A $2 million donation from the Morris and Rosalind Goodman Family Foundation will help create an ecosystem focused on entrepreneurship and drug development.
A new wind of innovation is blowing through the Faculty of Pharmacy at the Université de Montréal thanks to a donation of $2 million from the Morris and Rosalind Goodman Family Foundation.
This financial support will go towards creating an ecosystem focused on entrepreneurship and drug development, ushering in a new era of innovation at the faculty.
Goodman graduated in pharmacy at UdeM in 1953 and two decades later went on to co-found the Montreal pharmaceutical company Pharmascience Inc.
With the creation of the Fonds Morris Goodman pour l'innovation et l'enseignement en entrepreneuriat et en développement du médicament begins a new era of exciting opportunities.
Academic research: fertile ground for budding entrepreneurship
Imagine a place where academic research can thrive in an environment that's a true laboratory of the entrepreneurial spirit, a place where innovative ideas germinate and transform into concrete medical advances, the donors believe.
For the Morris and Rosalind Goodman Family Foundation, an alliance between the two sectors fosters an entrepreneurial approach in the academic world enabling researchers and students to be more agile.
"Our family's history at the Université de Montréal goes back to 1949, when Morris joined the Faculty of Pharmacy," recalled the Goodmans' son, David Goodman, Pharmascience's executive chairman, announcing the creation of the Fonds Morris Goodman pour l'innovation et l'enseignement en entrepreneuriat et en développement du médicament.
"Thanks to the encouragement he received in the university’s classrooms, my father was able to contribute throughout his career to the advancement of pharmacy through entrepreneurship. The success of the company he founded, now one of the largest employers in Quebec's pharmaceutical industry, proves that forging links between entrepreneurship and the pharmaceutical sector is crucial and opens many doors."
He added: "We believe that exposing the student community to the business world early on in their academic career will encourage them to seriously consider this direction."
Three ways forward
The scope of this donation extends three ways:
1. Creation of a new entrepreneurship program in Pharmaceutical Sciences
Along with the Bourses Morris Goodman pour l’entrepreneuriat dans les sciences de la vie, this new program will be aimed at fostering an entrepreneurial culture among graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in life sciences or biomedical engineering at UdeM and its affiliated engineering school, Polytechnique Montréal.
2. Modernization of the DESS/Master's degree in Drug Development
With the Foundation’s support, the degree will be modernized by the addition of two new fields of concentration.
- The first, a pharmaceutical data-science option (Sciences des données pharmaceutiques), will bring in the bio-statistical and artificial-intelligence expertise of professors from the Faculty of Pharmacy;
- The second will focus on intellectual property, legal framework and financing (Propriété intellectuelle, cadre juridique et financement) thanks to an unprecedented collaboration between the Faculty of Pharmacy and the Faculty of Law at UdeM.
3. Creation of perseverance scholarships for DESS students in Drug Development
The creation of the Bourses du Fonds Morris Goodman en développement du médicament bursary fund will support students in the Drug Development program experiencing financial challenges that affect their studies and career goals.
Much more than a donation, this major contribution will enable the burgeoning of countless projects in the Faculty’s areas of excellence. These include the development of new pharmaceutical formulations and nanotechnologies, the discovery of treatment targets, the modelling and individualization of treatments, and the use of artificial intelligence in the drug development continuum.
By stimulating the successful pairing of the entrepreneurial spirit and scientific research, the new fund is being described as the expression of a bold statement in favour of tangible transformations within the field of life sciences.