A message from Dr. Tom Mikkelsen, OBI President & Scientific Director

As you no doubt have heard, the Government of Ontario recently announced a commitment of $65 million dollars to support the Ontario Brain Institute (OBI) in its work to accelerate solutions that improve brain health. It also paves the way for the establishment of our new Centre for Analytics.

I am confident that I can speak on behalf of OBI’s entire network in sharing my immense gratitude for this funding, which will allow us to continue to advance research for the development of new treatments and technologies that support the one in three Ontarians living with a brain disorder, along with their families and their caregivers.

As a healthcare professional working at the intersection of neuroscience and oncology, for me, this support for brain health is reminiscent of a similar health crusade that took place fifty years ago when cancer screening was in its infancy, therapeutic options were limited, and scientists worked largely in silos.

I share this example for a reason.

In much the same way that cancer was waging war on the global population in the 1970s, brain disorders are currently a leading cause of disability worldwide. In Ontario, for instance, they have a greater impact on the number of years lived in less-than-ideal health than heart disease or cancer and the cumulative burden of living in less-than-ideal health has tremendous impacts on individuals, families, society and the economy. However, in my clinical career spanning cancer and brain, I have also observed the steady progress in research and treatment in both disease areas. This brings me hope.

But our team at OBI is not just fueled by hope – we are laser-focused on making improvements to overall population health with neurological conditions being diagnosed earlier and even prevented, and with symptoms being better managed through improved care in the clinic and community, and the use of new tools and technology.

To achieve these goals the Ontario Brain Institute is primed to:

  • Fund and facilitate clinical research networks today, to support our vision of tomorrow,
  • Build upon our model of team science and expand it on a national and international basis,
  • Create the environment to connect clinical data sets and provide the technology, skills, and support to get real value out of the data,
  • Transfer the knowledge we gain into new policies, practices, and technologies, and
  • Keep patients at the centre of what we do.

These collaborative efforts are already at the heart of our work at OBI. We see it daily through our Integrated Discovery Programs, with our community partners, and in our portfolio companies.

The provincial government, along with OBI’s many collaborators, have demonstrated their willingness to rally behind focused, lateral, collaborative and integrated thinking about brain health and have placed their stakes in the ground in a crusade to improve the lives of all those impacted by brain disorders.

And the Ontario Brain Institute is ready, willing, and more than able to lead the charge.

Dr. Tom Mikkelsen is President and Scientific Director of the Ontario Brain Institute. He is pictured above with the Honourable Jill Dunlop, Ontario’s Minister of Colleges and Universities.


CTV News: Ontario expanding funding towards brain research (January 18, 2024)


Similar Posts