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Current Winner - 2023

Brockhouse Canada Prize for Interdisciplinary Research in Science and Engineering

C20/20 Innovation Hub

Brockhouse Canada Prize for Interdisciplinary Research in Science and Engineering

McMaster University, University of Toronto, University of Waterloo

Professor Heather Sheardown (Chemical Engineering) at McMaster University – The team includes co-investigators: Professor Todd Hoare (Chemical Engineering) and Dr. Judith West-Mays (Pathology & Molecular Medicine) at McMaster University; Professor Lyndon Jones (School of Optometry and Vision Science) at University of Waterloo; Professor Frank Gu (Nanoengineering) at University of Toronto; and Chiefs of Ophthalmology Professor Varun Chaudhary (St. Joseph’s Hospital/McMaster University) and Dr. David Wong (St. Michael’s Hospital/University of Toronto)

For more than a decade, a dedicated team of scientists, engineers and clinicians have worked together to develop new biomaterials—and ultimately new therapies—for the nearly five million Canadians who suffer from impaired vision health. The C20/20 Innovation Hub is a talented interdisciplinary research group on a mission to provide a lifetime of improved vision for people who experience ailments such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, or cataracts.

The C20/20 team addresses complex ophthalmic problems that must be tackled with deep knowledge from different perspectives ranging from basic science to biomaterials and applied manufacturing. While many therapeutics available today work well when taken properly, issues with frequency, uncomfortable dosing, and side effects are common complaints from patients. For example, the current standard of care for dry eye sufferers is a product that requires a twice-daily dosing of painful drops and takes up to six months to produce any clinical improvement. In response, the C20/20 team created a comfortable eye drop product that only requires dosing twice per week and delivers faster clinical results, reducing the burden for both patients and healthcare providers.

C20/20 has become an internationally recognized innovation centre for its ophthalmic therapies and devices, and for the wide-ranging training and mentoring of highly qualified personnel, whose impact has improved the lives of millions of Canadians suffering from ocular diseases and vision impairment.

For additional information or to request photos of NSERC Prize winners, please contact Media Relations.