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Toronto's Top in the Medical World, Too!

There are lots and lots of reasons to move to Toronto, of course. Our city is full of life: it's cultured, educated, economically healthy, clean and bright, friendly, and downright fun to live in. We have some of the best urban green space in the world. And, as we discussed last month, Toronto is one of the top up-and-coming technological hubs in North America.

Did you know, though, that Toronto is also one of the most important centres for medical discovery in the world?Sure, it's comforting to know that if you get sick, "Hospital Row" downtown is right nearby. But College and University isn't just for patient care: it's also one of the world's biggest powerhouses of medical research. Here's what's happening there:

The Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning has helped SickKids lead the global way in child health. With a brand-new 21-storey complex, the Gilgan Centre has given SickKids a learning environment for trainees and established doctors alike that is unparalleled. It contains state-of-the-art simulation environments for training fellows and students on new medical techniques, and is the home of AboutKidsHealth, an incredibly ambitious web-based public-education project that aims to bring the expertise of SickKids professionals to anyone who cares about child health.

Princess Margaret Hospital is leading the way to a cure for cancer. Princess Margaret announced in October that it is embarking on the largest expansion of research space in its history, as part of the hospital's $1 billion, 5-year campaign to support research into personalized cancer medicine. This type of cancer-fighting strategy is at the vanguard of cancer treatment: from using the patient's own genetic information to figure out which chemotherapy regimen works best, to cutting-edge treatments involving infusions of the patient's own lab-grown stem cells, Princess Margaret's project is one of the things that puts it in the top 5 cancer research centres in the world.

The University of Toronto is one of the world's top research universities for medical breakthroughs. Sure, "pablum" is now the word for something bland and boring, but don't let that fool you: the invention of Pablum freeze-dried complete baby food in the 1930s by University of Toronto scientists saved the lives of countless malnourished babies. And if you're diabetic, you probably owe your life to Banting and Best, U of T scientists who discovered that the administration of insulin can control diabetic symptoms and allow sufferers to live full, normal lives. More recently, U of T professor Tony Pawson discovered the mechanism by which cells communicate - including cancer cells - which allowed for the development of improved medications to treat certain types of cancer. And U of T nutrition professor David Jenkins created the glycemic index, which helps diabetics and people suffering from hypoglycemia to control their blood sugar levels.

Just another several reasons why Toronto is the best city in the world - and attracts the best scientific professionals in the world, too.

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