McGill, News

Former McGill professors inducted into Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

Drs. Albert J. Aguayo and Jonathan C. Meakins, two leading figures in McGill’s Faculty of Medicine, are set to be inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in 2011.

“The Medical Hall of Fame is one of the most prestigious groups of people that have [had] a long lasting impact on health and health research in Canada,” said Dr. Remi Quirion, vice dean of science and strategic initiatives in the Faculty of Medicine.

Aguayo’s discovery of neuron regeneration in the 1970s played a key role in his selection. Aguayo and his team at the Montreal General Hospital challenged the assumption that neurons did not have an element of plasticity within them.

“This was a big discovery because it suggested that maybe if we were able to understand the mechanisms involved, we could regrow neurons, for example, in the spinal cord of the injured person,” Quirion said.

Meakins was a lecturer in Medicine and Pathology at McGill. He was also the director of the McGill University Student Health Clinic, which is seen as perhaps his greatest achievement.

In conjunction, Meakins is widely known as a memorable leader and eventual dean of the Faculty of Medicine. He was also a founder and the first president of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

The selection of these two doctors demonstrates that “McGill is a powerhouse in health research in Canada,” Quirion said.

“When long-term members of the university are elected to the Medical Hall of Fame, it again sustains our position as a leader in the field,” he added.

Quirion estimated that 12 to 15 doctors with ties to McGill have already been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

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