Lab Canada

$310M transformative research complex officially opens

Montreal, QC – New research facilities at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) celebrated their official opening this week. The $310-million facilities are designed to encourage researchers and clinicians to collaborate across lines of specialties.

“We are proud to inaugurate the Research Institute,” said Dr. Vassilios Papadopoulos, executive director and chief scientific officer of the Research Institute of the MUHC (RI-MUHC), at the opening. “Biomedical and research facilities, combined with renovated labs and redesigned care units at the Glen and the Montreal General Hospital, will redefine how our researchers and students conduct cutting-edge research, with the ultimate goal of advancing 21st-century medicine.”

The new facility was designed to allow researchers and clinicians to work closely together under the same roof. Pediatric and adult research activities will be combined so that scientists can study the onset and impact of diseases on individuals throughout their lifespan. The complexity of medical problems such as diabetes, cancer and respiratory diseases, amongst others, requires researchers and medical staff to collaborate to better understand the diseases and more easily develop new diagnostic tools, improved therapies, and more strategic approaches to population health.

Research activities will be divided into three areas of focus:

  • The Centre for Translational Biology (CTB) will be a hub for fundamental research. Scientists will work in open laboratory units with state-of-the-art equipment and computer systems to develop novel curative compounds.
  • The McConnell Centre for Innovative Medicine (CIM), integrated within the hospital, will specialize in clinical trials and research to transform discoveries into new treatments.
  • The Centre for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE) will include specialists in epidemiological, statistical, economic and biopharmaceutical research who will evaluate the impact of new treatments, diets and environmental factors on health. 

The total cost of the project was $310 million – $210 million for construction and design costs, and $100 million for research equipment. The funds came from the Quebec’s provincial government ($160 million), a $100 million grant from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and a contribution of $50 million from donations to the MUHC foundations through the Best Care for Life campaign.

RI-MUHC researchers, students and staff will be moving into the facilities at the end of February.

“The dream of the RI-MUHC …has become a reality, and this move represents a historic transformation for Montrealers and Quebecers,” said Normand Rinfret, director general and CEO of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). “This new home will be a platform for an integrated approach to research, clinical care and education. Our researchers will continue to foster the RI-MUHC’s, world-class reputation here and around the globe.”