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Peterborough K. M. Hunter Charitable Foundation

The Peterborough K. M. Hunter Charitable Foundation has made significant investments in cutting-edge, student-driven medical research at the Temerty Faculty of Medicine.

When Kenneth Martin Hunter retired from his long and successful career in Toronto’s paper trade—culminating with his role as president of Buntin Reid Paper—he turned his focus to building healthier and more resilient people and communities through the power of philanthropy.

In 1967, Hunter founded the K. M. Hunter Charitable Foundation to fund groundbreaking initiatives in medical research, social services and the arts. Following his death in 1991, his two sons, Bill Hunter (BCom 1959 TRIN, MA 1967) and the late Martin Hunter (BA 1955 TRIN, MA 1967), continued operating the foundation. In 2003, they divided it into two separate entities to maximize the potential of Hunter’s original vision.

Today, that vision is stronger than ever. The Peterborough K. M. Hunter Charitable Foundation—one of the two entities created by Hunter’s sons—is now primarily focused on advancing medical research through awards granted to students at the University of Toronto’s Temerty Faculty of Medicine. Since 2004, the foundation has donated $5.6 million to support research undertaken by PhD and post-doctoral students—including $3.2 million toward the foundation’s flagship Peterborough K. M. Hunter Charitable Foundation Graduate Awards.

The Graduate Awards support PhD students in a broad range of fields—including mental health, neurodegenerative disease, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, nutrition and more. The awards provide researchers with the flexibility and financial security they need to engage in cutting-edge studies with the potential to transform health care.

For example, one past award recipient, Alannah MacDonald, used her funding to support research into novel cancer therapies through the study of interactions between proteins. Another, Chen Xiong, explored the use of technology to improve caregiving practices. Yet another former recipient, Raabeae Aryan, examined balance issues affecting individuals who have experienced a stroke, with a goal to improve rehabilitation practices and reduce the risk of falls post-stroke.

The foundation also generously gives to the Indigenous Health Partners Program at the Department of Family and Community Medicine. Its support is enabling a robust slate of healthcare initiatives that include Anishinabe traditional healing services, tuberculosis and HIV programs, and community-based diabetes care and prevention.

Through its longstanding support of research at U of T, the Peterborough K. M. Hunter Charitable Foundation continues to build an incredible legacy of impact.