and Computation, Stanford University Cindi Morshead Associate Professor and Chair, Division of Anatomy, cross-appointed to IBBME, University of Toronto Milos Popovic Professor, IBBME, and Toronto Rehab Chair in Spinal Cord Injury, University of Toronto, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute

PhD Candidate Lewis Reis at the Bahen Centre for Information Technology



# of posters presented at the 2012 IBBME Scientific Day

# of podium presentations given at the 2012 IBBME Scientific Day

Michael Salter Professor and Canada Research Chair, Neuroplasticity and Pain, Department of Physiology, University of Toronto and the Hospital for Sick Children Molly Shoichet Professor, IBBME, and Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, and Canada Research Chair, Tissue Engineering, University of Toronto Kevin Truong Associate Professor, IBBME and the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Toronto Wednesday, November 7, 2012 Dr. Enrico Gratton Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Physics, University of California Irvine, Principal Investigator of the Laboratory for Fluorescence Dynamics Tuesday, March 19, 2013 Dr. Nathaniel Sims “Monitoring Brain States During General

Anesthesia and Sedation” & Dr. Patrick Purdon, “Breakthrough Biomedical Devices for a New Era of Accountable Healthcare” IBBME LECTURES 2012-13 Thursday, September 27, 2012 Associate Professor Milica Radisic – “Healthy and Diseased Heart Tissue On A Chip” Thursday, April 25, 2013 Professor Gang Zheng – “Porphysome nanotechnology and beyond”

ibbme scie ntific day and care e r day Thursday, May 2 – Friday, May 3, 2013 A tradition at IBBME since 1984, in recent years this student-led research symposium has evolved into a world-class, 2-day professional development opportunity. The Biomedical Engineering Students’ Association (BESA) has been actively developing its professional development portfolio. In 2012-13 Scientific Day co-chairs Maneesha Rajora and Zoryana Salo stretched the previous year’s career panel into a half-day event, beginning with a student-company networking event.

“We really appreciate people who aren’t afraid to fail and learn from their mistakes.” — JORGE SILVA IBBME Alumni, Co-founder of Komodo Open Lab

200+ 18 # of attendees at the 2012-13 IBBME Career Day

“There was a palpable sense of energy and enthusiasm from the companies involved in the now-expanded Career Day events - from the panelists to the exhibitors who were eager to talk to our students about career opportunities,” said IBBME’s Director, Professor Christopher Yip. “Engaging our alumni on the career panel was a terrific idea as they provided real-world context about how their training in IBBME prepared them for their careers,” he continued. The hour-long career panel featured IBBME alumni: Jorge Silva, co-founder of Komodo OpenLab, an open-source assistive technology lab; Aaron Steinman of Vivosonic; Rohin Iyer of Tissue Regeneration Therapeutics (a spin-off company started by Professor J. E. Davies), as well as Stephen Perelgut from IBM Canada and Linus Leung from Baylis Medical. For those students considering the job market the panelists had sage, and sometimes unexpected, advice. “We really appreciate people who aren’t afraid to fail and learn from their mistakes,” Jorge Silva offered the over 200 audience members. Silva, whose company, Komodo OpenLab, is founded upon crowd-sourced technology and “wikinomics,” pointed to the ever-evolving democratization of production.

# of exhibiting companies at the 2012-13 IBBME Career Day

“Engaging our alumni on the career panel was a terrific idea as they provided real-world context about how their training in IBBME prepared them for their careers” — PROFESSOR CHRISTOPHER YIP Director, IBBME

