Year in Review

McGill launches the first research hub about Montreal: The Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Montreal (CIRM), an exploration of the city in all its aspects.

An empty storage area in the McIntyre Medical Building is reborn as the high-tech CyberMed, which includes the University’s three newest Active Learning Classrooms.

McGill hosts Radio-Canada’s and the CBC’s live televised debates between candidates for Mayor of Montreal. 

The McGill women’s rugby team wins the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec conference championship.

Nitika Pant Pai’s McGill/MUHC team wins the 2013 innovation award from the Accelerating Science Award Program (ASAP) for its HIV self-screening app.

McGill launches its first Massive Online Open Course (MOOC).

More than 600 McGillians – students, staff, faculty, administrators and alumni – volunteer for the University’s second annual Community Engagement Day.

Faculty of Medicine student Emily Kay-Rivest takes home a Forces AVENIR Undergraduate Personality Award, which recognizes the commitment of young people in socially conscious community-building endeavours. Kay-Rivest co-founded Vitamin Sport, a program that teaches primary school children about the importance of healthy eating and physical activity.

Cancer researchers Phil Gold and Michel L. Tremblay each receive a Prix du Québec, receiving the Wilder-Penfield Prize and Armand-Frappier Prize, respectively.

The McGill Library and Archives acquire an important collection of Voltaire’s works.

Professor Celine Le Bourdais wins the 2013 Prix Acfas Thérèse Gouin-Décarie for her work in social statistics and family change.

Professor Colin Chapman helps launch the Uganda Mobile Health Clinic, which will serve 100,000+ people in remote areas.

McGill’s Legal Information Clinic celebrates its 40th birthday with a special conference highlighting the role of McGill law students in increasing access to justice.

Suzanne Fortier is installed as McGill’s 17th Principal and Vice-Chancellor

The McGill Symphony Orchestra plays the new concert hall at Place des Arts for the first time. 

McGill’s inaugural Innovation Week showcases how partnerships and innovation can drive the economy.

Student debaters Cole Bricker (U2 Arts) and Sarah Balakrishnan (U3 Arts) win first place at the North American British Parliamentary Championships

Administrative coordinator Saleema Nawaz wins the Quebec Writers’ Federation top prize in fiction for her debut novel, Bone and Bread.

Anne Applebaum wins the 2013 Cundill Prize in Historical Literature for Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-1956.

Physics World magazine includes McGill’s Astrophysics group in its list of the year’s top 10 breakthroughs for measuring certain patterns in the universe’s oldest light.

International Development student Suzy Newing becomes McGill’s 136th Rhodes Scholar.

Professor Sarah Kimmins’s research group publishes a study suggesting that a father’s diet before conception plays a crucial role in the health of his off spring.

The EMBA McGill–HEC Montreal launches a merit-based scholarship program aimed at Canada’s Indigenous population.

Biochemistry Professor Nahum Sonenberg is named co-winner of Israel’s prestigious Wolf Prize for his discovery of the protein synthesis that controls infectious diseases, cancer and neurological disorders. 

McGill-affiliated researchers produce five of Quebec Science’s top 10 discoveries of 2013: Yashar Hezaveh (Physics) for showing that the most vigorous bursts of star birth took place much earlier than previously thought; Lorenzo Ferri (RI-MUHC) for his work on how the body aids and abets the spread of cancer; George Thanassoulis (RI-MUHC) for uncovering a genetic link to aortic valve disease; Alan Evans (Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital) for his work on a revolutionary 3-D digital brain atlas; Jens Pruessner (the Douglas Mental Health University Institute) for discovering the neural connection between early childhood trauma and adult mental health issues.

Natural Resource Sciences Professor Elena Bennett spearheads McGill Net Positive, a project to collaboratively imagine and design a hub for diverse sustainability activities.

Mechanical Engineering Professor Francois Barthelat and his team publish a paper explaining how the mechanics of seashells can significantly increase the toughness of glass.

Architecture and agriculture students collaborate with a Montreal engineering firm to create Le b-Shack on the Macdonald campus. The community-focused educational pavilion contains three observational beehives and materials about the colony collapse crisis. 

Three McGill researchers receive national awards from NSERC: Professors Ehab Abouheif (Biology) and Aashish Clerk (Physics) are named recipients of E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowships, while doctoral candidate Michael Lifshitz, who works in the cognitive neuroscience lab of Professor Amir Raz, wins the Andre Hamer Postgraduate Prize.

For the sixth consecutive year, McGill is named one of Montreal’s Top Employers.

Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies hosts the third annual 3 Minute Thesis Competition. Twelve graduate students described their research to a non-specialist audience. This is the first year presentations were bilingual.

Victor Fournelle-Blain wins the coveted Golden Violin Competition, the largest prize of its kind for a music student in Canada.

Physics Professor Shaun Lovejoy publishes a 500-year analysis of temperature data that essentially rules out the idea that global warming is a natural climate fluctuation.

Seven McGill Law students are given the nod to clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada in 2015-2016. They are Siena Anstis, Edward Bechard-Torres, William Colish, Lawrence David, Olga Redko, Allison Render and Marion Sandilands.

My Day @ McGill welcomes 140 elementary students to the downtown campus. The partnership between the Social Equity and Diversity Education Office and the Lester B. Pearson School Board promotes early exposure to higher education. 

