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Talk from Guy Sauvageau at the CCMM

Published on April 21, 2021

Leveraging innovation and collaboration to accelerate scientific discoveries in oncology

Dear friends,

On Thursday, April 22, I had the honour of speaking with Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Chamber, to discuss the importance of innovating for the benefit of everyone in society. The importance of doing so in a comprehensive and concerted manner, but also by developing a certain autonomy in the emergence and financing of promising social innovations.

Almost 20 years ago, I allowed myself to dream. I had a vision, definitely, but above all I was determined — I wanted to create a research institute that would advance cancer-related science. The disease is an endemic problem that affects us all. For me, there was only one way to achieve this goal: to gather a whole range of expertise and think big.

My colleagues and I, the rector Robert Lacroix and his team at the time, recruited top scientists from complementary disciplines to create the winning conditions for making a real difference. These conditions: collegiality and collaboration to foster ideas and innovation, but also a unique combination of state-of-the-art infrastructure within a world-class university campus, such as needed for competitive research. In short, we have put together all the components necessary to develop a research model that is unique in Canada.

The latter has won its spurs. Today, our better understanding of cancer biology is setting the stage for new ways of doing medicine and leading to ultra-precise procedures, more personalized approaches, and innovative treatments for patients.

The current pandemic has highlighted this critical need for us to work together towards a common goal if we are to really make a difference. Also, we are becoming more aware than ever before of the importance of funding the efforts of scientists and the work of research programs so as to promote the emergence of innovations.


Dr. Guy Sauvageau, M.D., Ph. D., F.R.C.P.(C)
Principal Investigator, IRIC
Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal
Hematologist, Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont