Terry's Dream will inform visitors about cancer research in Canada and its linkages around the world. It will highlight how discoveries are translated into actions to improve outcomes for cancer patients, and inspire a new generation of donors. Exiting Terry’s Dream, visitors will have the opportunity to donate a loonie to help keep Terry’s dream alive.
1. Showcasing and Highlighting Canada’s Achievements in Cancer Research
A key feature of the Centre is to profile how far cancer research has come and showcase and highlight research advances and achievements. This will help to educate and inform the public of the value of research and how it contributes to the needs of our society. The research focus will show what is being done currently within the field as well as the seminal contributions made by Canadian researchers over the past three decades. There are breathtaking advances that have been made in technology as well as in fundamental sciences, with the result that we now know far more about the origin and progression of the disease than we did 30 years ago. These and other advances in knowledge, technology, and innovation will be highlighted. As we travel down the path of personalized medicine, where therapies and treatment are tailored to an individual’s genetic makeup, there is an increasing need for the public to be engaged and informed. The Centre will play a role in relating where cancer research of the future will take us and how individual Canadians and others will benefit. The Centre will help to create a greater understanding of the broader issues in health care – specifically in cancer care – and how these affect us as a society and individually – ethically, economically, and from a policy perspective.
2. Showcasing Laboratory Work
A showcase laboratory is envisioned (of approximately 1,000 square feet) to engage and inform the public about cancer research in Canada and the world. The laboratory will enable visitors to “virtually” connect with scientists and clinicians in their laboratories across the country to see what goes on today and how they collaborate with other teams and colleagues. This will be done with state‐of‐the‐art multimedia live‐streaming of activities in cancer research centres across the country.
Within the Centre, two “scientific stations” are envisioned to demonstrate “research in action” and to provide a “first‐hand, on‐site cancer research experience.” One component will comprise the latest equipment and computers for genome analyses and having DNA sequences displayed electronically (imagine a lit‐up ticker tape as the information comes in) at the centre which can then be interpreted by scientists. The second station will be an interactive pathology lab‐style space where visitors can view samples (cancerous and non‐cancerous) through the pathologist’s “eyes” – via projection of microsopic specimens onto a large video screen.
3. Interactive Exhibits/Displays
Dynamic and interactive exhibits appealing to visitors of all ages will be created to show and tell the story of cancer research on a number of levels. The exhibits will help visitors to better understand what cancer is and all its complexities, as well as the knowledge, innovation and technology available today that is driving us closer to achieving Terry’s dream of a world without cancer.