Cancer research

Dr. Michel Tremblay - Owen Egan

Research into the biological nature of cancer requires a multi-faceted, interdisciplinary approach. Strong collaboration between lab- and clinic-based researchers is the key to advancing our understanding of this all-too-common disease. The Cancer Research Building brings world renowned researchers for the first time to examine the interactions between genes and proteins and to determine their roles in the cancer process. Investigators will focus their efforts in five core research areas: breast cancer, embryonic development and cancer, stem cells and signaling, metabolism and cancer, and DNA damage and instability.

“Expanding on a strong tradition of excellence in this field, the new Cancer Research Building will harness the full potential of McGill’s expertise in cancer research, thereby hastening the pace of scientific discoveries and improving quality of life for cancer patients.”

Dr. Michel L. Tremblay,
Principal Investigator, Cancer

Changing the landscape of cancer research

When Dr. Michel Tremblay took over directorship of the McGill Cancer Centre in 2000, he had a dream of building a bigger and better space for McGill’s worldrenowned cancer researchers. The opening of the new Cancer Research Building, which marks the remarkable 30-year history of what is now the Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Centre, has brought his vision to life. “My colleagues and I have created a new hub for cancer research in North America,” says Tremblay.

Situated on in the hillside of Mount Royal, the Cancer Research Building has expanded the Goodman Cancer Centre from 10,000 square feet to some 34,000 square feet. And its modern labs are far from traditional. “They are not individual rooms, but open spaces where investigators work side by side in collaboration, sharing the same chemicals, equipment and facilities,” he says. “This is a much more scientifically conducive, efficient and money-saving way to do research.”

The Goodman Cancer Centre will bring together leading investigators who will focus their research on breast cancer, embryonic development and cancer, cancer stem cells and signaling, metabolism, and DNA damage and apoptosis (programmed cell death). Some 160 researchers will share the new facilities with another 40 in the Centre’s original laboratory space in the adjacent McIntyre Medical Sciences Building, which is currently undergoing additional renovations to be completed spring 2009.

As an accomplished cancer researcher with over 25 years of experience, Tremblay knows that sound scientific research is often the result of teamwork. “You need to have access to the right people and to the technologies that are on the cutting edge,” he says. In addition to many well-established scientists, the Goodman Cancer Centre welcomes seven new faculty members who are excited about the opportunity to benefit from a sophisticated infrastructure.

Not only has the new Cancer Research Building changed the landscape of cancer research at McGill University, but it will foster a continuous stream of new ideas and technologies to advance cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment for the benefit of patients in Quebec, Canada and around the world.