McGill University, Université de Montréal establish post-graduate fellowships
McGill University and Université de Montréal have created a program of post-graduate research fellowships aimed at finding a cure for leukemia and other cancer-related illnesses. The fellowship program is made possible by a generous investment from the Cole Foundation, a Montreal-based non-profit organization dedicated to promoting research to eradicate leukemia.
The initial fellowship program will last 16 months and will spread $1 million among 28 individual clinician scientists, post-doctoral researchers and students in the doctoral and master’s programs. Of the 28 recipients, 18 are associated with various medical departments at Université de Montréal or with research laboratories at Le Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal – Ste. Justine Research Centre, Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer and Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont. The remaining 10 fellowships are divided among the McGill University Health Centre – namely the Montreal Children’s Hospital Research Centre, the Royal Victoria Hospital and the Montreal Neurological Institute – as well as the Lady Davis Research Centre at the Jewish General Hospital and various medical departments at McGill. Subsequent fellowship awards are expected to last two years and will be funded with approximately $1,000,000 each year.
“The Cole Foundation’s notable investment in leukemia research at McGill and Université de Montréal will enable both institutions to attract the best researchers to help us achieve our common goal, which is to one day find a cure for all forms of leukemia and related diseases,” said Dr. Richard Levin, Vice-Principal, Health Affairs, and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at McGill.
“Thirty years ago, four out of five children suffering from acute forms of leukemia would die. Today, research has reversed that situation: four out of five children survive but these children are susceptible to secondary diseases and conditions later in life,” explained Dr. Jean L. Rouleau, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Université de Montréal. “Continuous follow-up is one of several objectives set by pediatric oncology and hematology research teams. Thanks to the essential and vital support of the Cole Foundation, our researchers are enabled to pursue this fight.”
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 was 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 of Pediatric Oncology and Hematology at McGill University.
“Over the past 25 years, the Cole Foundation has contributed millions of dollars to the Montreal medical community,” said Don Sinclair, President of the Cole Foundation. “The Foundation’s mission is to help find a cure for leukemia. With this fellowship program at both universities, our objective is to make Montreal a Centre of Excellence for leukemia research. Through the collaborative efforts of both universities and the researchers themselves, we hope to accelerate the search for better medical care for all patients afflicted with this terrible disease.”