Professor Molly Shoichet, co-founder of AmacaThera and a University of Toronto Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry, has received the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold medal.
She was recently featured in an interview by Mohammad Haddahnia with The Varsity, the University of Toronto’s student newspaper. According to the article, the prestigious Canadian science award recognizes “her outstanding accomplishments and discoveries, and for her advancement of scientific knowledge and innovation,” specifically in regenerative medicine.
Shoichet’s work in synthetic hydrogel materials led to AmacaThera’s formation as a biotechnology company in 2016.
Here’s an excerpt:
Shoichet is an internationally known researcher for her innovative use of three-dimensional hydrogels in the field of tissue engineering. Hydrogels are essentially water-swollen materials and are found everywhere — from the food that we eat to the contact lenses that we wear.
Hydrogels are also used as scaffolds for tissue engineering. These scaffolding hydrogels contain large pores to accommodate living cells. They can also be designed to dissolve or degrade, releasing chemicals to encourage cell growth and allowing the cells to proliferate in the pores.
Shoichet and her team use hydrogels as biomimetic materials and have invented a series of hydrogels. “One hydrogel that we invented promotes tissue healing while serving as a vehicle for cell transplantation and therapeutic delivery,” wrote Shoichet. “This material is being advanced towards the clinic for the treatment of post-surgical pain by AmacaThera.”
AmacaThera is a U of T startup that was built on the technologies developed in Shoichet’s lab.
Read the full interview.