The Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science’s Open House is back this Research Month. Staff from across St. Michael’s Hospital can register for tours showcasing novel technologies and research.

Hospital staff, clinical researchers, physicians and volunteers are invited to pre-register for tours that will take place Monday Nov. 18, 2019 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Each tour will last about 20 minutes. Please note that there are a limited number of spots per tour and are assigned on a first-come-first-served basis. Register now so that you don’t miss out!

In addition to the tours, St. Michael’s staff are invited to visit the Exhibition Space on the second floor of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute any time between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. No registration needed for this portion.

There are many Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science groups providing tours for you to choose from, plus there’s free lunch! Take a look at some of our cutting-edge research and tours available below, then sign up for a tour.


 If you have any questions please contact Olivia Lavery at

2nd Floor Demos

Does not require registration or sign-up!

  1. MRI-Compatible Driving Simulator and Touch Tablet
    The Neuroscience Research Team, in collaboration with Sunnybrook Research Centre, has developed a novel and fully immersive driving simulator and touch tablet. The MRI compatible equipment can capture brain activity during real world tasks, e.g. driving, writing, and drawing. It is also frequently used in pre-operative planning for awake brain tumour surgeries. We invite you to see our neat set-up outside of the scanner and test your driving skills
  2. Keenan Research Videos
    Learn about the research of some of the Keenan Centre’s distinguished scientists by watching videos profiling their work.
  3. Photoacoustic scar screener (PASS):The Kolios-Yuen labs have developed a non-invasive imaging approach that can quantify the degree of fibrotic scarring within organs. The technique (known as photoacoustic imaging) relies on measuring the concentration of collagen in tissue. This is achieved by illuminating the organ with short laser pulses at key optical wavelengths and detecting the resulting ultrasound waves produced. To date, this novel approach has been tested in mouse, pig and human kidneys, for applications in transplantation medicine. We invite you to come see a demo of the technology and discuss your scar screening needs with us!
  4. Optical Coherence Tomography:
    The SPECTRALIS is an ophthalmic imaging platform approved by both Health Canada and United States Food & Drug Administration for non-invasive eye imaging in clinical practice. The equipment includes a retinal angiography and a spectral domain optical coherence tomography. With the confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy technology, this device is sensitive to fluorescent dyes like fluorescein and indocyanine green used in clinical setting. At Keenan Research Centre, Gupta and Yucel lab has adapted this imaging modality for mouse eye related research. With a specific lens, cross-section and 3D retinal images of mouse eyes are captured to monitor structural and morphological change for the research of glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. Also, this system is currently used for post-mortem eye imaging of specimens from Human Eye Biobank for Research, which provides an opportunity to discover new biomarkers for blinding eye diseases and brain disorder.
  5. Non-profit Organization that Does STEM Clubs in Low Income and Racialized Communities- Visions of Science:
    Visions of Science Network for Learning Inc. (VoSNL) is a charitable organization that aims to advance the educational achievements and positive development of youth from low-income and marginalized communities through meaningful engagement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields and research.

4th Floor Tours

4th Floor Wet Lab:

Intravital Microscope

Thrombus or clot formation is the cause of death in heart attack and stroke, the two leading causes of mortality and morbidity around the world. Previously, researchers studied the blood clotting and thrombosis process in a test tube. In the human body, however, these processes occur inside blood vessels, where the blood is constantly flowing at high speed and interacting with the vessel wall. During his post-doc training at Harvard, Dr. Ni developed the first intravital microscopy system, which enables us to directly observe thrombus formation and its response to therapeutic interventions inside the blood vessel. Dr. Ni’s lab is the leader in Canada to utilize this advanced technique for thrombosis research and has made many high impact discoveries in the field. Join us for a tour!


5th Floor Tours

5th Floor Lab Space:

Mock Echo


Researchers will demonstrate how an echocardiography is conducted in mice to examine cardiac function and give insights to structure. An echocardiography uses high frequency sound waves to take pictures of the heart’s valves and chambers. It is used to assess overall heart function, determine the presence of disease, and evaluate the effectiveness of medical and surgical treatments.

6th Floor Tours

Zebrafish Microscope

Opioid medications are widely used to reduce pain, but present the side-effect of respiratory depression that can be deadly with overdose. Although opioids are currently killing thousands of people in Canada, they remain the pharmacological cornerstone of modern pain therapy and there are currently no treatments to prevent respiratory depression by opioids without reducing their analgesic properties. Dr. Montandon is working on developing a novel zebrafish model in order to expedite the process of drug screening. The platform allows us to study the respiratory depression and analgesic effects of opioids in order to screen for new potential safe opioid pain therapies.

7th Floor Tours

The Biomedical Zone:

Exclusive tour of the Biomedical Zone (BMZ)

The Biomedical Zone helps early-stage health technology companies to validate their need-based solutions directly in the hospital setting with clinicians, business experts, and innovative thinkers. Through the Biomedical Zone, startups are able to rapidly iterate their technology, refine their business model, and demonstrate clinical value.

We are not just an incubator, but an innovation centre for clinicians, students, and entrepreneurs alike. Our first-in-class programs offer startups unprecedented access to the clinical environment, while facilitating unique experiential learning opportunities for students. Together, we are transforming the way hospitals innovate.

Get a chance to have an exclusive tour of this space!

The Biomedical Zone is a proud partnership between Ryerson University and St. Michael’s Hospital

8th Floor Tour-The Vivarium

Dr. Xiao-Yan Wen’s Lab:

Facility Tour of Zebrafish Disease Modeling and High Throughput Drug Screen

Led by Dr. Wen, St. Michael’s Hospital launched the Zebrafish Centre for Advanced Drug Discovery in 2012. St. Michael’s is home to Canada’s first and the only fully automated zebrafish high-throughput screening platform.

In this tour, you will be guided through the advanced zebrafish housing rack system and you will be taught how to build disease models.