Canada has a foundation of excellence and leadership in stem cell research. Forty years ago, Canadian researchers were the first to prove the existence of stem cells and their seminal studies inspired the international field of stem cell research. The principal scientists, Drs. James Till and Ernest McCulloch from the Ontario Cancer Institute, were awarded the 2005 Lasker Prize (often described as “America’s Nobel”) for this achievement.
Building on this legacy, Canadians were also the first to identify skin stem cells, retinal stem cells, neural stem cells and cardiac stem cells. Indeed, a 2002 Nature Immunology review found that 15 of the 32 most important papers in the field from 1960 to 2000 were authored by Canadians.