September 21st, 2020

// St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation’s Angels Den Returns with Joe Mimran, Michele Romanow and Vinay Virmani, Awarding $450,000 for COVID-19 Research and Healthcare Innovation

St. Michael's Hospital Foundation's Angels Den Returns with Joe Mimran, Michele Romanow and Vinay Virmani, Awarding $450,000 for COVID-19 Research and Healthcare Innovation

The sixth annual Angels Den healthcare research competition, presented by St. Michael's Hospital Foundation, is going virtual to provide world-leading scientists with the opportunity to fund game-changing research

TORONTO, Sept. 21, 2020 /CNW/ - On Wednesday, September 30th at 7:00 pm EST, Canadians are invited to tune into the online iteration of St. Michael's Hospital Foundation's Angels Den competition on YouTube. Angels Den is traditionally an in-person event hosted in Downtown Toronto but this year, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the competition has gone completely virtual. During this hour-long special episode, six St. Michael's research teams will pitch their ground-breaking research ideas to a panel of celebrity judges, competing for prizes totaling $450,000 in research funding.

The six research teams are divided into two research streams. The first stream is focused on ideas related to COVID-19 management and solutions, and the second stream highlights other urgent healthcare challenges. The top prize for each stream of $150,000 are the Keenan COVID-19 Research Award and the Odette Innovative Health Award. Each finalist will be awarded $25,000.

This year, Canadian viewers have an important job to do. Viewers can weigh in and cast their votes online on September 30th, immediately following the episode, to share who they think should win the $50,000 People's Choice Award, presented by Canada Life.

"St. Michael's Hospital Foundation's Angels Den is a leading medical research competition in Canada, awarding one of the largest monetary prizes in the country." says Dr. Muhammad Mamdani, Vice President, Data Science and Advanced Analytics at Unity Health Toronto and previous Angels Den winner. "Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, it's more important than ever that we are funding and supporting innovations in healthcare that will be showcased during the online Angels Den episode."

Renowned Canadian broadcast personality Maureen Holloway is hosting this year's competition. To determine the winners, three celebrity judges will weigh in to recognize and award the researchers:

  • Joe Mimran, retail fashion and business pioneer and founder of Joe Fresh 
  • Michele Romanow, tech titan and Co-Founder & President of Clearbanc 
  • Vinay Virmani, partner and chief content officer at Uninterrupted

The judges will review this year's three research projects in the COVID-19 related stream, where research teams will showcase how they are pioneering solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic that optimize hospital flow, improve treatment, stem the spread of the virus and pave the way to a vaccine. The judges will also review the second stream focused on innovative health research that offers unconventional solutions that solve some of the toughest health problems.

Canadians are encouraged to tune into this special episode of Angels Den on the foundation's website on September 30th at 7:00 pm EST to watch the scientists pitch their research projects and cast their votes for the People's Choice Award from 8:00 pm EST to 9:00 pm EST. The winner of the People's Choice Award will be announced on social media (@stmichaelsfdn) and online ( on Thursday, October 1, 2020.

This event would not be possible without St. Michael's Hospital Foundation's generous sponsors:

Presenting Sponsor: RBC
Top Prize Sponsors: Patrick and Barbara Keenan Foundation and P. & L. Odette Charitable Foundation
Show Sponsor: Rogers
People's Choice Award Sponsor: Canada Life
Team Biographies Sponsor: Deloitte 

About St. Michael's Hospital Foundation
St. Michael's Hospital, part of Unity Health Toronto, is globally renowned for its research and treatment for some of the world's toughest health challenges such as multiple sclerosis, brain aneurysms, cystic fibrosis, blindness, infectious diseases and traumatic injury. St. Michael's Hospital is recognized for its work with the most marginalized members of our community, particularly those who are disadvantaged and are experiencing homelessness. Its world-leading physicians, surgeons, scientists dig deep to find solutions to intractable medical problems. They advocate on behalf of those whose health is complicated by life circumstances. They stop at nothing.

More information can be found at and

SOURCE St. Michael's Hospital Foundation


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