Media Releases

Historic $130-million gift from the Rogers family to establish the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research

November 20, 2014

  • Largest pri­vate dona­tion in Cana­di­an health care his­to­ry will bring togeth­er the strengths of Sick­Kids, UHN, and U of T in indi­vid­u­al­ized genom­ic med­i­cine, tis­sue engi­neer­ing, and advanced car­diac care.
  • Goal to reduce hos­pi­tal­iza­tion for heart fail­ure by 50 per cent in 10 years.
  • The Rogers fam­i­ly gift to be matched with an addi­tion­al $139 mil­lion from part­ner orga­ni­za­tions for a total invest­ment of $269 mil­lion.

TORONTO, Novem­ber 20, 2014 – The Hos­pi­tal for Sick Chil­dren (Sick­Kids), Uni­ver­si­ty Health Net­work (UHN) and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to (U of T) announced today the cre­ation of the Ted Rogers Cen­tre for Heart Research (the Cen­tre) fund­ed by an unprece­dent­ed dona­tion of $130 mil­lion from the Rogers fam­i­ly – the largest mon­e­tary gift ever made to a Cana­di­an health care ini­tia­tive. The dona­tion will be matched with $139 mil­lion in addi­tion­al funds com­bined from Sick­Kids, UHN, and U of T for a total invest­ment of $269 mil­lion.

“We’re thrilled to be able to bring the Ted Rogers Cen­tre for Heart Research to life,” said Loret­ta Rogers, wife of the late Ted Rogers. “It’s a tes­ta­ment to Ted’s dri­ve for inno­va­tion and his com­mit­ment to leav­ing the world a bet­ter place. We know Ted would have been proud of this bold ini­tia­tive that will improve heart health for all.”

Ted Rogers’ per­son­al expe­ri­ence with heart dis­ease and his inter­est in find­ing new ther­a­pies to advance heart health make the Ted Rogers Cen­tre for Heart Research a fit­ting lega­cy, not­ed Dr. Michael Apkon, Pres­i­dent and CEO of Sick­Kids. “The gen­eros­i­ty and mag­ni­tude of this gift, and the trans­for­ma­tion­al effect it will have on heart research, tru­ly reflects the pio­neer­ing and inno­v­a­tive spir­it of Ted Rogers and his fam­i­ly. This pow­er­ful, col­lab­o­ra­tive part­ner­ship among Sick­Kids, UHN and U of T will have a glob­al impact. Togeth­er we hope to accel­er­ate dis­cov­ery and car­diac care at an unprece­dent­ed pace.”

Heart dis­ease rep­re­sents a con­sid­er­able eco­nom­ic strain on the Cana­di­an health care sys­tem. The annu­al cost for man­ag­ing mod­er­ate and severe heart fail­ure patients in Cana­da is as much as $2.3 bil­lion. “Today, one mil­lion Cana­di­ans are liv­ing with heart fail­ure, and that num­ber is pro­ject­ed to increase 25 per cent over the next 20 years,” not­ed Dr. Bar­ry Rubin, Chair and Pro­gram Med­ical Direc­tor of UHN’s Peter Munk Car­diac Cen­tre. “This unprece­dent­ed gift will enable physi­cians and sci­en­tists work­ing togeth­er in the Ted Rogers Cen­tre for Heart Research to devel­op new ther­a­pies that will dra­mat­i­cal­ly improve the lives of patients with heart dis­ease. One of our pri­ma­ry goals is to reduce hos­pi­tal­iza­tion for heart fail­ure by 50 per cent in the next decade. Ted Rogers led the devel­op­ment of the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions indus­try through a con­stant focus on inno­va­tion. We will use Mr. Rogers’ approach to change the face of heart dis­ease in Cana­da and through­out the world.”

Adding to the excep­tion­al nexus of clin­i­cians, sci­en­tists and engi­neers already accel­er­at­ing the pace of change in car­diac care across the part­ner insti­tu­tions, The Cen­tre will be a mag­net to attract the top research tal­ent from around the world, fur­ther solid­i­fy­ing Toron­to and Canada’s posi­tion as glob­al lead­ers in car­diac care, not­ed Pro­fes­sor Mer­ic Gertler, Pres­i­dent of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to. “The Toron­to region is home to one of the world’s largest bio­med­ical sci­ence and health edu­ca­tion clus­ters. This excep­tion­al­ly pow­er­ful net­work of researchers and edu­ca­tors is trans­lat­ing excit­ing ideas, inno­va­tions and ther­a­pies in stem cell research and regen­er­a­tive med­i­cine into clin­i­cal set­tings where they will address the most chal­leng­ing prob­lems across the spec­trum of heart dis­ease. With its pio­neer­ing spir­it and inno­v­a­tive approach, the Ted Rogers Cen­tre for Heart Research will be a world-class col­lab­o­ra­tion and a most fit­ting trib­ute to its name­sake.”

The Cen­tre will have facil­i­ties in the three par­tic­i­pat­ing insti­tu­tions, with its direc­torate sit­u­at­ed at UHN. It will be the first in the world to bring togeth­er research, edu­ca­tion and inno­va­tion in indi­vid­u­al­ized genom­ic med­i­cine, stem cell research, bio­engi­neer­ing, and car­dio­vas­cu­lar treat­ment and man­age­ment under one umbrel­la with a sin­gle focus: improv­ing heart health across the entire life span, from chil­dren to adults. Each part­ner will take the lead in a par­tic­u­lar area of focus:

  • Sick­Kids will har­ness the pow­er of genom­ic sci­ence to decode the genet­ic foun­da­tions of car­diac dis­ease, which will allow for heart dis­ease to be bet­ter pre­dict­ed before it occurs, and will sup­port indi­vid­u­al­ized ther­a­pies for chil­dren and adults, based on the unique genome of each patient.
  • UHN, through the appli­ca­tion of pow­er­ful data­bas­es, new bio­mark­ers for car­diac dis­ease, regen­er­a­tive and indi­vid­u­al­ized med­i­cine approach­es and state-of-the-art-real-time home mon­i­tor­ing and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions tech­nolo­gies, will focus on the trans­la­tion of research dis­cov­ery into the deliv­ery of care for patients. Foun­da­tion­al to this approach is a cus­tomized car­dio­vas­cu­lar data mod­ule for a new elec­tron­ic patient record which is linked to a Biobank which will house a vast array of bio­log­ic sam­ples that come from both adult and pae­di­atric patients.
  • U of T will com­bine stem cell tech­nol­o­gy with nov­el approach­es in cel­lu­lar and tis­sue engi­neer­ing for the regen­er­a­tion of heart mus­cle, coro­nary ves­sels, and heart valves; enlarge our under­stand­ing of how genet­ic, mol­e­c­u­lar sig­nal­ing, and cel­lu­lar net­works func­tion as the heart devel­ops, open­ing up the pos­si­bil­i­ty for more effec­tive heart ther­a­pies; and, cre­ate tech­nolo­gies and tools for improved heart phys­i­ol­o­gy mon­i­tor­ing in clin­i­cal set­tings.

The Cen­tre will also estab­lish an inno­va­tion fund to dri­ve dis­cov­ery and devel­op­ment of next-gen­er­a­tion ther­a­pies for heart fail­ure, and an edu­ca­tion fund to attract the best and bright­est stu­dents and post­grad­u­ates to ensure a deep pool of tal­ent in Cana­da for car­diac care and research.

To learn more about the Ted Rogers Cen­tre for Heart Research, go to


For more infor­ma­tion:

Sasha Babakhano­va
Hill + Knowl­ton Strate­gies
T: 416–413-4737