Quirks & Quarks

Engineered medical jello wins a big prize

Dr. Molly Shoichet wins a prestigious Killam Prize for her groundbreaking work on tissue engineering.
Dr. Molly Shoichet, Canada Research Chair in Tissue Engineering and University Professor at the University of Toronto, has received this year's Killam Prize for Engineering for her work on tissue engineering. (Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, U of T)

Dr. Molly Shoichet has won the 2017 Killam Prize for Engineering for her work in bringing the tools and technology of engineering to the problems of medicine, including blindness, stroke spinal cord injury and even cancer. 

Dr. Shoichet has been working with a range of materials called hydrogels, which are a mixture of polymers and water, that look a little like jello. These materials turn out to have enormous promise for delivering drugs or delivering stem-cells to repair different parts of the body, holding them in place, and supporting them in a benign environment while they do their work. 

Dr. Shoichet has also been a vocal and active supporter of women in science. The Killam Prizes are awarded by the Canada Council, and come with a $100,000 cash award.

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