LONDON, ONLawson Health Research Institute is ranked eighth in the country according to the 2018 edition of “Canada’s Top 40 Research Hospitals List” by Re$earch Infosource. This strong position has been maintained by Lawson for the past five years and also keeps the institute within the top five institutions in Ontario.  

The research institute of London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) and St. Joseph’s Health Care London (St. Joseph’s), Lawson has also maintained the top ranking for research intensity among the large tier institutions, with $616,300 of research spending per researcher. 

“As a hospital-based research institute, our innovation happens where care is delivered,” says Dr. David Hill, Lawson Scientific Director. “Every day, teams of researchers are working directly with clinicians and patients to improve treatments, or create entirely new ones. They find innovative methods of delivering services that drive efficiency and reduce costs.” 

The top 40 list analyzes hospital-based research institutes from across the country on several metrics, including total research income from the previous fiscal year. The ranking looks at funds received from all sources, including both internal and external, to support research at the organization. According to the report, Lawson received $123,255 million in research income in 2017, which was a 0.8 per cent drop from the previous fiscal year.

Dr. David Hill advocates for increased scientific funding nationally. “We held our position despite the modest decrease in funding. Canada as a whole requires significant investment in scientific discovery to increase the well-being of Canadians and build a robust economy.”

This year, a special spotlight on intellectual property (IP) is showcasing the top Canadian organizations – universities, corporations, hospitals and government departments/agencies – patenting at the US Patent and Trademark Office. 

Lawson, as the research institute of LHSC and St. Joseph’s, is featured in the top 10 list for Hospital Patent Leaders as measured by ownership of patents granted between 2013-2017. Lawson has ranked in the sixth spot with 13 patents owned. 

Commercialization opportunities are managed through WORLDiscoveries®, the business development arm of London’s extensive research network. Born out of a partnership between Lawson, Robarts Research Institute and Western University, WORLDiscoveries® draws upon a mix of industry connections, sector-specific market knowledge, and business development expertise to help researchers and local inventors commercialize their discoveries through licensing and new company spin-offs. 

“We support technology development and licensing agreements by taking local knowledge and discoveries to industry partners worldwide,” explains Dr. Hill. “Research-intensive hospitals are improving health care, creating jobs and contributing to the country’s growing knowledge economy.” 

The following are two examples of innovation from London researchers. 

A stroke of genius

Dr. Ting-Yim Lee specializes in computated tomography (CT) imaging, a type of x-ray technology that captures images of slices of the body. He dreamed of using CT imaging to measure how blood flows in the human body. The idea was to develop software that could be installed on existing CT scanners to make quick, easy work of a very complex algorithm. If a patient came to the emergency department suffering from a stroke, it would allow physicians to quickly analyze and address the damage. Thanks to decades of public and private sector support, Dr. Lee’s work evolved into a clinically-approved product. Through a licensing deal with GE Healthcare, his software is installed on 70 per cent of the company’s new CT scanners on the market and is used in more than 8,000 hospital imaging departments around the world. 

Smart tech, smart treatment for movement disorders 

Dr. Mandar Jog has driven the development of TremorTek, a wearable sensor technology that is successfully treating patients who suffer from tremors in their arms and hands. These common tremors are typically caused by Parkinson’s disease or essential tremor, and there is no effective treatment. Neurotoxin therapy has been identified as a possible treatment; however, an injection in the wrong place or at the wrong dose can cause negative side effects. Using commercially available sensor technology, Dr. Jog and his team created a system that matched the muscle activity pinpointed by the sensors with the correct amount of toxin to administer, as well as generated a guide for its placement. The technology has been taken by a spinoff company MDDT Inc. that is working with numerous stakeholders interested in its applications. 

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Drs. David Hill, Ting-Yim Lee and Mandar Jog are available for interviews. Please contact Laura Goncalves (contact information below) to set up a time. 

LAWSON HEALTH RESEARCH INSTITUTE

As the research institute of London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care London, and working in partnership with Western University, Lawson Health Research Institute is committed to furthering scientific knowledge to advance health care around the world.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Laura Goncalves
Communications & External Relations
Lawson Health Research Institute
T: 519-685-8500 ext. 64059
C: 226-448-1525
laura.goncalves@lawsonresearch.com   
 

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