Mats Sundin Fellowships in Developmental Health for 2013 awarded at Embassy of Canada


Mats Sundin Fellows in Developmental Health for 2013 with guests of honour

The Embassy of Canada to Sweden recently celebrated the longstanding exchange program between the University of Toronto and Karolinska Institutet by hosting the announcement of the first recipients of the Mats Sundin Fellowship in Developmental Health.


Mats Sundin speaks at Embassy of Canada to Sweden.

The Fellowships, which were established in November 2012 with a donation of SEK 2.2 million (around $350,000) from former hockey player and Toronto Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin, aim to develop future health leaders in Canada and Sweden. Recipients will have the opportunity to spend a period of research at their partner institution under the direction of leading scientists in the field of developmental health, which focuses on understanding how diseases of childhood and adulthood can be traced to conditions within the first 2000 days of life.

Sophie Petropoulos from the University of Toronto will focus her research at Karolinska Institutet on determining the genetic blueprint of the critical first seven days of human development, looking at the effect of adverse environmental factors such as stress on the embryo as it divides from a single cell into a group of cells which eventually become the fetus and placenta.

Jessica Weidner from Karolinska Institutet will conduct research at the University of Toronto on the effects of Toxoplasma gondii (also known as the cat litter parasite) on fetal development, looking its behaviour in the body and how it reaches the brain.

The Fellowship recipients were announced in the presence of Mats Sundin, Ambassador Kenneth Macartney, Professor Stephen Matthews from the University of Toronto and Professor Ola Hermanson from Karolinska Institutet. Ambassador Macartney said “the Embassy is honoured to support the Fellowship program, which will provide unique opportunities for collaboration in an important research field.  We are pleased to partner with Mats Sundin in promoting cooperation between these two world-renowned academic institutions in Canada and Sweden”.

For further information on the recipients, please see the websites of the University of Toronto and Karolinska Institutet [in Swedish only]. For further information on the Fellowship, please see the University of Toronto website.