1961 - 1980

John O'Keefe
Photo by Per Henning, NTNU [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

MA'64 and PhD'1967: John O'Keefe

John O'Keefe, a renowned neuroscientist, received both his masters and doctorate from McGill University in the department of Psychology before co-winning the Noble Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2014.

He is currently Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre in Neural Circuits and Behaviour at University College London where his research advances our understanding of how the brain works.

Spinal chord mechanisms subserving pain perception

Master of Arts
Department of Psychology

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Response properties of amygdalar units in the freely moving cat

Doctor of Philosophy
Department of Psychology

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Thomas Chang
Photo: Old McGill yearbook, 1957

PhD'65: Thomas Chang

Thomas Chang is a scientist and professor in the areas of physiology, medicine, and biomedical engineering. Among his achievements is creating the world's first artificial cell. This work paved the way for advances in gene therapy, nanotechnology, and regenerative medicine.

For his work Chang has been awarded the Order of Canada and been twice nominated for the Nobel Prize (Medicine/Physiology). His accomplishments also earned him the honour of being voted the Greatest McGillian in 2011.

Semipermeable aqueous microcapsules
Doctor of Philosophy

Department of Physiology

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Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga
Photo by World Economic Forum from Cologny, Switzerland (World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2007) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

PhD'65: Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga

Former president of the Republic of Latvia (1999-2007), Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga completed her PhD in experimental psychology under the supervision of Donald Hebb (another notable alumnus on this site) in 1965. She returned to her native Latvia in 1998, where she became the country’s sixth president in 1999, helping to secure membership in the EU and NATO. She was appointed Special Envoy to the Secretary General on United Nations reform and was official candidate for UN Secretary General in 2006.  She is also known for her work in psycholinguistics, semiotics and analysis of Latvian oral literature.

Concept learning in hyperactive and normal children

Doctor of Philosophy
Department of Psychology

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Stevan Harnad
Photo: Old McGill yearbook, 1967

MA'69: Stevan Harnad

Stevan Harnad completed an MA in Psychology at McGill under Donald Hebb and went on to earn a doctorate at Princeton. He is now a professor of psychology at L'Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and is a well-known scholar in cognitive sciences.  Harnad was one of the pioneers of the open access movement and continues to be strong advocate for free global access to scholarly publications.

The effects of fixation, attention, and report on the frequency and duration of visual disappearances

Master of Arts
Department of Psychology

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Witold Rybczynski
Photo: Old McGill yearbook, 1966

MArch'72: Witold Rybczynski

Witold Rybczynski, an award-winning author and architect, received both an Bachelor of Architecture (1966) and a Master of Architecture (1972) degree from McGill . He has written extensively on the subjects of housing, architecture, and technology for popular magazines such as The Atlantic, Slate, and the New Yorker. In 1986, he won the Governor General's Award for non-fiction. Rybczynski is also Emeritus Professor of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania.

The sanitary aspects of housing in rural and urban areas in which water supply plays an important role

Master of Architecture
School of Architecture

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figure of Munasinghe's thesis
Figure from Numerical solutions for acoustic Rayleigh wave scattering in discontinous media, page 67

PhD'73: Mohan Munasinghe

Best known for being the Vice-Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice-President of the United States Al Gore, Mohan Munasinghe obtained his PhD in Electrical Engineering from McGill in 1973, writing about solid state physics.

Numerical solutions for acoustic Rayleigh wave scattering in discontinous media

Doctor of Philosophy
Department of Electrical Engineering

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Lorne Trottier
Photo by Owen Egan

MEng'73: Lorne Trottier

Lorne Trottier is an engineer, businessman and philanthropist who co-founded Matrox Electronic Systems Ltd. In 2007, he was awarded the Order of Canada.

Trottier and his family support many McGill initiatives such as the Mini-Science Series as well as the Lorne Trottier Public Science Symposium Series designed "to inform, inspire debate and raise public awareness on contemporary issues confronting society today.”


An investigation of digital vocoders

Master of Engineering
Department of Electrical Engineering

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John McCallum
Photo by Day Donaldson [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

PhD'77: John McCallum

After receiving his PhD from McGill for his research on economic and agricultural development of the 19th century, John McCallum went on to teach economics and become the Dean of the Faculty of Arts. He also served  as Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist of the Royal Bank of Canada. McCallum has been a Liberal Member of Parliament since 2000 and has acted as Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions), Minister of National Defence,  Minister of Veterans Affairs, and Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. He is currently Canada's ambassador to China. 

Agriculture and economic development in Quebec and Ontario to 1870

Doctor of Philosphy
Department of Economics

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