Kingston, ON April 23, 2003 An important step in Canada’s fight against cancer was celebrated today with the official opening of a new $16 million cancer research facility at Queen’s University.
The 37,500 square foot addition to Queen’s Faculty of Health Sciences Botterell Hall will bring together more than 200 researchers from three internationally recognized cancer research groups: the National Cancer Institute of Canada’s (NCIC) Clinical Trials Group (CTG); the Queen’s Cancer Research Laboratories (QCRL); and the Radiation Oncology Research Unit (RORU)
"The Queen’s Cancer Research Institute will have a lasting impact on cancer research in Canada," says Dr David Walker, Queen’s dean of health sciences. “All of us in the faculty of health sciences are thrilled at the opening of this wonderful facility."
"Queen’s has a really tremendous cancer-research profile," says Kathy Pritchard, a medical oncologist who heads clinical trials at the Toronto Sunnybrook Regional Cancer Institute. "This may not be common knowledge in Kingston, but I don’t think it’s a secret elsewhere."
Dr Joseph Pater, director, National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group and Edith Eisenhauer Chair in Clinical Cancer Research at Queen’s, who also holds the position of acting director of the new institute, agrees that because the offices and labs were scattered around the Queen’s campus, "the work really hasn’t had the public visibility that it deserves."
Until now, Queen’s cancer researchers have operated out of labs and offices in Botterell Hall, at Kingston General Hospital, and in two large old houses on nearby Barrie Street. In recent years, many of the workplaces have become cramped and cluttered, and the university’s ability to hire new staff has been hindered by the lack of physical space in which to put them.
With all three research groups under one roof, the Cancer Research Institute will facilitate the kind of interaction that fosters medical innovation. "Clearly, the people who see patients and understand the medical aspects of things need to talk more to laboratory colleagues, and vice versa," says Dr Elizabeth Eisenhauer, a Queen’s oncologist and lead donor to the institute. "Having a building where we’re all together more than doubles this. It really is a great time to be doing this sort of research at Queen’s."