“[Shoichet] is one of the top biomedical scientists in the country, with in-depth knowledge of Ontario’s research community,” said Reza Moridi, Ontario’s Minister of Research, Innovation and Science. “As Chief Scientist, she will help us continue a proud tradition of science and research excellence through evidence-based decision making and will open the world to the incredible innovative talent and technologies Ontario has to offer.”
Shoichet, a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry and the Institute for Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering, is the first person to hold the new position. Her responsibilities will include working with research hospitals, universities and research institutes to champion high quality science in government and education, help the government make decisions on science-based policy issues and advise the government on how to support future research and innovation projects.
She will also lay the groundwork for the next generation of research and innovation jobs by leading the development of the best science strategy for the province.
Shoichet holds the Canada Research Chair in Tissue Engineering and is a leading researcher in stem cell transplantation and regenerative medicine. Her lab group is known for its use of materials called hydrogels that surround and protect stem cells when they are injected in the body. These hydrogels help stem cells survive and integrate into tissues, including nervous tissue damaged by stroke, macular degeneration or other diseases.
“Professor Shoichet is internationally renowned for her pioneering research, and for her leadership in engaging citizens in engineering, science and innovation,” said Cristina Amon, Dean of U of T Engineering and Provostial Advisor on Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). “On behalf of the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, I congratulate her on richly deserved appointment.”
Shoichet is a longstanding supporter of the Faculty’s pioneering outreach programs. In 2015, she was the keynote speaker at the Young Women in Engineering Symposium (YWIES), which helps high-school students understand the positive difference they can make as engineers. Each year, U of T Engineering engages more than 10,000 pre-university students through programs such as DEEP Summer Academy, ENGage and Go North, igniting their curiosity about the vast potential of STEM.