World-Renowned Scientist gives $1 million to the MNI


Dr. Brenda Milner, world-renowned pioneer in the field of memory research and faculty member at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) at McGill University for over 50 years, announced today that she will donate $1 million dollars towards the MNI’s ‘Thinking Ahead’ Campaign. “There is a tremendous sense of privilege to have been able to work all these years at an Institute with such a culture of excellence. I wanted to give back,” says Milner. The gift was announced at today’s launch of the campaign, a five-year $40 million initiative to invest in people and expand facilities and services at the MNI.

The Brenda Milner Foundation, created from her life savings and prize money invested over the span of her career, reinforces Dr. Milner’s commitment to future scientists, providing opportunities for those around the world to experience the dynamic academic and clinical environment at the MNI. The Foundation will support and foster young researchers in the field of cognitive neuroscience through postdoctoral fellowships at the MNI.

“Brenda Milner has had an exceptional influence on the shape of neuroscience and on the lives of scientists around the world. With this gift she continues to encourage the most talented young people to study cognitive neuroscience, and her legacy will be a lasting program that will support outstanding young scientists,” says Dr. David Colman, Director of the MNI. “This is an extraordinary gift from an extraordinary person.”

Dr. Brenda Milner is the Dorothy J. Killam Professor at the Montreal Neurological Institute, and a Professor in the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University. The origins of modern cognitive neuroscience of memory can be traced directly to her rigorous and imaginative studies. She has been the recipient of countless accolades throughout her almost six-decade long career. Dr. Milner is a prestigious foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) - one of only sixteen from Canada - and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has been awarded Honorary Degrees from an astounding 19 different universities across Canada, the United States and Europe. She is the recipient of numerous academic awards and is a fellow of both the Royal Society of London and the Royal Society of Canada. In 2004 Dr. Milner was promoted to Companion of the Order of Canada.

Lead gifts from Manulife Financial and the company’s CEO Dominic D’Alessandro, and the Cyril & Dorothy and Joel & Jill Reitman Family Foundation were also announced today.


About the MNI
The Montreal Neurological Institute is a McGill University research and teaching institute, dedicated to the study of the nervous system and neurological diseases. Founded in 1934 by the renowned Dr. Wilder Penfield, the MNI is one of the world’s largest institutes of its kind. MNI 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. The MNI, with its clinical partner, the Montreal Neurological Hospital (MNH), part of the McGill University Health Centre, continues to integrate research, patient care and training, and is recognized as one of the premier neuroscience centres in the world. At the MNI, we believe in investing in the faculty, staff and students who conduct outstanding research, provide advanced, compassionate care of patients and who pave the way for the next generation of medical advances. Highly talented, motivated people are the engine that drives research – the key to progress in medical care.

Contact Information

Anita Kar
anita.kar [at]
Office Phone: