David S. Rosenblatt is a world leader in multiple facets of human genetics, including research, clinical practice, and education. As a professor of Human Genetics, Medicine, Pediatrics, and Biology at McGill University in Montreal, Dr. Rosenblatt has made major contributions to genetics research, adding to our knowledge of inherited metabolic diseases. As chair of the university’s Department of Human Genetics for the past 11 years, Dr. Rosenblatt has built an outstanding department that has achieved international prominence for research as well as the education of basic and clinical scientists, clinical and laboratory geneticists, and genetic counselors.
Since 2000, he and his collaborators have identified the genes for five disorders, leading to a more complete understanding of vitamin metabolism and better approaches to detect carriers and diagnose these disorders. Dr. Rosenblatt directs one of only two referral laboratories in the world for patients born with metabolic diseases related to folic acid and VitaminB12.
Dr. Rosenblatt has served as President of the Society for Inherited Metabolic Disorders, the Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation, and the Association of Medical Geneticists of Quebec. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and a Correspondant etranger of the Academie Nationale de Medecine of France.
Bartha Maria Knoppers is a lawyer, Canada’s leading bioethicist, and a world authority on the ethical aspects of genetics, genomics and biotechnology. Dr. Knoppers founded the international Population Project in Genomics and Society (P3G) with the goal of coordinating international efforts and expertise in the policy area of genomics and the impact on human health. She also launched the CARTaGENE bio-bank project in Quebec. Through CARTaGENE, scientists collect soda-demographic and medical data from across the province and bank it for future research.
Dr. Knoppers’s career in genetics and ethics reaches back to the 1990s when she served on the International Bioethics Committee of UNESCO, the United Nations organization that drafted the Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights. Since then she has played key roles in Genome Canada, Genome Quebec and the Canadian Stem Cell Network.
Currently Dr. Knoppers holds the Canada Research Chair in Law and Medicine at McGill University and she is the director of the Centre of Genomics and Policy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Human Genetics. Along with a host of other honours, Dr. Knoppers is also chair of the Ethics Working Party of the International Stem Cell Forum, the co-chair of the Sampling/ELSI Committee of the 1 000 Genomes Project, and a member of the Scientific Steering Committee of the International Cancer Genome Consortium.
(Photo: Jaesung Kim, Alison Brebner, Moria Belanger, Peg Illson, Lena Dolman, Tracy Wang, Kush Prithipaul, Wayne Mah, Francis Petrella)
Message from Moria Belanger:
I would like to thank everyone who came out to skate, cheer, and donate on Saturday for the Free Skate/Shootout to support CanSupport. It was immensely successful and over $300 were raised! Special thanks to Francis for being our goalie and for booking the ice time, as well as to everyone who brought extra skates and helmets for people to use. I had a great time and I hope that everyone else did too! Congratulations on the trophy Alison! Hip hip hooray! I hope we can do this again!
The annual Department of Human Genetics Teaching Award is given to one member of the clinical faculty and one member of the research faculty to recognize their contributions in the teaching, supervision and mentorship of students.
This year’s winners were chosen from among several nominations submitted by students, residents and faculty members, and were announced at the Department meeting on March 14th and at the Graduate Student research Day on June 21st.
David Rosenblatt, MD
Patricia Tonin, PhD
Congratulations to the winners!
Please keep your ideas in mind for next year’s award nominees.
The Faculty Awards Committee:
Congratulations to the Winners of our Research Day Prizes:
Xiaoyang Liu – 1st prize, oral presentation
Jaeseung Kim – 1st prize, poster presentation
Juan Pablo Lopez – 2nd prize, oral presentation
Lena Dolman – 2nd prize, poster presentation
Gregory Boivin – 3rd prize, oral presentation
Jeremy Saban – 3rd prize, poster presentation
It is our pleasure to announce that Bartha Maria Knoppers, Director of the Centre of Genomics & Policy and Professor in the Department of Human genetics received the Order of Québec on June 7th, 2012 in Québec City. Please see her profile here.
David L. Rimoin, MD, PhD
The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) Mourns the Loss of Founding President and Genetics Pioneer David L. Rimoin, MD, PhD
After a career that spanned nearly half a century, Dr. David L. Rimoin, founding president of ACMG and in many ways the founder of one of the most fast- paced specialties in modern clinical medicine, passed away on Sunday May 27, 2012 in Los Angeles of pancreatic cancer, which had only been diagnosed a few days before.
Dr. Rimoin was a giant in the field of medical genetics. He leaves not only an enduring legacy but also a void in the hearts of the many who loved him, including his beloved wife Ann of 32 years and their three cherished children, Anne, Michael and Lauren.
Clarke Fraser was inducted to the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in 2012 http://www.cdnmedhall.org/list-name?year=2012
If you haven’t heard it already, Dr. Fraser was interviewed by CBC radio. The podcast can be heard here (fast forward to about 19 minutes 30 seconds) http://podcast.cbc.ca/w6/worldatsix.mp3
On April 24, during a ceremony at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, Mary Argent-Katwala, Director of Research at the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute, presented the William E. Rawls Prize to Dr Nada Jabado, researcher at the Montreal Children’s Hospital of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at McGill University.
The Canadian Cancer Society wants to recognize “Dr Nada Jabado’s remarkable contribution to our understanding of brain cancers in children in the last decade,” Mary Argent-Katwala said at the award ceremony.
At the Montreal Children’s Hospital, Dr Jabado diagnoses fatal tumours. Brain cancers are the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among children because existing treatments are often ineffective. A caring doctor, Dr Jabado focuses on research to one day give hope to the children she treats. “What I am hopeful and proud of is that my work might one day help cure these cancers,” the researcher said.
Innovative in her research, Dr Jabado established a multidisciplinary team composed of pediatric oncologists, bioinformaticians, pathologists and basic scientists. She then equipped the laboratory with a database of childhood tumours, thanks to the collaboration of her peers in Canada and abroad.
To this day, her work has led to great progress in the understanding of brain cancers in children and paved the way for promising treatments. Dr Jabado’s team has most notably identified a genetic mutation present in 40% of glioblastomas, a type of brain cancer. It explains the resistance of glioblastomas to radiation and chemotherapy.
Her recent work has also been the subject of several articles, notably two that appeared in Nature magazine (January and February 2012 issues).
She also won the Maude Abbott prize which was established in 2010 by the Faculty of Medicine in order to recognize outstanding female Faculty Members who excel in Education, Research or Administration with a focus at the early career stage.