Behind the Breakthrough

Dr. Sonya MacParland on developing the world’s first map of the liver

November 12, 2020

What attracted Dr. Sonya MacParland to the world of science was the possibility of making a discovery no one else has ever made. It’s exactly what she went on to do – the award-winning scientist at UHN’s Toronto General Hospital Research Institute developed the world’s first transcriptomic map of the liver, triggering a paradigm shift in liver research and therapy.  

On this episode of Behind the Breakthrough, Dr. MacParland takes the listener through the intricacies of the only organ in the human body with the ability to regenerate itself - the liverShe explains how she and her team mapped the thousands of cells within it, and why they felt it was integral to keep the research open-access for scientists around the world to use as a guide. Dr. MacParland also dives into the personal side of her success as a scientist, sharing how she deals with the failures and pressures of her work and the role mentorship plays in a successful career. 

Being able to do science and discover together on a daily basis is a gift,” says Dr. MacParland. “The fact that I'm able to do this and work with brilliant studentsbrilliant scientists and wonderful patients is just so fulfilling.” 

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