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McGill University has 10 new weapons in the fight against cancer, thanks to a generous investment from the non-profit Cole Foundation.
Dr. Richard Levin, Vice-Principal, Health Affairs and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, joined his counterpart at Université de Montréal on March 5 to announce the creation of a new fellowship program at both institutions through a $1 million gift from the Cole Foundation, a Montreal-based organization dedicated to supporting local research aimed at eradicating leukemia and other cancer-related illnesses affecting children.
The foundation has pledged at least $1 million to create 28 fellowships for clinical scientists, post-doctoral researchers and students in the doctoral and master’s programs – of which 10 are based in McGill’s Faculty of Medicine, the Lady Davis Research Centre at the Jewish General Hospital and units of the McGill University Health Centre, namely the Montreal Children’s Hospital Research Centre, the Royal Victoria Hospital and the Montreal Neurological Institute.
The initial fellowships will last 16 months, while subsequent fellowships are expected to last two years and would be funded with an additional $1 million each year.
The fellowship program will allow the institutions to work toward finding a cure for all types of leukemia and help position Montreal as an internationally recognized centre of excellence in cancer research, Dr. Levin said.
“Montreal is the only city in Canada with two medical schools and two university health networks,” he said. “Due to this unique positioning, the city has a solid record of attracting stellar researchers and students. The Cole Fellowships will contribute strongly to this positioning and will undoubtedly sustain the momentum in our study of cancer.”
Dr. Levin welcomed the opportunity for the two universities to collaborate on research and noted that the fellowship program has the potential to open doors to more international students.
He said, “Most fellowship competitions that are funded by national granting agencies only provide funding to Canadian citizens and landed immigrants. The Cole Foundation is providing valuable support to international students who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to study in Montreal.”
The Cole Foundation was created in 1980 by Montreal businessman John N. (Jack) Cole to support Montreal hospitals and research in pediatric oncology and hematology.
After his only child, Penny, died of leukemia on her 20th birthday, Mr. Cole established the Penny Cole Laboratory at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. The purpose of the lab is to foster research into the causes and potential cures for leukemia and other related diseases affecting children.
In 1997, the Cole Foundation also endowed the Jack Cole Chair in Pediatric Oncology and Hematology at McGill.
And the Fellows are…