Perimeter Institute brings great thinkers from around the world to Canada to share their ideas on a wide variety of interesting and topical subjects. Each event is tailored for the general public and everyone is welcome to attend. No mathematical or scientific knowledge is necessary or assumed.

Engineering change in medicine
DR. molly Shoichet

WEDNESDAY Dec. 7, 2016 AT 7:00 PM ET

Tickets will be available online on Monday, November 21 at 9:00AM

or sign-up for an email reminder to watch the live webcast

Imagine going beyond treating the symptoms of disease and instead stopping it and reversing it. This is the promise of regenerative medicine. 

In her Perimeter Institute public lecture, Prof. Molly Shoichet will tell three compelling stories that are relevant to cancer, blindness and stroke. In each story, the underlying innovation in chemistry, engineering, and biology will be highlighted with the opportunities that lay ahead. 

To make it personal, Shoichet’s lab has figured out how to grow cells in an environment that mimics that of the native environment. Now she has the opportunity to grow a patient’s cancer cells in the lab and figure out which drugs will be most effective for that individual. 

In blindness, the cells at the back of the eye often die. We can slow the progression of disease but we cannot stop it because there is no way to replace those cells. With a newly engineered biomaterial, Shoichet’s lab can now transplant cells to the back of the eye and achieve some functional repair. 

The holy grail of regenerative medicine is stimulation of the stem cells resident in us. The challenge is to figure out how to stimulate those cells to promote repair.  Using a drug-infused “band-aid” applied directly on the brain, Shoichet’s team achieved tissue repair. 

These three stories underline the opportunity of collaborative, multi-disciplinary research. It is exciting to think what we will discover as this research continues to unfold. 

About Molly Shoichet
Molly Shoichet holds the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Tissue Engineering at the University of Toronto.  She has published over 530 papers, patents and abstracts and has given over 325 lectures worldwide. She currently leads a laboratory of 25 and has graduated 148 researchers. She founded two spin-off companies, is actively engaged in translational research and science outreach.
Dr. Shoichet is the recipient of many prestigious distinctions and the only person to be a Fellow of Canada’s 3 National Academies: Canadian Academy of Sciences of the Royal Society of Canada, Canadian Academy of Engineering, and Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. Dr. Shoichet was the L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science Laureate for North America in 2015 and elected Foreign Member of the US National Academy of Engineering in 2016. She holds the Order of Ontario, Ontario’s highest honour and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
In 2013, her contributions to Canada’s innovation agenda and the advancement of knowledge were recognized with the QEII Diamond Jubilee Award.  In 2016, Dr. Shoichet became a Foreign Member of the United States National Academy of Engineering (NAE). In 2014, Dr. Shoichet was given the University of Toronto’s highest distinction, University Professor, a distinction held by less than 2% of the faculty.
Dr. Shoichet received her SB from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1987) and her PhD from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in Polymer Science and Engineering (1992).


Attendance to the lecture is free, but advance tickets are required. Due to the overwhelming response to past lectures, tickets will be honoured until 6:45 pm only. If you have not arrived by 6:45 pm your reservation may be filled by guests in our waiting line, and you may be asked to join the end of the waiting line.


There will be a waiting line for last minute cancelled (or ‘no show’) seats on the night of the lecture. Doors open at 5:30 pm. Come to Perimeter and pick-up a waiting line chit at the Waiting Line sign and then participate in pre-lecture activities - no need to wait in line. An announcement will be made in the Bistro at 6:45pm if theatre seats are available. Note: you must arrive in person to be part of the waiting line and be in the Bistro when the waiting line announcement is made.


Everyone who comes to Perimeter will be able to participate in the lecture. The public lecture will be shown simultaneously on closed circuit television in the licensed comfort of the Black Hole Bistro for any members of the waiting line who are not able to get a theatre seat.


Enjoy the live webcast of Perimeter Institute Public Lectures from the comfort of your own home. Join us at 7pm ET night of the lecture and be part of the ONLINE virtual audience.

For most lectures the on-demand playback will be online within 24 hours after the live event. Check our YouTube page for the playbacks.