Record gift to University of Toronto faculty of medicine supports AI, equity

A $250-million gift to the University of Toronto’s faculty of medicine will support artificial intelligence (AI), biomedical research and collaboration, and equity efforts. The investment also includes $10 million for the dean’s COVID-19 priority fund announced earlier this year.

The university says the donation is the largest ever in Canadian philanthropy. In recognition, the school will name the faculty of medicine and a new medical building funded by the gift after donors James and Louise Temerty.

“Their gift will touch every aspect of our programs, impacting education, research and clinical care across the region and round the globe,” says Dr. Trevor Young, dean of the newly christened Temerty Faculty of Medicine. “It will allow us to respond nimbly to exciting research and partnership opportunities as they arise and lead the way to big medical breakthroughs.”

Among other initiatives, the money will fund the creation of a new centre for AI research and education led by Muhammad Mamdani, vice president of data science and advanced analytics at Unity Health Toronto.

The centre will bring together experts in medicine, computer science and statistics to advance AI training, research, and infrastructure in health care. “AI is very much a team sport,” Mamdani says. “The centre offers a focal point for all of these different disciplines to come together and form that team.”

Innovations in machine learning and health care are already happening “in pieces” across the university’s community, Mamdani says. For example, St. Mike’s recently launched an early warning system that uses AI to predict which internal medicine patients will die or require intensive care within 24–48 hours. Meanwhile, researchers at SickKids have developed algorithms that can predict cardiac arrest in the pediatric population.


A new centre for artificial intelligence will bring together experts in computer science, statistics, and medicine.

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Working together, these teams could “build things that are even more powerful,” Mamdani says. The Temerty gift will also fund the creation of a shared “data environment” — essentially, a repository of datasets that researchers, educators, and students can use collaboratively.

Beyond the AI centre, the money will support a fund for collaboration across partner hospitals in the Toronto Academic Health Science Network, as well as a fund for strategic initiatives and innovations to allow the university to invest in star researchers, equipment and programs as opportunities arise.

According to Dr. Patricia Houston, vice dean of medical education, the university will further invest in wellness and equity initiatives for medical learners and faculty, particularly those who are Black and Indigenous. “We know that we don’t have a perfect learning environment,” she says. “We’re all learning about things such as implicit bias, allyship and microaggressions and their impact on the learning and work environment.”

To that end, the faculty of medicine will increase outreach programs and financial aid for underrepresented students, establish an Elder in residence and circle of Elders to support Indigenous people working with the faculty, and ensure Indigenous health education and leadership is “supported in perpetuity.”


Diamond Pharma Services Supports GenSight Biologics in Submitting Its First Marketing Authorisation Application, for Ocular Gene Therapy LUMEVOQ

  • Diamond Pharma Services has provided EU regulatory, pharmacovigilance, quality and compliance support to GenSight, leading to the Marketing Authorisation Application for LUMEVOQ

  • LUMEVOQ is a gene therapy to treat vision loss due to the rare, mitochondrial genetic disease, Leber Hereditary Optic Neuropathy

Diamond Pharma Services (“Diamond”), a leading technical services and regulatory affairs consulting group, has announced that it provided EU regulatory, pharmacovigilance, quality and compliance support to GenSight Biologics (“GenSight”), including the preparation, authoring support, agency communication and submission of GenSight’s first Marketing Authorisation Application to the European Medicines Agency (EMA), for its novel ocular gene therapy LUMEVOQ®. The EMA decision is expected in H2 2021.

LUMEVOQ (Lenadogene nolparvovec) is a gene therapy to treat vision loss due to the rare, mitochondrial genetic disease, Leber Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON) caused by mutation in the ND4 mitochondrial gene. LHON mainly affects young males, and the ND4 mutation results in the worst visual outcomes, with most patients becoming legally blind. There is a high unmet medical need for LHON patients, of which there are 800-1200 in the EU and the US annually.

Headquartered in Paris, France, GenSight is a biopharma company focused on developing and commercialising innovative gene therapies for retinal neurodegenerative diseases and central nervous system disorders. Diamond has provided GenSight with regulatory, pharmacovigilance, quality and compliance support for LUMEVOQ leading up to the MAA assessment.

Maureen Graham, Managing Director, Regulatory, Diamond Pharma Services, said: “We are pleased GenSight Biologics chose to work with our team of experts at Diamond to provide European Regulatory, Pharmacovigilance, Quality and Compliance support for LUMEVOQ, its first MAA submission, and the first for a gene therapy treating a mitochondrial disease. It has been a personal ambition of mine to have the opportunity to work on a gene therapy within the ophthalmic arena, and GenSight has allowed Diamond that opportunity and that privilege.

This submission adds to Diamond’s broad experience in providing support to companies developing advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs), which includes over 50 programmes at various stages of development, and two MAA approvals – Glybera® and Yescarta®.”

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Katie Odgaard
Zyme Communications
Tel: +44 7787 502 947
E-mail: [email protected]

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Dickey’s Barbecue Pit Supports Breast Cancer Awareness with First Limited-Edition Pink Big Yellow Cup

A portion of the proceeds from every Tribute Cup sold in October will be donated toward providing first responders with mammography screenings and other breast cancer detection services through The Dickey Foundation

Dallas, TX, Sept. 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Dickey’s Barbecue Pit is joining the fight against breast cancer this October with the debut of its first limited-edition Pink Big Yellow Cup.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, the world’s largest barbecue concept’s signature Big Yellow Cup will become pink. Throughout the month, Dickey’s will offer the 32-ounce limited-edition collectible Tribute Cup for purchase in all of their locations across the U.S

A portion of the proceeds from every charitable cup sold will be donated to The Dickey Foundation, which provides safety equipment and overall support for first responders. The Dickey Foundation will use the funds raised from the collectible Pink Big Yellow Cup to provide mammograms and other breast cancer detection, treatment and services for local first responders.

“Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among U.S. women and the second leading cause of death,” said Laura Rea Dickey, CEO of Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. “One in eight women will be diagnosed in their lifetime, and early detection is key to increasing survival rates. As the nation’s largest barbecue brand, Dickey’s is proud to support our local  first responders in the battle against breast cancer.”

To learn more, follow Dickey’s Franchise on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Download the Dickey’s Barbecue Pit app from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

About Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc.

Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc., the world’s largest barbecue concept, was founded in 1941 by Travis Dickey. For the past 79 years, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit has served millions of guests Legit. Texas. Barbecue.™ At Dickey’s, all our barbecued meats are smoked onsite in a hickory wood burning pit. Dickey’s proudly believes there’s no shortcut to true barbecue and it’s why they never say bbq. The Dallas-based, family-run barbecue franchise offers several slow-smoked meats and wholesome sides with ‘No B.S. (Bad Stuff)’ included. The fast-casual concept has expanded worldwide with two international locations in the UAE and operates over 500 locations in 44 states. In 2016, Dickey’s won first place on Fast Casual’s “Top 100 Movers and Shakers” list and was named a Top 500 Franchise by Entrepreneur in 2018. Dickey’s Barbecue Pit has also been recognized by Fox News, Franchise Times, The Wall Street Journal, QSR Magazine, Forbes Magazine and Nation’s Restaurant News. For more information, visit 

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CONTACT: Greer Martin Dickey's Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. 9729713898 [email protected]

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