Countdown to Angels Den 2020









Angels Den Livestream

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Thank you for joining Angels Den, Canada’s hottest medical research competition. 

Watch all-star scientists compete for nearly $500,000 in funding to bring their breakthrough medical ideas to life. 

Decide who you want to win the $50,000 People’s Choice Award, presented by Canada Life. Anyone can vote! Voting open 8 to 9 P.M.

People's Choice Award Voting

Voting open 8 to 9 P.M. It's one vote per device.

To vote, click on your favourite team's photo and scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Submit Your Vote."

The People's Choice Award winner will be announced on October 1 on this website or tune into Breakfast Television from 8.30 to 9 A.M.

Send a Message to our Teams

Meet the Teams

Six teams are competing in two research categories: the Keenan COVID-19 Research Award and the Odette Innovative Health Award.

The scientists are pitching to three celebrity judges who, along with our esteemed panel of jurors, will vote on the winners.

Keenan Covid-19 Research Award

Pioneering solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic that optimize hospital flow, improve treatment and stem the spread of the virus.

Gemini: Digital Tools to Prepare for the Second Wave

Dr. Amol Verma
Scientist, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute and Internist, St Michael’s Hospital

Dr. Fahad Razak
Scientist, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute and Internist, St Michael’s Hospital

THE CHALLENGE: When it comes to treating COVID-19, healthcare data can help us understand what works and what doesn’t. But right now it’s scattered across Ontario’s hospitals.

THE SOLUTION: Combine data from over 30 Ontario hospitals that treat 70 per cent of patients in the province. Then use artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze it. The upside? With all that data, scientists and doctors can improve diagnosis, treatments, and health policies.

The T-Cell Vaccine vs. COVID-19

Dr. Mario Ostrowski

Scientist, Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science, and Infectious Disease Clinician, St. Michael’s Hospital

THE CHALLENGE: The COVID-19 vaccines currently being developed are using only antibodies to fight the virus, which may mean multiple vaccine doses. And none of the them is being created in Canada.

THE SOLUTION: Create a Canadian-made vaccine, and the first in the world to use both antibodies and T-cells to create immunity.

Lung Life after COVID-19

Dr. Darren Yuen
Scientist, Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science, and Nephrologist, St. Michael's Hospital

Dr. Kieran McIntyre
Respirologist, St. Michael’s Hospital

THE CHALLENGE: COVID-19 survivors, even those who’ve had only a mild case, may develop permanent lung scarring that leads to long-term breathing complications.

THE SOLUTION: Rapidly diagnose lung scarring in COVID-19 survivors using a new, bedside ultrasound tool. At the same time, test a new drug to treat COVID-19-induced lung damage.

Odette Innovative Health Award

Unconventional solutions to health problems that make access to health care easier and more inclusive, effective and affordable.

Smart Garments: AI Therapy For Your Muscles

Dr. Jane Batt 
Scientist, Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science, and Respirologist, St. Michael's Hospital

THE CHALLENGE: People who are critically ill often see their muscles waste, for good. While the condition might just be prevented with neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES), the current technology is practically and economically unfeasible. 

THE SOLUTION: Invent “smart textile” garments, like leg stockings and arm sleeves, that automate NMES stimulation through the power of AI.

Laughing Gas: A Serious Way To Fight Depression

Dr. Karim Ladha
Investigator, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, and Anesthesiologist, St. Michael’s Hospital

Dr. Sid Kennedy
Scientist, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, and Psychiatrist, St. Michael’s Hospital

THE CHALLENGE: While there are many medications that treat major depression — a devastating disorder which affects millions of Canadians — they don’t work in nearly one-third of patients.

THE SOLUTION: Study whether nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” will work in patients with depression, based on data that shows anesthetic drugs and gases have antidepressant effects.

SkIP TECH: Preventing Pressure Wounds

Dr. Karen Cross
Scientist, Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science, Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeon, St. Michael’s Hospital

THE CHALLENGE: Canada has among the highest rates of patients with pressure injuries, or bed sores, in the world. Yet this painful and life-threatening condition is completely preventable.

THE SOLUTION: Design SkIP (Skin Imaging for Pressure Injuries) technology that enables non-specialist healthcare practitioners, for the first time ever, to monitor patients at risk of developing pressure injuries.

Meet our Judges

Joe Mimran

Joe Mimran is a retail, fashion and business pioneer who has helped build some of Canada’s most recognized apparel and lifestyle brands such as Joe Fresh, Club Monaco, Gry Mattr, Pink Tartan, Alfred Sung and Caban. Joe is also chairman of Gibraltar & Co., a venture capital firm, is on the board of Canopy Rivers and LXR, and through his consulting firms, JM+A and NYBS, provides design and consulting services to major retailers in the U.S. such as Kroger and Staples.

From 2015 to 2018 Joe starred as a Dragon on CBC’s hit show Dragons’ Den. Joe was the honorary chairman of the inaugural Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards, and the recipient of the Canadian Style Award. He has been recognized with The Design Exchange award along with his wife, Kimberley Newport-Mimran, the co-founder of Pink Tartan. Joe has recently been inducted into Canada’s Marketing Legends Hall of Fame. 

He’s been featured in publications such as The New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, and The Globe and Mail. A patron of the arts, Mimran’s philanthropic activities include support of the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and is a Luminaire for Luminato Arts Festival. He also supports Reena, a non-profit organization which promotes independence and community inclusion for people with developmental disabilities.