Professor Brenda Milner, a researcher at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, receives the prestigious Kavli Prize in Neuroscience. In February, Milner was awarded the 2014 Dan David Prize for her fundamental contributions to the science of memory and the brain.

The National Football League’s Kansas City Chiefs draft McGill offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. The 23-year-old medical student becomes the 10th player in CIS history to be chosen in the NFL draft. 

BioFuelNet, which is headed by Professor Don Smith and located in the Quartier de l’innovation’s INGO Innovation Centre, signs an agreement with Air Canada and Airbus to explore turning municipal, agricultural and forestry waste into jet fuel.

RUIS McGill holds its second annual Symposium in Abitibi-Témiscamingue. The consortium comprises the Faculty of Medicine and its affiliated teaching hospitals of the McGill University Health Centre, the Jewish General Hospital, St. Mary’s Hospital Center and the Douglas Mental Health University Institute.

The Social Enterprise Track of the McGill Dobson Cup competition helps a group of students turn their course project into Centre Magnétique, a start-up incubator to help local entrepreneurs rebuild Lac-Megantic’s business centre.

McGill mourns the passing of two great leaders and colleagues. Ellen Aitken, Dean and Professor of the Faculty of Religious Studies, and Roderick A. Macdonald, Professor and former Dean of the Faculty of Law, both died after battling illnesses.

A shelf-friendly sorbet-like dessert finishes third in the prestigious Institute of Food Technologist Students’ Association’s annual Food Product Development Competition. A team of 16 Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry students developed the product. 

The Montreal Canadiens and Molson-Coors Brewery award Cedric McNicoll, a McGill Redmen forward, with the Guy Lafleur Award of Excellence as the Quebec university player who best combines hockey excellence with academic success.

University Advancement launches the next generation of online fundraising: McGill’s first crowdfunding platform, Seeds of Change.

Gustavo Turecki (Douglas Mental Health University Institute, Psychiatry) and his team discover that depressed people have lower levels of a small molecule found only in primates. 

The Hon. Michael A. Meighen succeeds H. Arnold Steinberg as McGill’s Chancellor. The McGill alum and former Canadian Senator is appointed for a three-year term. 

Judes Poirier (Douglas Mental Health University Institute, Psychiatry and Medicine) and his team discover that a relatively frequent genetic variant can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease by as much as four years.

Five students take home “Chapeau, les filles!” prizes for young women studying in traditionally male-dominated fields. The awards, organized by Quebec’s Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, went to: Saki Kajita (Computer Engineering), Sophie Lauzon (Bioresource Engineering), Stephanie Belanger-Naud (Farm Management and Technology), Da-Eun Kim (Mechanical Engineering), and Kimberly Morin Coulombe (Civil Engineering).

Student Housing and Hospitality Services kick off the fall semester by baking the world’s largest Fair Trade brownie, which weighed more than 2,000 kilograms. 

Fifteen McGill graduate students win prestigious Vanier Graduate Scholarships, worth $50,000 each year for three years of study and research: Miguel Cisneros-Franco (MNI/ The Neuro), Daina Crafa (The Douglas), Camille Juzwik (MNI/ The Neuro), Yuen Shan Stephanie Law (Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health), Amro Mohammad (Biochemistry), Julia Nantes (Neuroscience), Samara Perez (Psychology), Gilla Shapiro (Psychology), Maxwell Farrell (Biology), Allyson Menzies (Biology), Mauricio Delfin (Communication Studies), Mohammad Karimi (Communication Studies), Gillian Klassen (Educational & Counselling Psychology), Sarah Moritz (Anthropology) and Caroline Seagle (Anthropology).

Two McGill postdoctoral fellows receive Banting Fellowships, Canada’s most notable postdoctoral award: Karen Desmond (Music) and Ruifeng Cao (Biochemistry).

World-renowned green chemist Robin Rogers joins McGill as the Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Green Chemistry and Green Chemicals.

More than 550 people take part in some 15 events over the course of McGill’s fourth annual Indigenous Awareness Week

Myriam Denov (McGill School of Social Work) is awarded a prestigious Trudeau Fellowship for her work that explores the experiences of children born of wartime rape. 

The McGill Faculty of Dentistry inaugurates its new facility located on McGill College Avenue, across from the Roddick Gates. For the first time, the faculty’s clinical training, research and community service initiatives are under one roof. 

The McGill Institute for the Study of Canada celebrates its 20th anniversary with the Canada Remix public symposium, which brings together some of Canada’s leading thinkers.

The Royal Society of Canada honors seven McGill professors. Nigel Roulet (Geography), Peter S. McPherson (MNI/The Neuro), Constantin Polychronakos (Pediatrics) and Daniel Wise (Mathematics and Statistics) become Fellows, while Aashish Clerk (Physics) and Madhukar Pai(Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health) are inducted as New Members in the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. Philippe Gros (Biochemistry) is awarded the RSC’s McLaughlin Medal for research excellence in medical science.

A new study, led by Suzanne King (Douglas Mental Health University Institute and Psychiatry), suggests that maternal stress and hardship can predict the epigenetic profile of a child. The researchers looked at the DNA of children born in the aftermath of Quebec’s massive 1998 ice storm.


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