Over the Years: Medical Research History at SickKids
Message from the Chief of Research
Long before the official inauguration of The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) Research Institute in 1954, research has driven clinical excellence at SickKids.
Containing memorabilia that spans over a century, this showcase shines a light on the history of medical research at SickKids. Many of the items displayed relate to influential moments in SickKids history - from Dr. Frederick Banting's appointments at SickKids, the latter in 1922 to assist Dr. Gladys Boyd administer his newly discovered miracle drug insulin to children, to Dr. Lap-Chee Tsui unearthing the gene responsible for cystic fibrosis in 1989.
Today, our vision - Healthier Children, A Better World - relies on the insights of our scientific community to inform novel care approaches. As history, and science, continue to advance, this showcase will be updated to reflect those latest breakthroughs.
I hope that viewers of this showcase find inspiration in its contents, sparking ideas that will transform care at SickKids and around the world.
Dr. Stephen Scherer
Chief of Research
Explore the exhibits
In 1989, Dr. Lap-Chee Tsui and a team of scientists discovered the gene responsible for cystic fibrosis. Explore the history of this discovery, from the three publications that documented the discovery to the awards received by Tsui and his team.
Discover the technology associated with SickKids’ significant contributions to genetic research including microarrays, sequencing flow cells and SMRT-cells.
These instruments were once used to conduct the best research of the day. While these tools have now evolved into new, digital instruments, learn more about the history of the Abbe refractometer, Bunsen burner, brass compound microscope, apothecary scale and weights, mouth-blown test tube stoppers and Manual Differential Blood Cell Counter.
Explore the history of Sprinkles, Pablum, Sun Wheat and curved bottom milk bottles.
The SickKids Research Institute has always worked alongside care providers to inform advancements in paediatric care. Discover how a vial of penicillin, the continuous passive motion device, a mask, some surgical instruments and a spine with scoliosis are connected to research at SickKids.
Researchers at SickKids have been awarded numerous accolades for their scientific breakthroughs. Learn more about the awards, medals and plaques received by SickKids researchers.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Learn more about these pictures of Professor Sarkar, Dr. Gladys Boyd, Elsie Needham, Dr. Andrew Hunter (sketched by Arthur Lismer), the Human Genome Organization and the 50th anniversary of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto.
From the three papers describing the discovery of the cystic fibrosis gene to studies and books documenting important contributions to scientific research, learn more about some significant publications in SickKids’ history.