University of Toronto receives $35 million to modernize high containment facility.
Welcome to EPIC – the Emerging and Pandemic Infections Consortium.
EPIC partners play an integral role in infectious disease research, from work that controlled diphtheria and helped eradicate smallpox 100 years ago, to current research in antimicrobial resistance and infection control.
Today, our collective fight against infectious threats, including COVID-19, highly pathogenic avian influenza and mpox, makes clear that there’s never been a more important time to advance EPIC – the Emerging and Pandemic Infections Consortium as a critical hub in the pan-Canadian effort to combat future pandemics.
Building on our momentum in combatting the SARS-CoV-2 virus, EPIC will marshal the advanced research infrastructure and the world-renowned research and training expertise of the EPIC partners to allow an integrated innovative response to infectious diseases.
EPIC is a collaborative initiative among:
- University of Toronto
- The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids)
- Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute
- Sunnybrook Research Institute
- University Health Network
- Unity Health Toronto
These globally-leading institutions will make a difference to preventing the next pandemic and enhancing the impact of the life sciences ecosystem in Ontario.
These are the four pillars of EPIC’s work
Toronto’s only Combined Containment Level 3 (C-CL3) facility for the study of high-risk human pathogens has been critical to understanding the viral pathogens and developing therapeutics and treatments. Infectious diseases continue to pose a threat to Canadians’ health and prosperity. Investments in the facility will prepare Ontario and Canada for future pandemics.
EPIC offers immersive and cross-disciplinary training to a diverse cohort of talent researching infectious diseases, who are ready to work in industry and academia. Hundreds of researchers, clinicians and lab staff will gain access to leading-edge technologies, develop the skills to turn discovery into solutions, and connect Canada to global networks of pandemic surveillance and response.
EPIC will connect multiple disciplines to address infectious diseases. Insights made possible by state-of-the-art platforms that accelerate the discovery and production of therapies will combine with the expertise of clinicians, engineers, public health experts and scientists to translate treatments to patients and improve their outcomes.
EPIC will play an important role as a knowledge broker. It will create a hub for potential commercialization of novel therapeutics. New researchers at EPIC will be equipped to explain bench science to decision-makers and the public, as well as to translate discoveries into made-in-Canada products and solutions to global health challenges.
Estimated number of weeks required to clear surgery backlogs in Ontario.
Six out of 10 deaths in lower-income countries are due to communicable diseases.
Amount (in Billions) that Canada’s federal government is targeting for health and biosciences exports by 2025.
U of T researchers unveil new preclinical insights into why males are more likely to have severe COVID-19
A new study from a team of EPIC members has uncovered the biological reasons underlying sex differences in COVID-19 outcomes and is offering a promising new strategy to prevent illness. Early on during the pandemic, clinicians quickly noticed that males were more likely than females to be hospitalized or admitted to the ICU or to die from COVID-19 despite having similar infection rates. This pattern held true across all age groups and in countries around the world. The research, conducted in mice and published in the journal iScience, points to the ACE2 protein as a key contributor to differences in COVID-19 outcomes between males and females.
New U of T study uncovers how the gut microbiome boosts immune development and shields against pathogens
A new study from University of Toronto researchers is shedding more light on how the community of microbes in our gut contribute to a well-functioning immune system and defend against harmful pathogens.
EPIC is pleased to announce the members of its inaugural Trainee Advisory Committee and to welcome two new members to its steering committee. The Trainee Advisory Committee will work closely with EPIC staff and leadership to ensure that trainee perspectives are integrated into the development and implementation of new programming and supports for our trainee community. By helping trainees achieve their short- and long-term professional goals, EPIC is training the next generation of leaders whose work will tackle infectious diseases from multiple perspectives.