New Cell and Gene Therapy Training Laboratory Opens at OVC

February 21, 2024

A new industry-sponsored laboratory in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) will serve as a hands-on training facility for the next generation of scientists and manufacturers in the regenerative medicine field.  


Dr. Sarah Lepage, an adjunct professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences is the architect behind the collaboration between the University of Guelph (U of G) and the Canadian Advanced Therapies Training Institute (CATTI).  


The new CATTI laboratory, which opened at OVC in November of 2023 will train future and existing Cell and Gene Therapy (CGT) employees in Canada and serve as a “bridge” between academic training and on-the-job training in biomanufacturing. 


CGTs are used in regenerative medicine to heal or restore function to tissues or organs that have been damaged due to disease, trauma, or degeneration over time, providing potentially curative treatment options for a variety of diseases, such as cancer and diabetes. 


Lepage will be the first professor to offer OVC students a hands-on training module in the new lab space as part of her capstone course for the Collaborative Specialization in Regenerative Medicine.   


“Interest in Regenerative Medicine and CGT research has grown exponentially at OVC in recent years,” said Lepage. “I’m very pleased to be able to provide world-class experiential learning opportunities to our students. As part of the BIOM*6930 (Concepts in Human Regenerative Medicine) course, students will have an opportunity to visit CGT manufacturing facilities, network with industry professionals, and complete their lab modules in the new CATTI lab at OVC.”  


The equipment in the CATTI lab is akin to the setup seen in biomanufacturing facilities that produce CGTs on a commercial scale. As part of their coursework, students will have the opportunity to learn how to manufacture cells for therapies using state-of-the-art equipment and learn how to scale-up the culture of human stem cells for clinical trials from flasks to bioreactors. 


“This partnership will allow U of G students to take CATTI's courses, network with industry professionals and gain work experience through CATTI's industry connections,” said Dr. Tarek Saleh, Chair, Department of Biomedical Sciences. 


The CATTI Training Lab is funded in part by the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM) and its subsidiary, OmniaBio

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