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If you build the labs, the cures and brains will come.
With that in mind, McGill University and several funding partners united to construct a scientific magnet for top genome, protein, bone, and periodontal scientists in Canada. After months of construction, the hive is now buzzing with research.
While the building still doesn't have a formal name -- McGill is still searching for a major benefactor to step forward for naming rights -- 740 Dr. Penfield Avenue was officially unveiled on Sept. 8.
"This building is the epitome of modern science," said Lucienne Robillard, Member of Parliament for Westmount–Ville-Marie, during inaugural ceremonies.
McGill Principal Heather Munroe-Blum said 740 Penfield will make McGill and Canada "hotbeds of life sciences innovation."
The facility will house three main scientific groups, the McGill University and Génome Québec Innovation Centre, the Montreal Proteomics Network, the Centre for Bone and Periodontal Research, as well as four biobusiness incubators that will be rented to start up companies.
Everyone is excited to be part of 740 Penfield, since the ultra-modern building was outfitted with the latest tools that will be accessible to all, including a production-scale genotyping platform by Illumina. Thanks to this equipment, scientists at the McGill University and Génome Québec Innovation Centre will eventually be able to conduct a whopping one million DNA tests per day.
Construction of 740 Penfield will also enable an unprecedented degree of collaboration among researchers from different disciplines and institutions. Engineers, biologists, mathematicians, and medical doctors will work side-by-side to examine the interactions between genes and proteins to determine their roles in a wide range of diseases, including cancer, diabetes and multiple sclerosis.
"Cross-disciplinary research is essential for future discoveries," said David Goltzman, chief of Medicine at the McGill University Health Centre and director of the Centre for Bone and Periodontal Research. "740 Penfield will facilitate collaboration and, as a result, will hasten the pace of discoveries."
John Bergeron, director of the Montreal Proteomics Network, agrees the combination of sophisticated technology and the highly trained people at 740 Penfield will greatly accelerate the discoveries of causes or cures to human illness. "We will perform research that would simply not be possible otherwise," he said.
Construction of 740 Penfield. was realized thanks to the generous support of many partners: Génome Québec, Genome Canada, Canada Foundation for Innovation, Recherche Québec, Canada Economic Development, Ministère de l'Éducation du Québec, Ministère du Dévelop-pement économique et régional du Québec, Valorisation-Recherche Québec, Donner Canadian Foundation, Mrs. Pierrette Wong and family in memory of the late Jamson T.N. Wong, Applied Biosystems, Caprion Pharmaceuticals Inc., GeneChem Management Inc., McGill University, and the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre.
"It's not a coincidence that genomics and proteomics rhyme well with economics," said Thomas Hudson, the catalyst behind 740 Penfield and Director of the McGill University and Génome Québec Innovation Centre. "Without these partners our vision for this building would never have been realized."