Michele Romanow

Michele Romanow is an engineer and a serial entrepreneur who started five companies before her 33rd birthday. The youngest ever entrepreneur to join CBC’s hit show Dragons’ Den, Michele is the co-founder of e-commerce platforms and SnapSaves (acquired by Groupon). 

Her current venture Clearbanc has invested over $1B in over 2,500 ecommerce companies. Ranked in WXN’s “100 Most Powerful in Canada,” Michele is the only Canadian on Forbes’ “Millennial on a Mission” list. Buytopia ranked #3 on the Profit Hot 50 list of fastest growing companies and #1 on Chatelaine’s W100 list of fastest growing companies. She has won the Canadian Innovation Awards’ Angel Investor of the Year and was a finalist for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award and the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Award. Marketing Legends Hall of Fame. 

She was also recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Michele was previously the Director of Strategy for Sears. Michele received her engineering degree and MBA from Queen’s University where she received the Queen’s Tricolour. She is a director on the board of Vail Resorts, Freshii and League of Innovators.

Vinay Virmani

Vinay Virmani is a graduate of Toronto’s York University, long regarded as a progressive beacon for its programs in media and the performing arts. He also studied film at New York’s prestigious Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute. 

Vinay began his career as an actor in successful Canadian films such as Breakaway and Dr Cabbie. Driven by a firm belief that diversity in storytelling is the future of the entertainment industry, he formed First Take Entertainment with a mandate to create compelling content that connects people, no matter where they are in the world. 

A finalist on CBC’s Canada Reads, this creative visionary has broken social, cultural and professional barriers in what is a highly competitive space.

As the content industry continues to evolve, so does Vinay’s vision. His latest appointment is Partner & Chief Content Officer at Uninterrupted—a portal that gives top athletes a platform to share their stories and experiences. This LeBron James and Drake-led venture also has Vinay hosting Kneading Dough – a show about financial literacy in which top athletes reveal how they’re handling the money that accompanies their superstardom.

Maureen Holloway - Emcee

Toronto radio fan favourite Maureen Holloway is one half of Darren and Mo, the top-rated morning show on 98.1 CHFI. She is also familiar to listeners across the country as host of the popular entertainment feature Other People’s Business. In 2018, she was given the Rosalie Award, honouring Canadian women in broadcasting who have blazed new trails. She is a vocal advocate for women’s health and social issues.

Thank You To Our Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor

Top Prize Sponsors

Show Sponsor

 People's Choice Award Sponsor

 Team Biographies Sponsor    

Platinum Sponsors

John Hunkin &
Susan E. Crocker

Corporate Juror Sponsors

The Alayne &
Ron Metrick Fund

Special Thanks

St. Michael's Hospital Department of Medicine

St. Michael's Hospital Department of Ophthalmology

Angels Den 2020 Jurors

Lloyd Barbara
John Barford
Gregory S. Belton
Tony Cesta
Kathleen Crispi
Susan Gordon
Sister Georgette Gregory
Richard Harvey
John Hunkin
Barbara Keenan
Sean Keenan
Elaine Kierans
Lili Knorr, Tesari Charitable Foundation

Riley Krembil
Katy Livingstone
Jenny Longo
Jon Love
Nancy Love
Joe Mazzocco
Eleanor McCain
John McCartney
Wes McComb
John McIntyre
James McPhedran
Lisa Melchior
Pat Meneley
Alayne Metrick

Mary Mullen
Janet Norris
Lou Odette
Antonio Rodrigues
Josh Rotstein
Christina Sharma
Aleina Spigelman
Kate Stevenson
Daniel F. Sullivan
Kate Williams
Elisa Williams Schroen
Georgia Woods

Thank You To Our Cabinet

Gwen Harvey, Co-Chair
Melissa Martin, Co-Chair
Nancy Abbey
Jennifer DeCaria

John McCartney
Wes McComb
James McPhedran
Brian Mills

Sherri Neldner
John Rothwell

Watch 2019 Highlights

Congratulations to the 2019 Winners

The Keenan Biomedical Innovation Award

The Liver Airbag: A Device That Helps Save Livers

Dr. Joao Rezende-Neto

THE CHALLENGE: The liver is the most frequently injured abdominal organ in trauma, yet there is no device to control bleeding without impairing the physician’s view of the liver.

THE SOLUTION: An inflatable, transparent and non-adherent liver airbag that allows surgeons to see and control bleeding, and safely remove the surgical packing.

The Odette Social Innovation Award

Tailor Made: Personalized Multiple Sclerosis Treatment

Dr. Tony Antoniou

Dr. Jiwon Oh

THE CHALLENGE: Canada has the highest rate of multiple sclerosis in the world. While there are more treatment options, doctors still don’t have the tools to predict the course of the disease in an individual patient.

THE SOLUTION: An artificial intelligence (AI) tool to personalize individual patient treatments.

People's Choice Award | Presented By Canada Life

Artery Alert: A Limb-Saving Blood Test

Dr. Mohammad Qadura

THE CHALLENGE: Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) – the hardening of the arteries in the legs – affects 200 million people worldwide. It can lead to amputation and even death. Yet because we lack diagnostic tools and blood tests, PAD goes undiagnosed in 75% of patients.

THE SOLUTION: A biomarker (blood-based test) to screen blood and diagnose PAD.

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