SUDBURY, ON –  Former staff and students of St. Theresa School in Sudbury on Walford Road can be forgiven for doing a double-take the next time they pass by the building.

The former red-brick elementary school has been transformed into a modern, state-of-the-art medical research facility for the Health Sciences North Research Institute (HSNRI).

Today, HSNRI officially opened the new facility. 

The Walford facility will provide HSNRI with an additional 14,000 square feet of research and laboratory space. Construction began in December of 2015, at a cost of approximately $15 million. 

The expansion of HSNRI’s research space was made possible through financial investments made by the Government of Canada which provided $4.99 million through FEDNOR, the Government of Ontario which provided $4.99 million through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, the Greater Sudbury Development Corporation at $1 million and the City of Greater Sudbury with an investment of $750,000.

Since December 2015, the Walford facility created 35 temporary construction jobs, 20 high skilled jobs, two new principal scientist position and 18 new employment opportunities attracting top researchers and physicians to Sudbury.

Established in 2012, HSNRI is focused on contributing to sustainable solutions for health challenges faced by Ontario's Northern and Indigenous communities. The research priority areas - Infection & Immunity, Cancer Solutions, Personalized Medicine and Healthy Aging - are wrapped around a population health focus to achieve health equity for Ontario's Northern and Indigenous communities. 

Since its inception, HSNRI has grown from 36 to approximately 90 full-time employees, secured $21 million in funding for research projects, and involved over 1,600 participants in clinical research. HSNRI has also established several research chairs: the HSN Volunteer Chair in Healthy Aging, a Chair in Indigenous and Northern Health and Chair in Personalized Medicine. 

For the past three years HSN and HSNRI have been included among Canada’s top 40 research hospitals.