Message from the Chair

Dr. Gerald Batist Dr. Gerald Batist
Chair from 2001 to 2010
Dr. Eduardo Franco Dr. Eduardo Franco
Interim Chair 2011 - 2013
Chair from 2013

The Department of Oncology at McGill University was founded in January 1990. The creation of the Department was made possible by a generous donation from the Bronfman family who chose this manner in which to commemorate the late Minda de Gunzburg, daughter of Samuel and Saidye Bronfman, wife of Baron Alain de Gunzburg, and herself a victim of cancer.

As a result of the Bronfmans’ generosity, the Gerald Bronfman Centre for Cancer Research became a reality. However, the Marjorie and Gerald Bronfman Endowment represents so much more than a building. It provides the means to initiate innovative programs in cancer research that will have a profound impact on the quality of cancer care.

The Centre houses the administrative offices of the Department and serves as a gathering place for our many members spread out across the campus and in the hospitals.

New Initiatives

The Department’s dedication to growth and development means that new initiatives are a way of life for us. Our Program and Division leaders generate a tremendous amount of successful academic and clinical activity and the Department has evolved extensively since its inception. Programs initiated over the past few years are gathering momentum; however, we are always hard at work to reinvigorate the Department to consolidate our place on the cutting edge.

With a focus on developing dynamic activities that justify structures and a particular emphasis on multidisciplinary academic programs, innovative curricula such as the Cancer Prevention Program and the McGill Programs in Whole Person Care were born. In the same ground-breaking spirit, the Cancer Nutrition-Rehabilitation Program joins physicians, nurses, dieticians, physiotherapists, neurologists and pulmonologists, and the Community Oncology Program brings together community doctors, oncologists, palliative care physicians and nurses.

Alliances with other departments at McGill have also produced exciting new programs that cross disciplines. The Psychosocial Oncology Program links Oncology and Psychology. In this area, we have gone even further with the development of the Psychosocial Oncology Option (PSOO), in which researchers in the fields of psychosocial oncology, palliative care, nursing and psychology contribute to this fascinating perspective. We have also cooperated with the School of Nursing to co-develop Nursing Oncology and with Human Genetics to create the Human Cancer Genetics Program. The Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology Program is a joint venture between the Department of Oncology and the Department of Medicine, and addresses one of the many rising concerns associated with cancer behaviour.

These efforts are a testament not only to the diligence of our researchers and clinicians, but to our acknowledgement and deference of the scope of the disease. We are also extremely proud of our ability to take every opportunity available to us to successfully battle cancer.

As we continually move forward in developing oncology at McGill and in Québec, we never forget that an important part of our job is to ensure that these efforts lead to benefits for our patients and the community at large. Our mandate in RUIS McGill provides us with the opportunity to realize this goal.