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Published: 8 September 2003

Innovative centre to enable cross-disciplinary research to break new boundaries

Fifty years after the discovery of DNA an innovative research hub is opening its doors in Montreal. 740 Dr. Penfield, a centre focused on genomics, proteomics and bone research was inaugurated today by McGill University and the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). This new facility will be at the forefront of rapidly emerging fields of medical science, enabling an unprecedented degree of collaboration among researchers from different disciplines and institutions.

"This building is the epitome of modern science," says the Honourable Lucienne Robillard, President of the Treasury Board and Member of Parliament for Westmount - Ville-Marie, on behalf of Allan Rock, Minister of Industry. "It is an example of Canada's commitment to excellence in medical research. The support from agencies, including Genome Canada, the Canada Foundation for Innovation and Canada Economic Development, are crucial in maintaining our country's excellence. The construction of this new hub is also a critical step toward recruiting and retaining Canada's top research talent."

The centre will encourage a multidisciplinary approach to research. Engineers, biologists and mathematicians will work side-by-side to examine the interactions between genes and proteins and determine their roles in a wide range of diseases.
"The opening of 740 Dr. Penfield will lead to advances in research and will benefit patients from Quebec and around the world," says Michel Audet, Quebec Minister of Economic and Regional Development. "I am proud of the support and collaboration from the ministère de l'Éducation, du Développement économique et régional, the ministère de la Santé et des services sociaux du Québec and organizations such as Génome Québec and Valorisation-Recherche Québec which have given life to this project."

"With the addition of 740 Dr. Penfield, Montreal is confirming its competitive advantage in terms of human and knowledge capital and proving once again that our city is one of creativity and innovation that is open to the world," adds Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay.

McGill Principal Heather Munroe-Blum goes further. "Today, in addition to celebrating the opening of a new research hub," she says, "we're giving scientists a remarkable place to propel knowledge and reach their full potential here in Montreal. With strong support from the people of Quebec and Canada, through government at both levels, we are again highlighting McGill, Montreal, Quebec and Canada as hotbeds of life sciences innovation.

The new research facility will house four scientific groups: the McGill University and Génome Québec Innovation Centre (formally know as the Montreal Genome Centre), the Réseau Protéomique de Montréal/Montreal Proteomics Network, The Centre for Bone and Periodontal Research / Jamson T.N. Wong Laboratories for Bone and Periodontal Research, as well as four biobusiness incubators, which include the William H. Donner Laboratories for Biotechnology.

Researchers at 740 Dr. Penfield are enthusiastic about sharing facilities. "Cross-disciplinary research is essential for future discoveries, say Dr. David Goltzman, MUHC chief of Medicine and Director of the Centre for Bone and Periodontal Research. "740 Dr. Penfield will facilitate collaboration and as a result, will hasten the pace of discoveries."

Fourteen funding partners contributed to the construction of the new facilities. "These partners are an integral part of advancing quality research," says Dr. Thomas Hudson, the catalyst behind 740 Dr. Penfield and Director of the McGill University and Génome Québec Innovation Centre. "Without these partners our visions would never have been realized."

"Because of the sophisticated technology and the highly trained people at 740 Dr. Penfield, the member labs of the Réseau Protéomique de Montréal/Montreal Proteomics Network, will perform research that would simply not be possible otherwise," adds Dr. John Bergeron, Director of the Réseau Protéomique de Montréal/Montreal Proteomics Network. "740 Dr. Penfield has enabled research scientists around the city of Montreal to greatly accelerate the discovery process as we search for causes and cures to human disease."

"It is fitting that 50 years after the discovery of DNA, we inaugurate a centre focusing on genomics and proteomics research," concludes Paul L'Archevêque CEO of Génome Québec. "740 Dr. Penfield will be a research powerhouse and Génome Québec is pleased to be involved with this project."

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