About OICR

The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) is an innovative translational research organization dedicated to research on the prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. OICR was launched by the Government of Ontario in December 2005 to tackle the big questions in cancer research.


  • Translation of research findings into products, services and improved clinical practice.


  • More than 1,600 researchers, clinician scientists, research staff and trainees at MaRS and at Ontario’s leading universities and hospital-based research institutes.


  • Activities strategically chosen to focus on areas of the highest potential impact on patients;
  • Builds on Ontario’s existing global strengths involving researchers across the province – medical imaging, clinical trials, cancer stem cells and bio-therapeutics;
  • Complements Ontario’s strengths with world-leading programs and facilities in genomics, bio-informatics and high-throughput screening.

Strategic Research Plan

  • Facilitate adoption of personalized medicine for cancer;
  • Seek solutions to critical issues that could benefit patients in the next five years;
  • Enhance and facilitate the digitization and interpretation of cancer data;
  • Accelerate OICR’s Commercialization Program.


  • In-house focused discovery unit that accelerates its own new molecular entities;
  • Translational pipeline maintained through shared infrastructure, resources and world-class expertise;
  • Sufficient funding available for translation;
  • Commercialization team engages directly with scientists to advance their inventions to clinical application;
  • OICR actively seeks industry partners and private investors to bring discoveries to market.


  • Dedicated team that accelerates innovation and discovery to products and patients, focusing on the business and commercial aspects of development;
  • Seed fund allocated to innovative discoveries to bridge the “valley of death”;
  • Has made more than 17 investments and supported and/or assisted in the creation of nine spin off companies;
  • Industry partnerships with key leaders (Pfizer, GE).

Partnerships and collaborations

  • California Institute for Regenerative Medicine;
  • Canadian Partnership Against Cancer;
  • Cancer Care Ontario;
  • GE Healthcare;
  • International Cancer Genome Consortium;
  • MaRS Innovation;
  • Janssen.