Signals Blog

This may come as a shock to many of you, but the land of lakes, trees, socialism and universal healthcare has a dark underbelly: the competitive nature of its academics.

If you look to the regenerative medicine community, everything looks hunky-dory and, on the surface, very collaborative; after all, the Stem Cell Network is behind the launch of many leading organizations, and the Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine’s most lucrative grants go to teams of scientists, not individuals. Groups like Research2Reality democratically promote scientific excellence in Canada and CCRM’s modus operandi is based on the premise of leveraging networks of academics and industry partners.

Yes, Canada’s regenerative medicine community looks like one big happy family. Remember Jim Till’s foundational discovery of transplantable stem cells? Even he had a partner. Till and McCulloch are as synonymous as Fred and Ginger, Anthony and Cleopatra, Bert and Ernie, Brangelina…you get the drift.

So, at this time of ‎the year when everyone is making merry, it is particularly heart-rending and gut-wrenching to reveal that some of Canada’s foremost stem cell scientists and bioengineers – leaders in our community – are actually locked in a battle of supremacy to determine – well, the video says it all. Watch if you are prepared to have your innocence shattered.

(Disclaimer: no one was actually harmed in the making of this video and all parties depicted here – Drs. James Till, Janet Rossant, Peter Zandstra, Molly Shoichet and Michael Rudnicki – consented to have their images used. How cool is that?!)


Our regular feature, Right Turn, appears every Friday and we invite you to submit your own blog to info(at) We encourage you to be creative and use the right (!) side of your brain. We dare you to make us laugh! Right Turn features cartoons, photos, videos and other content to amuse, educate and encourage discussion.

As always, we welcome your feedback in the comment section.

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Stacey Johnson

Stacey Johnson

For almost 20 years, Stacey has been providing strategic communications counsel to government, corporate, technology and health organizations. Prior to that, Stacey was at the CTV Television Network, first as a researcher, then as a story producer for “Goldhawk Fights Back,” a special ombudsman segment that aired weekly on the National News and Canada AM. Before joining CCRM as the Director, Communications and Marketing, Stacey was the Director of Communications for the Canadian Arthritis Network. Stacey is editor of Signals. You can follow Stacey on Twitter @msstaceyerin.