Celebrating 75 years of excellence


The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital - The Neuro - a world class Canadian academic medical centre, marks its 75th Anniversary today. The Neuro combines an internationally-leading research centre at McGill University, dedicated to unlocking the secrets of the brain and neurological diseases, with specialized hospital services as part of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), that ensure the highest quality of advanced and compassionate care for patients with neurological diseases. Joining in the exciting celebrations will be Premier Jean Charest, Neuro Director Dr. David Colman, McGill Principal Heather Munroe-Blum, MUHC CEO Dr. Arthur Porter, McGill Dean of Medicine Dr. Richard Levin and CIHR President Dr. Alain Beaudet as well as Nobel laureates, prominent business leaders, donors, visitors from around the world and members of the Montreal community, proud of The Neuro as their city’s incredible success story. An international leader, The Neuro has cultivated a spirit of innovation and enterprise that, in 2007, led to it being named one of the Canadian Government’s seven national Centres of Excellence in Commercialization and Research.

Founded in 1934,The Neuro was brought to life by the inspiration and drive of Dr. Wilder Penfield to create a one of a kind institute with doctors and researchers under one roof all dedicated to the brain and nervous system.  This unique structure became a model for institutions around the world and gave unprecedented hope for some of our most debilitating conditions, from epilepsy to stroke to Parkinson’s disease.

“If the need for the Neuro was great in 1934, it is even more pressing now,” says Dr. David Colman, Director of the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital. “As we live longer, half of the Canadians alive today will eventually experience in their own families a neurological disease, the product of a derailment of the normal function of that 3 pound thinking machine - the brain - that Isaac Asimov has termed, "the most complex and orderly arrangement of matter in the Universe."

Over the years, The Neuro’s exceptional scientists and clinicians have taken Dr. Penfield’s vision to unparalleled heights, pushing the boundaries of medical science and challenging traditional beliefs. From Penfield’s skill as a neurosurgeon and leader, to David Hubel’s Nobel Prize winning work on information processing, to Brenda Milner’s revolutionary breakthroughs in the coding of memory, to George Karpati’s renowned expertise in neuromuscular disorders.  Multidisciplinary teams of scientists generate fundamental information about the nervous system and apply that knowledge to understanding, treating and improving the care of patients suffering from neurological diseases.

As Canada’s largest neuroscience training centre, The Neuro trains the leaders of tomorrow. The vibrant environment attracts some of the best minds from around the globe. Former fellows hold prominent positions around the world and today’s trainees, from more than 60 countries, have world-wide impact as The Neuro reaches out through international collaborations, formal relationships with sister institutes, and high visibility in professional organizations.

“The Neuro, through its outstanding, world-leading research remains at the forefront of vital exploration into one of the human body’s most complex organs and systems,” says Professor Heather Munroe-Blum, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill University. “Investment in The Neuro benefits all of us – in Quebec, in Canada and around the globe – and contributes in a meaningful way to advancing science on an international scale. The work of The Neuro, from its inception under Wilder Penfield to the current leadership of Professor Colman, has played a major role in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disease and has led to a significant and very positive improvement in countless lives.”

“We are fortunate to have such brilliant minds pushing the boundaries of knowledge at the Neuro and throughout the MUHC,” added the Hon. Arthur T. Porter, MUHC Director General and CEO. “This is an exciting time, what with The Neuro’s 75th birthday and our Redevelopment Project on the cusp of a groundbreaking! I must thank those whose leadership has heightened society’s awareness about the importance of supporting clinical and research excellence and inspired generations to follow in their footsteps.”

To mark 75 years of excellence in neuroscience research, clinical care and service to Montreal, Quebec, Canada and the global community, The Neuro is hosting a two-day scientific symposium ‘Pathways of Discovery in Neuroscience’, which includes presentations from a number of Nobel prize winners, highlighting the latest and most exciting advances in research and clinical care on November 2 – 3, in areas ranging from epilepsy to Alzheimer’s to brain repair and robotics. The official 75th Anniversary Ceremony features a lively and thought-provoking panel discussion ‘The Future of Scientific Discovery’ on November 4 with insightful and intelligent speakers who are all renowned experts in their fields.

About the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital

Celebrating 75 years

The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital - The Neuro - is a unique academic medical centre dedicated to neuroscience. The Neuro is a research and teaching institute of McGill University and forms the basis for the Neuroscience Mission of the McGill University Health Centre. Founded in 1934 by the renowned Dr. Wilder Penfield, The Neuro is recognized internationally for integrating research, compassionate patient care and advanced training, all key to advances in science and medicine. Neuro researchers are world leaders in cellular and molecular neuroscience, brain imaging, cognitive neuroscience and the study and treatment of epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and neuromuscular disorders. For more information, please visit www.mni.mcgill.ca.

Contact Information

Anita Kar
Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (The Neuro)
anita.kar [at] mcgill.ca
Office Phone: 
(514) 398-3376