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History of the Rosalind & Morris Goodman Cancer Institute

Picture of Phil GoldMcGill University’s tradition of research into the basic nature of cancer extends back to 1965, when Dr. Phil Gold and his colleagues from the Faculty of Medicine discovered the carcino-embryonic antigen (CEA). Today, CEA is the most frequently used antigen for diagnosing cancer. Dr. Gold was a pioneering cancer researcher and the Cancer Centre’s first Director.

The Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Institute, originally the McGill Cancer Centre (MCC), was founded in 1978 following the bequest from Sir Mortimer B. Davis. The Centre’s mandate was – and still remains – to serve as a centre for revolutionary cancer research in the Faculty of Medicine, fostering a dynamic and interdisciplinary approach to cancer research.

The success and excellence of the Centre and its researchers was first officially recognized by the University senate in 1988. The senate supported the expansion of the Centre’s research efforts and appointed an academic Chair for its then Director, Dr. Clifford P. Stanners. Under the esteemed 12-year administration of Dr. Stanners, research conducted at the Centre was largely focused towards discovering vital information surrounding the molecular mechanisms underlying the development of cancer.

In 1993, further acknowledgement came by means of continued core support and a “research centre designation” by the Fonds pour la Formation et l'aide à la recherche du Québec (FCAR).

Dr. Michel L. Tremblay succeeded as Director in July 2000 with aspirations of building a superior research space and increasing the Centre’s staff. His mandate to oversee the necessary expansion of the Centre resulted in the doubling of both research space and staff over the next ten years. Multidisciplinary research approaches were integrated to ensure an accelerated rate of discovery of molecular targets that ultimately resulted in the production of new drugs against cancer.Picture of three researchers

In 2002, the Centre’s members joined the Molecular Oncology Group of the Royal Victoria Hospital, obtaining a new standing with the Fonds de Recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ), as FRSQ research group. In addition, the Centre also received a consortium training grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to support its internationally recognized graduate and postdoctoral training in cancer research, further acknowledging the success of the Centre’s training programs.

The Centre’s research efforts were greatly supported in 2008 thanks to a remarkable donation from Rosalind and Morris Goodman. The Goodman family’s generosity resulted in the Centre being renaming the Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Research Centre in their honour. To this day, their support continues to uphold the Centre’s endeavour to make cancer a disease of the past.

Today, the state-of-the-art Centre has energized cancer research taking place at McGill University. The GCRC continues to attract world-class investigators and supports researchers as they make fundamental contributions to the worldwide effort to cure cancer.

The Centre continues to be motivated by Rosalind Goodman's words, motivation and conviction that, “Hopefully, one day there will be a cure for cancer.”

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