On May 24, 2018, Dr. Phil Gold, the Douglas G. Cameron Professor of Medicine and Professor of Physiology and Oncology at McGill University received an honorary doctorate from Queen’s University. The degree was conferred during the afternoon convocation ceremony which brought together graduates from the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing.
“It’s always a great honour to be recognized by one’s peers, and I’m delighted to have been selected by Queen’s University to give the convocation address to the medical and nursing graduates and, to receive a D.Sc Honoris Causa,” says Dr. Gold of being selected for this latest honour in recognition of his illustrious career.
Dr. Gold obtained his BSc in Honors Physiology in 1957 and his MDCM and an MSc degree in Physiology in 1961, all at McGill. He spent 1963-1965 in the laboratories of the McGill University Medical Clinic of The Montreal General Hospital (now the Montreal General Hospital Research Institute) obtaining a PhD. Dr. Gold’s co-discovery of the Carcinoembryonic Antigen (CEA), along with the description of alpha-fetoprotein at about the same time, ushered in the modern era of human tumour marker research along with the broad ramifications that this work has had over the past five decades. He has served as Chairman of the Department of Medicine at McGill and Physician-in-Chief at the Montreal General Hospital. He is presently the Executive Director of the Clinical Research Centre of the McGill University Health Centre.
In their citation, Queen’s noted that Dr. Gold is “revered by generations of students, post-graduates and residents for his inspiring and dynamic instruction, as well as his genuine regard and kindness for those he has mentored, skillfully employing humour and plain speaking to build a bridge of understanding.”
In addition to this most recent honour, Dr. Gold has been elected to numerous prestigious organizations and has been the recipient of such outstanding awards as the Gairdner Foundation Annual International Award (1978), the Isaak Walton Killam Award in Medicine of the Canada Council (1985), the National Cancer Institute of Canada R.M. Taylor Medal (1992), the Heath Medal of the MD Anderson Hospital (1980), the Inaugural Ernest C. Manning Foundation Award (1982), the Johann-Georg-Zimmerman Prize for Cancer Research (1978), Medizinische Hochschule, Germany (1978), the Award of the Academy of International Dental Studies (1984), and the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Medal (2002). In 2006, the Phil Gold Chair in Medicine was inaugurated at McGill University, and the first incumbent was selected in 2009. Dr. Gold was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in 2010. He received the Life Time Achievement Award from McGill University in October 2011 and the McGill University’s Gerald Bronfman Center Lifetime Achievement Award, Department of Oncology in November 2012. Dr. Gold is an Honorary Member of the Golden Key Chapter of McGill, received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award in 2012 and the Prix du Québec, Prix Wilder-Penfield in November 2013. In 2017 he was selected to participate in the Einstein Legacy Project, an ambitious global initiative to inspire the next generation of brilliant minds and bring fresh thinking to the problems facing our planet.
Dr. Gold has also been elected to membership in the Royal Society of Canada, the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI), the Association of American Physicians (AAP), and Mastership in the American College of Physicians. His outstanding contributions to teaching have been recognized by an award as a Teacher of Distinction from the Faculty of Medicine. He has been honoured by his country, his province his city, and his university by appointment as a Companion of the Order of Canada, an Officer of l’Ordre National du Québec, a member of the Academy of Great Montrealers; and a recipient of the Gold Medal of the McGill University Graduate Society, respectively.
As the citation states, Dr. Gold’s “body of achievement stands as an inspiring example for those who work to advance scientific knowledge in the service to humanity.”
Congratulations Dr. Gold!