Sudbury medical research facility gets $4.9 million lift from NOHFC

SUDBURY–A former elementary school in Sudbury is a big step closer to being reborn as a medical research centre, thanks to new funding from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC).

The NOHFC is contributing $4.9 million to the Advanced Medical Research Institute of Canada (AMRIC), for its project to convert the former St. Theresa’s School on Walford Road into a 14,000-square-foot research facility.

The announcement of NOHFC funding for AMRIC’s capital project was made by Sudbury MPP Rick Bartolucci.

[pullquote]”I am very pleased that the NOHFC could invest in this project which will further establish Greater Sudbury as an important centre for health care research and will attract scientists and researchers to our region,” says Mr. Bartolucci. “It will facilitate the sharing of scientific data and health care research, leading to improved patient care.”[/pullquote]

“I am very pleased that the NOHFC could invest in this project which will further establish Greater Sudbury as an important centre for health care research and will attract scientists and researchers to our region,” says Mr. Bartolucci. “It will facilitate the sharing of scientific data and health care research, leading to improved patient care.”

The Walford facility will complement AMRIC’s existing 12,000 square-foot laboratory at Health Sciences North/Horizon Santé-Nord (HSN). AMRIC is the affiliated research institute of HSN.

“We are very thankful to the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation for this investment in the future of health research in Greater Sudbury,” says Dr. Francisco Diaz-Mitoma, AMRIC’s CEO and Scientific Director. “This funding will allow AMRIC to grow, so we can do even more life-changing and life-saving research on behalf of the people of Greater Sudbury and Northeastern Ontario.”

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Created in 2011, AMRIC’s research activities are focused on investigating and developing promising new drugs and treatments that target key health concerns and priorities in Northeastern Ontario and northern Canada, including cancer, infectious diseases, and chronic diseases.

“Research and the very best health care are inseperable, in fact research is health care, ” says Dr. Denis Roy, president and CEO of HSN. “We’ve seen that demonstrated numerous times over the years through the world-class research done here at HSN and the Northeast Cancer Centre. We believe this expansion of AMRIC’s capacity and potential will lead to further breakthroughs that will benefit our patients.”

Since its inception, AMRIC has attracted over $4 million in funding for equipment, research, and capital expansion. It has also grown from a compliment of 40 researchers, support staff, and students in 2011 to its present team of 74 researchers, support staff and students. AMRIC has a total of seven patents and patent applications underway.

AMRIC’s major supporters include the HSN Foundation, the Northern Cancer Foundation, the HSN Volunteer Association, the City of Greater Sudbury, the Greater Sudbury Development Corporation, and the Northern Ontario Academic Medicine Association.

“AMRIC has enjoyed incredible support in this community from the HSN Foundation, the Northern Cancer Foundation and the HSN Volunteer Association. The donations we receive for research allows us to purchase vital equipment and fund world-leading scientists to conduct breakthrough medical research right here in Sudbury,” notes Dr. Diaz-Mitoma.

“We are also grateful for the support of the City of Greater Sudbury, the Greater Sudbury Development Corporation and the Northern Ontario Academic Medicine Association who recognize the value of research in terms of enhancing patient care and improving the economy of the north,” adds Dr. Diaz-Mitoma.