NEW FACULTY WIN MAJOR INFRASTRUCTURE, RESEARCH FUNDING New core faculty members Penney Gilbert, Rodrigo Fernandez-Gonzalez and Paul Yoo have more than research in common: each was awarded prestigious Connaught and Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) awards, for a total of close to $450,000. The CFI funding is awarded to promising new faculty researchers, with the goal of helping new faculty obtain the infrastructure they need to pursue their research. Assistant Professor Penney Gilbert, a stem cell engineer who studies the fates of skeletal muscle stem cells, used her funding to purchase time lapse microscopy equipment that allows her to visualize 2- and 3-D living cell cultures. Another purchase, a Cell Flow Cytometer, helps Gilbert and her students analyze proteins on single cells — markers that allow the researchers to determine the fate of the stem cells. “By understanding and then harnessing the potential of stem cells that are already in our muscles, our goal is to ensure mobility throughout the ages,” stated Gilbert. Assistant Professor Paul Yoo added a multi-channel electrode array recording system to his lab with his funding. Yoo is taking a new approach to an old cure for people suffering from overactive bladder activity. The recording system will help Yoo and his researchers map the nerve pathways that can be used to treat this widespread problem. “People have looked at different frequencies, but no one has looked at the entire system in this much detail. That really sets [this research] apart.” Assistant Professor Rodrigo Fernandez-Gonzalez purchased a one-of-a-kind piece of technology for the Toronto biomedical engineering research community with his CFI grant: a “spinning disc confocal microscope equipped for laser ablation and photomanipulation.” The microscope allows Fernandez-Gonzalez to study live tissue samples at the molecular, cellular and tissue levels – an imperative for his field, which involves the study of animal development, particularly embryos. Yet, although the new equipment is essential for the new researchers, it will also be of potential help to other researchers in the collaborative environment of IBBME. The new microscope is necessary for Fernandez-Gonzalez and his lab, for instance, but it will also be a draw for other researchers interested in studying subcellular structures, and will likely facilitate greater collaboration among some of the world’s leading biomedical research facilities. “There’s no other microscope like this that exists in Toronto,” Fernandez-Gonzalez states. “It’s very, very exciting.”

“By understanding and then harnessing the potential of stem cells that are already in our muscles, our goal is to ensure mobility throughout the ages.” — ASSISTANT PROFESSOR PENNEY GILBERT with students: (left to right) Mohsen Afshar, Richard Cheng, Neeraj Gupta.

BUILD INFRASTRUCTURE UPDATES e lectronic display unit Through a project funded by the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering Dean’s Strategic Fund, we were able to install an LCD electronic display unit at the entrance of the Rosebrugh building. The display has helped establish IBBME’s identity in the building, and has greatly enhanced our ability to share information and broadcast events of interest to the IBBME community.

signage Signage was revamped throughout the Rosebrugh and Mining buildings. New, updated directories were also installed at three key locations.

autoclave A new autoclave was installed in a central location in the Mining Building for the communal use of our resident research groups.

space challe nge s As our research community and teaching opportunities rapidly expand, space continues to present a significant challenge for the Institute.

UNDERGRADUATE TEACHING LAB Investments in the future of education The Teaching Lab invested $128,000 in new equipment, funded with support from the Engineering Society Temporary Student Levy Fund and the FASE Bioengineering Minor: • Agilent Bioanalyzer Microfluidics System • Thermo Scientific Biological Safety Cabinet (BSC) • Panasonic -150ºC Freezer • BioRadio devices and software (CleveLab and BioCapture) • Roche LightCycler Q-PCR devices Two major infrastructure grants were also awarded to the Teaching Lab (the Dean’s Strategic Fund and the Engineering Instructional Innovation Fund) to help facilitate two upcoming major projects: • An upgrade of the entire microscopy suite with state-of-the-art fluorescence microscopes; • A three-stage initiative that will see the installation of innovative audio-visual technological tools to enhance the delivery of advanced laboratory-based courses for undergraduate students.

