New network and chair launched to tackle lung cancer
Held on June 6, 2018, on McGill University’s downtown campus under a big tent, the Goodman Cancer Research Gala this year brought together more than 800 guests and raised $3,002,906, setting a new record in its 10-year history in support of the McGill University Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Research Centre (GCRC).
With a goal to double the number of lung cancer survivors in the next decade, the GCRC concurrently launched the Lung Cancer Network, a project to unite basic and clinician scientists and clinicians in Montreal, provincially, nationally and internationally to accelerate research outcomes and, ultimately, to find cures.
“We are privileged to have at McGill an internationally renowned cancer centre where the best scientists in the field are working to decode the disease,” says Principal and Vice-Chancellor Suzanne Fortier. “By collaborating, the opportunities for discovery are multiplied, and we can begin imagining, as Morris and Rosalind Goodman did, a future that is cancer-free.”
Also announced was the creation of the McGill University Rosalind Goodman Chair in Lung Cancer Research. Dr. Logan Walsh, GCRC scientist and recruit from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, was named the inaugural chair holder.
“Research is complex, but our objectives are quite simple,” explains Morag Park, Director of the Goodman Cancer Research Centre. “We want to save lives.
In the last 10 years, we’ve gained new mechanistic insights into multiple hard-to-treat cancers, including pancreatic, breast and colorectal, as well as melanoma, which has opened doors to new treatment options. Lung cancer strikes more people than breast, prostate and colon cancer combined, and is not only associated with smoking. This disease is not going away.”
The Lung Cancer Network will facilitate collaboration among basic and clinician scientists, clinicians and patients to: better understand the disease type, particularly in the non-smoking population; improve prevention, diagnosis and treatments for lung cancer; and become one of the premier lung oncology networks, with local, national and international partnerships.
“My late wife Rosalind, who lost her battle to lung cancer in 2014, was the visionary behind all we have done,” says Morris Goodman, Co-founder of The Gala. “She would be so proud to see what has been accomplished through scientific advancements and the building of unique partnerships between all those who are committed to finding a cure. We are so fortunate as Montrealers to have this world-class research centre as a resource to all in our community.”
The more than $3 million donated by the Montreal and broader philanthropic community during this year’s Gala fundraising included $250,000 from The Gewurz Family, through a generous gift to the Montreal General Hospital Foundation.
Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau conveyed his support of the GCRC’s work in a video message at the start of the evening, as did Quebec’s Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Gaetan Barrette, who was present at the event.
The 2018 Gala marked the 10th anniversary of the Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Research Centre. Since its inception, the Gala has raised more than $10 million for cancer research, galvanizing philanthropists in the Montreal community and beyond.
About the Goodman Cancer Research Centre
The Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Research Centre (GCRC), located within McGill University’s Life Sciences Complex, is a state-of-the-art hub for ground-breaking cancer research that attracts and retains top scientists from around the world. Originally established in 1978 as the McGill Cancer Centre, the GCRC leads scientific advances that enable it to investigate cancer at a genomic, cellular and molecular level, and to understand how cancer progresses, spreads and resists therapies. The GCRC currently comprises 27 dedicated research teams with cutting-edge technology platforms, research and support staff and over 200 trainees. Research activities at the GCRC represent a first line of defense in the fight against cancer, with focus on fundamental research to understand why cancers fail to respond to treatment and translating findings into new targets and therapies.
*All photos by PBL Photography