Fighting the Next Flu Pandemic

Thanks to three Angels Den judges, our researchers will discover whether zebrafish can cure the flu.

St. Michael’s Angels Den is a battle for medical breakthroughs. The competition comes replete with the celebrity judges everyone knows so well: retail powerhouse Joe Mimran, finance guru Michael Wekerle and tech entrepreneur Michele Romanow.

During one inspiring evening, a live audience watches St. Michael’s all-star scientists pitch revolutionary research projects to a panel of jurors and judges for a chance to win financial backing.

Last year’s winning teams – the Flu Fighters and IRON MOM – were each awarded $50,000 for their groundbreaking research.

With influenza killing millions of people every year and global experts predicting another severe outbreak, Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science researchers Drs. Warren Lee and Xiao-Yan Wen formed the Flu Fighters. The team is using zebrafish – tiny, inexpensive fish that are easily grown – to screen thousands of compounds to determine which have the greatest potential to protect against the next flu pandemic.

Team IRON MOM’s two hematologists, Drs. Michelle Sholzberg and Lisa Hicks, developed tools for doctors to easily recognize low iron in pregnant women and empower them in their own health care. Anemia during pregnancy – which affects about 40 per cent of pregnant women – can cause premature delivery, low birthweight, postpartum depression and even death.

Our globally renowned scientists are able to take on some of the world’s most intractable challenges because of our state-of-theart facilities and visionary donors.