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History

Students at work in a medical science lab, McGill University, circa 1956

History of the Department

In 1931, efforts first began to consolidate teaching and research in microbiology within the faculties of Medicine and Science. As a result, a new Department of Bacteriology was founded with Dr. E.G.D. Murray as its first Chairman.

Dr. Murray arrived from Cambridge to find that he was the sole staff member of a department whose few laboratories were not designed for bacteriological work. With energy and determination, Murray undertook to create a new department for teaching medical students as well as undergraduate and graduate students in science.

Murray's work set the stage for today's extensive network of collaboration with key research institutions, including the Canadian Biotechnology Research Institute, the Lady Davis Institute, the Armand-Frappier Institute, and the Clinical Research Institute of Montreal. The Department also has close ties with McGill's teaching hospitals: the Royal Victoria Hospital, the Montreal Children's Hospital, the Jewish General Hospital, the Montreal General Hospital, the Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children and the Montreal Neurological Institute.

In 1965, the Department's name was changed to Microbiology and Immunology to reflect more accurately its greater scope of research and teaching activities. Additional space enlarged the Department to its present 37,000 square feet.