THE MELVILLE UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH BURSARY IN PHARMACOLOGY & THERAPEUTICS

The Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics is establishing The Melville Undergraduate Research Bursary in Pharmacology, in honour of former chair, Dr. Kenneth Melville.

GIVE Now

Kenneth Melville, BSc’26, MDCM’26, MSc’31, (1902–1975) was an extraordinary man. Born in Jamaica, he was McGill’s first Black medical student and graduated at the top of his class in 1926. In 1953, he became the first—and only—Black Chair of McGill’s Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics—and the first person from a developing country to hold a Chair at McGill. Melville was internationally respected, with a prolific scientific career. He served as a mentor for students from developing regions and was a leader in Montreal’s Caribbean community. In the spirit of Dr. Melville’s legacy, the Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics wishes to establish an Undergraduate Research Bursary in his honour.

 

Objective: Increase diversity in the pharmacology graduate program by offering funding for a summer research experience and mentorship to an undergraduate student from an underrepresented equity group.

Bursary: Stipend for a summer research internship in a Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics laboratory. The bursary covers 80%; the host laboratory contributes 20%. A formal mentorship program for the student will be provided by the supervising professor and the Faculty of Medicine’s Social Accountability and Community Engagement Office.

 

Why is this important? Summer internships will provide a distinct advantage and valuable pharmacology research experiences to undergraduate students, increasing their competitiveness when applying to graduate school or for career advancement.

 

Fund Raising Committee:

  • Dr. Bastien Castagner (Assistant Professor)
  • Dr. Gerhard Multhaup (Chair, Dept. of Pharmacology and Therapeutics)
  • Bobbi Bidochka (Research Officer)
  • Rutherford Exius (Undergraduate student representative)
  • Dr. Christopher Wright (Grandson of Dr. Melville and Senior VP at Ironwood Pharma).

 

INTERNATIONAL DONORS

 

INTERNATIONAL DONORS

You can still make a tax-deductible gift to the University through Friends of McGill University Inc. Click here: International Donor

Give your gift by cheque:

Made out to “Friends of McGill University Inc” and note “Pharmacology - Melville Bursary – 06965” on the cheque

Mail to:

Friends of McGill University Inc.
P.O. Box 28137
New York, NY 10087-8137

 

MCGILL PUBLICATIONS - November 2017

Medicine Focus - Honouring the Melville Legacy

Announcing the Melville Undergraduate Research Bursary in Pharmacology

by Dr. Bastien Castagner 

Kenneth Melville, BSc’26, MDCM’26, MSc’31, (1902–1975) was an extraordinary man. Born in Jamaica, he was McGill’s first Black medical student and graduated at the top of his class in 1926. In 1953, he became the first—and only—Black Chair of McGill’s Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics—and the first person from a developing country to hold a Chair at McGill. Melville was internationally respected, with a prolific scientific career. He served as a mentor for students from developing regions and was a leader in Montreal’s West Indian community. In the spirit of Dr. Melville’s legacy, the Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics wishes to establish an Undergraduate Research Bursary in his honour.

Objective: Increase diversity in the pharmacology program by offering funding for a summer research experience and mentorship to an undergraduate student from an underrepresented equity group.

Bursary: Stipend for a summer research internship in a Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics laboratory. The bursary covers 80%; the host laboratory contributes 20%. A formal mentorship program for the student will be provided by the supervising professor and the Faculty of Medicine’s Social Accountability and Community Engagement Office.

Why is this important? Summer internships will provide a distinct advantage and valuable pharmacology research experiences to undergraduate students, increasing their competitiveness when applying to graduate school or for career advancement.

Fund raising goal: at least $100,000 to endow the bursary.

Contact: Dr. Bastien Castagner, Assistant Professor, bastien.castagner [at] mcgill.ca

 

MCGILL PUBLICATIONS - February 2016

Medicine Focus - A man of many firsts

The Christie v. York Landmark Legal Battle:

 

Dr. Melville’s involvement in the community went beyond science. He was notably involved in raising funds for Fred Christie to fight against racial discrimination in the historic Christie v. York legal battle in the 1930s. Fred Christie was a Black chauffeur and a Montrealer for over 20 years. A committed hockey fan he had season tickets for the Montreal’s Canadians. On Saturday July 11th, 1936 he went with friends to the York Tavern on the ground floor of the Forum and was denied service based on the color of his skin. This sparked a legal fight to challenge racial discrimination by private enterprise that went all the way up to the Supreme Court. Dr. Melville chaired a committee that raised the funds necessary for this legal odyssey. Unfortunately, in 1939 the Supreme Court ultimately sided with the York corporation, effectively confirming that it was legal for private businesses to discriminate based on race. This battle was thus lost, and Christie ended up moving to Vermont. But the battle continued with the like of Viola Desmond and others. The fight against discrimination eventually made gains locally with cities and provinces passing laws. It was not until 1963 that Quebec enacted the Hotels Act that would make this type of discrimination illegal. Once again, Dr. Melville was well ahead of his time, but on the right side of history.

(Source: The African Canadian Legal Odyssey: Historical Essays, Edited by Barrington Walker, University of Toronto Press, 2012, Ch7. The Law’s Confirmation of Racial Inferiority: Christie v. York, James W. St.G. Walker p. 243-323)