Regretfully, I must inform the Department of the death yesterday of F Clarke Fraser at the age of 94.
One of the founders of medical genetics, Clarke was both a PhD (1945) and MDCM (1950) graduate of McGill University. Together with Charles Scriver, he was one of the pillars of the ‘golden age’ of genetics at the MCH. His achievements in his chosen field are legendary and were recognized several years ago by both the awarding of a Honorary Doctorate from McGill and induction into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.
For those who had the privilege of knowing Clarke and working with him, his intelligence, kindness and passion for both science and its application to the clinical situation was always readily apparent. He always radiated class and distinction and delivered his wisdom wrapped in a sly humor that was accompanied by a twinkle in his eye. He demonstrated an enormous intimacy and dexterity with language. Learning with him was Socratic and also always osmotic. He launched many of us in the direction of first chromosomes and then genes and now the epigenome.
He will be missed. He will be remembered.
Please join me in extending our condolences to his family and friends.
Michael Shevell, MD CM, FRCPC, FAAN, FANA, FCAHS
Chairman, Department of Pediatrics
Professor (with Tenure)
Departments of Pediatrics and Neurology/Neurosurgery
Dr. William Foulkes Inducted as CAHS Fellow
The Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS) recently elected Dr. William Foukles as a Fellow. It is one the highest honours that is presented in the Canadian health sciences community. The Department of Human Genetics at McGill congratulates Dr. Foulkes on receiving this prestigious honour.
Dr. Foulkes a Professor in the Departments of Oncology, Medicine and Human Genetics at McGill, and Director of McGill’s Program in Cancer Genetics, has made seminal contributions to cancer genetics in Canada.
As a clinician, he has offered counselling and advice to thousands of individuals at increased risk for cancer. In the laboratory, he has identified the cause of some forms of cancer and has studied their clinical-pathological correlates.
His work has been highly cited and its excellence has been recognized both nationally and internationally.
(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.