Schools Training

Large Donation to Kickstart Research at McMaster U

7 FEB 2012
Topic : Education News

The Boris family, in Hamilton, has donated $30 million to fast-forward and commercialize McMaster University discoveries innovations in health research, education and care (including stem cell therapies and one-stop patient care clinic).

“McMaster University has proven its ability to fast forward discoveries from the lab bench to the patients’ bedside, it made perfect sense to make this investment in this world class university,” said Les Boris at a university ceremony, on behalf of his parents’ Marta and Owen Boris Foundation.

Of the total amount, $24 million will go towards establishing the The Boris Family Centre in Human Stem Cell Therapies, which will focus on the commercial development of discoveries at the McMaster Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute. Since its founding in 2006, the institute has had several major breakthroughs, including the ability to turn human skin into blood. Funds will also establish two senior research chairs, several fellowships and technician positions.

“In the absence of this donation, I think we would not be in the position to move our discoveries forward,” said Mick Bhatia, scientific director of the McMaster Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute. “This is a huge leg-up. I’m hoping what it’s really going to do is have a ripple effect to change the way McMaster views translating basic science.”

The rest of the donation will go towards the creation of a unique, on-campus clinic established in partnership with Hamilton Health Sciences. The clinic will allow patients with complex health problems to see several specialists in one visit.

“McMaster has been renewing its commitment to our community, and to have community members make such a significant contribution to the University is truly outstanding,” said Patrick Deane, president of McMaster. “Great research, great discoveries, and better patient care. The Boris family gift will accelerate our ability to make great things happen.”

The Marta and Owen Boris Foundation was established by Marta and Owen Boris who created the Hamilton cable company Mountain Cablevision and developed it over 50 years before selling it to Shaw Communications in 2009. Owen Boris died in April, 2011.

What do you think about this generous donation?