COMMUNITY OUTREACH IBBME played host to several important events in 2012-13, including: April 25 - Take Our Daughters & Sons to Work Day June - Mettler Toledo Pipette Clinic June 20 - U of T Campus Day Tour July/August - DEEP Summer Academy

STAFF & FACULTY CHANGES In June 2013, Professor Paul Santerre stepped down after a five-year term as Director of the Institute, replaced by Professor Christopher Yip. The Directorship is not entirely new to ProfessorYip; he acted as Interim Director of the Institute in 2007-8. Professor Santerre’s term as Director was characterized by movement and growth on every level: from adding key administrative roles, to furthering the Institute’s strategic goals and spearheading the creation of a new Undergraduate Biomedical Engineering Minor. As a parting gift, a biomedical engineering undergraduate scholarship was created in Professor Santerre’s honour. IBBME’s Manager of Operations, Sandra Walker, took a secondment position in the Dean’s Office (Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering). During Sandy’s eight-month absence, Dayle Levine (formerly of the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute) stood in as Sandy’s replacement. Along with a number of work-study students, IBBME also leveraged the expertise of several part-time contract employees to help the Institute deal with its rapid expanding portfolios. • IT - John De Haan; Joel Alleyne • Teaching Lab - Casey Kwangchul Shin • Communications - Brock Whitbread

From top: Professor Paul Santerre

IBBME OPERATING BUDGET 2012-13 reve nue Engineering Medicine Dentistry Departmental Recovery Research Overhead Scholarships/Trusts University Recovery1 Total

$3,145,738 $ 588,832 $ 244,294 $ 523,160 $ 612,692 $1,411,757 $1,136,797 $7,663,270

expe nse s Salaries and Benefits General Operating Scholarships Other commitments University Operating2 Total

$2,355,221 $1,462,691 $1,294,000 $1,414,561 $1,136,797 $7,663,270

1. University Recovery is associated with funding from the Basic Income Unit (BIU) and other associated revenue from FASE. 2. University Operating is space and research tax recovered from the FASE.

“IBBME has become the University of Toronto’s benchmark for what can be achieved when collaborative efforts in teaching, infrastructure building and research translates to synergism. My hopes are that IBBME’s students and Faculty continue to harness this synergism so that they may defy all challenges in regards to undertaking outstanding research and enabling innovation and entrepreneurship.” — PROFESSOR PAUL SANTERRE Director, IBBME (2008-2013)

INSTITUTE OF BIOMATERIALS & BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING (IBBME) ADMINISTRATIVE CONTACTS 2012-13 Rosebrugh Building 164 College Street, Room 407 Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G9

Biomedical Engineering and Collaborative Programs Program Office Room MB317, (416) 978-4841

Communications Office Room MB329, (416) 946-8019

Clinical Engineering Program Office Room MB317, (416) 978-6102

Paul Santerre Director, 2008 - June 2013

Dawn Kilkenny Co-Chair, IBBME Safety Committee (416) 978-8335 / MB312

Christopher Yip Director, June 2013 Brittany Lawrence Administrative Assistant to Director (416) 946-8258 / Sandra Walker Manager of Operations (416) 978-4801 / Judy Gilligan Operations Assistant (416) 978-7459 / Elizabeth Flannery HR Administrator & Finance Officer (416) 946-7310 / Angela Rosa Finance Officer – Research (416) 946-7310 / Erin Vollick Senior Communications, Media & Alumni Relations Officer (416) 946-8019 / Derek Boodoosingh IT Systems Coordinator (416) 946-0942 / Andrey Shukalyuk Teaching Lab Laboratory Manager, Co-Chair, IBBME Safety Committee (416) 978-1467

Jeffrey Little Graduate Programs Administrator (416) 978-4841 / Rhonda Marley Clinical Engineering Program Coordinator (416) 978-6102 / Molly Shoichet Associate Director, Research (416) 978-1460 / Julie Audet Associate Director – Graduate Studies, Biomedical Engineering Program (416) 946-0209 / Alex Mihailidis Graduate Coordinator – Clinical Engineering Program (416) 946-8565 / Warren Chan Graduate Coordinator – Collaborative Program in Biomedical Engineering (416) 946-8416 / Kevin Truong Undergraduate Interim Co-Chair – Biomed Option, Engineering Science Program (416) 978-7772 / Christopher Yip Undergraduate Interim Co-Chair – Biomed Option, Engineering Science Program












Annual Report 2012-13