National Bank is pleased to announce a donation of $500,000 to the Université de Montréal's Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC), for the creation of cancer-research laboratories and technology platforms as well as the acceleration of anticancer drug discovery.
Eventually, the new facilities installed on the fourth floor of the Institute will play host to eight research teams and create over 100 high-level jobs.
IRIC is an ultramodern research hub and training centre situated at the heart of the Université de Montréal whose mission is to shed light on the mechanisms of cancer and speed up the discovery of new and more effective therapies for the disease. A one-of-a-kind institution, the Institute employs 450 people, including 27 principal investigators, making for one of the most important concentrations of researchers in Canada working together to defeat cancer. In addition, IRIC is noted for a cancer drug discovery chain. The contribution of over 30 medicinal chemists and professionals from the biopharmaceutical industry is another distinguishing feature of IRIC.
As part of the inauguration of the new development held at IRIC on November 25, 2014, Robert McCollough, vice-president of government affairs for National Bank, stressed “the importance for our institution of supporting learning and the transfer of knowledge, in particular in the area of health, where leading-edge research is paramount. Which is why National Bank is proud to be associated with IRIC, where in less than a decade, important scientific advances have already been made against cancer.”
“The establishment of world-calibre scientific-research programs in the academic environment is of prime importance,” added Yves Beauchamp, vice-rector at the new campus and of development at the Université de Montréal. “Excellence in research comes by way of innovation and through recruiting and retaining notable researchers. For that to happen, it is essential that there be access to facilities like IRIC's if we are to rank with the finest cancer-research centres in the world.”
Michel Bouvier, chief executive officer of IRIC, thanked “the representatives of National Bank for this generous financial contribution, which promises to have a major impact on the evolution of our institute. This development project in the field of biomedical research and drug discovery in Québec contributes to consolidating our capacity for innovation and to attracting the finest researchers on an international scale to create the most innovative team possible in the field of cancer research. This support from National Bank will help us build on what IRIC has already achieved in addition to offering the scientific community technology platforms and new opportunities for major scientific discoveries having significant benefits for people with cancer.”
The first phase in the development of a medicinal chemistry core facility at a cost of $8.7 million was made possible thanks to the Knowledge Infrastructure Program of the Ministère de l'Économie, de l'Innovation et des Exportations (MEIE) and Industry Canada. The second phase, the addition of new research labs and technology platforms, was financed further to the awarding of $5.8 million by MEIE and co-financing by National Bank.
About the National Bank of Canada
With assets of $199 billion as at July 31, 2014, the National Bank of Canada (www.bnc.ca), together with its subsidiaries, forms one of Canada's leading integrated financial groups. It has more than 20,000 employees and is widely recognized as a top employer. Its shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: NA). Thanks to its donation and sponsorship program and to the initiatives of its employees, National Bank each year supports hundreds of Canadian organizations. Its actions are focused on various sectors of activity – health, the young, entrepreneurship and community mutual aid – but all are aimed at generating benefits for the communities concerned. For more information: commitment.nationalbank.ca
About the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer
An ultra-modern research hub and training centre located in the heart of the Université de Montreal, the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) was created in 2003 to shed light on the mechanisms of cancer and discover new, more effective therapies to counter this disease. IRIC operates according to a model that is unique in Canada. Its innovative approach to research has already led to discoveries that will, over the coming years, have a significant impact on the fight against cancer. For further information: www.iric.ca
About Université de Montréal
Deeply rooted in Montreal and dedicated to its international mission, the Université de Montréal is one of the top universities in the French-speaking world. Founded in 1878, the Université de Montréal today has 16 faculties and together with its two affiliated schools, HEC Montréal and École Polytechnique, constitutes the largest centre of higher education and research in Québec and one of the major centres in North America. It brings together 2,600 professors and researchers, accommodates more than 65,000 students. For more information: www.umontreal.ca
Manon Pepin Director, Communications and Media Relations
Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer
IRIC Université de Montréal