The subway map is a popular metaphor for showing how to get from point A to point B with many stops along the way. It can be simple, with only a few intersecting lines of tracks – Toronto’s (shockingly inadequate) two-line system comes to mind – or complicated, like Beijing and New York City, to name a few.
Transit consultant Jarrett Walker, on his blog, says the metro metaphor probably gets used as often as it does because “it suggests speed, order, power, reliability, a larger design that gives meaning to experience […].” Clearly he’s not thinking of Toronto’s system, but it fits well with the regenerative medicine industry, which has been steadily chugging along.
The Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine (OIRM) has employed transit symbolism to demonstrate the stations that must be built, navigated and visited to make the journey from “public need” to reach the light at the end of the tunnel.
OIRM describes its “rapid pass” as the express line that will move us from the innovation exchange hub – a desired stop near the end of the route – to treatments and cures, job and business creation, reduced health care costs and finally the end of the line: “health & prosperity.” Judging from OIRM’s efforts so far, and the work of its research and commercialization partners, it is picking up speed.
However, a train without a conductor will derail and plunge its riders into chaos. In anticipation of Janet Rossant’s departure and installation at the Gairdner Foundation, OIRM needed to find a capable replacement to keep the organization on the fast track. This week, OIRM announced that Duncan Stewart, a clinical investigator and pioneering Canadian cardiovascular researcher with The Ottawa Hospital, will replace Dr. Rossant as the President and Scientific Director as she assumes her new duties.
In Dr. Rossant’s words: “I can think of no one better to lead OIRM. Duncan’s experience both as a laboratory researcher and clinician who has shepherded numerous scientific advances into clinical trial, as well as his leadership in Ontario with The Ottawa Hospital make him the perfect choice to lead OIRM as it moves into the next phase of growth.”
Welcome aboard Dr. Stewart.
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