Inequality, climate change and infectious diseases are global problems that need solutions. U of T’s diverse research community is on a mission to solve the world's grand challenges through research and innovation. Groundbreakers is a multimedia series that includes articles at U of T News and features some of the research superstars at U of T’s Institutional Strategic Initiatives whose work will transform lives.

Advancing health science with smartphones, bio-printers and organs-on-chips: Groundbreakers S2 Ep. 5

In season two, episode five of the Groundbreakers video series, host Ainka Jess speaks with Ayden Malekjahani about how smartphones are being used to explore new avenues in science. The episode also features CRAFT researchers: Milica Radisic and Axel Guenther.

Students push the boundaries of research and innovation: Groundbreakers S2 Ep.4

In Ep. 4 of the Groundbreakers video series, host Ainka Jess goes behind the scenes with student researchers from the Robotics Institute and Medicine by Design strategic initiatives, as well as the Black Founders Network. Some of their work is literally out of this world.

Tackling heart failure with a dose of technology: Groundbreakers S2 Ep.3 

In Ep. 3 of the Groundbreakers video series, host Ainka Jess explores how researchers with Transform HF, an institutional strategic initiative formed through a partnership between U of T and the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research, are helping to save lives by getting critical heart failure tools in the hands of patients across the country, including Indigenous communities in the North.
3d rendering of a brain on a purple and gold background

Researchers shrink brain tumours with gold nanoparticles, develop ‘mini brains’ to study psychiatric disorders

U of T researchers are inching closer to realizing a life-saving brain cancer treatment by using gold nanoparticles to make radiation therapy more effective and less toxic for patients. In their battle against glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a rare, fast-growing cancer that begins in the brain, the multidisciplinary team has discovered that the nanoparticles can keep radiation tightly focused on the tumour, shrinking its size and preventing damage elsewhere in the body.

Behind the scenes with the Black Research Network: Groundbreakers S2 Ep.2

How is the University of Toronto promoting Black research excellence and enhancing the research capacity of Black scholars across its tri-campus community? Those are just some of the questions explored in season two, episode two of the Groundbreakers video series as host Ainka Jess goes behind the scenes with the founders of U of T’s Black Research Network.
Triptych showing stars in the night sky, an illustration of a Black woman wearing a headwrap, a photo of a streetcar in Toronto

From mapping stars to helping youth escape poverty, student researchers break new ground

Learn more about the work of student researchers supported by the DSI, the BRN and School of Cities.
Celine Xiao speaks with Ainka Jess in a lab, both are in white coats.

Season 2 of Groundbreakers series: Diverse research communities solving the world’s grand challenges

The premiere episode offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how researchers are tackling climate change and renewable energy challenges from scientific, social, economic and policy perspectives.
Split screen showing conversation between engineer Deborah Raji and Ainka Jess

AI, tech and social justice: U of T Groundbreakers EP4

What is the relationship between pollution and colonialism in Canada? How can AI and related technologies avoid perpetuating racism and gender bias? These are some of the questions explored in episode four of the Groundbreakers video series when host Ainka Jess speaks with researchers from two of the University of Toronto’s Institutional Strategic Initiatives: the Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology […]
Portrait of David Sinton

New ISI ready to tackle Climate Change

Canada has formally committed to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 – and since 78 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions globally are related to energy, finding cleaner sources is a big part of the puzzle. Researchers at the University of Toronto have responded to this challenge by forming a new research network: the […]
Ainka Jess and Jessica Burgner-Kahrs converse at the Robotics Institute

Groundbreakers: The Future is Robotic

Can tiny, worm-like robots revolutionize the way surgeons work? How will human-robot interactions be improved? Can AI and robotics create self-driving cars that make winter driving safer? These are just some of the questions explored by the University of Toronto Robotics Institute, one of U of T’s Institutional Strategic Initiatives. In episode three of the […]
Ainka Jess and Alán Aspuru-Guzik conversing on the street. A blue box, containing the words The Acceleration Consortium, is centered on top of the image

Groundbreakers: U of T’s Acceleration Consortium rethinks the laboratory to optimize the discovery-to-commercialization process

What does the lab of the future look like? When it comes to advanced materials, can we accelerate the process of discovery to commercialization from 25 years to 10, five or even one? These are some of the issues explored by Alán Aspuru-Guzik, director of the Acceleration Consortium at the University of Toronto, and polymer […]
Diptych showing headshots for Cara Krmpotich, left, and Heidi Bohaker, right.

Critical Digital Humanities Initiative to examine history through lens of power, social justice

From wampum belts to historical photographs, Cara Krmpotich and Heidi Bohaker are seeking to digitally reunite thousands of Indigenous artifacts from the Great Lakes region with the communities who once created them. The pair of University of Toronto researchers lead an international team that aims to decolonize museum practices by creating a database, or “knowledge sharing system,” that, for […]

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