Geoff Frost: Keeping lungs alive without the whole operating room

While watching a lung transplant at Toronto General Hospital five years ago, Geoff Frost (EngSci 0T9 + PEY, IBBME MHSc 1T2) noticed that technologies used to keep lungs alive outside of the body were cumbersome and took up a lot of valuable hospital space.

“It takes up an entire operating room,” he says. “In Canada, that represents thousands of dollars an hour.” This includes not only the cost of the machine, but the extensive training that technicians require to use it. A smaller, simpler system could be installed in more places and used more often, thereby increasing the number of lungs that can be transplanted.

Frost pitched the idea to his graduate supervisor, Thomas Waddell, head of thoracic surgery at University Health Network. Shortly thereafter, the two co-founded XOR Laboratories Toronto Inc. to transform their idea into practice. Frost first worked on the project part-time while pursuing a medical degree at McMaster University, and in 2014 he decided to dedicate himself to it full-time.