McGill has long been a leader in biomedical research.
The McGill School of Biomedical Sciences (SBMS) was established in April 2020, as part of Project Renaissance, to better serve the unique needs of research-focused departments and allow them to continue leading in their fields. Under the same restructuring, the Faculty of Medicine - founded in 1829 and Canada's oldest medical faculty - became the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, to reflect the significant contributions of the research and health professions programs within the Faculty.
The SBMS brings together nine biomedical research units: the Departments of Anatomy & Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Biomedical Engineering, Human Genetics, Microbiology & Immunology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics, and Physiology, as well as the Goodman Cancer Institute and the Victor Phillip Dahdaleh Institute of Genomic Medicine.
McGill has long been a leader in biomedical research. Celebrated discoveries from our pioneering researchers include the identification of stem cells and the theory of stem cell renewal in 1953 by Charles Leblond and his student Yves Clermont; the world’s first cancer biomarker, carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), by Samuel Freedman and Phil Gold in 1965; and the identification of exosomes, vesicles that carry proteins and genetic information between cells, by Rose Johnstone, the first and as yet only female Chair of the Department of Biochemistry. Our current members are world leaders in cancer research, genomics, biophysics and bioengineering, and are unlocking disease processes to open up promising new therapeutic pathways.
The stories of our departments
To learn more about the varied and fascinating histories of our units and their ground breaking work over the years, please visit their individual history pages:
- The History of the Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology
- The History of the Department of Biochemistry
- The History of the Department of Biomedical Engineering
- The History of the Department of Human Genetics
- The History of the Department of Microbiology & Immunology
- The History of the Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics
- The History of the Department of Physiology
- The History of the Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Institute