MSSNG, Next Phase of MSSNG, Operation Art, Upopolis


$9 M


Since 1986, the Wise Family Foundation has provided $9M towards children’s health initiatives at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). The Foundations’ generosity has benefited almost every corner of the Hospital. From vital life-saving equipment needed for trauma, to renovation of waiting rooms and clinical spaces, to brightening hospital spaces with whimsical artwork, to funding transformational research in Autism, the Wise Family Foundation has had tremendous impact on the 300,000 children who walk through the doors of the Hospital every year.

Recently, the Wise Family Foundation has focused their support at SickKids in the following 3 areas:

Next Phase of MSSNG

Wise Family Foundation has made a $3.5M commitment to support the Autism Speaks science program. This commitment will specifically support the $12M+ expansion of the MSSNG platform to include not only genomic whole sequenced data but also innovative biological and clinical measurements from autistic individuals and their families.

This expanded effort will advance our ability to:

  • increase early detection of autism risk through whole genome sequencing as part of first-line medical evaluation for autism
  • identify autism sub-groups using specific biological processes and corresponding clinical and behavioral measurements to derive these multiple autisms
  • inform autism treatment protocols where a person’s personal genomic and biological data may indicate a recommended adjustment to their healthcare regime.

This expansion of the MSSNG platform; seeks to bring an unprecedented level of research expertise together to understand the complex causes of autism and identify potential treatments that change the life trajectory of people born with autism.


MSSNG is a groundbreaking collaboration between Autism Speaks, Autism Speaks Canada, Google and the research community to create the world’s largest genomic database on autism. MSSNG’s goal is to provide the best resources to enable the identification of many subtypes of autism, which may lead to better diagnostics, as well more personalized, accurate treatments. The Wise Family Foundation is a leader in empowering scientific research. In 2014, the Wise Family Foundation was one of the first Canadian foundations to commit $2M to this project.

Operation: Art

SickKids strives to make each child’s hospital experience as positive as possible. It is vital that the Hospitals’ physical spaces are inviting and comforting as kids may find medical surroundings unfamiliar and distressing. Because of the Wise Family Foundation’s generosity, and the artistic talent of Susy Bleasby, colourful murals and canvasses have been painted throughout many areas of the Hospital. Happy children, exotic birds, and underwater creatures now greet families and patients in the hallways, waiting rooms, and clinical spaces. Parents, children, and staff members all talk about the cheerful images, marveling over the enormous improvement they make to the Hospital environment and morale. These murals and canvasses soften the Hospital’s surroundings, giving kids the reassurance that a hospital is a “good” place.



Upopolis is a free, fun, and secure platform that
connects chronically and critically ill youth 10 to 18
with others like them who are going through medical
experiences in North America and was implemented
at SickKids in 2014. Upopolis reduces social isolation from activity restrictions, illness, and hospitalization, while educating and empowering youth to play an active role in managing and coping with their diagnosis. Access to Certified Child Life Specialists are available to answer questions while patients are staying at SickKids. To learn more about Upololis please visit: