Andy Dykstra, lung transplant recipient in 2008 and first person in the world to benefit from Ex Vivo Lung Perfusion technology, walking with his granddaughter.
For more than the three million Canadians who live with a serious respiratory illness, and for the hundreds of millions more around the globe, the simple act of breathing can become an all-consuming, life-defining challenge. Lung diseases such as asthma, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis, lung cancer and pulmonary hypertension can affect individuals of all ages and backgrounds with devastating consequence.
The Lung Program at UHN brings together unprecedented research, outstanding education and exceptional patient care spanning the entire spectrum of lung disease, from asthma to infectious disease to transplantation, with a single focus: to better diagnose, treat and cure even the most challenging lung diseases, so that breathing is never hard work.
Our world-renowned team, driven by an ongoing pursuit of knowledge, cares for more than 50,000 people each year. Patients with the most complex and advanced lung diseases are referred to UHN from across the country. And they want to be treated here because UHN has the life-saving expertise they need and a commitment to building relationships for life with our patients.
Since the first Acute Respiratory Care Unit in Canada was founded at Toronto General Hospital 70 years ago, lung research at UHN has redefined what is possible. Achievements include:
- Developing a prototype of the first ventilator that is now saving lives in the fight against COVID-19
- The world’s first successful single- and double-lung transplants
- Canada’s first robotic surgery to treat early-stage lung cancer
- Creating the Ex Vivo Lung Perfusion System, now used in transplant centres around the world
In three key areas – surgery, medical care and critical care – world-renowned lung experts at UHN are improving the quality of life for those suffering from lung disease today and changing the course of care for generations to come.
We need donor support to better diagnose, treat and cure even the most challenging lung diseases – so that every breath doesn’t have to be a struggle.
The Lung Program’s achievements to date have set the stage for UHN to transform lung disease as we know it. As the global leader in lung repair technology, we’ll build on our knowledge to develop innovative strategies that ensure healthy lungs – for life. Our unique ability to study and treat lungs outside of the body will help accelerate next-generation detection methods, treatments and cures for an array of lung diseases.
UHN’s unique ability to handle some of the most complex health scenarios means that we serve a high number of critically ill patients. Individuals suffering from acute lung failure and lung transplant recipients are severely immunocompromised: they need isolated spaces to prevent infection, and to have their loved ones nearby as they recover. A new state-of-the-art critical care unit at Toronto General Hospital will enable our team to deliver care in an environment designed to protect and heal. Featuring larger, private rooms with space for family, it will promote mental well-being and faster, safer recovery. Cutting-edge imaging technology, embedded on site, will enable our team to diagnose and treat without moving high-risk patients around the hospital.
Building on The Lung Program’s leadership and existing strengths, we’ll strategically recruit and retain researchers in key areas of focus. Each of these represents a vital field of specialization that will augment existing strengths and synergies, and ensure we have all the necessary talent in place to realize our vision of a world without lung disease. These recruits will act as magnets for additional talent, such as up-and-coming or mid-career researchers and clinicians, as well as graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and clinical fellows who want to work with the best in the world.