New name for McGill Department of Oncology

Published: 13 June 2016

McGill Newsroom

Newly named Gerald Bronfman Department of Oncology recognizes family’s enduring support

In recognition of the Bronfman family’s enduring support for oncology programs and research at McGill University, the Faculty of Medicine’s Department of Oncology has been named the Gerald Bronfman Department of Oncology, in honour of one of the family’s major benefactors.

“McGill is very grateful for the outstanding friendship and support of the Bronfman family, which has extended over nearly half a century,” said McGill University’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Suzanne Fortier.  “Their dedicated commitment to advancing oncology at McGill has had a profound impact not only on our capacity to advance clinical research and discovery in this vital area, but on the lives and hopes of patients and families affected by cancer.”

In 1990, a landmark gift commemorating Minda de Gunzburg, a family member who had passed away from cancer provided the impetus for the creation of McGill’s Department of Oncology, the first such department in Canada.

In 1992, the Marjorie and Gerald Bronfman Foundation and members of Gerald Bronfman’s family celebrated his memory with the opening of the Gerald Bronfman Centre for Clinical Research in Oncology. The Centre serves as the home base for the Department’s flagship clinical research program and the administrative hub for its many innovative oncology-related initiatives. They also established the Gerald Bronfman Fund in Oncology to provide ongoing core funding and support to the Department as it grew and diversified its activities.

These transformative investments created a vitally important hub for cancer studies and treatment at McGill and its teaching hospitals, ushering in a prolific new era in cancer-related activities and laying the foundation for one of Canada’s preeminent centres for clinical oncology research.

“My father would have been deeply moved to have received this honour,” said his daughter, Judy Bronfman-Thau. “He was a compassionate and hopeful man, who had a deep commitment to community and affection for McGill.”

Over the years, other McGill donors have supported the Department of Oncology’s groundbreaking work, most notably by endowing prestigious academic chairs which have made the Department a locus for innovative research and a magnet for top investigators, new research grants, infrastructure funding and talented graduate students.

Today, the Gerald Bronfman Department of Oncology coordinates and facilitates the academic and research activities of more than 20 divisions and specialty training programs. Its scope of operations has expanded to include units across McGill, including the Goodman Cancer Research Centre, the Rossy Cancer network, the McGill University Health Centre and Cedars Cancer Centre, the Segal Comprehensive Cancer Centre at the Jewish General Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital Center.

“For the past 26 years, the Department of Oncology has been an important hub for clinical and population health research programs that have advanced the science of cancer therapy and control, improved the quality of oncological care for cancer patients and identified new cancer screening and prevention strategies,” said its current Chair, Dr. Eduardo Franco. “It is very gratifying to now associate the important developments we have made in the field of cancer with a man whose heart and legacy have played such a pivotal role in these successes.”

About McGill University

McGill University is Canada’s top institution of higher learning and one of the leading universities in the world. With students coming to McGill from some 150 countries, its student body is the most internationally diverse of any research-intensive university in the country. McGill was founded in 1821 thanks to a generous bequest by James McGill, and since then has grown from a small college to a bustling university with two campuses. Its 11 faculties and 11 professional schools offer more than 300 programs of study to some 39,500 graduate, undergraduate and continuing studies students. McGill ranks 1st in Canada among medical-doctoral universities (Maclean’s) and 24th in the world (QS World University Rankings). The University is proud to be named one of Montreal’s Top Employers.

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