No. 3: Because our best and brightest are leading the fight against Covid
They’re the scientists and specialists working on the development and distribution of a vaccine
Lockdown, bubbles, nasal swabs—all important measures, but all minor compared to the mammoth undertaking happening in labs and research facilities across the country: developing a vaccine. The key figures who will be part of Canada’s effort to develop and secure our own long-term solution, below:
The infectious disease specialist
Mario Ostrowski, U of T
Ostrowski recently tested Providence Therapeutics’ vaccine on mice in his U of T lab and found that it produced potent antibodies and appeared to neutralize the virus. Those tests continue, but if all goes to plan, Providence should begin human trials of the vaccine early next year.
The biomedical engineer
Sachdev Sidhu, U of T
Sachdev Sidhu and his colleagues are working on synthetic antibody treatments that will stop Covid in its tracks. His lab at the Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research has engineered antivirals that are awaiting the green light for clinical trial.
Samira Mubareka (Sunnybrook), Rob Kozak (Sunnybrook, U of T), Dr. Arinjay Banerjee (McMaster)
This dream team was among the first in the world to isolate SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for Covid-19. Getting the virus into a test tube—partly thanks to Banerjee’s “magic hands,” according to Kozak—allowed others to test antivirals and potential vaccines.
Anita Anand, Oakville MP and minister of public services and procurement
In her previous career as a corporate lawyer, Anita Anand learned very well the art of the deal. Now, she’s in charge of making sure 38 million Canadians get a Covid vaccine as soon as possible, a negotiation as delicate as it is desperately needed.