Mr. Alan Edwards, who gave his time, energy and financial support to McGill for more than 20 years, was a tireless supporter of pain research and the treatment of those suffering from chronic pain. He founded and served as the Director of the Louise and Alan Edwards Foundation, was a Board Member of the McGill Centre for Research on Pain, and Director of Development for the Montreal General Hospital Pain Centre of the McGill University Health Centre until his death in the spring of 2007.
McGill first became famous for its pain research when Ron Melzack and Pat Wall published their seminal gate control theory in 1965. Since that time, McGill has continued to be a leader in pain research, but its impact on the world stage has increased dramatically in the last decade, as some of the top researchers from around the world joined McGill after the formation of the McGill Centre for Research on Pain in 2003.
With the mandate to promote the basic and clinical study of pain mechanisms and treatment, researchers from the Faculties of Medicine, Dentistry and Science come together to promote research that will result in cures for chronic pain. Through its own activities and international collaborations, the Centre focuses on new discoveries and their clinical applications that will improve the prevention and treatment of chronic pain.
From its inception, Mr. Edwards was a staunch supporter, raising funds for renovations and staffing of facilities. Always most passionate about supporting young scientists and clinicians, he created the Ron Melzack Clinical Fellowships and the Louise Edwards grants and recently provided endowed funds to support the Directorship of the MUHC-Montreal General Hospital Pain Centre. Together with the Louise and Alan Edwards Foundation, he also established three endowment funds to support clinical and basic research on pain at McGill.
Due in large part to the generosity of Mr. Edwards, McGill is now a world leader in the study and treatment of pain. It was Mr. Edwards' sense of public service, his willingness to assist the most vulnerable, his desire to empower others and his contributions to the development of chronic pain research that inspired McGill to name the Centre in his memory.
Dr. Catherine Bushnell, Professor of Dentistry and Neurology, the Harold Griffith Professor of Anesthesia and Director of the McGill Centre for Research on Pain, said: "Last spring we mourned the death of Mr. Alan Edwards. Today, however, we celebrate his life and his passionate commitment to McGill University and, in particular, his longstanding support of pain research. There can be no finer tribute. The Alan Edwards Centre for Research on Pain is a world-renowned institution and leader in the study and treatment of pain."
For more information on the Alan Edwards Centre for Research on Pain, please visit the Centre's website.